James with representatives of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards during a Welcome Home Event for 20th Armoured Brigade
James at The Springfields Academy
James Gray MP welcoming representatives of 20th Armoured Brigade to Parliament
James Gray MP with representatives from Google and The Countryside Alliance Foundation
Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Conservative): Many ambulance trusts are indeed doing extremely well, as the Secretary of State indicated. Does he agree that that is at least partly due to localism in the ambulance service, which may be undermined if, for example, the Great Western ambulance service becomes an amalgamated regional service? Now it has been announced that the call centre in Devizes will be closed in favour of one in Bristol. Does he agree that there is at least a risk that the local service for people in Wiltshire will be reduced if such regionalisation is allowed?
The Secretary of State for Health (Mr Jeremy Hunt): I agree with my hon. Friend that the purpose of the changes that the coalition Government have brought to the NHS is to tap into local innovation, ideas and ambitions to transform services, and it is important that no changes undermine that. He should take comfort from the fact that my predecessor introduced clear tests for any major reconfigurations, including that they should be strongly supported by local doctors, that the public should be involved in any consultation, that the changes should improve patient choice and that there should be clear evidence of benefits to patients. I hope that that gives him and his constituents some reassurance.
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