MP's Column

Congratulations to Peninsula Community Health who won half of the awards at the recent NHS South West Leadership Awards. Anyone who knows first-hand the work of staff at Edward Hain and Helston Community Hospitals understands exactly why the organisation is so well respected within the medical fraternity.

Sadly Peninsula Community Health has surrendered their contract and I admit to a sense of relief when I received the news that a local consortium has been named as the preferred organisation to continue their health-services. Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and the GP-led Kernow Health Community Interest Company make up the consortium that will provide health services such as community hospitals, community nursing and minor injury units from April 2016.
I have said previously in this column the successful future of the NHS in Cornwall is dependent on meaningful integration of health and social care provision and it is my view that this new consortium is best placed to continue the excellent work of PCH and lead the way as we integrate services and increase the care we provide for patients in the community. Integration of health services is a huge challenge and demands a huge concentration of effort from all involved. Cornwall is blessed with some excellent medical professionals who are determined to deliver for Cornish patients.Friday's auction at the Queen's Hotel raised over £13,000 for Refugee Aid. The auction by David Lays was an entertaining affair and Holly Whitelaw and the volunteer team did a fantastic job. The events in France have shaken some people's commitment to help the Syrian refugees but this was clearly not the case on Friday night.
I am backing North Cornwall's MP Scott Mann and his motion to give powers to parish and town councils to change speed limits in their towns and villages. This motion enables communities, who feel ignored by Cornwall Council, to take the situation into their own hands and address the concerns they have about speeding traffic. This is the beginning of a process that, if successful, gives communities freedom to change speed limits if they choose to.

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives