Christmas at home in Suffolk is almost within reach now and Dr Dan is very much looking forward to winding down and enjoying the Christmas break. These last few days in the run up to Christmas can be a hectic time with last minute shopping, present wrapping and preparing the house for the big day itself, so the opportunity to relax and have some time out is especially important. The children will now have finished school and excitement levels are nearing fever pitch, but with all the rushing around and endless tasks, it's important to remember to make sure to stock up on any essentials, such as simple cough and cold remedies. Although shops and services are closed for the briefest of periods now, it's easy to get caught out and a precautionary trip to the pharmacy now will help to ease pressure on out of hours GP services or hospitals, although I hope neither will be necessary.
These recent weeks have been packed with meetings, visits to schools, businesses and Christmas fetes and although Dr Dan is looking forward to his Christmas break, his thoughts turn to those in our NHS and emergency services here in Suffolk. The Christmas period is one of their busiest times of year with staff working around the clock to ensure help is at hand when needed. While most of us will be sitting down to Christmas lunch with our families and loved ones, please take a moment to think of those who will be working in our hospitals and frontline services on Christmas Day. Although Dr Dan is lucky to have some time at home this Christmas, it's not so long ago when he remembers working over the Christmas and New Year period as an NHS hospital doctor, and so he is all too aware of the sacrifices made by those in the health sector.
Of course it's not just those working in hospitals who work on Christmas Day, the list is endless but so many work right across the festive season to ensure that services continue day and night – carers visiting the elderly and vulnerable in our communities, ambulance staff and paramedics, firefighters and police officers, to name but a few. Then there is the army of hard working public sector staff, working behind the scenes, to keep everything running smoothly.
Collectively they ensure that our communities are safe and functioning over the festive period, while we all enjoy ourselves with friends and family. This Christmas, please spare a thought for all those working tirelessly on our behalves, often in challenging circumstances, yet remaining committed to delivering services compassionately and professionally, despite knowing their families and loved ones are waiting at home to enjoy Christmas with them after a lengthy shift.
Dr Dan would like to pay special tribute to all of our dedicated and hardworking workforce here in Suffolk, and thanks them for all they do at Christmas, and all year round.
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King’s College Hospital (16 Jan 2018)
Daniel Poulter: My hon. Friend makes a fair point, although it is difficult for a board that has effectively had a merger foisted on it to appreciate fully how a hospital will run across two sites—or even three sites, with Orpington as well. I am sure the Minister will go away and think about that in the context of the PFI and whether something more could be done to help with the PFI debt.
King’s College Hospital (16 Jan 2018)
Daniel Poulter: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I draw your attention and that of Members to my declaration in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. It is probably worth pointing out, too, that I had the pleasure of being a medical student at King’s many years ago. I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood (Helen Hayes) on securing...