MP’s Column

I have previously stated that the NHS England consultation regarding a new investment of £130 million in radiotherapy treatment has been extended until the 24th January. I’m glad that so many have taken part in this consultation so far and I’d encourage those who haven’t to do so. I’m assured by NHS England and I quote ‘it is not NHS England’s intention to reduce the number of radiotherapy providers, nor is it considered to be a likely outcome of these proposals. Our aim is to encourage radiotherapy providers to work together in Networks to concentrate expertise and improve pathways for patients requiring radical radiotherapy for the less common and rarer cancers.’ As stated above the consultation has been extended until 24 January 2018. Views can be fed into the online survey https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/radiotherapy-service-specification-consultation/

Further concern has been expressed over the future of minor injury units in Cornwall. Jackie Pendleton, CEO of Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG) and someone who I trust and believe firmly puts patients at the heart of her approach to her leadership of KCCG, has categorically refuted claims that her organisation is pursuing a policy to close Cornwall’s MIUs. She makes it clear and again I quote that ‘Absolutely no decisions have been made about the number and future locations of urgent treatment centres and any other community alternatives to the emergency department.’ Jackie encourages ‘anyone who needs medical help to contact their own GP or pharmacy in the first instance; ensure anyone with a long-term condition, is pregnant or cares for someone has had their flu jab, and encourage friends and relatives to have theirs; continue to use our minor injury units and urgent care centre at West Cornwall Hospital, wherever possible instead of the emergency department; and phone NHS 111 when your GP surgery is closed and you need advice that can’t wait until it re-opens.’ This week MPs returned to Westminster and immediately discussed the added pressure on the NHS during winter. There is an incredible effort to ensure today’s NHS is able to meet today’s demands and the issue of radiotherapy treatment and work to ensure minor injury units are designed and located where they are most needed are examples of work being done to provide the best treatment possible.

I welcome news that the UK has halved carbon emissions in the electricity sector since 2012. The UK is now the fourth cleanest power system in Europe and seventh worldwide. In June last year renewable energy generation provided more UK power than gas and oil combined for the first time. The information, provided by National Grid, confirms that the UK has achieved its greenest year ever as far as electricity generation is concerned. Renewable energy (where Cornwall contributes more than most counties) helped the UK break 13 clean energy records this year. I take seriously the need to care for the planet we are privileged to live on and the progress since 2012 is impressive. Furthermore, innovation in renewable energy and many other planet-friendly initiatives creates well paid jobs all contributing to the spread of wealth and prosperity across all parts of the UK.