Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham column/ 'I will always play my part to ensure we have access to the care we need when we need it'
Having held off travelling to Parliament until Wednesday morning I was able to join the thousands who took part in watching the open top bus parade from the town hall to Turf Moor.
And what an amazing atmosphere there was. Burnley FC being back in the topflight of football is brilliant - for the fans and the town. And it would be remiss of me not to say well done to all the players, staff, management and of course our quality manager. They really have done us proud.
In addition to the football celebrations, I’ve also met with Burnley College to discuss opportunities and skills for young people. The college is expanding its offering in engineering, sports science, and digital, with a focus on providing courses that translate to high-paid employment. Particularly exciting are the qualifications available in computing which go hand in glove with the jobs of the future at our engineering companies, and even National Cyber Force.
Based under 20 miles away in Samlesbury, the NCF location presents significant employment opportunities for local residents. And we must seize the opportunities it provides. That’s why I’ve been playing my part to ensure ministers are fully aware of what we need to capitalise on
this with a state-of-the-art college facility. It’s about not just talking about jobs of the future, but delivering them and the skills needed for them.
While celebrating the town’s successes, I’ve also been working hard to address concerns around GP appointments. Experiences vary depending on the surgery your registered with, but this issue is something I’ve raised multiple times, in the Commons and privately with ministers. And the Government are listening.
A new blueprint to improve primary care services has been launched. The aim is to modernise general practice by providing support to health services within our area. Because wherever you live in Burnley and Padiham, having access to a GP appointment is crucial and forms part of the improvements I want to see in our local healthcare provision.
Tackling the 8am rush for an appointment, delivering an extra 26,000 clinicians and improving communication between GPs and hospitals should provide an extra 50 million appointments nationwide by March of next year. And that has to be good news.
I’ll always play my part to ensure we have access to the care we need, when we need it.