In her final Westminster Diary of the year in today’s (31st December) Redditch Standard, Rachel said:

“As we come to the end of another year, it gives us all an opportunity to reflect on the 12 months that have passed and look ahead to the new year in front of us.

“It has been another difficult year as we continue to fight back against Coronavirus. We rightly emerged from lockdown restrictions in the summer, only to now be battling the Omicron variant – but boosters in arms is increasing our protection against this new variant.

“The NHS has continued to be there for us all, and after already asking so much of our amazing doctors, nurses and all healthcare staff, we’re once again asking more of them. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the Alex for all that they have done and continue to do for us all during this pandemic.

“I’ve continued to support thousands of my constituents this year. My team and I have worked on more than 5,000 cases – supporting my constituents on a range of issues.

“I’ve also held 17 surgeries across the constituency, from the Kingfisher Shopping Centre to St Andrew’s Church in Church Hill to St Peter’s Hall in Inkberrow. I will always make myself as accessible as possible to my constituents, whether that’s in-person surgeries or virtual meetings.

“2021 saw us take a big step forward in our mission to unlock Redditch’s full potential.

“In June, the Government approved Redditch’s Town Deal, awarding us £15.6 million – and that’s on top of the £1 million we received last year. This Town Deal represents one of the single largest Government investments in Redditch since it became a new town in the 1960s. I’m proud that our Town Deal received cross-party support on the Borough Council.

“The Alexandra Hospital remained my top priority this year. I continued to hold the Acute Trust to account on your behalf, using my Alex Working Group meetings to make the case to return services to Redditch’s hospital.

“And thank you for your continued support in the fight to return the Garden Suite to the Alex. More than 8,000 of you have now signed my petition calling for the chemo suites return. I will continue this battle in the new year as Acute Trust bosses are set to make their final by March.

“I hope you have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to continuing to work hard to deliver on your priorities. It remains the greatest honour to be your MP.”