Gideon Amos, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the Wellington area, has accused the government of 'running down' the NHS.

In a statement Mr Amos said: "The Conservatives can’t escape the blame for this long-term failure to support our NHS. Where are the 40 new hospitals the Conservatives promised years ago?"

“That was clearly a half truth or an attempt to completely deceive voters. The real answer is to halt this Government’s running down of our NHS.”

The comments come after Liberal Democrat MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Richard Foord, challenged the Prime Minister on Wednesday. He said in the House of Commons: "For too long, towns and villages across our region have been taken for granted.

"Ambulance crews are stretched to breaking point, local GPs and dentists are under immense pressure, and A&E waiting times are leaving patients waiting hours for urgent care.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak repeated his government's commitment to building 40 new hospitals, and said of the 11 planned to be built in the South West, eight had been fully approved by the planning authorities.

He said: "The remaining three schemes, due to when they are expected to be delivered, would not be expected to have planning permission at this stage.

"Everything is on track, and we will bring those hospitals to the people of the South West."

In January, Wellington's Conservative MP Rebecca Pow expressed her support for the government's plan to cut NHS waiting lists and pledged 'positive news' was coming soon for NHS dental services.

Ms Pow said: “The lack of access to NHS dentists in this area has reached crisis point.

“Dental Minister, Mr O’Brien, gave assurances that some positive progress on access to dental services will be announced shortly, with a further comprehensive package to follow in the future."

“I shall keep pressing on this serious issue for local people.”