For two weeks in a row, I have been delighted to have the chance to challenge the Prime Minister directly in Prime Minister’s Questions over issues that matter to local people.
In the week that the only NHS dental practice in Ravensthorpe closed its doors, I asked the Prime Minister to take responsibility for the dire state of access to dentists in the constituency.
I highlighted the need for many with toothache to use the mobile dental services offered through visits to the area by Dentaid.
While I am very grateful for the services they provide, local patients should not have to rely on a charity set up to provide dental services in the world’s most deprived countries.
In the following days I met with the local commissioners at NHS England and I’m proud to confirm that, after a successful campaign by local ward councillors and I, we have secured the future of dental services in Ravensthorpe for the local community.
I have been advised that, instead of the contract being split between existing dentists in neighbouring communities, dental services will continue to be delivered at the Health Centre in Ravensthorpe.
I’ll keep working with NHS England and pressing for this to be in place as soon as possible.
I welcome the decision to retain an NHS dental practice in this area of need, though there remains a shortage of NHS dentistry here and across the Dewsbury constituency.
This can only really be addressed through government action to fix the failed NHS dental contract.
Last week I took the Prime Minister to task over the desperate state of our train services, inviting her to justify the increasingly lavish pay packets that reward the utter failure of the Northern Rail
It is wrong that local people are made to endure chaos on our railways; unreliable, overcrowded services and rip-off fares.
Whilst no one is surprised to learn that another promise – to remove the rickety Northern line pacer trains – has been broken, I urged the Prime Minister to address this entirely absurd situation by committing to Labour’s plans for the renationalisation of our railways.
Local people should not have to put up with shoddy service while paying through the nose for the privilege.
It’s time to bring the railways under public control – and get on with delivering a modern, accountable, public transport system that is fit for purpose.
As always, if there’s anything I can do to help readers or their families in any way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office on 01924 565450, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me; Paula Sherriff MP, The Old Dewsbury Reporter Building, 17 Wellington Road, Dewsbury, WF13 1HQ.