This afternoon the Government announced that a new community hospital will be built in Consett to replace the aged facility at Shotley Bridge. This announcement marks the culmination of a hard-fought campaign, which Richard Holden MP made the number one priority in his local manifesto at the 2019 General Election.
For decades local people had seen services slowly removed from North West Durham, but with the announcement that the new hospital will see the current eight beds increased to sixteen, this represents a turning point for the community in the provision of local health services.
Since the election, Richard has raised the Shotley Bridge Hospital six times in Parliament and in innumerable meetings with Ministers and officials. The former MPs for the area had only raised Shotley Bridge twice in Parliament in the previous decade. Last month Richard welcomed the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, to Shotley Bridge – the first time any of the staff could remember a ministerial visit to the community hospital. Richard also raised his campaign for a new community hospital, Boris Johnson, at Prime Minister’s Question Time earlier this year.
Richard, MP for North West Durham, said:
“Today’s announcement is seismic; a sign of this Government’s commitment to levelling-up the whole country and of the Prime Minister’s personal commitment to our community in North West Durham.
“Seeing services being renewed and upgraded is very important for our community which for too long has felt left-behind.
“But this is just the start of the transformation I hope to bring to North West Durham. I will continue campaigning for our community for: good jobs, improved local services and improved life chances. The people of my constituency deserve nothing less.”