Chase Farm A & E

Charles Walker takes the opportunity of a debate on the future business of the house to raise the issue of the closure of Chase Farm accident and emergency service and invite the Health Secretary to visit Cheshunt and Waltham Cross to explain herself.

Mr. Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): In spring this year, the then Health Secretary told the people of Broxbourne that if they voted Conservative, Chase Farm accident and emergency service would close down. They should have listened to him because they did vote Conservative and Chase Farm accident and emergency is to be closed. Will the right hon. Gentleman bring the new Secretary of State for Health to my constituency, particularly to Cheshunt and Waltham Cross, at the earliest opportunity to explain herself and to reassure my constituents that it has all been a joke and that accident and emergency services at Chase Farm will continue in good health in the near and distant future?

Mr. Hoon: Everyone takes the provision of accident and emergency services extremely seriously, but the hon. Gentleman knows that there are different ways of providing those services and that it is necessary to provide them efficiently and effectively. One of the most important aspects of an accident and emergency service is that it has the necessary back-up available across the medical spectrum in order properly to treat those people who are an emergency. It is no good taking someone to an accident and emergency facility if the support necessary to treat the person properly is not available.

There are a variety of reasons why, from time to time, accident and emergency facilities are required to close. The hon. Gentleman presents an extremely simplistic picture of the overall way in which the health service deals effectively with people. "