Article for Tiptree Tribune

The NHS provides vital services to my constituents and I am proud that the Government is committed to investing at least £8 billion more into health services on top of the £13 billion added over the last five years. Most people rely on NHS services and whether they are using their local GP or are admitted to hospital expect to be able to access high quality care when they need it.

Over the last five years there have been important changes made to health services. Overly bureaucratic Primary Care Trusts have been replaced with GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups. More money is being invested on frontline healthcare services as the number of doctors and nurses increase while the number of back office bureaucrats reduce. Our local ambulance service has been turned around and is now becoming one of the better performing services in the country.

Recently I was pleased to see that Colchester Hospital had opened a new walking garden to support the rehabilitation of patients with prosthetics and stroke patients. This innovative new facility shows how modest investments can make a big difference and I pay tribute to the Colchester Prosthetics Users’ Group for all their campaigning to get this facility built.

However, there are big challenges ahead for the NHS if it is to continue to provide high quality health services for patients in Essex. This is why NHS England recently announced that it would introduce a new Success Regime for NHS Trusts and services in Essex. This will bring together Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hospital Trusts, the Ambulance service, Essex County Council and others to strategically plan the services the County needs. I will be putting forward the views of my constituents and the emphasising the improvements we need locally in the NHS. Any residents with views and opinions on the services which they would like to see improved or made more accessible locally can get in touch with me and I will raise these in my discussions with NHS England.

As well as continuing to work for better health services for my constituents, I have been in contact with Highways England over the future widening scheme for the A12. Readers will be aware that the Government has made a commitment to invest in this project, which give the road between the Chelmsford and Colchester the major upgrade it needs. Highways England are in the early stages of planning and engaging with communities and stakeholders. It is vital that there is early input so that the final plans reflect the needs of local road users.

I have been clear in my correspondence with them that this is also an opportunity to ensure that connections and local roads joining with the A12 are also brought up to an improved standard. I have also made this known to local authorities and expect there to be a strong joined-up approach so that we can make the most out of this opportunity. An upgraded A12 with improved local roads connecting to it will not only make travelling easier, but will help boost economic growth, productivity and the high levels of job creation already taking place.

The most recent employment figures published show that unemployment in my constituency continues to fall as more people come off of benefits and into work. There are now 628 Jobseekers’ Allowance claimants in the Witham constituency, which is the lowest number in a decade and 65% lower than when unemployment peaked under the last Labour Government. The numbers of young people claiming JSA has fallen 72% since its peak under Labour as the generation of young people left abandoned by Labour have been supported into employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities as part of the Conservative Government’s long term economic plan. This is welcome news and I commend all those excellent local businesses who are creating new jobs for my constituents.

Wages are also rising for those in work with average annual real wages up 2.7% in the last year and across the country over 400,000 more people found employment. People continue to be better off as a result of our long term economic plan and new jobs across the country continue to be created at an average rate of 1,000 a day. With the majority Conservative Government elected at the General Election last month, businesses will continue to be supported by a Government committed to a strong economy and security through job creation.

If any residents or businesses need help and advice or would like to raise an issue with me, I can be contacted by email to: [email protected], by address to: Priti Patel MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, and by telephone on: 020 7219 3528.

The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP

Member of Parliament for Witham

Surgery Dates

All surgeries are by appointment only.

To obtain an appointment please email [email protected] or phone 0207 219 3525.

May 18th Witham

May 29th Tiptree

A12/A120 Consultations

Strategic Road Network Consultations

There are two important consultations running at the moment on key strategic road infrastructure improvements - the A12 widening scheme and the upgrading of the A120. Priti has been campaigning to secure new investment in these roads and has welcomed the consultations taking place. Members of the public can review the proposals for the A12 and A120 at the weblinks below, attend consultation events, and respond to the consultation. Feel free to also contact Priti by email to: [email protected] with your views too.

Widening the A12

Upgrading the A120

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