This week we celebrated 75-years since the creation of the NHS. Having experienced serious health problems in 2014 and 2016 and consequently having spent over 20 days as a patient in NHS hospitals I know how important our NHS is and I wouldn’t be here without it.
I appreciate how hard NHS staff work having had close family members work for the NHS and as a Covid-19 volunteer vaccinator, working alongside NHS staff, I saw the incredible efforts staff went to in response to the pandemic. I also get an insight to the challenges faced by the North West Ambulance Service having been a Community First Responder since 2014.
Our NHS, free at the point of use, is a source of national pride, and I will continue to uphold and support this founding principle. I know there are pressures on NHS services, particularly following the pandemic, and it is important the NHS changes and adapts in response to this, including with technological and medical advancements. That is why I am proud the government is supporting our NHS with record levels of investment, record numbers of doctors and nurses, and wide-ranging reform, including our 15-year NHS workforce plan, backed by £2.4 billion, modernising the workforce, and setting out the largest expansion in training and recruitment in the NHS’ history.
The recent news that Airedale Hospital, which serves thousands of Pendle residents, will be completely rebuilt is a huge boost to our area. This keeps the government on track to deliver on our manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, increasing capacity and helping to cut waiting lists. Following the opening of a new health centre in Colne in 2014 and major investments at Burnley General Hospital, these investments are providing our local NHS with solid foundations.
I am confident that with the government’s plans for recovery and reform, our NHS will be fit to deliver the best care to patients for another 75 years, as we deliver on the Prime Minister’s pledge to cut waiting lists. No organisation is perfect, and I will always take up challenges faced by local residents with NHS managers, however this week let us all celebrate and be thankful for a remarkable institution and all the people who work for it.