NHS Waiting Times

19th February 2020

As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister recently announced the Government’s intention to provide the NHS with an additional £33.9 billion by 2023/24; this is the largest, longest funding settlement in the history of the NHS. This landmark investment to help secure the long term future of our NHS is extremely welcome, and I hope you agree it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to properly funding our NHS and public services: health is the Government's top priority.

The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) laid out how this funding will be invested, with a focus on primary, community and mental health services, helping to deliver prevention and to manage demand. For example, all smokers who visit hospital will be offered access to an NHS smoking cessation programme, and better integrated local care will help to support patients to make healthy choices to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These preventative measures will help to reduce the number of people in need of secondary care services, enabling better access for patients in need.

Alongside this, the NHS was asked to undertake a clinical review of standards relating to waiting times. This must be clinically led to enable best, and safest, delivery of care for patients. I understand that NHS England has now prepared proposals, covering waiting times across the service, including mental health, cancer, and A&E. 

The Government will now carefully consider the proposals before taking any next steps, and in the meantime will continue to hold the NHS to account on its existing standards. 

Coronavirus - COVID-19

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For the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest medical advice visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

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Planning White Papers

I have submitted my responses to the two planning consultations: “Changes to the current planning system’ and “Planning for the future’.

These planning changes are one of the most significant events to affect the Cotswolds since WWII. I think that both papers contain positive proposals, in our case commitments to protect the AONB. The proposal to abolition Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should speed up the planning process and it is important that the money is retained locally so that the infrastructure can be built at the same time as the development. 

Too often we see a development being built long before the supporting infrastructure, which I know can cause significant issues for existing residents. The proposals to simplify and speed up local plan-making and retaining neighbourhood plans where possible are welcome, in that design codes can be specified so it should be possible to protect our unique Cotswolds vernacular.   

I spoke in the planning backbench business debate on the 8 October and called for a change to the algorithm the Government uses in its planning White Paper which fails to take account of local variations and concentrates all new house building in the south-east and central south of England. 

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