MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Windsor MP welcomes extra money for Frimley Health Trust

Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has welcomed an additional funding for Frimley Health Trust – one of the NHS Authorities covering the Windsor constituency.

The extra funding will be provided as targeted investment for eight Primary Care Community Hubs and a care home in Heathlands.

This funding increase follows the publication of Frimley Health and Care Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which sets out plans to increase efficiency in the trust through greater prevention, early detection and more proficient management practices.

Overall, NHS spending has increased from £112.2bn in 2010 when the Conservatives entered Government to £122.5bn in 2016. It is predicted to increase by £3.75bn next year. At the same time, the budget deficit has been cut from 10% of GDP to 2.4%.

 

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:

“I’m over the moon that, despite the very tight budget constraints, the Chancellor has responded to the pressing issues facing the NHS in the Windsor Constituency.

“Frimley Health Trust has already set out a very ambitious plan to increase efficiency in our local services. However, as a constituency with a high proportion of elderly people, social care provision is obviously also a prominent area of concern, and one that requires increased investment, not just greater efficiency. I very much welcome plans for new care homes that take into account the needs of the local population.

“It is very important to note that this is investment, not simply greater spending, and that the Conservative’s plan to cut the deficit has not been halted.

“We have already cut the deficit by more than 70% whilst growing the economy by 11.4% and overseeing unemployment fall to historic lows. It’s hard to overemphasize just how wildly inaccurate Labour’s claims were a few years ago that our economic plan would increase the deficit, shrink the economy and increase unemployment.

“Targeted investment such as this, or increasing the overall research and development budget to 2.4% of GDP, are about building a better Britain after Brexit: a high tech economy leading the world in next generation industries like FinTech; a trade strategy that recognises developing and rapidly growing economies; and robust public finances that take into account economic reality.”

 

ENDS

Note to editors

  1. Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Guinea and Ghana.
  2. He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
  3. He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
  4. He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.
If you’re struggling this Stoptober – pick up an e-cigarette

We’re midweek through Stoptober – an annual tradition where people try and abstain from smoking. Unfortunately, for too many people this monthly habit normally ends after a week, or going straight back to their old habit whilst packing away the Halloween decorations on 1st November.

Like many of those currently trying to stop I did so very intermittently: a week or so here or even for a month or two. But for some reason the temptation for nicotine always lingered as doggedly as the smell of tobacco clings to clothes.

Bracknell Forest News Column: Tuesday, 6 December 2016

As society changes and technology deepens our understanding of the natural world, some curious anachronisms have emerged in our current prescription charge system. Unchanged since 1968, it is in need of reform.

A broad political consensus exists that it is unfair as some long-term conditions qualify people for free prescriptions – like diabetes, for example – whilst others don’t – like schizophrenia.

March is ‘Brain Cancer Awareness’ Month

Of all of the constituents I have met in the past decade few have made such an impression as Andrew Scarborough. Andrew was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour at the age of 27. While his tumour was impossible to fully remove Andrew is managing his condition and will hopefully be taking part in a promising ketogenic clinical trial being run at Charing Cross Hospital later this year.

Andrew’s story is inspirational but his illness is not unique. Brain tumours are far more common than one might imagine. More people under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer – 5,000 a year in total. In spite of this brain cancer research receives far less funding than some of the more well-known cancers. Just one percent of the total amount spent on cancer research in the UK is allocated to this devastating disease.

Bravery in the face of an awful disease

Every one of us will face challenges in our lives. We may face difficulties at work, in our personal relationships or with physical or mental health. Few of us have the courage and strength to reach out and help others when we are fighting our own battles. Yet one of my constituents is doing just that.

In 2013, Andrew Scarborough from Ascot, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour at the age of 27. I cannot begin to imagine just how difficult this must have been for him and his family.

Andrew is a talented and admirable young man who is well on his way to a Master’s degree in nutritional therapy and is planning to go on to a career helping others to improve their lives through changing their diets.

Living with brain cancer

As his brain tumour has developed, Andrew has had to deal with the debilitating symptoms that go along with brain cancer. He began to suffer from epilepsy as the tumour started affecting his brain functions and was, at times, unable to leave his bed, such was the pain and fatigue of the disease.

As an expert on nutrition, Andrew was naturally attracted to a trial on ketogenic diets being run at Charing Cross Hospital where he receives treatment. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein diet high in fats, particularly Omega 3, generally used to tackle epilepsy.

In Andrew’s case, the trial has had a transformative impact. Not only is he now able to function well and has his epilepsy under control, he is also working as a patient adviser on ketogenic diets, helping to implement changes to the way dieticians advise and roll out trials to other patients. He is now raising awareness of the impacts of brain cancer, what brain cancer patients can do and what we as a society can do to support sufferers.

This is exactly what was intended with the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act where clinical trials are embedded into the way that hospitals work so that patients find it easier to participate and try newer treatments that might improve and save lives in the future.

What we can do

There are no easy solutions. Brain cancer is a terrible disease and, currently, incurable. But it is treatable, and Andrew’s example, though one of an ongoing struggle, shows that diagnosis is not the end of life or opportunity.

As a former shadow minister for science, I want to see more well-controlled clinical trials which allow patients, like Andrew, to help provide the robust evidence needed to one day find a better way of treating and curing diseases like brain cancer. The trial that is being carried out expertly by brilliant medical experts at Charing Cross Hospital have contributed to the best survival rates for brain cancer patients in the country. It’s important that the Government, through NICE and the MHRA, looks at the research undertaken at Charing Cross and more generally at the potential applications of metabolic diets for cancer patients as the results come through.

Only through well-controlled trials can we establish a scientific basis for future medical treatments and that’s why it’s so important that we retain the recent changes to care that offers clinical trials to all eligible patients and resist any political game-playing that would endanger this progress.

I also want patients have access to adequate medicine and equipment. Brain cancer is the biggest killer of cancer patients under 40. And yet it is not currently given as much attention and funding as the more well-known forms, such as skin cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. One particular area of concern is the lack of access to emergency MRI scans, which could save many lives as they demonstrate the most accurate diagnoses. Funding must be allocated rationally, fairly and according to need.

So I’m looking forward to seeing Andrew next month when I’ll be watching a film he’s promoting, along with several long-term cancer survivors, about how we can tackle brain cancer. He is an inspiration to all young people and embodies triumph in adversity.

If you want to learn more about Andrew’s condition, then I’d encourage you to go on his website: http://mybraincancerstory.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1 and follow him on Twitter at @ascarbs.