Weekly Round-Up :: 16 September 2023

I was pleased to speak at the Kidney Research UK reception for the launch of their report on the health economics of kidney disease. We also heard from Andy Cole, formerly of Bristol City and who now uses his experience of kidney disease to be an ambassador for Kidney Research UK, and Professor Sir Steve Powis, the National Medical Director of NHS England. The kidneys are vital and complex organs that control substances in the blood and keep the blood clean and chemically balanced. They act as filters to ensure that any toxic or waste substances are removed and return vitamins, glucose, hormones and other vital substances to the bloodstream. There is still so much for us to learn about how the kidneys develop and how processes can go wrong. It’s welcome news that the organisation has been awarded more than £3million to support their further research.

There was a meeting of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee this week to discuss devolution capability in Westminster. The inquiry is examining the Government’s progress on building devolution capability in central Government, exploring how well ministers and civil servants understand devolution arrangements, and understanding the steps the Government is taking to embed consideration of every part of the UK in policymaking. The Committee heard from the former Head of UK Governance Group at Cabinet Office, Phillip Rycroft CB, and Honorary Fellow at the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, Richard Parry. Devolution is an important reality in our political system and it is important that everyone, but especially central Government, understands how it works and how it can be supported to work more efficiently for everyone.

I was pleased to show my support for the Show Racism the Red Card campaign this week. Racism has no place in our society and certainly no place in sports. Diversity gives the UK so many advantages and everyone should be able to enjoy opportunities to advance. The campaign is an incredible organisation, providing educational workshops, training sessions, and other resources to help tackle racism in society.

It was great to join Macmillan Cancer Support’s coffee morning in Parliament and to meet people living with cancer and NHS professionals. It’s difficult to hear the stories of people having wait for diagnoses and treatment – the stress it places on their lives, feeling like they’re standing still and unable to move forward. It’s also difficult to hear from the staff who are so hard-working and dedicated but simply do not have the resources to help patients in the way they would like. We need to come together as politicians and as a society to find a way to reform the NHS and ensure that patients and staff are given the support that they need.

There’s still time this weekend to enjoy free Heritage Open Days across the UK. There are some great places across Bristol, including the Albert Mill, Blaise Castle House Museum, Horton Court, Kings Weston House, the Ram Hill Colliery, Kings Weston Roman Villa, and Keynsham Abbey. There are some fascinating places to visit in and around Bristol and these open days allow access to everyone. Visit the Heritage Open Days website to find out more.

If you’ve not seen Neil Maggs film Normal for Hartcliffe, which reflects on the issues affecting the area and how people within the community feel about their home, it’s showing at the Watershed on 19th October followed by a discussion details can be found here.

If there are issues you want to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing Karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 0117 953 3575.