Following the signatures of over 1,300 residents calling for NHS services to be localised within North East Cambridgeshire I presented the Treat Me Local health petition to Parliament.
The Treat Me Local campaign was designed in conjunction with local GPs and highlighted the significant travel times, parking costs and poorer clinical outcomes which resulted from services being delivered in hospitals when they could be offered closer to home.
As part of the the campaign I summoned NHS health bosses to a round-table meeting in November to discuss how innovative approaches could be spread more widely and how current challenges could be addressed.
I have a wish-list of ten issues and two notable successes have been achieved so far. Cruse Bereavement services, which were cancelled last year in the constituency and which offered much-needed one-to-one support for families after the loss of a loved one, have now been re-launched, after I secured a donation from Tesco to cover the cost of training six volunteer bereavement counsellors. In addition, public donations have enabled GP Simon Hambling to install a new blood testing machine with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group now confirming its intention to roll out such blood testing across the district.
Further information regarding the campaign can be found at a dedicated website www.treatmelocal.net, which contains more information about the campaign, including rolling out local oncology services for cancer patients as currently offered in Littleport, local intravenous drip therapy without long stays in hospitals, where there is a risk of secondary infection, and a single point of contact for dementia carers building on the best practise identified in Peterborough.
The health summit was attended by Andrew Reed, Area Director for NHS England, Maureen Donnelly chairman of the Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Liz Robyn Director of Public Health Cambs County Council and also a number of local GPs and I recently discussed the campaign with the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt.
Following the presentation of the petition to Parliament I am due to meet the health minister responsible for care and support, Norman Lamb MP, on Monday 15th December to discuss mental health services in North East Cambridgeshire following the government’s extra £7m allocated last month.