Author Archives: Amy Patching

ESA and PIP changes in Budget 2016


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I have been asked to explain reasons for the changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as set out in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill and the debacle over Personal Independence Payment (PIP). In the Summer Budget 2015, the Chancellor announced that, from April 2017, new ESA claimants who are placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) will receive the same rate of benefit as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). This change only affects new claims made after that date, not those […]

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Temporary staff costs in the NHS


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A recent article in the Bucks Free Press highlighted the financial strain on Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, following the publication of the most recent Trust Board meeting papers. The Bucks Free Press noted that temporary staff costs amounted to £22 million from April to December 2015. Workforce recruitment and retention in Bucks are key challenges. The cost of living in the local area relative to the NHS national pay structure is an important factor to be considered. With the exception of London […]

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Speech in the debate on the Budget Resolutions


On 22 March, I took the opportunity to speak in the debate on the Budget Resolutions. The Hansard record is below (emphasis mine): Mr Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): I rise to support the Budget and, in particular, to welcome the Government’s supply-side reforms. This has been a dramatic Budget, and I would be failing the Government if I did not concentrate on the areas of drama. First, on the disability reforms, the challenge before the Government is clear: to deliver a policy […]

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Your Community, Your Care – an invitation to share your views


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Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are running a number of sessions called ‘Your Community, Your Care’ from 7th April – 12th May and are inviting members of the community to attend. Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust are currently exploring how they can develop healthcare hubs that will better support community needs. The Trust are keen to hear thoughts and ideas from local people across Bucks about how they might best deliver care closer to home for the future. You can find more […]

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A&E at Wycombe Hospital: General Election letter to electors


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The Bucks Free Press has reported on a campaign to return an A&E unit to Wycombe Hospital. I took the decision at the General Election to tell the truth as I understand it: Wycombe will not, and should not, see the return of an old-style A&E which would take medical care backwards. I came into politics to do what I could to set our political system right. It’s why I voted for full MP recall, why I am campaigning to take back […]

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A Parliamentary Question on HS2


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Last week, I had the opportunity to ask the Minister of State at the Department for Transport, Robert Goodwill, a parliamentary question: Mr Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): When construction of High Speed 2 is planned to begin. [904027]   The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr Robert Goodwill): A great deal of work has already been completed, and actual construction will start next year.   Mr Baker: Tempted as I am to propose that the Government build HS2 sometime […]

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Jeremy Hunt speech at the Global Patient Safety Summit


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Recently, Jeremy Hunt addressed the Global Patient Safety Summit in London. A copy of his speech can be found here. The aim of the summit was to share learning and best practice on how to bring down levels of avoidable patient harm internationally. In a letter to colleagues, the Secretary of State set out the good progress that has already been made since the Francis Inquiry into Mid Staffs: …with the proportion of patients being harmed in the NHS dropping by […]

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National Apprenticeship Week


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This week is National Apprenticeship Week, a week in which to appreciate the benefits apprenticeships can bring to employers and apprentices alike. The Government is committed to achieving three million high quality apprenticeship starts by 2020, increasing opportunities for young people and helping to abolish long-term youth unemployment. There were 19,800 starts on Higher Apprenticeships in 2014/15, an increase of 115% on the previous year. Apprenticeships enable people to accelerate their careers with higher apprentices earning, on average, £150,000 more […]

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Lynton House surgery


Cressex Health Centre has recently set out proposals to close Lynton House surgery on London Road and reorganise its services. It is proposed to move the practice to a new, smaller site within Wycombe Hospital and to also extend the number of appointments available to patients at their main surgery at Hanover House. Cressex Health Centre has explained the reasoning behind the proposals to all patients on its list.  Principally, the current surgery premises on London Road are not fit […]

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Food Waste (Reduction) Bill campaign response


The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill was not debated as scheduled on 29 January owing to a lack of parliamentary time. Preventing food waste at all stages in the supply chain is an important objective for the Government, which it is working on with the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the food industry. Over 90% of the food manufacturing and retailer sector have signed up to the Courtauld Commitment, a voluntary agreement to limit waste. As a result, domestic household […]

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