The UK’s new prime minister is heading to the south west.
Boris Johnson is due to visit a hospital in the region this morning.
It will be his first visit the Westcountry since he was elected leader of the Conservative Party, thus becoming the new PM, last month.
Where is he going?
At this time, we’re not allowed to tell you which hospital he is visiting due to security reasons but you can follow ou live blog for updates on the visit.
What will the Prime Minister do during his visit?
Boris Johnson will visit a hospital in the South West and lay out a number of measures designed to improve vaccination rates, including for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
The PM has now called for health leaders to renew their efforts to meet 95% for both doses of MMR.
Currently just 87% of children are getting their second dose of the jab, which has likely contributed to the spread of measles.
No more details about his visit can be released at this stage.
More on measles
Ahead of the hospital visit Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “After a period of progress where we were once able to declare Britain measles free, we’ve now seen hundreds of cases of measles in the UK this year. One case of this horrible disease is too many, and I am determined to step up our efforts to tackle its spread.
“This is a global challenge and there’s a number of reasons why people don’t get themselves or their children the vaccines they need, but we need decisive action across our health service and society to make sure communities are properly immunised.
“From reassuring parents about the safety of vaccines, to making sure people are attending follow-up appointments, we can and must do more to halt the spread of infectious, treatable diseases in modern-day Britain.”
Earlier this month Mr Johnson announced that 20 NHS organisations will receive a share of £850 million in new funding for upgrades.
The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) will receive £99.9 million which will go towards a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the centre of the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro. It will also be the main entrance for the hospital.
Reacting to the news, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) says it is the biggest ever single investment Cornwall has seen in local health services.
The trust says the new unit will house services currently provided by the Princess Alexandra Wing, which despite recent improvements has “a limited life-span”.
More investment for the South West
Mr Johnson, who describes himself as the UK’s first “half-Cornish” Prime Minister because his father is from Penzance, says the south west has been forgotten by previous governments.
Mr Johnson, who spent much of his childhood on his grandparents’ Exmoor farm and describes himself as the UK’s first “half-Cornish” Prime Minister because his father is from Penzance, promises significant investment for the region.
Writing exclusively in our sister title the Western Morning News, he says that the traditional view from the government of the South West has been that it’s “nice for a weekend” but not for proper long term investment.
He goes on: “Well, as probably the country’s first half-Cornish Prime Minister I say that has to change and that is going to change. It’s time to level up the South West and give this great region the recognition and support it deserves.”
Mr Johnson lists “a wider and faster A303, faster rail links and superfast fibre optic broadband” as improvements he wants to bring to the region.
He says he also wants to “level-up” education. Schools spending, which is a fraction per pupil in the rural Westcountry of what it is in other parts of the UK, has been a major concern within the region for years.
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