Coronavirus crisis: Rutland MP Alicia Kearns hits back over 'hospital deserts' claim

  Posted: 26.03.20 at 10:03 by The Editor

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Rutland MP Alicia Kearns has won the support of Health Secretary Matt Hancock in opposing reports the county is a ‘hospital desert’.

The MP hit back at Sky News, which quoted an academic study which doubted the ability of Rutland to cope with the pandemic, due to an elderly population and the possibility of people taking ‘self-isolation’ holidays in the rural county.

Mrs Kearns asked the Heath Secretary on Tuesday: “Will he also confirm that Rutland is not a “hospital desert”—as reported by Sky News, which has concerned my constituents, who have access to Leicester and Peterborough—and urge the media to be cautious about deeply unhelpful and sensationalist reporting?"

Mr Hancock replied: “Yes; my hon. Friend makes a very important point.”

Last weekend, Oxford University's Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science identified potential "hospital deserts", where demand for beds for coronavirus patients is likely to outstrip supply as the illness spreads.

Sky News quoted the report as identifying Rutland along with Northumberland, Suffolk, the Isle of Wight and Powys in Wales as such places.

The report came as Mrs Kearns also urged people not to take ‘self-isolation’ holidays in Rutland.

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