I believe strongly that prevention is better than cure and that increased wellbeing at home can lead to better health, better quality of life and reduced need for medical support.
I have been working with a number of organisations, including Age UK Cornwall, Volunteer Cornwall and Cornwall Arts and Health, on projects which explore how people can improve their wellbeing, and how this in turn can improve their health. I want these projects to shape healthcare across Cornwall. I am pleased that Cornwall Council received a significant grant to enable more GP social prescribing. Truro City and Feock parish council are doing pioneering work in this area.
I have been campaigning in Parliament for this wellbeing-focused approached to healthcare, calling for health and social care to be integrated so that enabling people to be happy and healthy in their own homes is seen to be just as important as giving first class hospital care. I am delighted that Cornwall was chosen by the Government to be one of fourteen pioneer areas exploring how this integration could work and will continue to support the volunteers and professionals trailblazing this approach here.
Wellbeing should be a focus throughout life, and at the end of life. I am working with Macmillan Cancer Support to remove the means test for social care at the end of life, helping more people to die in the comfort of their own home, with full palliative support, if they choose to do so. I want to see this choice established as a key principle of NHS care. I worked with Health Watch Cornwall on their work to deliver a good death at the end of life in Cornwall. A report of this work can be found at the end this page.
Feeling secure in your own home really helps to boost wellbeing and I want more of us to enjoy the benefits of this. As well as supporting Help to Buy, which has to date helped nearly 30,000 families on average incomes buy their own homes, I successfully pushed for legislation that has set Councils free to build more Council Housing. I continue to push for Cornwall Council to make full use of these powers and deliver more genuinely affordable homes for local people. Meanwhile more money for new build rental properties, along with reform of the letting agency sector, should improve renting privately. Cornwall has received £21,248,740 from the Government's Affordable Homes Fund 2015-2018.
When people do need to go to their GP or to Treliske, they should benefit from the best possible care and be able to access a range of services. To help our hard working medical professionals to deliver that care I have worked with Ministers to secure a three year above inflation increase in funding for the NHS in Cornwall. At the foot of this page you will find a document that shows you the funding that the Kernow Commissioning Group (KCCG) is receiving. Additional funding on top of this increase includes for example £1.2 million that has enabled extensive improvements to be made to the Accident and Emergency Department at Treliske. In April 2019 RCHT secured an additional £4.8 million NHS funding for urgent equipment replacement and fire safety related works.
In December 2018 the Department of Health and Social Care agreed to fund the Peripheral Site Optimisation scheme with new investment of up to £9.1million which will deliver improved clinical facilities and eradicate backlog maintenance, and the Oncology & MRI Re-provision scheme with new investment of up to £31.326 million which will deliver improvements to the Oncology/Haematology Ward and the MRI Department.
I am delighted to have helped secure just under £100 million of investment, announced in August 2019, which will see the construction of a new building between the existing Tower Block and Trelawny Wing. This will house women’s and children’s services including maternity, neonatal care and gynaecology. These will be moved from the Princess Alexandra Wing; a building that has been criticised during Care Quality Commission inspections and which, due to structural defects, has a limited life-span.
On 4 September 2019, as part of the 2019 Spending Round, the Chancellor, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, announced a £6.2 billion increase in NHS funding next year as well as £250 million for groundbreaking new artificial intelligence technologies to help solve some of healthcare’s biggest challenges today, such as easier cancer detection, discovering new treatments and relieving the workload on doctors and nurses.
I will continue to push for these funding increases to continue far into the future.
Local people need local services and I am working to bring new health services over the Tamar. These include perinatal mental health facilities, secured through the campaigning of the Angela Harrison Trust, and the first Admiral nurses to work in Cornwall, thanks to the hard work of the Cornwall branch of Dementia UK. Funding for building new facilities for young people with mental health and substance abuse problems has been secured too. I want to see these successes built on, with a particular focus on improving access to mental health services. Spending on mental health services in Cornwall is rising and is higher than the UK average.
Mental health spending per capita:
2016/2017: £168 £223
2017/2018: £172 £212
2018/2019: £174 £217
The interventions of NHS England are also helping Treliske turn a corner and significantly improve patient safety and timelines in accessing services. Treliske has always been highly rated for the quality of care provided by staff.
Funding for NHS Services in Cornwall has been increasing steadily.
Perhaps the greatest issue facing the NHS in Cornwall today is the "bed blocking" at Treliske. Each day there are about three wards full of people who are ready to move home or onto a more appropriate care setting. Improving social care in Cornwall is essential. While social care is the responsibility of Cornwall Council I have taken action to try and persuade the leaders of the Council to improve the way they work with providers of care services and colleagues in the NHS. I was Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Group for Social Care and helped in the production of the reports below. In the next Parliament I want to implement the vital changes we identified in these reports.
Cornwall Council has received additional funding for Public Health:
The Government recognises the pressure faced by adult social care services and has provided Councils with an additional £10 billion in dedicated funding for adult social care in the three years leading up to 2019-20. The Spending Round 2019 committed to providing Councils with new funding of £1.5 billion for social care over the next year. The House of Commons Library has provided the following briefing on Government support for adult social care:
Below are links to the Future of Social Care and Key to Care reports:
Also below is a link to the recent Cornwall Local Enterprise Partnership report on the Care Market in Cornwall: