MP back in Commons after emergency brain surgery

Paul blomfield and Angela Rippon
Paul blomfield and Angela Rippon

SHEFFIELD Central MP Paul Blomfield was back in the Commons this week following emergency surgery to remove a brain tumour.

“I’m amazingly well for somebody who had a 12-hour brain operation eight weeks ago,” he said.

“I’m a walking advertisement for the NHS but so are thousands of other people.”

Mr Blomfield, aged 58, has returned to parliamentary duties, and is today (Thursday) expecting to take part in a debate on the controversy over proposed ticket barriers at Sheffield railway station.

“Well on the road to recovery” after surgery at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, he told this week how he almost didn’t bother going to the doctor when he found he could not read very easily.

His near-sight vision in both eyes had became pixillated for about 30 minutes before returning to normal.

“I got a minor sight intervention which I almost didn’t bother raising with my GP. But I thought I ought to check it out.

“They thought it was something minor but referred me to the Hallamshire where they told me it was a major brain tumour pressing against my optic nerve that needed removing immediately.

“Within 24 hours I was on the operating table. Within six days I was out of hospital and have been recovering ever since.”

The tumour was benign and there were no side-effects as a result of its removal.

As a chairman of Sheffield District Labour Party, Mr Blomfield was already one of the most influential Labour figures in the city before he was elected MP for Sheffield Central in May 2010, defeating then Liberal Democrat council leader Paul Scriven.

He is also a former general manager of the University of Sheffield Union of Students.

The health scare came during the parliamentary recess,and meant that he had to cancel a holiday in Italy with his wife, Linda McAvan, who is a member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Mr Blomfield said the lesson was to check out any problem with the doctor. “If I hadn’t I could have had a very real problem.

“The NHS absolutely delivered for me. There was a prompt referral, a speedy diagnosis, quick action and excellent after-care. I have a huge regard for the technical skills and physical capabilities of the surgeons.

“I am well on the road to the recovery and well enough to be standing up again for Sheffield.”

Today he will be urging the Government to stand by a commitment by the previous Labour administration not to install ticket barriers at the railway station until a second pedestrian footbridge has been installed to allow non ticket holders to pass through.

“I thought we had reached a settlement until Philip Hammond (the Transport Secretary) said they were pressing ahead with the barriers,” said the MP.