HEALTH minister Maria Caulfield has said the Conservatives can win a fifth term in office if the government can get back to “business as usual”.

Visiting the Brighton Diagnostic and Treatment Centre at the Amex Stadium in Falmer yesterday, the MP for Lewes said that her constituents had been calling on the government to “get on with the job”.

She said: “The leadership contest is only going on for a few more weeks. Once we’ve got a new Prime Minister in place and a more stable period of time, it’ll be back to business as usual and back to the day job.”

The centre was one of three to be built across Sussex, providing services closer to home for people to meet rising demand, tackle the NHS backlog, and achieve earlier diagnoses for patients.

Ms Caulfield said: “Patients here have told me this centre is pretty accessible; it’s got good train links, bus routes and the parking is good, compared to other parts of the county.

“The experience as well is so much calmer than a busy acute trust, so the patient experience is better and staff can plan their workload.

“I think centres like these really are the future of diagnoses.”

The Argus: Lewes MP Maria Caulfield speaking to a staff member at the Brighton Diagnostic and Treatment CentreLewes MP Maria Caulfield speaking to a staff member at the Brighton Diagnostic and Treatment Centre

She also said that the government is making strides to address the backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If you look at our two-year waits for procedures, we’re almost dealt with that, so it’s the people who have been waiting slightly less that that we are getting through now.

“Once we get through that backlog, we want these diagnostic centres to continue to be used by the local community. The ambition is for a GP to be able to refer directly to here for someone who needs an X-ray or needs to see a physio, so we can get people diagnosed quicker.”

Ms Caulfield offered also her congratulations to the Lionesses, after their victory against Germany in the final of the European Championships on Sunday.

She said: “I am really pleased that the women were able to succeed where the men didn’t.”