News from the Constituency with Derek Thomas

Helston Community Hospital holds a special place in the hearts of residents right across the South Kerrier area and beyond.

Most of us will have visited family and friends and many will have received care there in some form. Community Hospitals like Helston are the jewel in the crown of the NHS and I, along with many others, have been working to ensure our community hospitals can do more, providing care and treatment closer to home wherever possible. It is obviously disappointing that a few beds are being closed for a time. This is due to the role that GPs have in supporting and providing a vital service in the wards. People are aware of the shortage of GPs and the challenges faced by General Practice. I touched on these challenges recently on the Sunday Politics programme. It is essential that we find a way forward so that people have access to a GP when they need one and so that the integration between general practice and community hospital care can be extended further. Please be assured I will support every measure to ensure Helston Community Hospital (or Cottage Hospital as I knew it) goes from strength to strength and can provide the health and care services we need.

I must apologise as the survey recently included in the Advertiser is intended for all residents living in the former South Kerrier District Council area. It was mistakenly titled ‘for residents of Helston’. It should read ‘Residents Survey about Helston’. On this basis please complete the survey as soon as possible. The online survey can be found: Hard copies can be requested on 01736 363038.

Retail was the subject of a debate in Parliament last week. The truth is business rates are indefensible and I made this point. The Business Rate Tax is outdated and is judged on the building you occupy rather than the business you run. I called on the Government to freeze all rises above the Consumer Price Index (CPI), allow towns to retain 1 or 2 per cent of the tax collected to give their high street a fighting chance and commit to scrapping business rates in favour of a transaction tax making it fair across the high street, out of town and online.

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