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Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Clinical Strategy

Volume 569: debated on Tuesday 22 October 2013

13. What progress has been made on implementation of the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey clinical strategy. (900595)

The local NHS continues implementing the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey clinical strategy, which was approved by the Secretary of State in September 2011 following a review by the independent reconfiguration panel. Enfield council has recently issued an application for judicial review of local clinical commissioning group plans. Unfortunately, I am therefore limited in what I can say in that regard.

Department of Health Ministers know well of my continued opposition to the decision. However, does the Minister understand that it is crucial that the investment in primary care first promised by the Secretary of State in 2008 is in place before the reconfiguration takes place? Will the Minister confirm that patients will have access to a doctor on the Chase Farm site 24/7?

First, I acknowledge my hon. Friend’s campaigning on behalf of his constituents—he has worked very hard. I understand that, as part of the case for change and for reconfiguring health services at Chase Farm hospital, a doctor will be available to see patients at Chase Farm 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, given that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has been named as a defendant by Enfield council in the judicial review, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this time.

Does the Minister recognise that the question is not if the changes take place, but when? Does he recognise that all my local doctors say that it is in the best health interests to get on with the changes, not least given that the £200 million invested in the new North Middlesex hospital in Enfield was dependent on them?

I recognise my hon. Friend’s work in this regard. Decisions should be based on clinical judgment and the views of local doctors are important. He draws attention to a fantastic new facility. I pay tribute to everyone who has worked to achieve it. It will serve the local community well.