than genuine emergency needs then we are going to have to develop a GP facility on the site of and in conjunction with the hospital.
I believe that all of my constituents have the right to be treated, for most non-acute conditions, as close to home and with as little travelling as possible. That means promoting and enhancing further the local facilities that we have available. (We are fortunate to have dedicated Leagues of Friends to contribute so much to this work).
At the same time, we have to recognise that it is not practicable to provide and staff all services on every site. The current review of the location of services is necessary. There are difficult decisions to be taken – the creation of a Hyper Stroke Service in Ashford and the re-development of the QEQM facilities as a state-of-the-art Stroke Rehabilitation Centre is a case in point but I have never been afraid to put healthcare and clinical outcomes ahead of political advantage and I will not do so now. We need the best services for the largest numbers of patients and those who seek to `weaponise` the Health Service in the interests of party-politics should be regarded with disdain.
The reappraisal of the practices that we use for Primary Health Care is also vital. While there has been a justified historic respect and affection for small GP surgeries the need to provide for better diagnostic and `one-stop-shop` facilities of the kind now offered at Estuary View are rightly being considered and assessed for further development by the Clinical Commissioning Group. To meet patients` expectations we have to invest in tomorrow`s facilities and models of care. We are short of Doctors and nurses but the creation of a University-based medical school in East Kent designed to generate young and skilled General Practitioners will, looking forward, develop a pool of local medical talent.
Most who use the National Health Service – and I include myself amongst that number – have good cause to appreciate the treatment and the dedication that we have received. In addition to having received surgery myself I have children and grandchildren, one of whom would not be alive were it not for the NHS, who also all use the service. I do not want my family`s NHS, or yours, to be `weaponised`. I want it to be cherished, invested in and protected.
I remain committed to the provision of the best possible hospital and primary healthcare to serve all of my constituents living in Herne Bay, Margate and the villages.
During my time as your Member of Parliament I have defended the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital in Herne Bay from closure and I wish to see the services and facilities available there further developed to meet the future needs of the community. I particularly wish to see the potential for palliative and end-of-life care established locally. I have also worked for the further enhancement of the development of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate. If, though, we are to alleviate the pressure upon A&E services caused by those using the hospital for primary healthcare rather