In the last ten years, Buckland Hospital has been systematically destroyed, to universal dismay. Mr Prosser, the Labour MP, told a public meeting that he supports a plan for a polyclinic in Buckland’s car park.
That would not be good enough. Dover deserves a proper hospital. While the ideal would have been to improve and invest in Buckland over the last ten (wasted) years, it’s not the best for a new facility. The access, location and future space to expand are not the best.
So I don't agree with Mr Prosser’s support for the Buckland polyclinic. Nor do I believe this would be the “temporary” solution Mr Prosser claims. Ten years of advising the Shadow Cabinet on the management of the public finances has given me the experience to understand how things work at the highest levels of Government. It has also taught me how often temporary becomes permanent . . . and that people are right to be cynical as good intentions without funding are good intentions and no more.
Thankfully, things have already moved on. Reg Hansell, David Hannent, Pauline Majors, Denise Smith and 20,000 signatures do make a difference. I support and salute their work. Discussions are ongoing for a better located site and the likely settlement looks set to be better than the original offer Mr Prosser is so keen on.
Yet I am pessimistic that these discussions will get us fully where we want to be. I am not convinced the Government will agree to care beds, or adequate emergency services. I have therefore been pressing those engaged in the discussions for a site where greater expansion will be possible in the future. So that if this Government fails us again, a new Government would have the scope to make the further improvements we would all hope to see.
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