MP's Column

The role of MP is a great privilege. Each week, through advice surgeries and being out and about, I'm humbled by the opportunity to engage in so many lives.

This week, for example, included a meeting with residents and the Post Office to clear up the confusion surrounding the future of Mullion Post Office.

I've met with the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, to lend further weight to our campaign to save Penzance Crown Post Office and Brandon Lewis (Housing Minister), to discuss how we can support the people of St Ives who have clearly backed their Neighbourhood Plan.

A meeting at Edward Hain Hospital with GPs, the Friends, local campaigners and NHS Managers sought to resolve fire safety issues and current bed closures.

Saturday was Flora Day, a success once again and a credit to Helston Flora Day Association and the teams of volunteers who made the day so special.

In the Houses of Parliament, MPs continued to wrestle with the most appropriate way to help unaccompanied children and I chaired an enquiry looking at the key issues relating to the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with heart failure.

In a further health-related meeting, I joined Cook Medical (a large family company) to discuss patient access to medical technologies to help prevent lower limb amputation (lower leg amputations are worryingly high in Cornwall). Cook Medical is working with MPs and physicians to find and implement simpler and safer ways to treat patients.

Back in West Cornwall to meet with Helston and The Lizard Works looking at its work with Helston Jobcentre and the Town Council supporting unemployed people to get involved with businesses and community projects and then onto Mullion Secondary School as part of my weekly routine visiting a school.

In Penzance I was delighted to answer questions at the Learning Disability Forum, host an Apprenticeship Advice Surgery in my office and support West Cornwall businesses at the Cornwall Business Awards.

Each week presents a diverse and varied workload and each week provides the challenge, opportunity and privilege to understand a little more of what it means to enable people to live full lives.

Derek Thomas

Member of Parliament for St Ives