The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock MP recently came to visit our hospitals in Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth and Ottery St Mary to discuss how we can deliver the care that East Devon needs.
Near the end of 2018, I secured a commitment from Mr Hancock and Health Ministers that the hospital in Ottery St Mary will not close. This is welcome news after some uncertainty over its future.
Now, I am working to ensure the hospitals in Ottery St Mary and Budleigh Salterton deliver more services alongside the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Devon County Council and community groups.
Getting health and social care right is the issue of our time. It is the one issue that we will, I believe, be judged on in the future. Did we find a solution? Did we work together? Did we put aside our political differences to come together and finally sort this issue out for a generation? GP access and treatment waiting times are vital.
The world of diagnostics will be very different in 20 years time. We may be able to do diagnostic work through an app or even on FaceTime.
But there is one thing that we will continue to need – ongoing care in our homes. It seems that as time goes on, more and more people will want to live at home as they get older. That’s why I am working on a common sense approach to find a long term solution to social care for East Devon.