I welcome services returning to Crawley Hospital, a stark contrast to the previous decade where we lost our maternity unit in 2001 and A&E department in 2005.
Emergency services are now returning to Crawley Hospital with the Urgent Treatment Centre now able to see the majority of cases an A&E can 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round.
In 2017, Crawley Hospital saw the opening of a new Clinical Assessment Unit (CAU) and the new 26 bed Piper Ward, as part of the Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group’s work to improve urgent care in our town.
The new CAU has a large reception and waiting area, six assessment trollies and four treatment chairs, three consultation rooms and a discharge area for patients awaiting transport back home.
This facility provides rapid assessment and treatment for a number of conditions which do not need admission to an acute hospital including chest infections, breathing problems, asthma attacks, falls, severe headaches, urinary tract infections and non-passing of urine, stomach pains, diarrhoea, vomiting, deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and cellulitis.
The new and extended CAU will treat more patients in a modern environment closer to home.
The dementia-friendly Piper Ward has also opened. I visited Crawley Hospital while this work was taking place previously and was struck by the care shown by the lead architect in ensuring a more pleasant experience for patients in every way possible.
The new five-year budget settlement will see NHS funding grow by an average of 3.4 per cent a year in real terms, resulting in an additional £20.5 billion a year by 2023-24.
The NHS Long-Term Plan was published in January 2019. Developed with those who know the NHS best – frontline health and care staff, patients and their families – the plan will transform patient care and make sure every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.
Doctor and nurse training places are increasing by a quarter, one of the biggest expansions in NHS history, and over 15,000 GPs are being trained between 2015 and 2020.
There are now more than 17,500 more doctors than in May 2010, and some 16,000 more nurses on our wards.
As Blood Cancer All-Party Parliamentary Group Chair I led a House of Commons debate on blood cancer in November 2018 where I called for earlier diagnosis of patients. The NHS Long-Term Plan outlines the ambition that by 2028, three quarters of cancer patients will be diagnosed at an early stage.
In January 2019 the Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust was judged as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, and new analysis from the Teenage Cancer Trust has confirmed that Surrey and Sussex is one of five Cancer Alliance areas where five-year cancer survival of 13-24 year olds improved significantly from 2001-05 to 2007-11.
However, there can be no complacency, which is why it is important we are seeing record investment in our National Health Service.
It is right that the Government is treating mental health on a par with physical health. In January 2018, the Prime Minister announced new measures to dramatically improve our country’s approach to mental health, so more young people in Crawley and across the country can receive the necessary care and assistance.
Support will be made available for secondary schools, who will be offered mental health first aid training to increase awareness of the issue, and to remove the outdated stigma which is wholly undeserved.
Government plans include helping schools by building stronger links with local NHS mental health staff, as well as new partnerships with employers.