Great day for Burnley as new Urgent Care Unit opened

Photo Neil Cross 'The official opening of urgent care centre at Burnley General Hospital
Photo Neil Cross 'The official opening of urgent care centre at Burnley General Hospital

I was delighted to be at an event in Parliament that celebrated Pakistan Day which commemorates the country’s independence. It was great to be joined by so many leading figures in the Pakistani Community which included the Rt Hon. Baroness Warsi and we were presented with awards. It was great to see so many people celebrating this day.

I was busy the next day with meetings and appointments. I was then straight back to Burnley ahead of the opening of the Urgent Care Centre. In the morning, I had a few urgent constituent appointments and was glad I had some extra time to sort these pressing issues out.

I was really excited for the opening of the Urgent Care Centre as this is something really close to my heart which I campaigned for years for. As well as the modern walk-in centre, the £9m. facility will house a children’s minor illnesses unit and GP out-of-hours doctors.

It is a fabulous addition to our town and after the old A&E got centralised it was a long fight to get these services back. It took a lot of extremely hard work and lobbying with the former health secretary Andrew Lansley, and I was able to get Danny Alexander to sign it off at the treasury to secure the funding. It was another brilliant day for Burnley and demonstrative of positive change.

To build on the wonderful afternoon I was then delighted to go to the launch event at Burnley Campus for a new medical school to open later this year at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

A self-funded undergraduate medical degree programme is being launched by the School of Medicine and Dentistry from September. This really is incredible we will have a medical school in the town and there was so much enthusiasm at the launch event.

The development of an independent medical school is an important issue for our health economy and for the people of Burnley and Lancashire. Considering the town was called a basket case five years ago, we recently won the more Enterprising Town award and now a medical school, it really is all happening in Burnley.

I have also had a meeting with Hapton Heritage group where I handed over a charter. After a successful lottery grant application, the group have down much to raise the profile of Hapton and applied to the London College of Arms for own coat of arms.