'I can see nothing but expansion' - Health Secretary Matt Hancock on his visit to Scarborough Hospital
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he can see "nothing but expansion" in the future of Scarborough Hospital.
On Thursday the Cabinet Minister travelled to Scarborough to meet with hospital bosses, staff and patients and discuss details of the £40m investment plan to transform the hospital's A&E department.
At the end of his visit, Mr Hancock said: "I can see nothing but expansion of the services available in Scarborough, we're hiring more nurses, we're hiring more doctors because we do need more nurses and doctors in Scarborough just like in the rest of the country."
In the last year, due to the difficulty in recruiting staff, yet more cuts have had to be made, this time at the expense of breast cancer outpatient and children and young people’s behavioural services.
This resulted in growing concern over the future of the town's hospital with many residents fearing it was only a matter of time until more services would be axed.
Asked whether he could guarantee there would be no more cutbacks, Mr Hancock replied: "I can guarantee that there will be an overall expansion of services."
Speaking about his party's efforts to boost the number of doctors, the Secretary mentioned there will now be an extra five medical schools across the country, Lincoln being the closest to Scarborough, and that rules to hire quality doctors from overseas have been "relaxed".
As far as nurses are concerned, thanks to the link up between Scarborough Hospital and CU Scarborough, "people can train to be a nurse in Scarborough and get a great career delivering care for people in the town".
Denying the upcoming election had anything to do with his expansion talks, Mr Hancock added: "We've put an extra £33.9bn into the NHS over the next five years and we've done that because we believe in the NHS and in making sure that it gets the support so that it's always there for you and for your family and for everybody in this country.
"The NHS means a huge amount to me, it's been there in some of the most important moments in my life, both great moments and some of the most difficult, and this is why people in this country have an emotional connection to the NHS so the money is going in and the expansion is going in and they were going in well before we announced this election."
Labour candidate Hugo Fearnley said Mr Hancock’s comments don’t “ring true” with people’s experiences, adding that “over time we’ve seen a lot of empty promises but very little action”.