During the five months I spent campaigning before my election, one of the topics that came up in almost every conversation was healthcare provision. Whether it was regarding the closure of Dartmouth hospital, access to GPs or Ambulance response time, it was something most constituents wanted to highlight.
Since being elected, I have taken every opportunity to raise rural healthcare provision and to ensure that those living in Totnes & South Devon get the best possible services.
To date I have:
- Requested a meeting with South West Ambulance Trust to discuss the ongoing issues with ambulance waiting times.
- Campaigned for the reopening of Totnes Hospital Minor Injuries Unit, which happened in July 2021 following months of communication with Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust. I also spoke to the Health Secretary about this matter and asked a written parliamentary question about reopening MIUs.
- Met with the Health Secretary to discuss healthcare in South Devon
- Asked several questions in the House about rural healthcare
- Had regular conversations with Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust about the provision in Dartmouth
- Written to Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust many times to push for GP services to be offered from the Brixham Health and Wellbeing Centre at Brixham Hospital, following the closure of GP surgeries in Brixham.
- Met with the Health Secretary and the Minister for Disabled People
- Held meetings with Gavi about vaccination rates
On dentistry, I have:
- Spoken in a debate on NHS dentistry to highlight the issues many residents are facing when it comes to accessing dental services.
- Met with the relevant Minister to discuss NHS dentistry.
- Visited local dental practices to learn more.
- Visited the University of Plymouth's Peninsula Dental School with Parliamentary colleagues to explore how services across the South West can be improved.
- Supported a proposal for a new pilot scheme in which dental therapists can take on more responsibilities and perform many of the procedures undertaken by dentists.
On social care, I have:
- Held roundtable meetings with local caring groups and providers to gain their feedback on what improvements the social care system needs.
- Visited local caring groups and attended their Memory Cafes to speak to service users.
- Undergone Dementia Friends training to gain a greater understanding of dementia.
- Tabled a parliamentary question for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asking what steps are being taken to help reduce regional disparities in dementia diagnosis rates.