Sir Nicholas writes about health services

Writing in today's edition of the Mid Sussex Times, Sir Nicholas said:

"I am grateful to the Middy for providing this excellent platform to discuss this vital service since there is nothing more important for local people than their NHS.

Conservatives believe that these services are something to be greatly valued, to be protected and improved, free at the point of use and based on need and not the ability to pay.

Because we have a strong and growing economy and we have kept tight control of the finances, we can continue to invest in the NHS so that local people can be assured of a good healthcare service.  That is how the Government increased the NHS budget by £7.3 billion over the last five years and we are further committed to increasing health spending in real terms, by a minimum of £8 billion in the next Parliament.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer recently announced an enormous and very welcomed investment of £480 million in the re-build of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, which already treats many people from Mid Sussex.

We have seen to it that there are now 9,000 more doctors and 7,000 more nurses and much less bureaucracy.  I warmly salute the huge efforts of our doctors, nurses and the many other people who make such a great contribution to our local healthcare.

There are of course problems that we have to deal with including our hard-pressed A&E services and expanding our local Primary Care services, in order to make sure that people have access to sustainable GP services.  This is a priority not least because the population of West Sussex is increasing substantially. 

There is also a great deal of necessary work going on to improve our mental health care especially for the young.

I should make it absolutely clear that despite the endless scaremongering, the Conservatives have no intention of privatising the NHS.  Charities, social enterprises and other providers of healthcare, for example, Macmillan Nurses, continue to play a vital role in the NHS. The use of private providers represents only 6% of its total budget and successive Governments have agreed that patients should have a fundamental right to choose the best and most convenient place for their treatment.

It remains my personal priority to assist my constituents where I can if they have difficulties with the NHS, but your readers should know that by far the greatest number of letters and emails that I receive about the NHS are about people wanting to praise the service and what has been done for them, in particular, in our local hospitals, the Princess Royal and the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 was a huge step forward in bringing together the absolute requirement to integrate health and social care and as our population ages and increases there is no doubt that this is the right direction to go.

On behalf of all my constituents I again thank all those who work in the NHS for providing a locally excellent and very caring service for Mid Sussex."