Why have a hospital when you can have a “Health Village”?

Why have a hospital when you can have a “Health Village”?

bedford health village2.JPG

    Surely this isn’t the way to shore up marginal seats?

Before I came on holiday I was cycling past what I thought was part of my local NHS hospital when I noticed the above sign outside. Gone were the boards saying “Bedford Hospital – North Wing” and in their place were these for what is now, apparently, our local “health village”.

Now I have no idea what a “health village” is but clearly it is not a hospital because if it was they would clearly call it that. And in the current climate of concern in the town about a diminution of local health services that might not be good for my old friend and 1992 General Election opponent, Pat Hall, who won the seat for Labour in 1997.

For not only will Pat be fighting at the next election to retain what is the Tories 67th target seat he is also likely to be facing opposition from a new party which has been established to save the local hospital.

    So any NHS development in the town, even the signage on what was a hospital, is likely to be ultra-sensitive.

Maybe it’s just me but the term “health village” smacks of a PR stunt that could rebound. It appears as though it’s been devised to try to persuade the public that they are getting more than actually they are. But it’s certainly not going to ease the concerns of patients who might have to spend up to an hour extra getting to their nearest A & E department.

I can only think that this is all being set up so Pat Hall can be seen to have “saved the day” in the run up to the election.

Mike Smithson

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