Last Updated: 11 January 2019
Created: 11 January 2019
Earlier this week we received the excellent news that the final £13 million of funding required to the deliver a Radiotherapy Unit at the Great Western Hospital had been secured.
This new radiotherapy centre will significantly improve treatment for people in Swindon experiencing cancer and is testament to the hard work of Brighter Futures team at the GWH who I have had the privilege to support over the past three years.
The news was timely, as it came on the same day the Health Secretary launched the new NHS Long Term Plan.
Building on our record funding, this plan; modernises our NHS, improves the quality of patient care & health outcomes, and sets out how the extra £20.5 billion a year budget settlement for the NHS will be spent.
At its heart is a focus on prevention and early access to treatment, with significant new investment in primary and community care. This means greater investment in GPs and at home care, ensuring that illnesses and be identified and treated quicker, relieve pressure on other health services.
I’m particularly pleased to see this will go hand-in-hand with using new technology, something which will also help deliver our Cancer Strategy. Earlier diagnosis will see 55,000 more people survive cancer each year by 2027 compared to today.
One of the issues I receive a lot of correspondence on is mental health. This plan will give more support to the 370,000 adults and 345,000 children with severe mental health conditions. This follows the Chancellor's Budget announcement of an extra £2 billion a year to tackle mental health problems; building on the record £11.7 billion we are now investing in mental health.
Among the many other important areas covered in the Long Term Plan, I was pleased to see the commitment to ensure the UK has the best maternity care in the world; halving the number of stillbirths, maternal and neonatal deaths by 2025 – issues I have actively raised with Ministers on behalf of local residents & charities like Bliss.
This is rightly an ambitious plan and I will be working with local clinicians to see it delivered.
Finally next Tuesday sees the important vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
I am glad to see that local major employers including Honda & WH Smith are supporting the PM’s deal. I have been in regular contact with Honda throughout the entire Brexit process, which is why I know that this deal secures the important transitional arrangements which businesses need. It does so whilst also delivering on the referendum result in 2016 by taking control of our own money, borders & laws.
Unfortunately, there are many in Parliament who do not want to deliver a deal which is in the country’s best interests. Remain MPs continue to frustrate and attempt to block the will of the British people, whilst a minority of Brexit MPs are voting down the deal, without realising that in doing so, they are jeopardising Brexit itself.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party will continue to oppose any deal regardless, without making their position on Brexit clear. At a time when the country needs to rally together and get behind a deal, they continue to play party politics in calling for a General Election – something which would bring about even more uncertainty – something which businesses nor global markets want.
Finally, the vast majority of residents I speak to want MPs to stop messing around with the Parliamentary procedure and get on with it.