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I have written previously about my concern over the closure of Chorley A&E and the impact that this could have on surrounding hospitals.

Sadly this situation has not been resolved. Despite huge opposition locally and pressure in Parliament for the Government to intervene, hospital bosses are looking at April 2017 as the earliest possible re-opening date.

I have serious concerns that there are major underlying problems in our NHS that the Government is refusing to address. While NHS bosses in Chorley must take some responsibility for the closure, you only need to search for ‘A&E staff shortage’ on google news to find stories from all across the country of A&E services under severe strain.

Our own Royal Bolton Hospital rightly celebrated their recent award of a “good” rating from the Care Quality Commission which put them in the top 25% of hospitals. However, even that report highlighted that our A&E is facing high demand and they do not have appropriate staffing levels to meet that challenge.

Widespread problems in Accident and Emergency acts as a red flag warning to us all that there are serious issues elsewhere in the NHS. Problems across the whole of our health care system, including primary care, social care and mental health, all end up piling the pressure back onto hospitals and A&E in particular.

Doctors are doing their best to meet targets but they are being asked to do more and more, with longer and more anti-social shifts in this high pressure environment. Rather than being supported by the Government they are faced with Jeremy Hunt’s fight to curb their pay and conditions. Is it really surprising that recruitment is becoming difficult?

I shall continue to lobby the Secretary of State for Health about the issues in our NHS and will be working with other local MPs to press for a swift resolution to the ongoing closure of Chorley A&E.

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A&E Staff Shortages

I have written previously about my concern over the closure of Chorley A&E and the impact that this could have on surrounding hospitals.Sadly this situation has not been resolved. Despite...

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The Conservative’s like to talk about creating a Northern Powerhouse but their actions show that they are not taking the issue of a North-South divide seriously.

Transport is a clear example of this. If we want the Northern economy to grow and develop we need the infrastructure. Our major Towns and cities need to be better connected. Both businesses and the public need to be able to travel around the region easily and cheaply. Investment is essential to make this a reality.

New analysis by the Institute for Public Policy Research shows that the Department for Transport will spend £289 per person in the North West over the next four years. This contrasts sharply with a figure of £1,870 per person in London.

Giving London residents more than six times the investment of us in the North West can only entrench regional inequality. The spending on London’s Crossrail project alone will be greater than transport investment in the whole of the North.

Anyone can see that areas like Bolton need huge investment in public transport projects. Our trains are overcrowded, our buses are expensive and unreliable and our road network is under strain. Devolution should be a huge opportunity to put this right, but if the Government won’t back this with real investment I fear it will be an opportunity wasted.

You can read the full report by IPPR here: http://www.ippr.org/news-and-media/press-releases/transport-secretary-urged-to-close-1-600-per-person-london-north-spending-gap

Invest in our Transport

The Conservative’s like to talk about creating a Northern Powerhouse but their actions show that they are not taking the issue of a North-South divide seriously.Transport is a clear example...

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The bond between our nation and our armed forces is so important and I was proud to fight in Parliament for the Military Covenant to be enshrined in legislation.

Because of this, the Government has a firm commitment to recognise the unique nature of military service and provide the highest standards of care for our service personnel, veterans and their families. The moral contract between the nation and the whole forces community should be protected and strengthened and never sidestepped.

 

However, the Government actually holds very little information about the size of the armed forces community, where they live or what their needs are. Even the most basic information would make a huge difference to the provision of vital services and support.

I am backing a campaign by the British Legion called “Count Them In”. The aim is to add new questions to the national census due to be held in 2021. We can improve our understanding of this unique community and ensure that politicians, charities and service providers fully meet the needs of our serving personnel, veterans and their families.

If you would like to join me and add your support to the campaign, or find out more about it, please visit
www.britishlegion.org.uk/census

 

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My speech to Parliament on the Military Covenant in 2011 

https://youtu.be/bAKQJJmkvLc

Count Them In

The bond between our nation and our armed forces is so important and I was proud to fight in Parliament for the Military Covenant to be enshrined in legislation.Because of...

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