It is vital in Bournemouth that we protect, and continue to invest in, our local healthcare and education services.
Over the last few years I have visited mental health wards such as St. Ann's, spoken with elderly hospital patients in a specialist ward, met with Ambulance teams, visited old people's homes offering supported care, and called for better access and more efficient discharge procedures (particular for more elderly residents) to ensure that patient capacity is as high as possible. I also recently launched a campaign - writing to all the GP surgeries in Bournemouth East - for more GP surgeries to open 7 days a week to ease the congestion on Royal Bournemouth Hospital's A&E department, which should only be used for true emergencies rather than as a GP surgery overflow.
Education in Bournemouth is also incredibly important - I visit schools regularly, presenting petitions of some of their campaigns to Downing Street personally, speak with pupils about local issues, and recently met with Bournemouth University students alongside other local election candidates to hear their views on the issues important to young people. I also recently secured funding for improvements to Bournemouth's school buildings, and spoke up for the local language sector in Bournemouth when visa regulations were being tightened, which risked the language schools losing large numbers of their pupils. I have also offered regular support to Bournemouth University and the Arts Institute of Bournemouth, linking up their nationally-acclaimed digital technology and computer animation sectors with digital businesses, to encourage the growth of a 'Silicon Valley' type area in Bournemouth where skilled digital graduates can work locally and where large companies are attracted to invest.
The Conservatives have a strong message on healthcare and education - both on a national and a local level - and I hope that I will be able to continue to work with these fantastic local services in Bournemouth to ensure that they continue to be supported and to flourish.