Working together to build a strong local health economy for Staffordshire

Although many of you will have been disappointed, but not surprised with the Health Secretary’s decision to dissolve Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, I want to reassure you that as a county council we will continue to use our leadership and influence and work with our partners in the NHS to deliver what is best for us, the people of Staffordshire.

A lot of positive work has already gone on over the past few years to improve our local health economy, not to mention our Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee which will continue to drive improvements and challenge every decision taken.

Our Health and Wellbeing Board will bring everyone involved in the wider health sector together and help all our partners to work more closely together.  ‘Engaging Communities Staffordshire’ is also the new independent body which is helping to give people a voice which had been lacking before.

While we can never forget about what happened at Stafford Hospital I sincerely hope that we can deliver an integrated health and social care service that we can all be proud of, with the help of our partners and crucially the patients and our families.

As I have mentioned before we are involved in an exciting multi-million pound Government scheme on my patch at Uttoxeter  which will drive economic growth along the A50 Growth Corridor.  This is great news for the area and will see the major trunk road improved in two separate projects around the town. The first project involves creating a new junction to the west in order to support housing and a new business park and the second phase focuses on improved safety and reduction of traffic delays by the removal of two roundabouts and the creation of a new junction to the east.

We have been asking people for their views on the project and at our first information session, over 350 people turned up to give us their thoughts.  You can have your say or find out more at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/a50growthcorridor.  We are hoping to submit an application in the spring, with work potentially starting on Project A in late 2014.

We’ve also reached yet another milestone on our major infrastructure project at i54 South Staffordshire.  Over the weekend an old access bridge over the motorway was demolished.  This means that we are right on schedule to finish the main junction by September and this is good news for employees of Moog and Eurofins, who are already on site.  Soon too will be Jaguar Land Rover and International Security Printers (ISP), bringing in a further 1,000 jobs to the area.

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