Ashes victory really does lift spirits

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LET’S start with some good news – England’s Ashes victory!

The final test in Sydney saw England beat the Aussies by an innings and 83 runs leading to an overall series win of 3 – 1.

This is the first time we’ve won the Ashes, in Australia, in 24 years.

You don’t have to be a cricket fan to be proud of our boys’ achievement and the news really did lift spirits.

Coming on the back of our T20 World Cup success it makes one wonder whether we should be turning our sights to the 50 over World Cup in February?

In a similarly positive vein, earlier this week a number of top firms operating in the UK, including Microsoft, Asda and Centrica, have pledged to create new jobs this year as part of a drive to generate growth.

This announcement came after a ‘jobs summit’ was chaired by David Cameron.

As the Prime Minister said, a major part of getting our economy back on track is creating a climate that enables the private sector to expand.

Over the last six months, some 300,000 private sector jobs have been created which is a huge step in the right direction.

We intend to drive this forward by becoming the most pro-business, pro-growth and pro-jobs Government ever.

Since the new chief executive and chairman took over at the trust that runs East Surrey Hospital, I’ve been increasingly hopeful that they are actually beginning to understand, and start to tackle, the problems that have blighted the hospital for as long as I can remember.

I’ve met them to discuss local people’s concerns and I’m kept up to date with messages that that are sent internally to trust staff, highlighting the importance of hygiene, for example.

Following a recent discussion with the chief executive of NHS West Sussex, my House of Commons’ team will be meeting with the director of quality at NHS West Sussex and the director of nursing, quality and governance at the trust which runs East Surrey.

I always take up my constituents’ concerns with the trust – whether it’s on the basis of being a patient or a visitor and I push to receive a response, hopefully in the form of an explanation and assurances that the same mistakes won’t happen again.

However, I’m keen for these cases to be reviewed en masse, rather than just being dealt with one-by-one, as they occur.

It’s by reviewing cases that themes, such as a lack of basic care and rudimentary hygiene and the way elderly patients are particularly affected, become immediately apparent and I’m keen for the directors to see what I and my staff deal with on a regular basis.

As always, I’ll keep readers updated with any developments.