onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Health and Care

Mike Pitt On the NHS

A Downhall and Rawreth resident (not one of our team) asked Mike Pitt “Will you keep the NHS free at the point of use?” – and received this response:

mike pitt rosette

Yes. I will be alongside my Liberal Democrat colleagues in fighting to keep NHS services free at the point of use.
We have made the NHS one of our priorities at this election: we are committed to increasing the funding by £8billion by the end of the parliament, and are the only party to have provided a clear and costed plan for this funding. I am pleased some of the others agree it is needed now.
If you would like more detail I am happy to do so, but I thought a short answer to a short question would be appreciated.
Thanks for getting in touch,

“Babies Will Become Heathier”

sun

 

As the coalition government brings in new rules allowing shared parental leave, and the Lib Dems propose extensions on that, the Daily Mail outlines the health benefits:

How paid parental leave helps your baby: Children with a stay-at-home parent are less likely to develop asthma and hearing problems … and the health benefits last for SEVEN years

  • A baby is more likely to become a healthy child with paid parental leave
  • If a parent stays at home with paid leave for baby’s first months, the child is less likely to develop health issues, including asthma and hearing problems
  • A seven year study followed the health of more than a thousand babies
  • Paid leave has the greatest impact on health of babies in families with a lower socio-economic status
  • Parents are likely to stay at home and breastfeed their baby for longer
  • Government-funded leave’s more beneficial than workplace-funded leave

 

UNISON’s Save Care Now Campaign

save care now

resident in Downhall and Rawreth Ward has written to us about the trade union UNISON’s campaign to get council’s that provide social care to sign up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter:

UNISON say: Over 500,000 adults in the UK rely on homecare workers to get them out of bed, wash them, brush their teeth, help them take their medication and much more. But homecare workers are worried. Councils are allowing care providers to cut corners and the elderly and disabled people that need homecare are not getting the support they should.

“Signing up to UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter is a simple way for councils to improve homecare for the vulnerable people they are responsible for. It is a set of commitments that councils make which fix minimum standards that will protect the dignity and quality of life for those people and the workers who care for them.

The most likely time for councils to sign up to the charter is before they renew a contract with a homecare provider, but councils are able to sign up at any point, and to implement the changes when they renew their contracts with homecare providers.

The commitments are split into phases to allow for gradual implementation of the charter.

The commitments of the Ethical Care Charter
Stage 1

The starting point for commissioning of visits will be client need and not minutes or tasks. Workers will have the freedom to provide appropriate care and will be given time to talk to their clients.
The time allocated to visits will match the needs of the clients. In general, 15-minute visits will not be used as they undermine the dignity of the clients.
Homecare workers will be paid for their travel time, their travel costs and other necessary expenses such as mobile phones.
Visits will be scheduled so that homecare workers are not forced to rush their time with clients or leave their clients early to get to the next one on time.
Those homecare workers who are eligible must be paid statutory sick pay.

Stage 2

Clients will be allocated the same homecare worker(s) wherever possible.
Zero hour contracts will not be used in place of permanent contracts.
Providers will have a clear and accountable procedure for following up staff concerns about their clients’ wellbeing.
All homecare workers will be regularly trained to the necessary standard to provide a good service (at no cost to themselves and in work time).
Homecare workers will be given the opportunity to regularly meet co-workers to share best practice and limit their isolation.

Stage 3

All homecare workers will be paid at least the Living Wage (as of November 2013 it is currently £7.85 an hour for the whole of the UK apart from London. For London it is £9.15 an hour. The Living Wage will be calculated again in November 2015 and in each subsequent November). If Council employed homecare workers paid above this rate are outsourced it should be on the basis that the provider is required, and is funded, to maintain these pay levels throughout the contract.
All homecare workers will be covered by an occupational sick pay scheme to ensure that staff do not feel pressurised to work when they are ill in order to protect the welfare of their vulnerable clients.

When homecare services are well run they can help to ensure that people are able to live with dignity and in comfort. But when they are delivered poorly they can have a devastating impact on the lives of care recipients and their families.

The over-riding objective behind the Charter is to establish a minimum baseline for the safety, quality and dignity of care by ensuring employment conditions which a) do not routinely short change clients and b) ensure the recruitment and retention of a more stable workforce through more sustainable pay, conditions and training levels.
Simple, really!

You can find out more on the campaign website at http://www.savecarenow.org.uk/

The Care And Support Alliance…….

care and support

The Care And Support Alliance describes itself as follows:

The Care & Support Alliance was set up in July 2009. The Care & Support Alliance represents over 75 of Britain’s leading charities campaigning alongside the millions of older people, disabled people and their carers who deserve decent care.

Case for Change

  • The social care system is broken and seriously underfunded. It cannot cope with a rapidly ageing population and people living longer with illness and disability. Urgent reform is essential, together with sufficient extra money to put it into effect and to close the big and growing funding gap.
  • There is a real public appetite for reform. Families will no longer tolerate a social care system which leaves many with no support and others with poor quality services. The public are angry that they can face huge care charges, and end up losing all their savings or being forced to sell their homes.
  • The Care Bill significantly improves the legal and policy framework. The Care Bill helpfully updates the law and sets out a positive vision for social care, based on the principle of wellbeing. Its provisions could generate real and lasting improvements – but only if the money is there.
  • The Government’s acceptance of ‘the Dilnot approach’ is welcome, but both funding and implementation are concerns. It’s good that the Government is implementing a version of the Dilnot principles to end the fear of endlessly spiralling care costs, but it is doing so on a minimal basis. As a result, the Government’s scheme will not ‘cap’ all care costs, some people may still have to sell their homes, and there are major worries about introducing and running a complex new system in a fair and efficient way.
  • It’s time to act. The Care Act is a once in a generation opportunity to make social care better, but there is a huge gulf between its aspirations and the reality as experienced by millions of older and disabled people each day. The Care Act’s vision is the right one: now politicians on all sides must step up and commit to the funding to bring it about. Together we can build a fair and sustainable care system which delivers dignity, independence and peace of mind for older and disabled people and their families. But failure to act would continue a cycle of cuts, neglect and abuse in social care, at great cost to our economy, public services and society – a tragic lost opportunity.
  • They have some graphics available from here showing the need for social care in each constituency (click to enlarge)

    care and support ray wick

    Hat-tip: Julian Ware-Lane

    Norman Lamb , Frank Bruno, And Mental Health

    We don’t post national Lib Dem stuff here very often, but we’ll make an exception for this encouraging video:

     

     

     

    Keep Vulnerable People Safe In Rayleigh

    Rayleigh Keep Safe Launch Pic.docx_

     

    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 communitysafety@rochford.gov.uk or 01702 546366.

     

     

    Excessively Rewarded ?

    Southend Labour Councillor Julian Ware Lane criticises the head of the East of England Ambulance trust here, who apparently receives £232,000 plus expenses.

    Julian writes:

    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.

    “Early on, I identified sickness levels as a matter of concern…”

    essex police logo

    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.

    UKIP’s Deputy Leader Calls Into Question The Very Existence Of The NHS

    paul nuttall

     

    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

    Dear Editor,

    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

    44 Air Pollution Deaths In Our District Each Year – That’s The Estimate.

    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.
     

    air pollution

    Essex Consults On How Good Is Your Local Chemist

    11954285111092993089molumen_Pills_and_bottle_2.svg.med

    Essex County Council is holding a public consultation on local pharmaceutical services. The consultation will run until 30th April.
    Members of the public are asked to complete a short questionnaire on the services provided by pharmacies, dispensing doctors and internet pharmacies in the Essex area. The results of the survey will help the County Council and the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board to understand how local people use the services, how they rate their experiences and what services they would like to see in the future.
    The questionnaire is completely confidential and does not require any personal identifying information.

    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

    For more information or to request a paper copy/alternative format call 01245 430 430 or email contact@essex.gov.uk

    Food For Thought

    Cafe Life DSCF0372

     

    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”.

     

     

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    Daily Reporting by Chris Black

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    Latest Comments

    • admin: Hi Jim, yes I saw that and was going to link to it today. Will do so later on after Ron and I done our...
    • Jim Cripps: The Echo has been running a piece on the recent ( recurring ) local Highway problems for the last week or...
    • admin: Good point Geoff, as you know we reported it in February, I will make a phone call on Monday…
    • Geoff: If there is any paint left any chance of marking the junction at Harbets Way/ Downhall Park Way ?, I will send...
    • Oz the Positive: Folks, as we all just can’t get enough of the election this is a useful site ( from the BBC )...
    • Ron Oatham: The email detailing the changes went to Rawreth Parish council, not Rayleigh Town Council and to Stephen...
    • Ron Oatham: I note the bit about “maximisi ng the efficient use of brownfield opportunities&# 8221; Is that why...
    • Jim Cripps: This seems at odds with the Royal Town Planning Institute’ ;s rose coloured view in the item listed...
    • Chris Black: Oz, I’m grateful for your concern, but things are OK. Besides – and this shows that some...
    • Oz the Caring...: Chris, I can only echo James’s post @ 13. I have not met anybody that does not value the work...
    • Christine Paine: If they are among the best I hate to think what he worst are like
    • Jim Cripps: A truly stunning manipulation of the facts – you have to admire their ability to talk it up and get...
    • James Newport: Chris, you’re an excellent councillor and have my upmost respect, but seriously save your money...
    • James Newport: It’s not April fools is it?
    • admin: :)
    • Steve Tellis: I would certainly agree that Kingley Wood and adjacent parkland is a beautiful open leisure area. There...
    • Jim Cripps: Admin – I assure you it has’nt been forgotten , we have four teams of three people , each...
    • John Mason: RAG have a large team of residents working on the four main reasons for refusal just in case that The...
    • Chris Black: It’s important that we don’t forget about this appeal just because there’s an election...
    • Chris Black: Christine, I’m not sure how one defines ‘serious& #8217; here. Certainly Mike is capable of...
    • Oz the Positive: I think we can all safely say Pitt the Invisible will not be moving any time soon….
    • admin: Christine, yes if Mike overturned Mark Francois’ 22,338 majority at the last election and won he would...
    • Christine Paine: NHS should definitely.be free at point of use for all British citizens. If others need medical...
    • Jim Cripps: Not living in the constituency is not that unusual for MP’s ( neither the Labour or Green...
    • Oz the Positive: Admin, depends if you have paid in or not…..alt hough what that’s got to do with Pitt...
    • admin: Meanwhile Oz do you agree that NHS services should be free at the point of use? (apart from prescription...
    • admin: Candidates can either show their full address or show the constituency. I don’t know of any particular...
    • Oz the Positive: Admin, do you know why other candidates addresses are, quite correctly, listed on the electoral web...
    • Tom: What happened with the notice of intent that was published months ago? Still no action taken I see. Still idiots...
    • Jim Cripps: Christine @4 & Alistair @7 – absolutely right ……& #8230; The short-term sound bite...

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    500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

    There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

    The Core Strategy

    This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

    Planning Applications…

    If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

    If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

    Reporting A Problem

    If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
    There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.

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    To find the food hygiene rating for eating places and other businesses in our district , click here.

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    “Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

    When the Olympic Torch came to Rayleigh, Chris Black wrote about the town in the Guardian - read it here

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