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Henry Smith

Crawley MP questions Prime Minister over furlough scheme extension

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Crawley MP Henry Smith has questioned the Prime Minister in the House of Commons over the future of the Government’s furlough programme.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions (on Wednesday, 3rd June), the Crawley MP called on Boris Johnson to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond its conclusion at the end of October.

Henry said;

“The aviation sector was one of the first to be negatively impacted by COVID-19 and will likely be one of the slowest to recover, therefore air industry employees need further protection.

“It’s with this in mind that last week I set up the Future of Aviation Group, alongside other MPs lobbying Government for further assistance for this sector and who want to see a vibrant aviation industry return for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the overall UK economy.”

The Crawley MP has been making numerous representation to Government in support of the Crawley and Gatwick economy.

Henry continued;

“My work standing up for the Crawley and Gatwick aviation sector doesn’t stop just because some lockdown measures are being eased.

“In recent days I’ve been in contact with the Chairman of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee in support of his application for a debate on issues affecting aviation sector staff, and I’m supporting representations being made by Unite the Union with HM Treasury regarding the future of the furlough scheme.”

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: It was a happy 72nd Birthday for the NHS as hundreds more doctors & nurses come to the south east

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The weekend saw the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service. Unquestionably an important date in the story of our country; the people who work in our health and care system are some of the very best our nation has to offer.

It is with this in mind that I welcome the news that there are over 820 more doctors and over 2,200 more nurses in the south east of England compared to last year, with some 6,000 more doctors and 12,000 more nurses nationally.

Whether you are one of these new members of staff, you have worked in the sector for some time previously, or if you are one of the healthcare professionals who returned as part of the response to COVID-19; we appreciate your dedication and we thank you.

It is right that NHS staff with COVID-19 symptoms are tested as a priority, with regular testing of asymptomatic staff in situations where there is an incident or outbreak, in addition to regular surveillance testing across staff. This approach has been decided by clinical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer; with the Government continuing to review clinical evidence to ensure that regular testing of staff without symptoms is undertaken where appropriate.

My thanks to Crawley and Sussex NHS staff for the briefings I have received on their work during the pandemic. Since March, Crawley Hospital has been upgraded with 28 extra beds that are now operational for patient care, with the number of 999/111 call staff locally being significantly increased.

Over £14 billion has been provided for the NHS and public services during the pandemic to increase critical care capacity, provide staff with the equipment they need, and to ensure those on the frontline are supported.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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