A FIVE-point campaign for more and better GP and NHS facilities in Taunton and Wellington has been launched by Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate Gideon Amos and the local party.

The plan aims to provide:

  • New NHS medical hubs to support the new housing in our area – starting in Comeytrowe where 2,000 homes are now being built.
  • Bring back NHS dentists to be provided in medical hubs alongside GPs.
  • A new maternity unit for Musgrove Park Hospital.
  • Cancer patients to be assured of treatment within 62 days as part of the LibDem's proposed Cancer Patient Guarantee.
  • Free social care so that no one needs to sell their home to pay for social care as part of a £5bn per year Lib Dem funding package.

The campaign was launched at the new Orchard Grove development in Comeytrowe by Mr Amos, Sir Vince Cable, former Secretary of State for Business, and local councillors.

Sir Vince said: “Meeting Comeytrowe residents showed me just how much this part of Taunton needs additional GPs and medical facilities after the former Conservative council agreed the 2,000 new homes now being built here.

“I'm delighted to help launch Gideon's campaign for a new NHS hub for Taunton, backed by the area’s councillors Habib Farbahi and Dawn Johnson.

"It's clear Taunton and Wellington needs an MP who will fight for our local NHS and it's clear too that Gideon has the ability and the commitment to make a brilliant MP who will really stand up for this area."

Mr Amos said: “If enough people back this new campaign, we could get both a new medical hub, including more GPs and dentists here in Taunton and Wellington, and move forward the campaign for a new settlement for our NHS and social care needed at national level.

“For too long government has delayed vital NHS funding like the need to replace World War Two era buildings at Musgrove Park Hospital.

“My first priority for our health service in Parliament will be to end the delays and get Musgrove Park the funding it needs."

Cllr Farbahi, said: "All our constituents hugely value the ability to get a timely appointment at their local surgery.

“General practice is the front door of the NHS and all our GPs, dental practices, nurses, clinical pharmacists, and the wider medical team do an amazing job.

“It is vitally important to secure the right medical facilities for our medical teams before the building of thousands of homes is contemplated and it’s a shame the previous council administration failed to put any in place here in the Comeytowe Orchard Grove urban extension.

“I have therefore begun working with Gideon and the council, now we have a LibDem majority administration, to bring all partners together with the aim of delivering a new medical hub in our area.

“I’m delighted we’re launching this campaign to hear from local residents – if enough support the idea we can really make progress."

If a medical hub can be provided in Taunton through the council and other partners working together in the area, then the Lib Dems aim to roll out the approach across Somerset.

The party is urging people to respond to the consultation to say whether they would support the provision of new GP and medical hubs, as well as improvements to NHS and social care generally at www.tdld.co.uk/nhs.

The Conservative Government has committed to delivering an extra £45.6billion in funding for health and social care over the next three years, investing more in facilities and resources as waiting lists are cut, a party spokesperson said.

In practice, they added, this means more money for upgrades to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, including the recently completed £4.4million eye care unit or the ongoing work on the £87million surgical centre.

They say it is all part of the Musgrove 2030 plan, an ambitious programme to transform the hospital’s facilities and ensure people are cared for in the right place to meet their health needs.

The government is also committed to delivering nine million additional tests by 2025 and has increased support for Community Diagnostic Centres like the Somerset Community CDC, which has already delivered over 86,000 more tests since going live in 2021.

On top of this, the Conservatives say they are providing an additional £7.5billion in adult social care over three years, helping to provide dignity to those in old age.

As part of this, £500million will fund new measures for the social care workforce, supporting their development and wellbeing. The Adult Social Care Discharge Fund, which gives Somerset Council an additional £2,081,306, to help discharge patients from hospitals into the appropriate social care setting and announced a further £250 million to help speed up wider discharges by cutting waste and needless delays.

And by the end of this parliament the spokesperson said the Conservatives will have delivered on their manifesto promise to end unpredictable and catastrophic social care costs faced by thousands of people. They added that their proposals cover all care costs under the value of £20,000, quadrupling the means-tested support limit and ending uncertainty by introducing a lifetime care costs cap of £86,000.

Rebecca Pow MP for Taunton Deane said: "The LibDems are more than happy to say one thing locally and another thing nationally.

"They have shown time and time again they cannot be trusted to deliver for the people of Somerset - you only need look at the financial mess they have made running Somerset Council into the ground.

"Construction work on the state of the art £87million surgical centre for Musgrove Park Hospital, which, working alongside the Somerset Foundation Trust, I worked hard to secure funds for is underway; and a new paediatric centre and maternity unit (where I had all three of my own children) is already front and centre of the next phase of the programme with good progress being made on planning.

"This scheme is part of the upgrade of the entire hospital site which I was delighted to secure commitment for from Government, and it remains on track for completion by 2030. It is a pity that the local LibDems don’t keep up with and welcome the progress that has been made.

"Musgrove Park Hospital has always offered excellent care but now we can look forward to it being delivered in world-class facilities in the years ahead.

"I am proud to be part of this Conservative Government that has delivered for the people of Somerset by providing record funding for our NHS as we increase services and cut waiting lists and are ensuring people can get the best care possible without having to travel far from their homes.

"I continue to highlight the lack of NHS dental provision across my constituency in no uncertain terms to Health Ministers and met the Chancellor himself ahead of the Autumn Statement next week to call for more support.

"I have been assured that Government will shortly publish a plan for improving access for new patients, and ensure that NHS dentists are better incentivised to deliver NHS care.”