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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 138

Date:- 07 February 2004

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TOURISM is the world's fastest-growing industry, pouring more than £3 billion a year into the Northwest economy and accounting for more than eight per cent of the region's entire workforce.

But it is also a highly competitive industry, which acknowledges that, if growth is to be maintained at current rates, service quality needs to be of the highest standard.

Currently saddled with annual staff turnover rates of 40 per cent in the Northwest – the industry has been looking more attractive to potential employees for the past year, second only to the retail sector, and highly rated among many who work within the field. 

Steven Broomhead, NWDA Chief Executive said:- "Tourism is a key priority for the Northwest Development Agency and the Tourism and Hospitality Skills Conference will play a crucial role in ensuring effective training support for this important sector. 

A successful and vibrant tourism industry presents a positive image of the Northwest to the UK and abroad, promoting investment and strengthening the regional economy. A focus on the importance of the provision of high quality skills is vital. I am pleased to be involved in this forthcoming conference, and I am confident that by working together we can deliver real change for tourism in the UK." 

Tourism provides an estimated 225,000 jobs in the Northwest, with a further 100,000 thought to be employed indirectly. The region attracts 18 million visits a year - no surprise in view of outstanding attractions ranging from the Lake District and Chester to the traditional bucket 'n' spade joys of Blackpool or Morecambe.

But competition increases year on year - not least from the proliferation of cheap package holidays abroad. If the Northwest fails in its mission to provide the essential back-up of a skilled workforce, there is a danger that visitors will spot a weakness and perhaps begin to look elsewhere.

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NHS Moves to Stamp out Violence within Hospitals 

DOCTORS, nurses, paramedics and other health workers are joining forces to hit home the message that violence and abuse against them will not be tolerated.

NHS workers from all professions in Cheshire and Merseyside, including Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, are launching a hard-hitting campaign yesterday as they unveiled a series of posters for buses, bus shelters and pubs and clubs in Cheshire and Merseyside.

The campaign itself features a series of graphic images that highlight the physical and mental damage inflicted on NHS staff everyday.

With 4,767 reported incidents of violence against NHS staff during 2002/03, with a 3 percent rise than the previous annual report, affecting 60,000 frontline NHS workers across both counties. 

The campaign aims to reduce this by raising public awareness. Its messages are stark - the NHS will not tolerate abuse of its staff and it will support staff who prosecute.

Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:- "Violence against all of those working in the NHS is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. NHS staff and professionals have the right to work in a safe and secure environment where they can deliver the best possible patient care without fear of hostility. One of our key objectives is to tackle violence or abuse of any kind against staff.”

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has already introduced a number of procedures to protect its staff, including a policy that includes withdrawal of treatment to any persistently violent patient. 

This campaign is being run jointly across 30 NHS organisations in Cheshire and Merseyside with the backing of and part funding from the Workforce Development Confederation.

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Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2004.