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Toby with team from Royal Primary Care

Toby Perkins in discussion with GPs from Royal Primary Care

Toby with team from Royal Primary Care

The GP shortage and continued issues accessing a GP appointment were amongst topics discussed at a recent update meeting Chesterfield MP held with bosses at Chesterfield practice Royal Primary Care.

Royal Primary Care is a part of Chesterfield Royal Hospital and they stepped in when crisis struck Holywell Medical Group handed back their GP contracts on four sites in 2015. The group now comprises of three sites in Chesterfield, which are located in Grangewood, Inkersall and Staveley, and two in Clay Cross.

The practice team gave a full appraisal of the current situation to Toby. The practice are affected by the national recruitment shortfall of GPs, particularly in deprived areas, where there is often the greatest need.

This shortfall of clinical or non-clinical staff is keenly felt by patients demanding a same-day service. However, the practice were keen to point out the improvements they have made and are continually working on, to improve primary medical care for patients.

Toby said “The Royal Primary Care are clearly working hard to determine where the greatest areas of need are and are actively recruiting to fill the gaps in their provision. Sadly, like many other areas of the country, there is a shortage of permanent GPs to fill the gaps to meet health demand. Government funding is not provided to the areas with the greatest need and this is an issue I will be taking up in parliament. Funding is determined by population but not by levels of deprivation or affluence despite the long established link between poverty and poor health.”

They also discussed the issue of providing state backed indemnity for GPs who commit themselves to permanent jobs in the NHS. Toby said: “We need more GPs to commit to permanent contracts. The Government is investigating providing state backed indemnity to GPs, this may be an opportunity to incentivise more GPs to join up with practices full time which is crucial for the stability and economy of the NHS.”

Recent statistics show that up to 90% of all calls to the practices are answered and up to 80% within 10 minutes. Toby said “Being able to get in touch with your GP practice to make an appointment or enquiry should be straightforward, especially when you are unwell, but patient demand is high at certain times and the practice still estimate that they have 51 fewer appointment slots than they need. I was reassured that the practice are aware of the issues and have plans in place to try and address the shortfall.”

The improvements were recognised by the most recent CQC inspection which had upgraded the previous ‘Inadequate’ grading to ‘Requires Improvement’, and as a result, took Royal Primary Care out of ‘special measures’. They were rated ‘good’ in the Safe and Effective domains. The previous CQC report stated that “The providers had significantly strengthened their leadership and management and had taken a proactive team approach to making and sustaining improvements in quality.”

The next inspection is expected to take place in 2019 and they are continuing to work towards being rated as ‘good’.

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Holocaust Memorial Day Signed Message 1

Toby Perkins MP signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment

Last week Toby signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today.

Holocaust Memorial Day is marked annually on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘Torn from Home’.

After signing the Book of Commitment, Toby Perkins MP commented:

“Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Chesterfield and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. As the Holocaust moves from living history, to ‘just’ history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. I would encourage my constituents to show their support for such an important day.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

“The Holocaust did not start in the gas chambers but with hate filled words. Our mission is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and its contemporary relevance. We are very grateful to Toby for signing the Book of Commitment, signalling a continued commitment to remembering the victims of the Holocaust as well as challenging antisemitism, prejudice and bigotry in all its forms.”

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love our colleges photo 1

Celebrating Midlands Colleges at the Association of Colleges reception and #loveourcolleges debate

The importance of further education and its role in supporting the life chances of Chesterfield students was the theme of a speech in Parliament by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

Toby was the Parliamentary speaker at a reception which focused on Celebrating Midlands Colleges and had approximately 200 attendees including students, governors and principals from more than 50 further education, sixth form and specialist colleges in the Midlands.

The event was organised in partnership with the Skills and Education Group, and hosted by the Baroness Garden, the reception was a unique opportunity for Midlands parliamentarians, business leaders and stakeholders to connect around the skills, productivity and growth agendas and mark the important work colleges do in supporting our local businesses to grow and communities to thrive.

The event highlighted that a new Youth Opportunity Index, published by the Learning and Work Institute, shows young people in the East Midlands have varying chances of success depending on where they live.

Young people living in the region’s cities have worse education and employment opportunities that those in the counties. Leicester, Nottingham and Derby are all in the bottom 20 of the 150 local education authorities included in the Index, while the counties perform much better.

Following this Toby attended the Westminster Hall debate on #loveourcolleges in response to a petition with over 70,000 signatures on college funding. Toby spoke about the great job that Chesterfield College do and the funding pressures that could lead to more redundancies and a narrower curriculum.

The speech can be found here:

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Photo Fibromyalgia

Toby Perkins named Fibromyalgia Champion

On the 15th of January Toby held a Westminster Hall debate on the recognition of Fibromyalgia as a disability.

The debate follows a petition set up by Chesterfield Constituent Adrienne Lakin who set up a petition on which has over 119,000 signatures, the petition can be found here:

In January last year Toby held a Parliamentary Reception on Fibromyalgia, the reception raised awareness of fibromyalgia with MP’s and the support that those with the condition need.

Following this Toby presented a petition to the house in April 2018, the Hansard for this petition can be found here:

This January’s Westminster Hall debate was extremely constructive. Numerous MPs came and subsequently raised their extreme concerns at both the lack of awareness of Fibromyalgia and the difficulties faced by those suffering from the condition.

The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, acknowledged that there were many difficulties faced by those with the condition, which need to be addressed. She assured those present that actions would be taken to improve the quality of lives of sufferers – such as promoting greater awareness amongst doctors for diagnosis, and amongst employers.

After the debate Toby said “Instead of being a debate where we just identified problems – I think we also managed to identify many potential solutions”.

The debate has led to an invite to a roundtable and summit with the Minister for Disabled people, Health and Work, the Minister responsible for the main disability benefits and Ministers from the relevant departments.

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Toby Perkins MP

Chesterfield MP Joins Samaritans in Parliament to Support Brew Monday

An annual event held by Samaritans on 21st January to promote their “Brew Monday” initiative and encourage local people to reach out to anyone who might be lonely was attended by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

In what’s now an annual fixture for the charity, Samaritans turned ‘Blue Monday’ – often described in the media as ‘the most difficult day of the year’ – on its head by renaming it ‘Brew Monday’ and celebrating that great tradition of getting together for a cup of tea.


Loneliness is a huge problem in the UK – nearly 1 in 5 people say they are always or often lonely. With over 100,000 people living in Chesterfield alone, many thousands of local Cestrefeldians will most likely be experiencing loneliness.

Toby said “Brew Monday is asking people to do something really simple and practical to help others: take time for a cuppa and a chat with anyone who may be going through a tough time.”


“I’m delighted to support Samaritans in this initiative. Let’s make 2019 the year when we all take just a little more time to think about how we can reach out to people who might be struggling in Chesterfield.


25 MPs, including Toby, joined Samaritans in the House of Commons to support the idea of connecting people and creating a domino effect to reduce loneliness, one of the main reasons people contact Samaritans.

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Chesterfield Arms Website Article Pic

Toby Perkins MP hosts the Parliamentary Pub of the Year Awards

 The inaugural Parliamentary Pub of the Year awards have seen a Cardiff pub, The Four Elms, nominated by Jo Stevens MP, beat off competition from 13 other entrants from across Britain to claim the title.

The awards were held on the 15th of January in the Terrace Marquee in the House of Commons and attended by dozens of MPs, pub industry leaders and supporters of the 14 entrants.

The event, which was the brainchild of the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pubs, Toby Perkins, saw nominations from 85 MP’s from the North of Scotland down to Cornwall.

The entrants were whittled down to 14 National finalists as a result of video submissions from the entrants, the finalists videos can be found here:

At the event MPs and industry bosses were given a handheld device to vote for their choice to claim the prestigious title. With over 30% of the votes, the Four Elms, pipped runner up Kash 22 from Frodsham, Cheshire, nominated by Mike Amesbury MP and third placed The Crown, from Hastings, nominated by Amber Rudd MP.

Toby’s nomination the Chesterfield Arms in Chesterfield which was selected by the panel of judges as the East Midlands regional winner. Emma Clarke and Josh Clarke from the pub travelled down to London for the awards ceremony.

The Newbold Road hostelry was chosen by the judged for its strong commitment to charitable giving, importance to the community and its excellent range of real ales that has resulted in it winning the CAMRA Pub of the Season award.

Toby said: “The interest in the awards, the quality of video entries and the positive coverage of the great and diverse range of pubs in Britain has exceeded all our expectations. The event was a great success, and I’d like to thank Rebecca Pickering from my office, David Wilson of the British Beer & Pub Association and all the MPs and pubs who entered for making it such a success.

Already, people are thinking about how to go one stage further and improve their entries next year, and I hope the awards will go from strength to strength”

To learn more about the Parliamentary Pub of the Year awards click here:


The 14 nominated finalists were:

Winner: The Four Elms (Jo Stevens Cardiff Central) Wales

Runner Up: Kash 22 (Mike Amesbury, Weaver Vale) North West

Third: The Crown, (Amber Rudd, Hastings & Rye) South East

Yorkshire Winner: Grayston Unity (Holly Lynch MP, Halifax)

North East Winner: The Stapylton Arms (Grahame Morris MP, Easington)

West Midlands Winner: The Robin Hood (Eddie Hughes MP, Walsall North)

East Regional Winner: Kings Arms (Liz Truss MP, South West Norfolk)

East Midlands Winner: Chesterfield Arms (Toby Perkins MP, Chesterfield)

South West Winner: The Westbrook (Claire Perry MP, Devizes)

London Winner: The Alexandra (Stephen Hammond MP, Wimbledon)

Scotland Winner: Brass & Granite (Alan Brown MP, Kilmarnock and Loudoun)

Scotland Runner Up: The Criterion (Stephen Gethins MP, North East Fife)

Wales Runner Up: The Fat Boar Wrecsam (Ian Lucas MP, Wrexham)

North West Runner Up: The Victoria Walshaw (James Frith MP, Bury North)

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Toby with Matt Kelcher, Head of Public Affairs and Research at the Charity Retail Association and Kevin Brown, Shop Manager at the Ashgate Hospicecare store

Chesterfield’s MP is a “Good Cause Santa Claus” at local charity shop!

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins visited the Ashgate Hospicecare store in Hasland as part of a national campaign to encourage people to become charitable shoppers in the run up to Christmas.

The Charity Retail Association, which represents 80 per cent of charity shops in the UK, including Ashgate Hospicecare’s charity shops, is running the #GoodCauseSantaClaus campaign, which asks people to add a little Christmas spice to their Secret Santa by buying gifts only from charity shops. Companies, schools, social groups and individuals are all encouraged to join in.

The initiative seeks to highlight the many benefits of shopping in charity shops. Apart from raising money for hundreds of good causes, charity shops encourage people to reuse and recycle, they also provide volunteering and training opportunities, keep high streets buzzing and much more besides.

Toby Perkins said:

“I really enjoyed my visit to Ashgate Hospicecare’s shop which sells such a diverse range of quality items.  I was very pleased with my purchases – pair of red socks and snooker themed mug!

“If you want to get your Secret Santa something extraordinary that you know they’ll cherish then I can definitely recommend it.  It was also great to know that my purchases were directly supporting the work of Ashgate Hospicecare, who do so much to support people with life limiting illnesses in Chesterfield.”

Kevin Brown, the shop’s manager said:

“We’re right behind the #GoodCauseSantaClaus campaign which encourages any club, group or workplace to participate in a Secret Santa game and to buy their gifts only in charity shops. Where better to find a bargain!?

“If you buy your Secret Santa present at one of our 14 stores you can know that every penny of profit we raise goes back into providing care and support to our patients across North Derbyshire.”

Matt Kelcher, Head of Public Affairs and Research at the Charity Retail Association said:

“Every time you buy something from a charity shop you’re not only getting a high quality product at an affordable price, you’re helping to keep items out of landfill, boost volunteering opportunities and support a great cause. So, buying your Secret Santa gift in a charity shop is a great way to spread some Christmas cheer.

“We’re really grateful to Toby for his support for the #GoodCauseSantaClaus campaign and his backing of Chesterfield’s brilliant local charity shops.”

Toby with Matt Kelcher, Head of Public Affairs and Research at the Charity Retail Association and Kevin Brown, Shop Manager at the Ashgate Hospicecare store

Toby with Matt Kelcher, Head of Public Affairs and Research at the Charity Retail Association and Kevin Brown, Shop Manager at the Ashgate Hospicecare store

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Toby with food bank volunteer Jim, and local councillors Avis Murphy, Tom Murphy and Ray Catt

More people than ever will be forced to rely on foodbanks in Chesterfield this year warns local MP

Figures from Chesterfield Food Bank showed that they helped feed almost 300 people last Christmas, and Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has warned that he expects the number to increase again this year and has urged residents to provide donations to help those in need.

Toby visited the Loundsley Green Food Bank to take in his own donation this Christmas and to speak to the staff and volunteers who work there. Toby was joined by local councillors, Avis Murphy, Tom Murphy and Ray Catt.

Toby said, “I am always impressed by the dedication of the volunteers at our food banks but disappointed that people are becoming increasingly dependent on them. The Chesterfield food bank provided food parcels to over 280 people last Christmas and I suspect that this number will increase again this year. I urge people to donate what they can this Christmas to help those in need.

Toby added, “Food prices have continued to increase whilst wages and benefits have not kept up with prices. We have also seen the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit continue, which is causing massive disruption and leaving families without the money they need to pay the bills and buy food. We are also seeing vulnerable people losing their disability benefits and being expected to contribute more to their own care. The Government have abrogated their responsibilities and I am very grateful that we have a strong community spirit in Chesterfield to help protect in the direst circumstances.”

Toby with food bank volunteer Jim, and local councillors Avis Murphy, Tom Murphy and Ray Catt

Toby with food bank volunteer Jim, and local councillors Avis Murphy, Tom Murphy and Ray Catt

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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