Our NHS is so cherished across the nation because, perhaps without exception, we all have such intimate personal experiences, often in times of great emotion and pain; getting us through emergencies, caring for an elderly relative, managing the multitude of modern cancer threats, or helping bring our children into the world.
This jewel in our nation’s crown is itself threatened by the pace of change in medical science as well as the challenges of a growing and ageing population and therefore needs careful stewarding to be fit for our needs in the 21st century.
Money is critical and the Government has committed an extra £33.9 billion for the NHS by 2024. Our new Prime Minister has also made it his number one domestic priority to ensure that the funding gets to our frontline services; including 25% more training places for doctors and nurses and an extra £1.8 billion in capital spending at 20 of our hospitals for buildings, equipment and infrastructure.
Locally I will be working Chief Executive Miles Scott and his team at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust to ensure we get our fair share of future NHS money and continue to gain improvements in facilities and services.
On that point I was very happy to read some good press in this paper last week, that our local Trust now operates within the top ten best performing A&E departments in the country. They are also No. 1 in Kent, with 95% of patients admitted or discharged within 4 hours. Worrying waiting times for cancer treatment have also come down in recent months, which is a work in progress I continue to monitor.
Delivering the best possible health and social care services for Maidstone & The Weald has always been a top priority for me as your MP and I welcome the fact that this is reflected at the top of the Government’s domestic agenda.