Health secretary Sajid Javid walks outside his home in London, Britain June 27, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid thanked the NHS staff across the North West and West Midlands for their hard work during the pandemic, marking day three of his ‘Road to Recovery’ tour across England on Wednesday (February 16).

He visited three sites in the region – Deeplish Community Centre in Rochdale, Leighton Hospital, Crewe and Birmingham Heartlands hospital.

Javid outlined the government’s commitment to reform, recovery and funding for the NHS and social care.

“We are committed to tackling the Covid-19 backlog and building a health and social care system for the long term that works for everyone.

“Our recent Elective Recovery Plan is a vital step in rethinking how our health and care services deliver operations, treatment and checks as we level up services up and down the country.”

During his visit to Deeplish Community Centre in Rochdale, Javid learnt about the issues faced by ethnic minority communities in the area, including language skills, funding for pharmacies and access to face-to-face GP appointments.

He officially opened a new £15 million A&E department at the Leighton Hospital in Crewe, for which the funding was provided as part of the government’s ongoing commitment to invest in modern facilities.

Further, he met with participants of the PANORAMIC antivirals trial at the Birmingham Heartlands hospital

Staff across all sites emphasised the need to look beyond the pandemic and reform health and social care to ensure continuation of services to meet the needs of the population.

Javid discussed with them the delivery plan to tackle the Covid-19 backlog of elective care, and ways to eradicate health disparities.

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