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Guest Column by Harriett Baldwin MP

22nd December 2017

Our local NHS is often in the news and is highly valued by all my constituents. Did you know that last year, Worcestershire Acute Health Trust saw 16,000 more people in Accident & Emergency in under four hours than seven years ago - an amazing statistic. But our population is ageing and growing, so we do need a plan and more money to keep on delivering for local people and tackling the pressure points.

From this week, a brand new unit will open at Worcester to help with extra winter-time demand which will hopefully take the pressure off the A&E staff and reduce the number of people who have to wait in corridors for treatment or to be discharged. It’s been paid for thanks to nearly £1 million of extra funding. We are also looking forward to seeing plans progressing for the £29 million project to add even more capacity across the busy Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

There’s more to do to tackle pressure points and you, readers, also have a part to play. If you or a loved one becomes ill or has a minor accident, remember that we have great minor injuries units at our local community hospitals open throughout the day where you can usually be seen straight away and often get an x-ray or medical treatment there and then. Many GPs are now offering more flexible hours to allow you to visit – and most GPs can see urgent patients the same day. You can get good medical advice from an expert by dialling 111 and often a pharmacist will be able to guide you. The message is that Accident and Emergency is really only there if your need is urgent, and you can be part of the solution in helping to make our local health service more efficient over the winter months. Across the local health economy, investment in the NHS continues to rise. The South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group – our healthcare ‘personal shoppers’ - will receive £350.6 million next year, up 2.03% since 2017/18 and up from £311.5 million since 2012 – that’s a 12.5 per cent increase in 6 years.

While there is still work to be done, the message I get from staff and patients is that they are doing a great job and having spoken to staff one-to-one, I have been heartened by the huge positivity felt by those who care for us and our loved ones.

Harriett says...

Harriett Baldwin
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