21-06-18 - NHS Long Term Funding Plan

I'm fine with spiders, snakes, and creepy crawlies but the sight of blood is a definite no-no, as I was abjectly reminded on Fathers' day last weekend. My youngest cut the tip off his finger peeling spuds for our roast lunch and as I scrapped around for a 'Band-Aid', I remembered why I was the one who didn't enter the medical profession.

My grandma was an NHS nurse in the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and my mother was also a nurse in her younger years. My father was a doctor and my two sisters are both medics in the US today. Needless to say, my connexion with public health services is deep rooted.

I was therefore delighted to hear this week's announcement of a long-term funding plan for our NHS, delivering a 3.4% increase in the annual budget until 2024. This will, of course, require a substantial cash injection and we will find out more detail later this year on how it will be funded. I do however believe, from my conversations with people across Maidstone and the Weald, that taxpayers would be willing to contribute a little more, in a fair and balanced way, if this would secure the long term future of the NHS.

I also welcome the fact that, along with this significant boost to funding, the Government will require the NHS to bring forward a 10-year plan to ensure that the extra cash is spent in the best interests of patients. When I met with the CEO of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust recently, he was on the same page; clear that the health service needed more money, but that it also needed continued reform to reduce waste.

Clinicians know best how to address these challenges and I am confident that they will formulate a plan, properly funded by the Government, to deliver the sustainability and improvements we need here in Maidstone and the Weald.


Helen's column is published weekly in the Kent Messenger. Please note the print version may differ from the content here.

Launch of flood management 'wetlands' project in Marden

Louise Smith from KCC, Farmer Peter Hall, Helen Grant MP, KCC Councillor Mike Hill and Julie Foley of the Environment Agency

A great step forward was taken for Medway River flood management at the launch of the Little Mill Farm wetlands project in Marden last weekend.

It is the fruit of an idea hatched by local farmer and land owner Peter Hall to harness natural processes to reduce flood risk further downstream. Measures include the use of 'intentionally leaky' small wooden dams to hold back water and slow the flow, the creation of temporary flood water storage areas and restoring river channels and natural meanders.

The project was supported and delivered by a wide range of stakeholders including the Environment Agency, Kent County Council, and Maidstone Borough Council.

Local MP Helen Grant has followed the progress of the project from its inception in November 2016 to the official launch this weekend. She said 'This is 'partnership working' at its best, with stakeholders all contributing resources and expertise to deliver a meaningful benefit for the community. I thank Peter Hall in particular for offering the use of four acres of his land for the 13,000 cubic metre Wetlands project and coming up with the vision. It is a great bonus for birds and other wildlife in the locality too'.

The launch event was designed to promote the idea to other local landowners and organisations who may take up grants for the idea with suitable land of their own. Over 50 people attended.

21 JUN 2018

MP Backs Free Cavity Wall Installation

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, is urging her constituents to take advantage of an offer to install free cavity wall and loft installation People across Maidstone and the Weald and beyond have until midnight on 30th June 2018 to...

11 JUN 2018

Helen Grant MP Welcomes Public Involvement in Op Stack Replacement

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, has welcomed the launch of a public information exercise into the potential long term solutions to Operation Stack. Highways England are inviting people from across the county to share their views on the...

10 JUN 2018

Young Lives Foundation Football Match

(L-R) CEO of YLF Stephen Gray, Helen Grant MP, President of YLF Clive Emson, Tracey Crouch MP, Matthew Scott PCC The Young Lives Foundation (YLF) Charity Football Match was a first in YLF's history on Sunday, and was well supported by local politicians and...

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Helen's column

14 JUN 2018

Protecting Women Online

Kent Messenger Column – 14-06-18 "I've had death threats, I've had people tweeting that I should be hung if 'they could find a tree big enough to take the fat bitch's weight'... I've had rape...

07 JUN 2018

Tonbridge Road Sink Hole

Kent Messenger Column – 07-06-18 The scale of the damage caused to the A26 in Maidstone by last week's road collapse is deeply concerning. The greatest impact has been upon nearby residents, with...

31 MAY 2018

Special Educational Needs Funding

Kent Messenger Column - 31-05-18 Throughout my life I have been driven by a belief that everyone, irrespective of their background or circumstances, has their own special something to offer society....