Retford Times: 5 February 2015

On Monday I met with the Minister of State for Transport to discuss the Elkesley bypass. We agreed that his department would relook at installing sound barriers at Elkesley and at the option for the national cycleway to use the bridge. The delays to the bridge since 2010 have been frustrating and it has been a fight to get the Government to commit to the work but now it is a matter of making sure the improvements work for the village and the entire area.

This week excellent new plans for facilities at Bassetlaw Hospital were announced. The development will provide important improvements to patient care including a dedicated children’s A&E and more single rooms. I have been pressing for more single rooms for some years as they both improve options for families and isolate contagious diseases.

It was also announced that the Diana Princess of Wales Breastcare unit will be completed. £350,000 of the money needed for the completion was raised by the superb volunteers of the Bassetlaw Breastcare Appeal, of which I am a patron. The improvements as a whole are a consequence of the work of local NHS staff and the success of the community campaign to protect A&E and maternity services. It shows how much can be achieved when local people get involved and have their say about local services.

I would also like to see a new ambulance station for Worksop located on the site as part of its development and the creation of intermediate care housing in partnership with the local authorities. Additionally, I am calling on the Government to provide money for a new model of intermediate care to be pioneered in Bassetlaw which would allow people to move out of hospital wards much quicker whilst retaining access to first quality care. The Government must increase funding on the NHS otherwise we will have new buildings without to staff to properly utilise them. I am also having urgent meetings on the future of the B2 ward over the next few weeks.

I know that many local people already support the charity “Joel the Complete Package” which helps families through subsequent pregnancies and parenting after experiencing pregnancy or baby loss. Bassetlaw Hospital has given the go-ahead for the charity to renovate one of its labour rooms into a family suite suitable for bereaved parents. However, the project will cost around £35,000 and the charity needs the help of local people. Volunteers are raising funds by bag packing in local supermarkets, doing 10k swims and a series of long-distance runs. To donate text joel14 to 70070 and specify an amount. Please email joel.thecompletepackage@gmail.com if you would like more information on the support that the group provides.

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