HEALTH Secretary Sajid Javid will visit Rugby’s hospital after the town’s MP stated the case for an Accident and Emergency (A&E) department to return to the site after a 25 year absence.
Mark Pawsey secured a Parliamentary debate on the Hospital of St Cross, during which he spoke about the history of the site and the decision to downgrade the A&E provision to an Urgent Treatment Centre in 1997.
Mr Pawsey used his speech to emphasise how growth in the town’s population – which is estimated to rise to 130,000 by 2031 – has added to pressure on healthcare in the region.
He argued the town’s growth necessitated easier access to emergency healthcare, which would also reduce the pressure on UHC which now serves a population of nearly 600,000 – almost double the national average.
He said: “I very much hope to have the opportunity to demonstrate this need for an extension to the A&E provision in Rugby when the Secretary of State comes to visit Rugby and St Cross in the near future, which he has kindly committed to do.
“The Government have quite reasonably asked that towns such as Rugby do their bit to provide the housing that the people of this country need, and Rugby is proudly meeting that challenge. All we ask is that the Government and local health commissioners also do their bit to provide the healthcare that the people of Rugby need and are asking for.”
The debate followed Mr Pawsey’s survey on urgent and emergency care in Rugby and at University Hospital Coventry (UHC), in which 93 per cent of nearly 3,000 residents said greater urgent care provision was needed at St Cross.
Responding for the Government, Health Minister Edward Argar described the response to Mr Pawsey’s survey as ‘phenomenal’.
Speaking after the debate, Mr Pawsey added: “I was very pleased to be able to present my arguments in favour of expanding services at Rugby’s local hospital on the floor of the House of Commons.
“As Rugby has grown, the argument for providing more health provision has grown commensurately and it is an argument which I have made since being elected as Rugby’s MP.
“I am very pleased that the Secretary of State has agreed to visit the Hospital of St Cross and I look forward to showing him both the outstanding work which is already taking place there, and the opportunities which exist to expand the services offered for local residents.”