We are incredibly fortunate to have our wonderful NHS but there is always room for improvement, and campaigning for better local healthcare remains one of my top priorities. Even before I was elected in 2010 it was clear that the people of the Devizes Constituency had been totally short-changed by the incomprehensible decision of the former Primary Care Trust, to shut all local minor injuries units and then refuse to deliver on a promise to build a new facility in Devizes. As I pledged in my first ever debate in the House of Commons on July 15th 2010, restoring these local health services and especially delivering a Primary Care Centre for Devizes has been my top local campaigning priority. Since then I have been working with local hospitals, the new GP-led Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Devizes area GPs, Wiltshire Council, the Department of Health and dozens of local residents in Marlborough and Devizes to deliver on this promise.
Over the last few years we have been able to welcome more services back into Savernake hospital and I was absolutely thrilled when NHS England confirmed that Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been awarded £7m for the development of a GP-led Health Centre at Marshall Road in Devizes. Thanks to the work of so many people locally like Dr Richard Sandford-Hill and the Clinical Commissioning Group, local councillors and the doughty DASH2 team, the visits of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and detailed work in Westminster with Ministers, we can finally go forward! The new centre will offer same-day urgent care for patients of all five local GP practices and will share services like X-rays with the Devizes Treatment Centre and will provide a location for services currently delivered in Devizes Hospital.
Meanwhile, I am working closely with GPs and other healthcare professionals in the Salisbury Plain area to ensure that vital health services are in place for the 4000 military personnel and their families who will relocate to the Constituency by 2020 under the Army rebasing programme.