Weekly round up: The week in Westminster

Andrea’s week was a busy one that largely focussed on health policy.

First of all, she would like to start by thanking all of the doctors, nurses and professionals who keep the National Health Service running at times of increased pressure. They do an incredible service for the community and nation and Andrea is very grateful.

This week Andrea contributed to The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s urgent statement on NHS performance and mental health and to an opposition day debate on NHS finances.

Andrea was delighted to hear about the government’s added focus on mental health, especially amongst young people, as currently 1 in 50 young people are receiving mental health care in Yorkshire. This number is disappointingly high. However, Andrea is confident the Government will increase mental health support in schools by introducing mental health first aid. This will raise awareness and reduce stigma around the difficult challenges that face many pupils in their schools. This strategy will also combine with other initiatives such as MindED, that helps professionals who work with children see the signs of mental health issues, and £150 million in support for evidence based community services for children and young people with eating disorders. The Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders, the largest Northern eating disorder service, will hopefully benefit from this added funding.

These initiatives combine with the greater numbers of staff being recruited to the Health Service, namely this year’s 1,600 and 3,300 added doctors and nurses. The Department of Health’s relaxation of the amount of doctors allowed to study medicine will mean even more doctors can be trained to help the nation.

Also in the Chamber Andrea raised the positive news regarding a drop in infection rates. Since 2010, C. difficile cases are down by more than 50% and the level of MRSA has virtually halved. With the threat of E. Coli and Sepsis adding to the challenges posed by other superbugs, it is vital a coordinated approach continues to be adopted so patient infection becomes less and less likely.