Despite all the posturing from Labour they never actually did much to improve the NHS. They spent more time saying how evil the Tories were and suggesting we would ruin the NHS at the first opportunity. Undoubtedly, some privatisation would bring in some much needed efficiency and performance management in to the NHS which would allow managers to sack nurses who leave an elderly lady without water all day. But when it actually comes to enhancing the current nationalised NHS, it is left to the Tories to actually provide the improvements as has happened today in Ipswich.
The town’s MP, Ben Gummer, has secured £10million from the Government for Ipswich Hospital with £5million be used to set up an elective specialist heart centre, known as a PCI centre. As Ipswich Spy reports, the plans will mean patients who currently have to travel to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for routine elective surgery will be treated at Heath Road. Evidence used to make this decision will have included a report published by Professor Roger Boyle in December 2010, which advised that an elective (PCI) centre be built in Ipswich while emergency patients should continue to travel to one of the three PPCI centres. This report was triggered by a campaign headed by Ben Gummer before the General Election for Ipswich Hospital to have a facility for invasive heart care treatment when it was revealed Suffolk was the only county in the region that would not have an emergency heart care centre (PPCI centres) built. At the time, Ipswich Labour MP Chris Mole stood by, did his Government masters’ bidding, and said it was the best thing for the people of Ipswich. The people disagreed and he was duly disposed in May 2010.
This is a superb achievement by Mr Gummer. It shows he has the capacity to get access to the right ministers in the health department, and I am sure the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley himself, to get funding for Ipswich. Many people in Whitehall would need a map to find out where Ipswich is, hence why our railway line is so diabolical, but on this occasion they have had a constituency bugging them for money. Mr Gummer’s little chats with ministers whilst they are trapped in the lobbies has paid off.
Chris Mole never had such achievements. He waited for money to be pushed to him rather than the other way round and when it came to Ipswich Hospital he was his master’s voice, the little poodle as he tried to climb the greasy pole of Government and still never achieving higher office than a junior transport minister in nine years of being Ipswich MP.
On the other hand Mr Gummer has communication skills which allow him to talk coherently, and, more importantly, persuade those in power to look at Ipswich. For the best part of two decades, ministers would never have talked about Ipswich as the MP did not. Now, at last, Whitehall is starting to realise Ipswich isn’t just a little village in rich rural Suffolk but an urban regional centre with just as many difficulties and needs as most major towns in this country.