Health service boost call

Jo Platt at Atherleigh Park
Jo Platt at Atherleigh Park

A candidate bidding to become an MP has called for better health facilities for residents in the borough.

Jo Platt, who is Labour’s candidate for Leigh, visited NHS facilities in the town and said there was scope to offer more treatments and services to residents on their doorsteps.

More activity could be brought to The Avenue site providing more and better services there and avoiding the need for local people to travel

Jo Platt

On a visit to Leigh Infirmary Ms Platt said there were opportunities to expand there due to the transfer of mental illness-related services to North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s state-of-the-art new hospital Atherleigh Park.

Ms Platt, who is hoping to succeed Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham as Leigh’s representative in the House of Commons, said: “I visited the Leigh Infirmary site where there are plenty of opportunities to use those buildings vacated by the transfer of mental health services to the new Atherleigh Park hospital and better use of the existing land at Leigh.

“More activity could be brought to The Avenue site providing more and better services there and avoiding the need for local people to travel.”

Ms Platt has now written to the chief executive of the local acute hospital trust and asked for an early meeting to develop these ideas after the election if she is successful at the ballot box.

She has also contacted her parliamentary predecessor Mr Burnham in his new mayoral role asking him to include these ideas in his plans for health across Greater Manchester.

She said the ageing population made it more important that people did not have to travel large distances to get care they required.

She also attacked the previous government, accusing them of failing to defend the NHS.

Ms Platt said: “As people get a little older they require more support from the NHS and it is better for them and their families if as much of that care can be provided at a convenient local site.

“If elected, one of my main aims as Leigh’s MP would be to fight for the best health care for local people. Labour created the NHS nearly 70 years ago and we don’t intend to let the Tories continue to ruin it.”

Health and continued funding pressure on the NHS has been an important issue in the early stages of the election campaign, with Labour claiming the service is not safe with the Conservatives and the Tories responding by attacking Labour’s economic credibility and saying only they can provide the financial stability needed to ensure the NHS continues to prosper.

Leigh general election candidates: Jo Platt (Lab), James Grundy (Cons), Richard Kilpatrick (Lib Dems), Mark Bradley (Ukip).