MP's Column

Children from Godolphin, Garras and Sithney primary schools visited Chyvarloe Farm at Gunwalloe to find out more about the important contribution local farms make to food production. It was a grand day out with tractors ploughing, potato and combine harvesters in action, a woodland I-Spy trail set up by the National Trust, Cornish pasty-making demonstrations by Ann Muller from Ann’s Pasties and free milkshakes made with milk from the Treleague Dairy in Ruan Minor.

The opportunity of a day out on a working farm is a real treat for our schoolchildren. Learning that the ingredients to make a Cornish pasty can be all sourced locally and how milk is produced and bottled in this 'hands-on' way is a fantastic way to promote our countryside and teach about the value of our farming industry. I particularly enjoyed the visit as I was one of the builders who restored the Chyvarloe site many years ago on behalf of the National Trust during my days as a Cornish Mason.

Community pharmacies are an increasingly important part of healthcare provision and have a particular role to play if we are to achieve meaningful integration of health and social care. In December last year community pharmacy was threatened with a £170 million cut in NHS funding (to be implemented this October). This was announced alongside plans to increase the number of NHS services provided by community pharmacists in their local community.

West Cornwall’s community pharmacists want to work with the Department of Health to improve services, engage in health and social care integration, improve drug waste reduction and improve access to records to support prescriptions.

Following a considerable amount of campaigning this year we have now secured a 'pause' in the  Department of Health's plans to cut community pharmacy funding which is very welcome. This gives time to demonstrate that better use of community pharmacists and GP practices can save the NHS large sums of money and improve patient care.

I returned to the Isles of Scilly at the end of last week to meet the School Council and Youth MPs. I learn a great deal by listening to the concerns and issues raised by our young people and their teachers.

Derek Thomas
Member of Parliament for St Ives