PM and Health Secretary join Derek in West Cornwall

Derek Thomas took time off from his street campaigning to welcome both the Prime Minister and Health Secretary to West Cornwall last week.

Boris Johnson was a morning visitor to Penzance where he was given a tour of West Cornwall Hospital by hospital manager Paul Sylvester, meeting patients and then making tea for staff.

Derek said: “The staff at West Cornwall do a fantastic job and it was great that the Prime Minister was able to show his appreciation for what they do.

“We were able to raise with him our concerns around the requirement to sell part of the site once the new Outpatients Department is built and also discussed the need to develop the empty houses for nursing accommodation.

“He accepted the case for both these issues and said he would do what he could to help.”

The Prime Minister and Mr Thomas then travelled to Avanti Communications at Goonhilly Downs where Mr Johnson announced plans to fast track agreements for mast sharing between networks in the first 100 days of a Conservative majority government, alongside new investment in mobile infrastructure to tackle rural not-spots by 2025 and make poor mobile signals a thing of the past.

Mr Thomas, a long-time campaigner for improved mobile and broadband services in rural areas, said: “Mobile phones are revolutionising our lives and are absolutely vital for businesses as they compete and grow.

“These agreements will be the first of their kind around the world and will mean customers can connect to 4G coverage, wherever they live, travel or work - regardless of their network provider.”

Later in the day, Derek met Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock at Helston Community Hospital  where they were given a tour by Matron Lynda McHale.

Mr Hancock thanked staff for their efforts while listening to a number of issues including the need for greater integration of services, more investment in the hospital and local community and the difficulty of ensuring the hospital was properly maintained.

Mr Hancock said he was ‘a massive believer in community hospitals’ and that he was backing Helston Community Hospital.

“If you can be treated closer to home, then you should be treated closer to home,” he said, adding that there as “no greater voice for Cornish health services in Westminster than Mr Thomas.

“A lot of the support and investment going into health services in West Cornwall and on Scilly is down to him.”