Westminster Diary - 70th Birthday of the NHS

Last week the NHS marked its 70th birthday, with celebrations taking place across the country to celebrate one of the most important institutions in our country. On the very day of the NHS’s 70th birthday, I was proud to join professionals from Coventry & Warwickshire NHS trust at their annual staff awards to recognise excellence in the service. I know that continuing to give the NHS and its staff who work extremely hard and diligently the support it needs is one of the most important priorities for local residents. This is a priority shared by myself and my colleagues in Government.

To ensure that the NHS can meet the growing demand arising from changes in our population and continue to provide a world class service, the Prime Minister has announced plans for a five-year budget settlement providing an extra £20.5 billion a year, or £394 million a week, in real terms by 2023-24 so every patient continues to receive world-class care. This goes further than any party promised at the last General Election and will allow clinicians and professionals within the NHS to bring forward a new ten-year plan to ensure that taxpayer’s money is rightly well spent on treating patients.

As Rugby’s Member of Parliament, I have consistently argued for the retention and expansion of services throughout the constituency and especially as Rugby grows in the coming years. In recent months I have raised this both in the House of Commons and with the Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, who is responsible for the Hospital of St Cross. As the NHS brings forward plans to deliver the future of the health service, I will continue to make the case for greater investment locally of behalf of Rugby residents.

I am particularly pleased that since 2010 we have seen a great deal of investment at the Hospital of St Cross. This includes a £200,000 main theatre upgrade; a new ENT service; a new £400,000 Blood Taking Unit; a new AMD unit; a new stand-alone Paediatric Outpatients Department; a major revamp of the Children’s outpatient unit; improvements to the Hip Preservation Service and there are now plans to provide six new state-of-the-art theatres at the hospital.

I remain proud of the Government’s recent record on the NHS. Despite difficult financial circumstances, NHS investment has increased every year since 2010. This new funding will help secure the NHS for the future.