I RECENTLY met the management of Dorothy House Hospice and the Bradford on Avon Community Health Team to hear about future plans for the hospice and some of the pioneering approaches being taken to local health provision.

Dorothy House is a fantastic organisation which so many across Wiltshire have a personal connection to and a charity which I have supported since before my election as MP. Specifically interesting were the plans to tackle the issue of loneliness and social isolation.

I look forward to continuing to work closely with Dorothy House and supporting them in their future plans to be able to support even more families when they most need it.

This week is the anniversary of the Disability Confident scheme set up to challenge perceptions about hiring disabled people and offers support and guidance. More than 9,000 employers (including myself) have now signed up to the scheme. It is important to recognise the enormous value that disabled people have been able to bring to the workplace since the scheme was introduced. 17.5 per cent of working age people in the UK have a disability or long-term health condition – that is over seven million people across the entire employment market. As a result, those with disabilities represent a huge pool of often untapped talent and experience from which businesses could benefit.

CIPD research recently found that disabled people tend to be even more innovative and focus on personal development more – something that the Disability Confident scheme has helped to cultivate and develop.

This scheme is especially important to me as I have seen first-hand how businesses around Wiltshire are benefitting from hiring more disabled staff members and I am tremendously proud of how the scheme has helped businesses become simultaneously more inclusive and more effective.

I am looking forward to my fundraiser for Wiltshire Air Ambulance at the end of the month. They are a wonderful charity that save local lives each week and we are honoured to now have them based in the constituency in Semington. If you cannot make the dinner but would like to donate please use www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michelle-donelanwaa

At the time of writing this article I have not read the deal but will comment next week.

If you would like a surgery appointment please contact me on michelle.donelan.mp@https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/Lu_NCVADDHX3nwRIyf8lZ or call my office on 01249 704465.

I have an opportunity to join my team in constituency – if you are interested in finding out more about the role then please email me.