“As my constituents, colleagues, friends and family know, since May of this year I had been on a leave of absence after being diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer.

I will be eternally thankful for the practical and emotional support that has been shown to be by my loving family and friends and the prayers and words of comfort received from colleagues across the political spectrum. I am also hugely indebted to my constituency team Lynn and Karen.  Their hard work and support ensured that assistance to constituents continued in my absence.   However, I would like to pay a special thanks to the people of North Ayrshire, especially my constituents in Cunninghame South. Their well wishes, messages of support, and importantly understanding of the situation really made a huge positive impact on my ability to concentrate on my treatment and recovery. 

I am grateful for the life saving treatment I received from our NHS over many months from my GP and Drs and Nurses at both Crosshouse and The Beatson working hard in incredibly challenging conditions.

I know first hand what it is like for many families to have been confronted by illness during the pandemic.  Restrictions in place to keep people safe are not without cost, people are struggling economically and emotionally.  It has been a very difficult period for so many.  The impact of restrictions that have limited our ability to visit loved ones in hospital, or at home should not be underestimated.  Coronavirus has also meant that our NHS in its emergency status has a backlog of treatment to catch up on to ensure that the physical and mental health of our citizens does not worsen.

As I return to Parliament and we look to recover from this horrible pandemic we have been living through, these are the issues that will be at the forefront of my mind. “ Ruth Maguire