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I recently met with the Chair of Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning group, Dr Wirin Bhatiani, to present my 1550 name petition calling for the walk-in centre to be re-opened.

We had an extensive discussion about the problems that we are seeing in our NHS. He claimed that a year long discussion was held with local residents before the closure of the centre, and that having too many ways to access NHS services was confusing for people. This does not reflect what people have been saying to me, but unfortunately Dr Bhatiani declined my offers to join me in the town centre and discuss this openly with the public.

He also said people who used the walk-in centre would not increase demand on A&E, even though I have heard from hundreds of people who have told me they now have no option but to go to A&E because they can’t get a GP appointment and there is no walk-in centre.

While we disagreed on these points we did both agree that Bolton’s NHS services have been seriously underfunded by the Government, making life difficult for NHS staff and patients alike.

I am sure this lack of resources played a role in the decision to close our walk-in centre. I don’t blame local health bosses for prioritising one service over another. It is, however, disgraceful that this Government have put them in a position where they must decide what they can close with the least impact rather than provide all the services that our town needs and deserves.

It is my hope that we will soon have a more progressive Secretary of State for Health who is more open to supporting our local services. However, you can be assured that I will continue to campaign for our walk-in centre as long as I am the Member of Parliament for Bolton North East.

Update: Meeting the CCG about the walk-in centre

  I recently met with the Chair of Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning group, Dr Wirin Bhatiani, to present my 1550 name petition calling for the walk-in centre to be re-opened. We...

With the countdown to the election underway my schedule is getting busier every week, which sometimes makes it hard to find the time to blog about everything that’s been going on.

I just wanted to mention a meeting that I had recently, which really left me feeling encouraged about the role that the next generation will play in our politics.

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I met with Bolton’s Youth MPs Ebony Cropper and Lydia Wolstenholme and Bolton Youth Councillor Kishan Patel. They asked to meet with me to discuss the Living Wage. They have been promoting the idea of the Living Wage to local businesses and organisations, and they want politicians to reflect this ambition in their policy as well.

I was happy to sign their pledge, Labour have already committed to raise the minimum wage to £8 per hour and to give incentives to businesses that pay a living wage to all their employees.

It was very encouraging to meet young people who are informed and engaged and working hard to deliver the sort of change that they want to see. I hope that we can inspire other young people to do the same.

 

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The Living Wage and Bolton's Youth MPs

With the countdown to the election underway my schedule is getting busier every week, which sometimes makes it hard to find the time to blog about everything that’s been going...

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I am happy to announce that I have made a nomination to the Exported By Britain campaign, which seeks to highlight the great work that is being done all around the world thanks to Britain’s manufacturing and creative sectors.

I have nominated Veracare, a company that has been manufacturing innovative and lifesaving products right in the heart of my constituency for over 50 years.

Their innovative infection prevention products are exported to 48 countries and have become a gold standard for patient waste management across the globe.

Not only are they a major employer, when I visited recently I was really impressed to learn that they have a large number of employees who have been with the company for more than 10, 20, 30 and almost 40 years. This is the kind of job security that I know local residents really want from employers, and it just goes to show the level of talent that is being developed right here on our doorstep.

To find out more about Exported By Britain, including nominations from other parts of the country, you can visit the website: http://www.policyconnect.org.uk/apmg/exportedbybritain

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Vernacare - Exported By Britain

  I am happy to announce that I have made a nomination to the Exported By Britain campaign, which seeks to highlight the great work that is being done all...

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