Cabinet Minister visits Andover to look at Health Services
14 Feb 2006
Sir George and Geoff Hoon at the DLO in Andover
Sir George and Geoff Hoon at the DLO in Andover
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Last October, Sir George asked the Leader of the House of Commons and former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon if he would come to North West Hampshire and see the local NHS at first hand.
"Much to my surprise and delight, Geoff Hoon accepted, and he spent the morning visiting health premises in Andover and then had a working lunch with those who run the local NHS"

"I believe he found it helpful to hear at first hand the challenges that confront the NHS in Andover and to meet those in the front line. Everyone recognised that progress had been made in the last eight years - but there was still much to do."

Geoff Hoon spoke to four dentists at one of the largest practices in the town, who explained why dentists were leaving the NHS, and why the new dental contract was flawed.

He then visited a medical centre in Charlton Road, speaking to the practice manager and two GP's. They were concerned at the pace of change in the NHS, and the difficulty in attracting medical graduates to general practice as opposed to hospital consultancy.

Geoff Hoon then visited Andover Hospital, seeing Outpatients and the Birth Centre, before going round Willow Court with the Nurse Manager Mary Critcher.

He was joined for lunch at the DLO by Bridget Phelps, Chair of Mid Hants Primary Care Trust; Barbara North, Chair of Winchester and Eastleigh NHS Trust; and Mick Mumford, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate in the last three General Elections.

"I think Geoff Hoon found it interesting to see the NHS through the eyes of a rural Hampshire constituency, as opposed to seeing it through the eyes of a Nottingham MP. The problems we face are different, and the resources we get per capita are less. I enjoyed showing him round my constituency, and am grateful to him for finding the time in his busy schedule to come down."
 
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