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Largan column: Building a health and social care system fit for the future

High Peak MP Robert Largan.

Read High Peak MP Robert Largan's latest column for the Glossop Chronicle.

Thanks to the fantastic work of our NHS and the world-beating rollout of the vaccines, we were the first major economy to end all Covid restrictions.

However, there is no doubt that the pandemic has had a significant impact on our health service, with many routine procedures and treatments having to be delayed, leading to a significant Covid backlog.

This is through no fault of the dedicated staff who have continued to work hard through increasingly difficult circumstances. The NHS has saved my own life twice. I will always fight to defend it.

I am determined to ensure that we not only catch up on this backlog, but that we use this opportunity to build a more resilient, integrated, and receptive health and social care system fit for the future.

We have already begun to make good progress. The mobile breast cancer screening unit has been reinstated locally and they are now screening at 160 per cent of pre-Covid levels. A plan has also been put together to allow the NHS to perform at least nine million extra tests, checks, and procedures by 2025, and to catch up on elective treatments.

This is backed up by an extra £8 billion over the next three years through the Health and Social Care Levy and an additional £2 billion over this financial year. Furthermore, nearly £6 billion is being put towards capital investment for new beds, equipment, and technology.

The Government has also taken the bold action to transform our social care system, to try and end the appalling situation where people are forced to sell their home to pay for their care.

Last week, the Government went further still – announcing the biggest shake-up in health and social care leadership in a generation. Services across health and social care will be better integrated, with more consistent and efficient management structures.

On top of these measures at the national level, I am continuing to fight for local healthcare investment.

I am campaigning for a £30.2 million new Emergency Care Campus at Stepping Hill Hospital and a £16.3 million new Urgent Care Centre at Tameside Hospital. We’re delivering brand new mental health units at both hospitals too.

I am also continuing to work with the local NHS to deliver a new major health centre for Buxton.

I’m also making the case to build a new, world-class care home in High Peak, which is badly needed.

Whatever else may be happening down in Westminster, I remain committed to fighting for better health services across the High Peak.

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