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.
Funding confirmed at the Spending Review and the long-term settlement in 2018 have ensured the NHS resource budget in England will increase to £157.4 billion in 2023-24 and reach £162.6 billion in 2024-25.
The Government’s commitment to an additional £39 billion for the NHS and social care over three years, announced in April 2022, is additional to the 2018 pledge.
Funding for the NHS Sussex Integrated Care Boards continues to increase, and will reach £3.21 billion in 2024-25.
I am an active member of a number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups, which are made up of cross-party MPs and Peers to scrutinise and make recommendations to Government. I chaired the APPG on Blood Cancer since establishing it in June 2016 until May 2022, and remain a proud Vice Chair. Additionally, I am a Vice Chair of the APPG on Cancer and the APPG for Radiotherapy.
In December 2022, the Department of Health & Social Care confirmed approval of Crawley as the location of one of 19 new Community Diagnostic Centres, which will see patients benefit from quicker access to treatment and lifesaving diagnostic tests close to home.
January 2023 saw further boots for healthcare in Crawley. It was announced that Sussex would be included in the Government’s Discharge Frontrunners programme to lead the way in exploring new long-term initiatives to free up hospital beds.
Improvements of over £1 million for Langley Green Hospital, secured to enhance mental health crisis services, were also confirmed.
There are now almost 1.24 million full-time equivalent staff working in the NHS in England: an increase of over 34,000 compared to September 2021.
The Government have also confirmed 48 more doctors, nurses and other patient care staff working in general practice in Crawley: an increase of 40 per cent from September 2019 to September 2022.