The NHS is never far away from news headlines or politics, and the topic is emotive, and the fear of change is high. Any criticism of the NHS is deemed an ‘attack’, and people often feel forced to choose either to defend it as a matter of principle, or be labelled a political opponent. The truth about an issue then becomes obscured, squeezed out in a political battle. It would be easy to lose sight of excellent patient care delivered every day from GPs surgeries to regional speciality units in our region.
Bedfordshire faces its own challenges, and local health care providers are working together to produce a Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), showing how services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years. The STP process is important; there has been a lot of miss-information about it – mostly politically orientated – but we have been given assurances about the main services and I want to make sure that the services are configured for the best interests of my constituents and their health. That’s the most important thing for me and why I believe we should see what the process produces. There will be plenty of opportunity for consultation as part of that process.