I met with top NHS England managers in parliament this week to discuss how the service is preparing for winter pressures.
I caught up with NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard. I looked at new innovations such as at virtual wards where people stay at home but are cared for remotely to ease pressure on hospital beds.
I also met the Chief Nursing Officer, Dame Ruth May to congratulate her on meeting a target to recruit 50,000 new nurses.
Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust that runs Russells Hall has seen a net increase of 248 qualified nurses over the last year up to October. This means the trust now has a minimal spend on agency nursing staff as it continues its strategy to eliminate their use.
I also talked positively about Russells Hall and its dedicated staff and discussed improving access and appointments for patients at GP surgeries in Stourbridge.
I was pleased to be able to talk to some very senior people at NHS England about how the service will cope and to hear some very clear and well thought out plans to ensure patients are seen and treated.
It is a challenge, as always during these winter months, but one that is being met with innovations, better technology and more resources like 50,000 more nurses, including those at our excellent local NHS trust.
However, Stourbridge residents have a role to play to ease pressures on our health services. First and foremost, if you are eligible for a free flu and covid jab please come forward now and get them in your arms to reduce the risk of falling ill and requiring hospital care.
People also sometimes present to A&E for medical advice and treatment when other services like pharmacies or walk-in services are a better alternative.
If you need urgent medical help, you can call 111, use 11 online or use the NHS app to get assessed and directed to the right place. If everyone does that then they will be treated by the right people in the right place.