Health minister, Jeremy Hunt, has outlined the Conservative Party’s plan to increase the amount of working hours for GPs outside of hospitals. These plans include putting £50 million towards a pilot scheme for 7-day working GP’s, as well as increasing patient access via flexible hours and improved technology. Although these plans seem encouraging for people concerned about the current state of the health system, Tory MP and representative for Brighton, Simon Kirby, has bigger plans.
The Tory Party have given a list of areas across the UK which they believe are of particular concern, however Kirby is still adamant that Brighton, which was omitted from the list, should be receiving more attention. Kirby is still pressing ahead with his grand plans of redeveloping the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and has recently met with Jeremy Hunt and George Osborne to try to secure the £420 million needed to fund the project. Kirby is optimistic about receiving the money needed, stating that ‘Both the Chancellor and the secretary of State have always been very receptive to the arguments I have made for the release of the funding, and I am sure that the government will do the right thing’.
Kirby is not alone in wanting to see the Royal Sussex redeveloped, as before his discussion with Hunt and Osborne, he put forward a petition on behalf of the hospital. This resulted in nearly 1000 signatures from the local area and various other constituencies have contacted him personally voicing their support. It has become apparent that Brighton is seen as an important hub for the surrounding areas, and it is a common opinion that redevelopment is needed. Kirby recently said on the matter ‘ I will continue to lobby the highest levels of government to secure the funding needed to build a new Royal Sussex County Hospital. I want to encourage everyone to sign my petition and make sure that the government is aware of their support to provide the excellent staff of the Royal Sussex with a 21st century hospital’.
Kirby’s focus is clearly on health at this time, as after listening to the discussion on the 2015 manifesto the only thing he tweeted was “Delighted that Cancer Drugs Fund extended to 2015/2016. People in Brighton and Peacehaven will continue to get access to the best possible care.”
To help support Simon Kirby in his dreams of a better hospital for the Brighton area, go to www.simonkirby.org for more information. Additionally, you can get involved with the discussion on national healthcare on October 4th, as from 1PM the Health Service Journal is hosting a twitter chat to ask if the NHS learns from its mistakes. Join in by using the hashtag #HSJChat.