I am actively involved in several healthcare campaigns, locally and at Westminster. Some are about improving specific local facilities, like modernising our GP surgeries. Others are in support of national health campaigns including mental health (MIND), and both bowel cancer and breast cancer. I also work closely with Carers in Hertfordshire to support the hundreds of local carers in our area and support both the Isabel Hospice and St Elizabeth’s Centre for Epilepsy, two brilliant organisations who we all value.
My work varies in each campaign, but includes lobbying for changes in the law or for funding of new treatments, alongside trying to raise awareness locally, to help more people get screened and treated early. Prevention and awareness is an aspect of our healthcare which needs greater emphasis than at present, something which is often overlooked in the debate about the NHS and healthcare. Thousands of lives could be saved, or improved, if there were a greater emphasis on raising awareness of conditions and on us each acting to better prevent illness. This is especially the case when considering obesity, or later life infirmity.
I also believe that health and social care need to be better integrated, ideally through patient-centred budgeting, where the money for both clinical and social care is combined and provided to treat all the patient’s needs. This is complex, but vital and could make so many older people’s lives so much better, whilst delivering better value for money. I also believe we need to be bold and grasp the issue of social care provision and will look to see how this might be done alongside other MPs at Westminster – of all parties.
I will update constituents about these campaigns through local and social media, including Facebook, and through initiatives with local campaigning groups and our GP and other health workers. Links to many of these campaigns are provided on this website to help you find out more, or get involved.