We present this final instalment of "Where is John Penrose?" with thanks to the Weston-super-Mare Conservatives, we have been informed that John Penrose did have a private meeting with Jeremy Hunt where he, apparently, discussed Weston General Hospital's A&E department. We can only say apparently because the meeting was behind closed doors, so we cannot be completely certain what was discussed.
We can be reasonably sure that Mr Hunt and Mr Penrose probably discussed how to spin an already budgeted £842,000 to make it sound like new money when in fact it is already part of the hospitals budget; it actually being the "Winter Resilience Payment" that would have been given to the hospital anyway regardless of the operating position of the A&E department.
The question remains though; why has Mr. Penrose not felt the need to bring the plight of our Accident and Emergency Department further into the public eye through the asking of a question on the subject of the Health Secretary in an open Health Questions session of Parliament. Other MPs, concerned for the funding and operation of their constituencies hospitals have done so; so why not John Penrose for Weston General?
MPs, of all parties, have felt that health questions is the place to raise the concerns over their local hospital provision, again we ask, why not John Penrose? Is it not expected of a "constituency MP" to raise our local concerns over health provision to the national level in public?
Having gone through Hansard, over the relevant period that the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans have been developed, we can find no mention of John Penrose raising the serious issue of Weston General Hospital's recruitment problems to allow it to run a 24/7 Accident and Emergency Service for Weston-super-Mare. Not once has this been raised in health questions. Weston General has only been raised on one occasion in recent years, and then not by John Penrose but by the MP for Wells. This is a matter of public record.
The people of Weston-super-Mare need an MP that publicly stands up for their needs, publicly addresses the issues affecting this town, votes in parliament for the benefit of their constituents and not their party, and for example publicly stands with it's people in the rain outside of Weston General Hospital to support their wish to protect their local health provision.