I’m delighted that NHS England has confirmed that the money is still available as previously promised to build the new outpatient department at West Cornwall Hospital. I recognise that when costs for the building increased many believed the funding and new department was lost. I was always confident that we could deliver it and I’m grateful that Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has identified a way to deliver the extension using the money that was promised back in 2019 by Theresa May.
The new Outpatient Department is needed and is welcome and this news should reassure people that West Cornwall Hospital is here to stay. We can expect a new diagnostics centre in addition to this investment and I’m told the Urgent Care Centre will extend the hours to 1am by the end of this month. This is not the 24/7 we are all committed to, but it does deliver an Urgent Care Centre in Penwith for the times when it is in greatest demand until workforce challenges can be overcome. The priority now is to get the amended plans for the Outpatient Department through Cornwall Council’s Planning Department and your letters of support are welcome on the Council’s planning portal when the application is registered. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information at derek.thomas.mp@parliament.Uk.
Whatever campaigns are being run by the RMT and MP hopefuls, the most helpful thing you can do to secure the future of a dedicated ticket office and its staff at Penzance Railway Station is to engage in the consultation at www.GWR.com/haveyoursay or write to RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ, Transport Focus, PO Box 5594, Southend on Sea, SS1 9PZ, including the following details: your name, the station that you are writing about and how you will be impacted by the proposed changes to the ticket office. The deadline for your response is Wednesday 26th July.
When cancer services were under review Cornwall’s six Conservative MPs joined health campaigners to rally responses to the consultation and, due to the extraordinary level of engagement (where responses in Cornwall were four times any other part of the Southwest), the decisions went in our favour. We can do this again, but I can’t stress enough that this must be via the official consultation rather than petitions and comments direct to RMT. We have a strong case as a greater proportion of tickets are sold at Penzance Ticket Office than other stations and people use Penzance to plan and buy tickets for journeys the country over.
It was a cheerful moment last Thursday as we welcomed the King and Queen to St Ives. This was their first visit to the Duchy since becoming King and Queen and it shows what I believe is a place in the hearts for West Cornwall for his and her majesty. We have always made them feel welcome and last week was no exception. Thank you to the Council, police and others who made the visit a success - navigating St Ives in July is rarely straightforward!