UK health secretary Sajid Javid has thanked NHS staff across the North West and West Midlands for their tireless efforts to provide care during the pandemic during his visit to the region.
Javid as part of his ‘Road to Recovery’ tour across England on Wednesday (16) visited Deeplish Community Centre, Rochdale, Leighton Hospital, Crewe and Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, a statement said.
According to the statement, staff shared their experiences of working under immense pressure during the pandemic and discussed the government’s plans to reform, integrate and fund the NHS and social care, in a drive to build back better.
“It’s been fantastic to visit the health services in the North West and West Midlands to thank the staff for their efforts throughout the pandemic and outline our commitment to reform, recovery and funding for our NHS and social care,” said Javid.
“We are committed to tackling the Covid-19 backlog and building a health and social care system for the long term that works for everyone. Our recent Elective Recovery Plan is a vital step in rethinking how our health and care services deliver operations, treatment and checks as we level-up services up and down the country.”
He joined the staff at Deeplish Community Centre for their quarterly equalities team coffee morning, to learn about the issues facing ethnic minority communities in the area. The health secretary discussed the importance of the centre’s upcoming “cancer awareness campaign” and urged the team to respond to the ongoing call for evidence to help shape the government’s 10-Year Cancer Plan for England.
During his visit, Javid also opened a new £15 million A&E department at Leighton Hospital.
James Sumner, chief executive of the Mid Cheshire Trust, said: “The purpose-built A&E ensures a bigger, better and safer environment for both patients and staff. A&E attendance has increased across the country in recent years, so this provides an excellent opportunity to meet the needs of our growing population of 300,000.”
Javid met with participants in the cutting-edge PANORAMIC antivirals trial at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. He also visited the site of the new Heartlands Treatment Centre due to open later this year.
“Heartlands Treatment Centre will provide a modern environment for our clinicians to give exceptional standards of care, state-of-the-art diagnostics, and more non-emergency day-case surgery for up to half a million people in our communities – vitally supporting our ability to get back on track and improve waiting lists for patients in the wake of COVID-19,” said Prof David Rosser, chief executive, University Hospitals Birmingham.