Writing for this week's Redditch Standard (June 23rd), Rachel said:
"I know the delivery of health and social care is a top concern for residents, which is why I’m working on a Long-Term Plan which will ensure you receive the first-class treatment and care you deserve.
The NHS has been a large presence in my life. I’m the proud daughter of an NHS doctor. And, like you, I use the NHS. It has always been there for me and my family, just as it has been and continues to be for you and your family.
You may be asking why am I working on this Long-Term Plan now and why haven’t I published one before, and both are fair questions.
Well, my immediate priority when I was first elected and in the years since was to secure the future of the Alexandra Hospital, and I believe we have achieved that.
I believe that because there are more doctors and nurses working for our Acute Trust than when I was first elected and we’ve seen investments in brand new operating theatres, state-of-the-art robot-assisted surgery, a £3.9 million expansion of endoscopy services and a brand-new Breast Imaging Unit.
Together, we also secured the return of the Garden Suite Chemotherapy Service to our hospital.
These are all clear signs that the Alex isn’t going anywhere, so now is the time to look to the future and to be even more ambitious for our hospital.
My Long-Term Plan will of course include returning a maternity and children’s service to the Alex. Although sadly I don’t get to make the decisions about which services are provided at our hospital, I will continue to fight to get local NHS bosses to return these services.
But the Plan will go further than that. It will also set out I want to see more investment in the Alex, a further recruitment of doctors and nurses, improved access to GP, mental health and dental services. This is all achievable.
I have a record of delivery I’m proud of, but there’s more to do and I’ll keep working hard to ensure you receive the first-class treatment and care you deserve."