"We need an inquiry to find out exactly how Southport & Ormskirk Hospital Trust now has one of the biggest deficits in the region. I am extremely worried that over the years the Trust was allowed to get itself into such a position. I can fully understand why local people would be worried about the future of their local health services, and the impact that this deficit may have on the services provided locally."
"On the question of hospital closure there are many rumours flying about at the moment as to the possible reconfiguration of health services across both Lancashire and Merseyside. I think it is unwise to try and second guess any such decisions before they have been announced. I am, however, in regular contact with the Strategic Health Authority, who has responsibility for those decisions and will be meeting with them soon. I await their proposals on the future of health services in across West Lancashire and Merseyside. My overriding concern is to ensure the people of this area have access to the best quality and safest health services available."