Last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that he has successfully negotiated a deal so that NHS England can offer three life-saving cystic fibrosis medicines, transforming the lives of thousands of people with this disease. All NHS England patients will now have full access to Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, benefiting around 5,000 people who may now take up these treatments. Our world leading life sciences sector and robust drug appraisals system means we can get lifesaving drugs at a fair price on the NHS.
I know what these means to all those people in Morecambe and Lunesdale who suffer with Cystic Fibrosis and their families, and I am delighted that the Health Secretary has been able to secure this vital drug.
Last week the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons but was unable to progress any further because MP’s failed to back the programme motion, which timetables how long the bill has to pass through the house. Without the programme motion the bill can not progress any further until one is agreed and this means that the deal has been welcomed is being blocked by MP’s in Parliament who do not want us to leave the European Union.
I want us to leave and will continue to use my vote to ensure that we leave. I respect the decision that my constituents made in 2016 and will continue to vote to ensure that the result of the referendum was delivered. If every MP started to vote how their constituency voted in the referendum we would not be in a situation now where Brexit is being blocked. The only solution at the moment is to have a general election which I have backed to ensure Brexit cannot be blocked any longer.
This week the Government announced new measures to drastically improve mobile phone coverage in rural areas. This new £1billion deal brokered by the Government with mobile phone operators, that will eliminate virtually all areas of poor mobile coverage in rural areas across the country. The new deal will see the four main mobile providers–EE, O2, Three and Vodafone–coming together to invest a network of new phone masts, as well as upgrading existing ones, that they can then all share. This will be known as the Shared Rural Network. People will be automatically switched to the Shared Rural Network if they enter a part of the country wheret heir own network would not otherwise have good mobile coverage-known as a ‘not-spot’. The move will bring 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the UK by 2025 and is a huge boost for consumers ,who will be able to use their phones wherever they are and whichever provider they are with. Under the deal, the four operators will invest a total of £530 million to open up and share existing masts and infrastructure to improve almost all partial not-spots–areas which are currently not covered by all operators. The Conservative Government will then commit up to £500 million to eliminate total not-spots–those hard-to-reach areas where there is currently no coverage from any operator.
As part of the Government’s commitments commitment to secure 20,000 extra police officers over the next three years, it was announced that Lancashire’s target would be an extra 153 officers in the first year of recruitment.
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