New Health Secretary pledges to visit East Sussex

The newly appointed Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, has accepted an invitation from local MPs to visit their local NHS and Social Care teams in East Sussex. Mr Hancock was appointed to his position after Jeremy Hunt, who had held the post for over 5 years, was made Foreign Secretary.

During this week’s Health Questions in the House of Commons chamber, Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle constituency said “Will the Secretary of State come down to East Sussex to view the Better Together partnership, which puts health and social care together?”  Responding, the Health Secretary said “How could I say no? The integration of health and social care is vital and long awaited, and there is so much to do.”

Speaking after the session, Huw said ‘East Sussex County Council leader, Keith Glazier, met me in Parliament last week. With our ageing population and lack of council tax funding, he was keen for me to invite the Health Secretary down to the county so we could explain not only our unique challenges but the innovative ‘Better Together’ programme which the County Council, GP Commissioners and Hospitals have devised. With the Health Secretary at the dispatch box, it seemed a good time to ask.

“Along with Amber Rudd, I am looking forward to formalising a date so we can make our case. Reform of social care is long overdue. ‘Better Together’ is the type of initiative that the Government is supporting. We now need to make the case for Central Government funding of local authorities which takes into account the age and needs of the local population.”

Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye said “I welcome the Health Secretary’s pledge to visit East Sussex following an invitation from the MP for Bexhill and Battle, Mr Huw Merriman. I look forward to meeting with the Health Secretary, Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, our local NHS teams and Huw Merriman MP to discuss how Government can help provide support for Adult Social Care in our communities.

“Adult Social Care is a necessity for helping look after our towns’ ageing populations, and it is imperative it receives the funding it requires to deliver a good service for local residents.”

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You can view the exchange here on Parliament TV: https://goo.gl/Pk7Yhs