Driffield Hospital Closed In All But Name? – Knight Silent

21 December 2018

To: Driffield & Wolds Weekly
Dear Editor
After reading your article about Driffield Town Council asking our Conservative MP, Sir Knight for support to provide a minor injuries unit which is fit for purpose for Driffield, I thought I would check up on his record.
In a 2010 election leaflet Greg Knight said he did not accept the case for downgrading Driffield hospital, that the current situation was "totally unacceptable" and he would campaign for the retention and return of local health services.
I think that this was about the time that we lost the ten bed ward for local people at the hospital.
Greg Knight was Knighted in 2013.
The ward never returned.
Having been re-elected in 2015 and now having had seven years working at this, we find in 2017 he is elected again with this time a "vow" to fight to retain services at Alfred Bean hospital, keeping services locally and oppose the local configuration panel plans.
But instead the minor injuries unit was shut within a year of his election and the 8 to 8 service was introduced.  We all know that this does not provide the same service.  I myself called up 111 with a suspected broken wrist to be told Alfred Bean 8 to 8 center "was not available on the system" and I had to drive to Brid.  When I enquired at the Alfred Bean I was told that the equipment was all still there but all the staff had been removed and they were "sorting out new contracts".  Ten years ago I was in there with the kids and we just walked in, got seen, had an x-ray - all sorted. Now gone.
I believe that the 8 to 8 center is an administrative device to claim that health care still exists in Driffield when in fact it does not.
In 2017 Sir Greg said that the Alfred Bean situation would go to the Health Minister.  The website www.theyworkforyou.com shows that Sir Greg has done written answers to the Secretary of State for Health six times since June 2017 but all these are on other issues like GP retirement and meat quality and there is no mention of our hospital.  Maybe I am missing something?  It also says he votes against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS and for reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients. To my mind this is paving the way for privatization.
So local people voted Conservative but they have been let down by them. The Tories are the party in power so its not like our MP can say that they are in opposition so cant get anything done !  But instead of doing what they said they would they have made cuts to the NHS services.
I've met Sir Greg on a number of occasions and he is not a bad guy. The problem is the Conservative Party. The Tory party made massive cuts to the NHS during the 1980s when I was a kid and now they are in power again they have made cuts to the NHS once again. There continues to be talk of further privatization of the NHS after Brexit.  If the local people vote Tory then cuts to their health service are to be expected (no matter what the MP says to get your vote).
If you want proper investment in the NHS then you have to vote for a party that wants more spending on the NHS, more local health care provision to cut down travelling time and allow local friends and family to visit and support patients and to keep the NHS in public hands - that party is the Green Party.  The Tories cannot be trusted with our NHS.
Mike Jackson
Hull & East Riding Green Party