Jack has continued to lobby Ministers for more funding for community healthcare services in Stoke-on-Trent South.
Following his shift with consultants in A&E at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and round-table discussion with local GPs, Jack has met personally with senior Health Ministers to press the case for funding for a full range of walk-in facilities at a new primary care centre in the centre of Longton. The text of Jack’s latest letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was as follows:
Stoke-on-Trent South Primary Care Services
I am writing to request your support in solving the significant healthcare challenges facing my constituency of Stoke-on-Trent South.
The Royal Stoke University Hospital has both one of the busiest A&E departments in the country, as well as one of the largest budget deficits. In addition to this, my constituents have some of the worst healthcare outcome indicators of any in the UK.
It is clear to me that a significant part of this problem begins with inadequate primary care services. Over the last three years, Stoke-on-Trent has seen an extra 7,776 patients – an equivalent of seven every day – while the number of GPs has fallen by 16 in the same period. It does not take a detailed study to see what effect this has both on more acute services, and on outcomes for patients.
I met recently with a number of local GPs to discuss how we can improve this state of affairs. They agreed with me that the greater integration of general practice and community healthcare services – ranging from phlebotomy to full walk-in provision – would go a long way to easing pressure on other services, and on improving outcomes for patients. We currently have a patchwork quilt when it comes to the provision of health services in our communities across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, whilst in some areas we have fully serviced walk-in facilities, the south of the city is one that lacks appropriate community health facilities.
There are plans for a new Primary Care Centre in Longton, in the centre of my constituency, which will see two GP surgeries relocate to the new site. I must urge that as many community facilities – including as much walk-in provision as possible – are funded to operate within this centre. The funding for the GP centre has already been secured, but the funding for the wider facility to accommodate walk-in services has yet to be agreed and would be dependent on the STP.
It would be a huge mistake not to take this opportunity to fix not only the healthcare challenges in Stoke-on-Trent South, but also to go a long way towards reducing unnecessary pressures on the University Hospitals of the North Midlands (UHNM) Trust. It is essential that we have better integrated health services in our communities closer to home and that funding is made available to make this happen.
I would value greatly your personal intervention on this matter, and would be delighted to host you in Stoke-on-Trent South to meet with some of the fantastic NHS staff who have assisted me in demonstrating the challenges and opportunities in this area.
Jack Brereton MP
Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South