As we emerge from the pandemic and the New Year gets underway, attention is turning to recovery, growth and the challenges ahead in 2022.
Locally, the long-awaited inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Telford will be reporting its findings, as will the Ockenden Review into maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital. My hope is that this will be an opportunity for change; a chance to instil into local public bodies, the need for accountability in their dealings with the people they serve. Where there have been failings, there must acknowledgment of shortcomings and an understanding of the impact these failings have had on victims, families and the wider community. Similarly, I hope to see progress in the clean-up of the Ketley waste site fire and acceptance from the bodies involved, of their role in this local environmental disaster.
The impact of Covid on the economy, healthcare and education will have long term consequences for the country, comparable to the aftermath of the Second World War. Tackling the backlog in the NHS and enabling patients to access care is a top priority for 2022. People understand this has to be paid for. However, if we are to pay more tax to fund the NHS, we must be confident that money will be spent wisely and that we will see results. Now more than ever local health bodies must be accountable and use the money to meet the health needs of our community. Anyone witnessing the seven year-long Future Fit saga will know local NHS management struggles to prioritise value for taxpayers’ money. This must change.
My focus in 2022 will be on demanding more from all those in positions of power, those who make the decisions that affect our lives. I want to see greater accountability, humility and respect for the people local public bodies serve.
Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2022. Please do get in touch with me and my Telford team to raise any issues of concern, or let me know if I can help in anyway.