Phlebotomy Services

23rd October 2020

The NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group have announced changes to the blood testing services in South Cotswolds.  In their press release from the 6th October, which can be read below, they outlined that GP surgeries are now providing blood testing services for patients.  The South Cotswolds outpatient blood testing service on a drop-in basis is no longer being carried out due to Covid-19.

Concerns have been raised about the change in service with many patients finding accessibility to more rural locations for blood tests difficult.  

Only hospital patients will now be able to obtain this service at Cirencester Hospital and concerns regarding capacity to reach demand remain.  I always found the service at Cirencester hospital superb, the practitioners who took the blood were very quick and effective, even when the waiting room was full, it did not take long to be seen. Now each GP will have to provide this service and it remains to be seen how efficient and consistent this will be.

Constituents who have already been in touch with me regarding this have raised a number of issues with this new arrangement, including the ease of transport links to Cirencester compared to other rural locations to get their tests done. I fear this is not a resounding victory and I will continue to make representations to Gloucestershire CCG.  

Additional documents below include an update I received on the 20 October and a letter from Mary Hutton, ICS Lead/Accountable Officer of NHS Gloucestershire CCG. 

Letter from CCG

Media Statement 6 Oct 2020

Media Statement 20 Oct 2020

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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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It has been 1,317 days since the result of the Brexit Referendum, I am sure I am not the only one who feels it has been longer, but tonight at 11 pm the Withdrawal Agreement comes into force and we will be leaving the EU immediately.

31st January 2020

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