We should be very proud of the NHS

Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General Hospital.
Urgent Care Centre at Burnley General Hospital.
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Residents of Blacko and Higherford went to the polls in a by-election to replace departing Pendle councillor Shelagh Derwent. The result was a victory for Conservative candidate Noel McEvoy.

Shelagh was elected to Pendle Council in 1992, having been elected to Lancashire County Council in 1989.

Her hard work for almost 25 years is beyond question and I am not alone in being sad to see her move on. Residents elected her time after time because she served the area well.

Personally, I am hugely grateful for the support she has given me as our MP and wish her the very best for the future.

Her successor Noel has been a nurse with the NHS for 37 years, currently working as a senior nurse at Airedale Hospital.

Working as a nurse means knowing how to get along with all different kinds of people, working well under pressure, and standing up for the most vulnerable.

I believe Noel will be an excellent local councillor and welcome his election.

Speaking of the NHS, as readers may be aware I recently left hospital after suffering appendicitis.

I would like to put on record my thanks to all those who looked after me during what has been a difficult time. During my regular visits to our local hospitals, meeting excellent NHS staff and now my experience as a patient, I am often reminded how important the NHS is and how proud we should be of it.

That is why I was delighted to see the opening of Burnley General Hospital’s new Urgent Care Centre recently, even if I was unable to attend myself through illness.

Ever since the A&E was downgraded under the last Labour government, there has been a real need to improve the emergency service offered at Burnley General. The £9m. UCC is big step forward and I very much look forward to revisiting when I am fully recovered, next time not as a patient!