Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP – Update from Parliament October 2018

September is an unusual month in Westminster. The House only sits for a short period between the Summer Recess and the Conference Recess. However, I did get the opportunity to call for a debate on NHS accountability and those NHS consultations where our views are totally ignored!

West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, the providers of hospital services to Dacorum, are shortly to resubmit their proposals (called a Strategic Outline Case) for the future development of hospital services to NHS Improvement – the branch of the NHS hierarchy that oversees the work of NHS Trusts.

However, rumours suggest that not much has changed and they are still planning to submit two Watford-based options and not include the much-supported new site option.

I have now written to Professor Steve Barnett, Chair of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust and Dr Nicolas Small, Chair of Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group urging them to include a new site option in their Strategic Outline Case.

With the Crown Estate land between the M1 and Leverstock Green being put forward for development, this seems a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a new hospital with good access to all three towns. A new hospital in this location would offer room for expansion, level car parking (and I would argue it should be free) and serve as a great backup for any major incident on the M1, M25, Luton or Heathrow airport or anywhere in north west London.

Surely it is too good an opportunity to miss? I don’t believe there is any limit on the number of options the Strategic Outline Case can put forward, so why not include the new hospital option? Common sense should prevail.

Brexit

I gave an interview with The Telegraph earlier this month in which I made it clear that I and many other moderate MPs cannot back the Chequers deal. The Prime Minister needs to recognise the reality – her Chequers deal will not pass in the House of Commons.

We need a Canada+++ type of trading arrangement post-Brexit. I believe this is achievable and that it is right for Britain and the EU.

Brexit is a golden opportunity for us to trade on our own terms with growing economies in the rest of the world, many of which have a long-standing historical relationship with the UK.

Photo: Flashback: With local hospital campaigners meeting with the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement last year

Our Ambassadors