A birthday to be very proud of

I love birthdays – mine is coming up and I hope my family know I love surprise parties. Yesterday, it was the 70th Birthday of our National Health Service. The NHS is a fantastic public service which makes Britain stand out amongst other nations. Whilst the NHS has changed a lot since its creation, we must also ensure that we safeguard the service for future generations.

The Government intends to provide the NHS with an extra £20.5 billion by 2023/2024. This is an important step forward and will continue the Government’s improvements of the NHS to date. This Government has particularly focused on ensuring that NHS staff are given the best training opportunities and that our residents have the staff necessary to look after them when they need it most. Today, there are over 14,000 more nurses and over 11,000 more doctors in NHS wards than in 2010, as well as a further 50,000 nurses in training. The Government has also announced an extra 1,500 training places for doctors, and over 5,000 more trainee nurses, a 25 per cent increase. I am confident that these measures will support a sustainable future for our NHS.

Looking locally, our own NHS services have been improving. On 6 June, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report declaring that the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is no longer in special measures. In this report, the CQC noted significant improvements in areas including leadership, accident and emergency, medical care and outpatient, as well as identifying areas of outstanding practices in all core services at the Trust. This report is a testament to the dedication of our doctors and nurses and I am pleased that the staff’s commitment is being recognised.

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsty Milward, Lead Matron of the Labour Ward and Bereavement Midwife for the Conquest Hospital, and Diana Carter, Matron at Rye Hospital. I met with these two hard-working members of staff from the East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust to discuss their achievements and accompanied them to a reception at Downing Street to celebrate the NHS’ 70th birthday. It was great to meet with such fantastic and dedicated NHS staff and also to meet a number of other NHS staff members who are equally committed to delivering outstanding healthcare.

I will shortly be meeting with Dr Adrian Bull, Chief Executive of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, to discuss how we can work together to ensure that our towns receive the best healthcare possible. I will continue to work closely with local authorities to ensure that we campaign for support for our towns’ health services and to ensure that our local NHS enjoys a long (and healthy!) future.