Before the election, I told everyone living in the Grantham area that securing the future of Grantham Hospital as our local provider of high quality healthcare would be one my top priorities as Member of Parliament.
So I hope that all of the Journal’s readers will be pleased to know that my first meeting in the constituency after the election was at Grantham Hospital and the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the development of new and improved services there. I am determined to work closely with the GPs who commission healthcare in our area, the consultants at the hospital and the senior management of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure that people are able to benefit from a wider range of services at Grantham Hospital, and have to go to Lincoln or Nottingham less often.
This does not mean that there will be no change at our hospital - or that every service that is currently available there will always be provided in the same way as it is now. As our population ages and new medical technology becomes available, it is right that the NHS changes and adapts.
A few years ago, local GPs advised me that it would be a mistake to keep a midwife-led maternity unit at Grantham Hospital. They said that it would be safer for mothers to travel to Lincoln to have their babies, where they could rely on the expertise of expert consultants if necessary.
I believe in listening closely to the advice of medical professionals and decided to support their plans, although it was not universally popular. Having been re-elected with an increased majority, I feel confident that this was the right approach.
From now on, I will support those changes that will improve the care provided to my constituents. And I will fight any proposals that would undermine the quality of local healthcare, or make it harder for my constituents to get the services they need.
The future of Grantham Hospital will always be one of my top priorities and I am determined to ensure that in five years’ time people living in the Grantham area are in secure in the knowledge that at Grantham Hospital their health and wellbeing are in good hands.