Tea and Toast in Whitleigh
An early start today when the builders arrive at home. When my elderly dad came to stay last year he was taken ill, and we struggled to look after him at home as we didn't have a downstairs toilet, so we are putting that right. Last year he had to be admitted twice at Derriford. As you'd expect, the staff were amazing - dedicated and caring - but in A&E the pressure was plain to see, and even what you would think as the routine process of getting a bed on a ward was fraught, as staff struggled against the straitjacket of limited resources. The NHS needs cash to fully modernise, so that people can get treatment quickly in the way the doctor and nurses want to. Then this has to be linked to their care afterwards, so that people can recover at home with proper support, or in non-hospital facilities. What's happening to our NHS is a crying shame.
My first visit of the day was to the Four Greens Trust in Whitleigh for tea and toast at Whitleigh. There was actually a full breakfast on offer, so I wished I hadn't already eaten! I met a group of regulars and we had a long chat about mental health. A topical subject, as this week is Mental Health Awareness week. They could see the benefit of engaging the local community to ensure people are not isolated, something that I totally support and have been involved in getting working well elsewhere. The men in the group were so supportive of each other, and were reaching out to support other groups in Plymouth as well. It's a joy when a community works together like that.
Back to the office, before a really sunny late afternoon canvass in St Budeaux. As the election nears, people are listening to what we have to say about what Labour can offer, and as usual I learn so much by listening to the experiences that make people who they are. My daughter was out with me this time, so the session doubled up as counting as family time, and we went on, as the sun began to set, to our regular weekly yoga session - the best way I know to unwind when life is hectic and rushing at you.