I am a trained nurse and midwife, and I work as a Health Visitor. I believe that my experience of the NHS, working with families and children, has given me a good understanding of what people are experiencing in Britain today.
I have also been in Stafford, knocking on doors and in the town centre, meeting people and trying to find out their concerns.
Local people are still very unhappy about the lack of Accident and Emergency services in Stafford. They do not want to be forced to take elderly relatives to Stoke to wait for hours to be seen. People are concerned about travelling to Royal Stoke University Hospital, particularly families with young children and older relatives. The time and cost of visiting family members is a burden many families cannot bear.
Closer to home, people are finding it hard to get GP appointments. Many residents I have spoken to are concerned that new housing developments increasing the demand for services which are just not being expanded or improved to cope with the extra demand.
One elderly lady told me she travels all the way to Cannock for injections to treat her rheumatoid arthritis, and that bus services are scarce now. An elderly couple in the Haywoods cannot get to the GP by bus anymore, relying on kind neighbours after being independent all their lives.
Rather than being a Westminster voice in Stafford, I want to be Stafford’s voice in Westminster – I really enjoy meeting people here and getting to know them and I believe I can make a difference, especially with local health services, if I become Stafford’s MP.