MPs to offer Jeremy Hunt advice on how to solve NHS funding woes

Pam Mills

Conservative MPs have called on the Health Secretary to boost Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge services as the NHS battles financial pressures.

Jeremy Hunt wrote to all Tory Members of Parliament last week to ask for advice in solving funding problems.

Mr Hunt’s letter said after its ‘most challenging winter for years’ there is ‘no doubt’ of the pressure the NHS is under.

It follows Theresa May’s announcement that an urgent long-term financial strategy must come in before the planned 2019 review of public spending.

With Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust receiving a Care Quality Commission rating of ‘requires improvement’ in January, the effects of these challenges have been felt locally.

Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat, one of three Tory politicians asked for their views by the Times, said: ‘I’d like to see healthcare become even more local.

‘I’d like to see the Government continue invest in the NHS and that means delivering more GP capacity here in Tonbridge. Since November we have seen £10billion in new funding but more is needed to keep the NHS delivering.’

‘We can improve recovery rates and treatment outcomes by keeping people close to family and friends,’ he continued.

‘That’s why I want to see more services at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, delivering care in the community for years to come.’

Mr Hunt has been in the role since 2012 and said in his letter he would be ‘grateful to her the views’ of colleagues. This is following what he previously described as the NHS’ ‘worst ever winter’.

Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark said: ‘Everyone accepts long-term funding of the NHS is a challenge.

‘People are living longer and developments in treatments and medical science also adds extra financial pressures.

‘Given these known challenges, I think it’s quite right for the Health Secretary to ask for input.’

Mr Tugendhat said all of the NHS’ bodies needed to be ‘better focused on patient outcome’ and should ‘keep care local’, especially in serving rural communities.

‘That’s why I’m disappointed NHS England has chosen not to invest in branch surgeries in villages like East Peckham,’ he continued.

‘The focus should be on the patient not the provider and I’m determined we use the resources available as efficiently as possible to get the best for our community.

‘This is too important for all of us to be reduced to an ideological debate [over privatisation].’

Wealden MP Nus Ghani was also asked for her thoughts, but no reply had been received from her office at the time of writing.

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter