Thank you for your email regarding the Finance Bill that was debated in the House yesterday. I agree with you that the current waiting times are not acceptable and that work should be done to improve this. As I am sure you will understand, I was unable to attend the debate yesterday but do know that I will continue to fight for improved services within the NHS.
I believe that we must integrate health and social care if we have any hope of reducing pressure on our hospitals. This can only be achieved if we address the problem of delayed discharges which result in beds being unavailable for people following their operations. Earlier this year, I met with the Chancellor to raise this concern and the need for more money for social care in Cornwall. In the Budget, the Chancellor announced extra money for social care specifically to address the problem of delayed discharges. Cornwall Council will receive £12 million in this financial year, £8 million next year and a further £4 million in 2019/20. It is essential that Cornwall Council use this money to improve the working conditions and pay of care and support workers so that we can discharge people from hospital. It is worth pointing out that a hospital bed is not the best place for vulnerable people, unless they require some sort of hospital-based medical intervention.
No doubt you will be aware, that in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall Council and NHS managers are preparing a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). I recognise that people are concerned that this is another re-organisation of the NHS. However, if this plan creates the possibility of bringing health and social care together in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly, it will be well worth the effort.
Thank you once again for contacting me, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me if you require any further information.
Derek Thomas MP
For St Ives, West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.