Getting the healthcare and treatment we need, when we want it and where we want it, is something we all want to see.
As an MP, I hear regularly from constituents who are unhappy with the health and social care services they or their family members are accessing, despite the exceptional hard work that our GPs and health workers do to support us all. The problem is not really with the services themselves, but rather the fragmented way they are delivered across the county: local authorities providing some services, GPs and hospitals providing others. All with different ownership, reporting structures, and budgets. This can result in delay and difficulty for the individual patient or service user, with a well-known example of this being someone stuck in hospital because there is inadequate community support available.
I have been working with Northants colleagues for many months to consider alternatives to how healthcare and social care is delivered. We are looking at using the opportunity presented through the local government restructure in Northamptonshire and the creation of the two unitary authorities – North and West Northants – to bring health and social care together under one seamless structure.
Earlier today my MP colleagues and I met with representatives from most of the local authorities and healthcare providers who are themselves very ambitious. They presented to us a series of recommendations that we can deliver to Ministers to bring this forward.
This will be transformative for people right across the county, meaning that there are clear lines of accountability for all aspects of health and social care and greater value for money in the system, giving patients the ability to transition much more easily from one area of health and social care to another to ensure they receive the best and most appropriate support.
I will continue to keep residents updated.