Investment in Crawley healthcare

In stark contrast to the last Labour government where Crawley Hospital lost both its maternity and A&E units in 2001 and 2005 respectively, since 2010 services have been returning, with an Urgent Care Centre now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and new wards with extra beds.

The national health budget continues to increase (£120.3 billion in 2018-19; and £123.2 billion for 2019-20) and services continue to come back to Crawley Hospital, including the opening of a new Clinical Assessment Unit and new 26 bed Dementia-friendly Piper Ward last year.

Locally, the NHS Crawley budget will receive a 2.27 per cent cash increase to £161.3 million in 2018-19. By May 2017, 100 per cent of local General Practices rated by the CQC were given a rating of Good or Outstanding.

Nationally the Government is spending £8 billion more on the NHS over the next five years; indeed there are some 14,900 more doctors and over 10,100 more nurses on our wards nationally compared to 2010.

There is of course more to do so I welcome an extra £1,687,000 Department of Health & Social Care funding allocated to meet local hospital winter pressures.

The extra funding granted to the Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is the equivalent of 39.2 annual nurse salaries, and was announced as part of a £337 million immediate funding boost for NHS hospitals this winter in the recent Budget.

I am of course fully aware there are pressures on services and I continue to pursue the concerns put to me by Crawley clinicians and patients.

Just last week I secured and led a debate in Parliament on support for patients and blood cancer care in the NHS. I urged the Health Minister, Steve Brine MP, to put the full might of the NHS behind raising awareness of this ‘hidden’ cancer to ensure earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes for patients.

Henry Smith MP