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Posts Tagged ‘Department of Health’

The Conservatives have promised that Professor Tim Briggs’s will get the funding he needs for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.

Both Andrew Lansley, shadow health secretary, and Tory parliamentary candidate for Harrow East Bob Blackman have spoken this week about how they would guarantee the £60m needed to make much-needed improvements to the hospital.

Speaking to the Harrow Times, Blackman slammed Labour for ‘constantly’ prevaricating about providing the money. He said:

“Clearly they do not regard it as a priority.””

And last Wednesday on a visit to the hospital, Andrew Lansley said the party were ‘determined’ the rebuilding would go ahead, adding that:

“This should happen in the fastest available time scale, given the cost and risk of maintaining services in the woefully inadequate accommodation, with millions spent each year on repair and maintenance work.”

But while they promise that they will commit to it if elected, Blackman may have to deal with Professor Briggs as his opponent in the general election.

Earlier this month Briggs made headlines by saying he was considering standing as an independent challenger to Labour MP Tony McNulty. The Department of Health promised to find the money, but Briggs has not entirely ruled out a campaign. 

One wonders if this will be enough to discourage him.

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It looks like Professor Tim Briggs won’t be contesting Harrow East as an independent after all.

The surgeon and medical director of Stanmore’s  Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital had hinted at an election bid to unseat Labour MP Tony McNulty earlier in the week. He threatened to run if the Department of Health didn’t find the £60m funding to make much-needed improvements.

Briggs has been campaigning for the hospital, Harrow East’s biggest employer, for some 15 years. It seems he is now a step closer, following a promise by Health Secretary Andy Burnham to find the money.

He hasn’t totally ruled out a 2010 bid though, and nothing has been said to absolutely guarantee the funding. Speaking to the Evening Standard he said:

“I’ve had a meeting with the Secretary of State and I’m going to sit tight until March. He realises this is an urgent matter for the NHS. He says he’s positive about the outcome.”

Whether or not Briggs does mount a challenge to McNulty, the election race is already heating up, with Conservative challenger Bob Blackman already very vocal in public.

Will Briggs add some fuel to the Harrow East political fire? Watch this space.

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