Community healthcare is in my blood. I grew up in a NHS household – my dad was a GP and my mum a local chemist. And as someone with two very young children, I have recently experienced the joy and anxiety of childbirth, and know exactly what it feels like to rush my daughter to a hospital emergency department in the middle of the night.
The Friarage Hospital is a much-loved local institution that has touched the lives of many, employs over a thousand people, and provides vital healthcare services to young and old across the constituency. The Friary in Richmond is a well-located community hospital. Countless GP surgeries and local chemists are the important front line of our health care.
As a hospital serving over 100,000 residents over 1,000 square miles, the Friarage is a special hospital and should be recognized as such by NHS executives. People living in the Upper Dales already travel a considerable distance to come to the Friarage and maintaining its broad range of health care services is a must. Furthermore, having access to good local GPs is something we all want.
I will push NHS executives to continue providing a clear and positive vision for the Friarage hospital. I will fight and lobby hard to ensure the hospital remains a strong provider of health care services in our area, a true beacon of rural healthcare. I will also keep my focus on constituent’s access to local GPs.