Guest post from Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East.
I’d like to congratulate Philip on his appointment as Health Minister.
As an MP representing a rural area, he has a detailed knowledge of how difficult it is to maintain and improve health services outside of urban centres. His appointment is an opportunity to give a voice to rural areas. He has a chance to speak out loudly for isolated communities and market towns like Ludlow, whose residents often have to travel a long way to access routine and specialist health services.
I hope that Philip will be able to use his new influence to ensure that lessons are learnt from the Future Fit debacle. It would be better still if he and his colleagues at the Department of Health gave clear guidance on the necessity for A&E and urgent care services in rural counties like ours. This will need to be backed up with money for rural health services.
Philip’s appointment is a great opportunity for rural areas and for counties like Shropshire. He has the experience to rise to the challenge and represent the health needs of rural England. I hope he doesn’t get distracted by other Westminster priorities.