People across Gloucestershire will be deeply shocked by the announcement – released on Friday by Alex Chalk MP on his facebook page – that Cheltenham General Hospital’s A&E is now facing closure.
‘Accident and emergency services are already stretched to breaking point under current government policy’, says Joanna Hughes, chair of Cheltenham Labour Party.
‘This does not just affect Cheltenham. People in the Cotswolds, Stroud and the Forest of Dean have to use Gloucester or Cheltenham A&E.
‘As gloucestershirelive reported last month both departments are under intolerable pressure.’
Joanna Hughes says: ‘It’s no use Alex Chalk throwing up his hands in horror at this point. How can he sit on the government benches and not acknowledge his party’s role in creating this situation?
‘His own government bears total responsibility for the crisis in health provision because of their constant under-investment in the NHS, running down services to make the case for privatisation.’
Forest of Dean Labour Party secretary, Judith Mortimore, points out: ‘Our two cottage hospitals are under threat of closure, and the new hospital they’ve promised us is going to be half the size. I know of several occasions when people from the Forest have ended up at Cheltenham A&E because Gloucester is full.
‘Gloucester A&E doesn’t have the capacity to take on the ever-growing population of the area.’
‘Labour’s message is clear,’ Cheltenham Labour Party’s chair stresses. ‘The NHS is not safe in Tory hands and a no deal Brexit under Boris Johnson will lead to further closures as services are sold off to US private health companies whose only motivation is profit.
‘Alex Chalk needs to take a hard look at his own government and accept his share of responsibility before throwing the blame at others.
‘The people of Gloucestershire will fight this threat in every way possible.’
Joanna Hughes chair Cheltenham Labour party
Judith Mortimore secretary Forest of Dean Labour party
Terry Perryman chair Cotswolds Labour party
Ellis Fincham secretary of Gloucester Labour party