MP’s Column

We know that the method used to evacuate patients from Edward Hain Community Hospital is unsafe for patients. This was made very clear at a meeting last week when we watched a film demonstrating how patients are evacuated in an emergency. You can find this film at cornwallft.nhs.uk. It’s worth a look if you are doubtful about the reason for closing the beds. NHS Property Services, who own the hospital and, Cornwall Foundation Trust, who run the services, setout what work is needed and how they intend to do this.
Every effort is being made to reopen the 12 beds in the hospital and everyone is working together, including the Friends, GPs and Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group to achieve this for patients and their families.
Outpatient services continue at Edward Hain Hospital and this temporary bed closure gives the opportunity to identify exactly what healthcare delivered in a community hospital should look like. In Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly we are being asked to develop a sustainable transformation plan (STP) for NHS services. This is the opportunity to achieve meaningful integration of health and social care and I see Edward Hain Community Hospital as part of the solution, not part of the problem.
It has become my custom to meet regularly with different groups to discuss the challenges and opportunities of their particular sector. 

It was the turn of our farmers last weekend and we met at Treworgie Farm in Manaccan. Farmers have a particular set of challenges that are not easily addressed. However, there are two areas that are priorities for me and the Government is in a position to help. Firstly, farmers need to be paid a fair price for their produce whether it’s cauliflower, beef or milk.
British consumers are more likely to choose local produce if we are confident that the producer has been paid a fair price.  Secondly, a job in food and farming must be seenby our schools and parents as a worthwhile career for young people. We need our young workforce and farming should be seen as an attractive option for young people and the Government can play a part in promoting British food and farming.

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives