West Cornwall MP, Andrew George was accompanied by Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State at the Department of Health yesterday, Thursday 19th March, on a visit to West Cornwall Hospital. Mr George and Mr Lamb had a tour of the hospital and held a roundtable discussion, with leading local healthcare figures including Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care at Cornwall Council – Jim McKenna; Dr Matthew Boulter from the Penwith Pioneer Project; representatives from the Mental Health Trust; and community campaigners.
Topics discussed included challenges in the social care sector; mental health; localization of healthcare services through The Penwith Pioneer project; funding issues in the NHS; and the legacy debt of RCHT and the importance of integrated health trusts.
Norman Lamb, the Government’s mental health champion, was particularly interested in the hospital Trust’s efforts to maintain the excellent services at West Cornwall Hospital. The Liberal Democrats in Coalition announced a package of extra funding for mental health.
Andrew George MP, a member of the powerful Commons Health Select Committee said, “I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to welcome Mr Lamb here in Penzance today. Having campaigned for improvements in local healthcare services, I want the Minister to acknowledge how special West Cornwall Hospital is and to join me in thanking all the frontline health staff for their dedication and professionalism.
“However, we must not stop here; there are many more milestones to go to provide a truly efficient integrated service here in Cornwall.”
Mr Lamb said, “In government, the Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for complete equality for mental health in the NHS. I was pleased to see how the local staff, representatives and campaigners are working together to deliver this here in Penzance.”