Why I won’t be around as much for the next couple of months

I am currently watching fireworks over the Houses of Parliament and thinking of the great displays I usually attend in Redcar. I’m down in London because I’m in St Thomas Hospital, where I was first rushed into A&E back in June. I’ve had a number of operations over the summer to alleviate problems with infected cysts which unfortunately weren’t successful, and last week I’ve had major surgery to fully remove all the infected tissue once and for all.  I have been signed off for physical recuperation until the new year. These are symptoms, problems and procedures thousands of women experience every year in the UK and I am grateful to all the staff at both St Thomas’ and James Cook for the care I’ve received.

My office will, of course, still be functioning and available for individual constituents’ help, advice or general enquiries.  If you need help or would like to raise a issue then do contact me as normal. I continue to keep abreast of local and national issues.  In Parliament, there is an agreement made with other parties to ‘pair’ me with an opposition MP who also can’t attend in Westminster, so my absence will not change the result of any vote.  I will be writing to ministers, putting in questions to various government departments and championing causes on your behalf, so do keep in touch as usual.

I am very disappointed to be missing this year’s Remembrance Sunday commemoration and won’t be able to attend other events in the run up to Christmas which I always enjoy.  I will be there in spirit, though, and particularly on Sunday as we remember those who have given their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.  I am sure the events across Redcar and Cleveland will be as well-attended and inspiring as always.

I would like to thank everyone for the support and good wishes I’ve received whilst ill and look forward to being fighting fit and back to full health in the new year.