Graham’s first task on election in 2005 was to fight the Labour Government’s plans to close all NHS beds in the Beverley and Holderness constituency. The government had announced the closure of Beverley, Hornsea and Withernsea community hospitals leaving local residents, and particularly the elderly, at risk.
Graham led marches in all three towns and then founded CHANT (Community Hospitals Acting Nationally Together), a national, cross-party pressure group to campaign for community hospitals. He led repeated delegations to meet Ministers, broke the record for the number of petitions presented to Parliament in one day, organised a rally addressed by David Cameron and Boris Johnson and eventually persuaded the Government to u-turn and announce additional funding for community hospitals and services.
As a result the Primary Care Trust gained funding to build a new hospital in Beverley and maintain beds in Withernsea. Sadly, they have now gone but Graham continues to meet regularly with the local NHS bosses to preserve health services for the local community.