Priti Patel MP meets with Health Secretary to seek assurances on health services for Witham
This week, Witham MP Priti Patel met with the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, to raise various issues affecting health services across the Witham constituency and seek assurances that these will be addressed.
The Government published its NHS Long Term Plan earlier this month and Priti has welcomed additional funding allocated to primary and community care and mental health services. However, she made it clear to the Health Secretary that Essex needs to receive its fair share of this extra investment to deliver high quality health services for patients locally.
At the meeting, Priti raised concerns about growing pressures on both primary and secondary care NHS services, GP provision across the constituency as well as access to improved mental health services. Priti also pressed the Health Secretary on the delayed delivery of a new, multi-purpose health centre in Witham Town and called on him to ensure that it is delivered. She has previously raised her concerns over the delay and has called on Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Witham GPs to reach an agreement on the proposals urgently.
Speaking after the meeting, Priti said:
“This Government is putting significant investment into the NHS and we need to ensure that we receive a fair share of this funding here in Essex. Locally, demand for health services is rising due to population growth and demographic changes. Existing pressures will only worsen if we do not prioritise boosting GP numbers and enhancing primary and community care to meet the needs of patients. I had a constructive meeting with the Health Secretary and I made it very clear that we need to see real action to expand and enhance our local health services.”
On the development of a new multi-purpose and fully integrated health centre in Witham Town, Priti added:
“There is widespread support locally for this project and I remain concerned and disappointed that local GPs who previously expressed support for the proposals are now backtracking. The development of a new health centre will help to ease growing pressures on primary and community care and will provide patients with better access to their GPs, high quality services and greater integration of health and social care. The needs of patients need to be put first and I am meeting with Mid Essex CCG and GPs later this month to press for an urgent decision to be reached.”
“The Health Secretary has agreed to write to me in more detail on all the issues I raised and I look forward to receiving his response in due course.”