This month, I was really pleased to meet with North Cumbria Hospital Trust’s senior leadership, the Trust responsible for running both the West Cumberland Hospital and Cumberland Infirmary.

The trust recently exceeded all three national standards for cancer care, meaning that patients in Copeland are being assessed, diagnosed and are beginning their cancer treatment quickly.

This follows substantial investment in cancer services at North Cumbria University Hospital Trust over the last year including improvements at West Cumberland Hospital with the Henderson Suite chemotherapy unit relocating to upgraded facilities in June.

Cancer has affected many families in Copeland, it is a dreadful indiscriminate disease, and this funding will support our excellent doctors and nurses in their work and will help us to, one day, find a cure for all cancers.

As part of their regular update meetings with MPs in Parliament we heard about the new cancer care departments and renal unit Whitehaven which will be expanded from seven treatment spaces to 11, allowing a further sixteen people to receive their dialysis treatment in WCH as well as providing a training room for home haemodialysis.

One of the greatest challenges remains retention and recruitment, but getting the good news - and there is so much of it - out, to our community is also a huge challenge. As we celebrate 70 years of the NHS we can look forward to our local media running 70 stories.

I’ll be in the hospital visiting the wards, GP surgeries, care homes and will be on the ambulance joining forces with North Cumbria Trust to better communicate the brilliant work of our health, medical and social care teams across the area.

It was my pleasure to join West Cumberland Hospital staff and members of the Recruitment and Retention Working group at the beautiful Rosehill Theatre for ‘Tea with the Team’, an event organised to welcome new health and social care recruits who have recently moved to the area.

There was a fantastic atmosphere and it was great to meet with so many positive people, speaking about our hospitals and health and social care career opportunities.

Also this month, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, I was delighted to offer my home to Charles Compton who is aiming to raise £10,000 for the Mental Health Foundation by walking 6,100 miles across Britain.

Charles’s brave decision to take on the epic challenge came from his own mental health battle and so far, has managed to raise over half of his target for the charity. Anyone wishing to make a donation towards Charles’s cause can do so by following the link: Details of his full journey can be found on his blog:

It is often the UK that leads the way in health research and this month, the Prime Minister has set out further plans to transform the diagnosis of chronic diseases through the use of Artificial Intelligence, aiming to see 22,000 fewer people dying from cancer each year by 2033 and at least 50,000 people each year diagnosed at an early stage of prostate, ovarian, lung or bowel cancer.

Since 2010, the Government has recognised the need to improve cancer services offered by the NHS. While great progress has been made with tackling many cancers, brain cancer however, remains incredibly challenging, and there is still much work to be done.

I am pleased that the Government has since committed to doubling its investment in brain cancer research to £40m a year in honour of Dame Tessa Jowell and I would like to commend her profound speech in the House of Lords a matter of months ago.