Local MP welcomes Prime Minister’s NHS announcement

Henry Bellingham MP for North West Norfolk said that he was very pleased indeed with the Prime Minister’s NHS announcement made earlier this week which is injecting another £20.5billion a year into the NHS by 2023-24.

Commenting Henry said: “What I particularly welcome about the Plan is the new focus on prevention, which will hopefully keep people out of hospital by improving their health through investing in primary and community care. I also very much welcome the pledge to provide better crossover between Adolescent and Adult Mental Health Services. To be honest the inequality between physical and mental health care provision has long been a major NHS failure. Time and again I hear of teenagers turning 18, but being automatically discharged from Child and Adolescent Services before referral to Adult Services. All too often I have seen this mean that they have to start their treatment all over again with all the disruptions this entails.”

“The new mental health provisions in the plan will use an extra £2.3billion to remove this cliff edge as teenagers move to adulthood.”

Henry went on to say: “I am also extremely pleased that the new Long Term Plan puts a huge amount of emphasis on the NHS workforce - with an absolute commitment to carry on the increase in recruitment efforts to fill staff shortages, thus removing the need for expensive agency staff. Whilst I welcome this news I do feel the Secretary of State should go further by reinstating bursaries, and scrapping tuition fees for vocational health care jobs such as nursing. This could be done in return for a requirement that the recipient will work for the NHS for a period of time after graduation of, say, five years.”

“At a time when both the QEH and the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust are both currently in special measures, and at a time when both have seen senior management depart, this extra funding and Long Term Plan could not come at a more opportune time. Whilst this alone will not solve all of the problems in the NHS I do believe the new focus on better use of IT, the new plans for prevention and the changes to mental health care will make a huge difference locally. It is also very important the Government’s next announcement on social care comes up with highly innovative and well-resourced plans for the better care of our elderly people.”