Peterborough City Hospital can prosper with NHS cash

On Monday, we debated a new piece of legislation in the Commons, which will put funding increases for the NHS into law. It guarantees that the NHS will get large increases – not just this year, or next year, but every year of this Parliament, writes Peterborough MP Paul Bristow.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 9:28 am
Updated Saturday, 1st February 2020, 9:30 am
Peterborough City Hospital

It was a key pledge from the Prime Minister at the election. An extra £33.9 billion a year for the NHS by 2024. That’s the largest and longest cash settlement ever granted to the National Health Service.

Now, clinicians and managers will be able to plan with certainty about the minimum level of future NHS funding. The law creates a floor, not a ceiling, for the day-to-day money that our health service will get.

This means we can create 50 million more GP appointments across the country every year, reducing the time spent waiting to see a GP in Peterborough.

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It will help to pay for new cancer screening and faster diagnosis. As Peterborough Telegraph readers will know, I want more of that diagnostics and treatment to happen at Peterborough City Hospital.

Our hospital needs to reach its potential and deliver more for our city. Something that starts with improving the basics, as the Telegraph has reported. But it should also mean new services, which could realistically include elective surgery to prevent heart attacks. We should try to avoid long and difficult journeys for patients from Peterborough to Cambridge for treatment, unless there are good reasons to travel further.

I know about this personally, because I often drive my Dad for treatment at Addenbrookes. My family’s gratitude towards the doctors and nurses there is beyond measure. The patient transport service also do a wonderful job. But at the start of his treatment, he often had to take that journey daily and, in all honesty, that can be asking too much of vulnerable patients.

On a happier note, thanks to the funding and direction being set by the Government, I am confident our local NHS will improve. Obviously, there are challenges, just as there are in dealing with other problems in Peterborough. But, those of us who care can make the difference, for our city and for our NHS. We just need to instil the right amount of ambition.

It’s a good week to remember that. On Friday, we will leave the European Union, finally delivering on what people voted to do during the referendum.

Part of that ambition related to the NHS. Given all the controversy about the Vote Leave bus and spending an extra £350 million a week on the NHS, it’s worth doing the maths on this Conservative Government’s £33.9 billion commitment.

That’s an extra £650 million a week.

We are delivering what was promised and, on Friday, we take back control. Immediately, we can begin negotiating and signing new trade agreements, not just with the EU, but around the world.

It’s an historic moment. Yes, there is much more to do - but we are getting Brexit done!