STP is “Opportunity” for Cheltenham: Alex Chalk MP

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk has described the One Gloucestershire Social Transformation Plan (STP) as an opportunity to improve health and social care in Cheltenham. The Gloucestershire STP, published today, sets out a five year vision for the county.

Alex Chalk said: “This is an opportunity for us to highlight the services we value here in Cheltenham. Every family will be touched by health issues over the next five years.  We all have a stake in getting this right. 

“I’ll be making a detailed submission to the NHS to help them shape that vision. I’m asking Cheltenham’s residents to send me their views and support. I want their help to fight for several key areas.

“Back in 2013 Cheltenham’s Accident and Emergency hours were reduced. Our A&E now operates between 8am and 8pm. The STP gives us the chance to introduce 24-hour acute care in the heart of Cheltenham as well as dedicated units across our town.

“I’m calling on the NHS to introduce a dedicated urgent care centre at Cheltenham, which would operate between 8pm and 8am every day.  It would be in addition to existing daytime A&E hours.

“Cancer is now the biggest cause of death in Gloucestershire. I believe Cheltenham’s excellent oncology centre is the perfect site for a state of the art LINAC radiotherapy unit. That’s a big ask. I’m realistic about the costs. But everyone has a family member or friend who has been affected by cancer. I think a LINAC unit is worth fighting for. I’m calling on the NHS to make that commitment.

“The STP has a welcome focus on mental health services and rehabilitation. Here in Cheltenham I want to see waiting times for children’s mental health services slashed and more focus on prevention and early support for young people.

“The STP also proposes more focus on people in their homes and communities.  Get that right and it will significantly reduce the demand on our local hospitals. And in order to do that, I’m campaigning for more GPs and more specialist nurses in Cheltenham.  Our GP teams do a fantastic job, but with a growing and ageing population, we need more across the town.”

Alex Chalk added: “Of course the devil’s going to be in the detail. More money than ever is going into both health and social care, but we can’t ignore the financial challenges that the population growth will bring. It’s right that the NHS start this conversation now.

“So I want to set out, from the very start of the STP process, where I think Cheltenham needs to be going.  I’m determined that Cheltenham’s voice is heard from the very start to get the right services in place for the future.

Residents can email Alex to support his STP campaign at alex.chalk.mp@parliament.uk