Rachel said:

“Long before I was first elected, the Rory the Robot Appeal raised hundreds of thousands of pounds towards the cost of a state-of-the-art surgical robot at the Alex.

“This fundraising drive was spearheaded by the indomitable Ian Jukes and campaigners. Today, I’m thinking of them and everyone who generously donated to the appeal. Thanks to them, robotic surgery will finally be delivered at the Alex. This is your victory.

“I have been in many meetings with the Trust over the past 5 years and made the case for the dream of robotic surgery at the Alex to be realised.

“Promises were made by the Trust, and at many points it felt like they would never be kept. I’m therefore grateful to the Trust’s current leadership for delivering what they said they would – robotic surgery at our town’s hospital.

“This is yet another sign that my absolute belief that the Alex has a bright future ahead of it is true.

“Our hospital is seeing yet more investment – and there is more in the pipeline.

“Following this latest investment, I understand residents will be asking about maternity and children’s services. I’m continuing to do everything I can to secure the return of these services to the Alex where they belong.

I have a record of delivery, having secured the return of the Garden Suite, and I’m determined to secure the return of more services to the Alex.

“The Alex has and always will be my top priority and I will never stop fighting for it.”