Dear Letters Editor,
In last week’s County Times article, ‘Demand for new hospital’, Horsham MP Jeremy Quin expresses his concern at the downgrade of maternity services from ‘outstanding’ to ‘requires improvement’. He then uses the opportunity to make the case for Horsham having its own hospital. This is something that has been expressed many times before by our Conservative MPs, most often in advance of a General Election. Perhaps the hospital Jeremy Quin is calling for could be added to the list of 40 new hospitals promised by the Conservative government ahead of the last General Election? This was a commitment made by the now disgraced former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. And it remains a Conservative election pledge unfulfilled.
We all know that the NHS and social care have been persistently starved of funds for years by the Conservative government. It is hypocritical in the extreme for our Conservative MP and recent cabinet member to be now expressing anxiety at the downgrading of some of Horsham’s healthcare facilities. We must ask: where has Jeremy Quin been all these years? Not, we regret, speaking truth to power and standing up for Horsham’s healthcare infrastructure.
Now a 2024 General Election is round the corner. Opinion polls state clearly that Jeremy Quin’s formerly safe seat in Parliament is up for grabs. He has just resigned from the cabinet to focus on saving his job. Horsham Labour is moving ahead to overturn the Conservative majority. Independent pollsters, Electoral Calculus, now rank Labour just 2500 votes short of a historic victory in Horsham: New Seat Details – Horsham (electoralcalculus.co.uk) The truth is clear: Jeremy Quin is following in the footsteps of his predecessor Conservative MPs. They also campaigned in advance of an election for a new hospital for Horsham. But after winning, they have consistently failed to deliver one for the town.
Horsham Labour Party continues to campaign for improved NHS services. We are currently petitioning local residents on the need for more GPs and NHS dentists and we believe the local plan being brought forward by Horsham District Council should include a clause that there will be no new developments without the necessary public service infrastructure including schools and NHS services.
We don’t disagree with Jeremy Quin’s words. We do need a new hospital as our town continues to grow. But we believe in action, not just words. We believe that substantial and reliable investment in public services rather than flying a pre-election ‘hospital kite’ would better serve the residents of Horsham.
Chris Henson, Horsham Labour Party