WEST Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer..
MORE and more of you have had one, two and maybe three vaccine shots and I repeat my message to you all that if you qualify for a vaccination or a flu jab, please come forward. The more people who are protected, the less pressure there will be on our NHS this winter.
Work to build the new Worcestershire Royal Hospital Emergency Department is underway – costing £15 million – and significant extra funding has been allocated to help the NHS both locally and nationally. You can get almost all health advice quickly and efficiently from your GP, by ringing 111 and there are fully functioning Minor Injuries Units all over the county which can treat less serious ailments. Remember, Accident and Emergency is there for accidents and emergencies only.
The amazing vaccination programme has meant that we are mostly back to normal and are able to move on from the temporary schemes which helped to protect jobs and livelihoods through the pandemic.
The Chancellor set out his spending plans last month with extra support for lower paid families with an increase in the national living wage up to £9.50 an hour, and the eight per cent reduction in the Universal Credit taper to help put more money in people’s pockets. The Health and Social Care Levy will raise £13 billion more to help us catch up with elective surgery. On top of that, the NHS will get extra funding totalling £5.9 billion with new diagnostic centres like one in Kidderminster, better IT and more surgical hubs, an extra £4.9 billion for the core schools budget and an extra £2.6 billion to help those with special education needs.
These are all significant investments in strong public services which can only be made possible with a strong economy.
Job vacancies remain high and all the evidence I hear is that local businesses remain confident that the prospects are good for next year and beyond.