We don’t post national Lib Dem stuff here very often, but we’ll make an exception for this encouraging video:
We don’t post national Lib Dem stuff here very often, but we’ll make an exception for this encouraging video:
From the District Council website: – a welcome initiative:
“Keep Safe”, an innovative scheme which raises awareness of vulnerable people and how to protect them, has been launched in Rayleigh.
The scheme, which provides members with free cards and key rings containing essential contact numbers, can be used in situations such as feeling unwell or losing a purse. Once people have signed up they can go to a Keep Safe venue and ask for help to contact a family member, friend or carer. Local venues identified as safe places provide free access to use of a telephone or will make a call on behalf of someone producing their Keep Safe card. Being able to access a Keep Safe venue in times of need can increase people’s confidence when they are out in the community, and provide reassurance to relatives that help is available for their loved ones if needed.
Rayleigh is the latest town to join the “Keep Safe” scheme, which already operates in Chelmsford, Maldon, Braintree, Witham, Halstead, Colchester and Clacton.
Rochford District Council’s portfolio holder for Community, Councillor Jo McPherson, said: “The Keep Safe scheme helps us to work together as a community to support those who are vulnerable and in need of help. Our shops in Rayleigh have joined many venues across Essex as places where people can turn in a crisis. I am very pleased that shops in our district have joined this valuable scheme, and urge older and vulnerable people to sign up at the earliest opportunity, as you never know when you might need help.”
For more information or to join the scheme, contact the Community Safety Team at email@example.com or 01702 546366.
Southend Labour Councillor Julian Ware Lane criticises the head of the East of England Ambulance trust here, who apparently receives £232,000 plus expenses.
The story of the last few years has been of a growing pay divide with some Chief Executives like Dr. Marsh receiving salary bumps well in excess of those who work for them. Their pay rises are well in excess of inflation, whilst those that work for them are lucky to see a 1% rise.
This week the Essex Police Commisioner, Nick Alston, has been writing about the increasing amount of duty days lost by Essex Police due to anxiety, depression or stress:
Since becoming Police and Crime Commissioner, I have been scrutinising all aspects of Essex Police performance. Early on, I identified sickness levels as a matter of concern.
The figures show that in 2009-10, for police officers, an average of 7.68 duty days per year was lost to sickness. By 2012-13, this had risen to 12.10 duty days, and stayed at a level of over 12 days per officer during 2013-14.
The impact of reported anxiety, depression and stress is also clear in the figures. In 2009-10, when there were more officers than now, 5,132 duty days were lost to anxiety, depression or stress. By 2012-13, this figure had doubled to 10,521. In 2013-14, the number of police officer duty days lost to anxiety, depression or stress was 11,238, or over 3 days per officer. This figure is worryingly high. Clearly, the root causes of this increase must be properly understood and managed, with officer welfare at the heart of everything that is done.
The most significant increase in duty days lost occurred in the run-up to and during the major Essex Police organisational restructure known as Blueprint, between 2011 and 2013. All organisations need to examine how they operate, to see if alternative models might be more effective and efficient. I do not criticise Essex Police for exploring the implementation of a “functional” policing model, with more centralised control and tasking of officers, PCSOs and staff. It is to the credit of Essex Police that the Blueprint model was kept under constant review by the then Chief Constable. Chief Constable Kavanagh has now made the decision to return the force to a model with more local supervision and control of policing resources at its heart….
Full statement here.
We’ve had a few comments on onlineFOCUS in praise of UKIP … which is fine , as we enjoy having a bit of national politics on here occasionally. It also gives us the leeway to make the occasional comment back.
So… we hear a lot about the leader of UKIP, Mr Farage, but zero about his deputy, Paul Nuttall. But here’s an extract from Mr Nuttall’s own blog, where he calls into question the very existence of the NHS
I would like to congratulate the coalition government for bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service. The fact that successive governments have undertaken what they call ‘substantial’ changes to the NHS should tell us all we need to know: there is something fundamentally wrong with how we treat the ill in our country.
The NHS is the second biggest employer in the world, beaten only by Walmart, but as with all state monopolies, it is costly, inefficient and stuffed with bureaucrats. In New Labour’s NHS, for every nurse there is a manager and vital workers, such as midwives, are falling in numbers.
The problem, however, goes far deeper. I would argue that the very existence of the NHS stifles competition, and as competition drives quality and choice, innovation and improvements are restricted.
Therefore, I believe, as long as the NHS is the ‘sacred cow’ of British politics, the longer the British people will suffer with a second rate health service.
Paul Nuttall MEP
Here at onlineFOCUS we support the NHS….. it’s a vital national and local service.
Hat-Tip: Tom Pride
The Echo has reported today:
AIR pollution kills 375 people a year in south Essex with many more having years shaved of their lives, health experts estimate Councils are considering lowering speed limits and urging people to reduce car use as new figures from Public Health England laid bare the impact of car emissions and industry on people’s lives…..
Their complete article is here, but although it quotes estimated figures of 115 deathes per year in Southend from air pollution, it doesn’t quote a figure for our district. So we’ve hunted around on the web and found the information from Public Health England here They estimate that 5.7 % of deaths in our district of people over the age of 25 were attributed to air pollution – 44 per year.
The results of the survey will be used to help produce a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment for Essex determining what, if any, services will be required to meet local needs. The report will be available to the public from early 2015.
Councillor Ann Naylor, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health & Wellbeing, said: “We would really encourage members of the public to tell us about their experiences of services from chemist’s shop. It will only take a few minutes to complete, so please take advantage of this opportunity to help shape the services of the future.”
The survey is live at http://www.essexinsight.org.uk/ViewPage1.aspx?C=Resource&ResourceID=919
One of our Lib Dem colleagues in Watford mentioned that their local paper had published a list of all the food establishments in that town which got a rating of “Zero” on food hygiene.
Which prompted us to check for our district. You can find out about this by going to the Food Standards Agency website here. You can then search for a particular restaurant etc or you can search by town or district.
There are 480 entries for Rochford District , you can find them all here. We are pleased to say that most get a rating of 5 out of 5. And none at all get a ‘Zero’. Just seven of them get a rating of “1”.
Southend Lib Dem Neil Monnery had to visit the Acute Medical Unit at Southend Hospital on Saturday…
Well Saturday didn’t go quite as planned. I was woken up at around 4:45 by my body coughing and eventually I was able to hack out a blood-ball from my throat. Not pretty in prose let alone in reality…..
Doctor and senior doctor came down around 5 o’clock and said I was an extremely healthy young man. The key thing was my lungs looked in perfect shape and the issue was with my blood. However it wasn’t an issue that concerned them too much, not enough to keep me in anyway. Basically they think my body is still battling whatever infection it started fighting three weeks ago…
After this Neil adds:
….One other thing I want to write about though is the staff. I have been involved in Hospital Radio for several years, so I see a window into what the staff have to deal with but on Saturday I was a patient and saw first hand for several hours everything thrown at them. I was treated thoroughly and both the doctor and the senior doctor were truly first rate. The nurse who admitted me and did all my initial tests was great as well and I didn’t really have any dealings with any other staff. However I did watch the HCA’s closely as they get a lot of stick in the press for not being nurse’s and this one young HCA didn’t sit down between the time I was admitted at around 11:45 to the time she went for her lunch at around 2ish. She genuinely did not sit down once, not even for a few seconds.
I was extremely impressed by her considering the job she was doing was certainly not glamorous in any way shape or form. It included helping people to pee and poo as well as then clean them up. I didn’t see her roll her eyes once. I thought that was a miracle in itself. I know if I had to face some of the issues she faced in those five or so hours that I watched then I’d not be able to take it at all. So for all those rubbishing HCA’s for not being nurses then I think they should go and watch an HCA for a shift and I firmly their opinions will change mightily quickly.
As for me, I’ll live. I’ll heed the advice to basically only do essentially talking until I have been cough and phlegm free for a good week or so.
Councillors John and Christine Mason are launching a modest but worthwhile initiative to help hospital patients a little:
…. we have become increasingly aware that there are other needs that some patients have, especially those with a slightly longer hospital stay and it is these simple needs that the TLC fund hopes to address.
Imagine being ill and in bed, alone but not alone, with nothing to occupy your mind. However because you have no family or friends able to visit, no one that can fetch that half finished book or knitting, you are unable to take your mind away from the situation you are in.
….This is where the TLC fund comes in, administered by the Hospital Chaplaincy team, the funds aim is simple – to provide the means for a crossword book or a newspaper, to allow the patient the dignity of purchasing some sweets or biscuits of their choice. It sounds so simple but if you are imprisoned in a Hospital bed relying on the services of strangers sometimes it is the little things that can lift spirits and bring that extra measure of comfort.
We are not trying to change the world, just improve our corner of it.
Donations can be sent to Rochford District Residents at Wistaria Cottage, Englefield Close, Hawkwell, Essex SS5 4LE, clearly marked for the TLC Fund. All donations will be paid into Rochford District Residents Bank Account and given in cash to Southend Hospital…..
Full article on their website here.
There’s a big political row brewing over past problems at Basildon Hospital.
Peter Black (no relation) blogs about it here.
According to the Sunday Times Mr. Burnham, who is now the shadow health secretary, is preparing libel proceedings against one of his successors in that post, Jeremy Hunt over remarks made on Twitter. They say that Labour party lawyers yesterday wrote to Hunt demanding that he remove the comments from the social networking site or face further action…. Jeremy Hunt is refusing to back down, which leads me to wonder whether Burnham will go ahead with his threat to sue. After all juries are notoriously (and quite rightly) unsympathetic to politicians and their reputation.
More damagingly though such a court case could lead to a very public and forensic dissection of Andy Burnham’s time in charge of the NHS. Would any minister, irrespective of party voluntarily agree to such a scenario?
Project Wild Thing is a film-led project – about getting people, especially children, outside, into nature.
If you want nature, wildness and free-range living for kids and adults to exist alongside an increasingly industrialised and technological society then join us and get involved in making that happen.
See you on the outside.
This little film explains it better and is worth watching. Sometimes you are tempted to laugh – or maybe wince :
Hat-tip: Liberal England
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