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Issue:- 07 April 2010

Call for the Health and Social Care Bill to be abandoned

PAUL Foley, UNISON North West Head of Health said:- "Our members, who work on the front line of NHS services, have long campaigned against the Bill, they see the Bill as fundamentally flawed and destructive to NHS provision, and it should be abandoned.  The Bill is still flawed as it will still require all health services to be subject to competition and privatisation. This will lead to cherry picking of profitable health services leading to destabilisation and possible closure of remaining NHS services. The policy is also hugely bureaucratic and expensive. UNISON also believe that the Bill is fundamentally flawed in seeking to place most commissioning of NHS services into the hands of GP consortia. GPs don’t want to be commissioners, they want to be GPs. They do want better design of services with other health staff so care is closer to home (see examples). The Bill would damage the major moves to this already underway, the NHS and patients doesn't need nor want another upheaval."

UNISON lists the following as examples:-

"1. A scheme to prevent sufferers of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (asthma and emphysema) having to repeatedly enter hospital and be treated closer to home has been a huge success with a 80% drop in the emergency access to acute hospital by those patients. The scheme designed by the Local PCT is now being rolled out across the area, but the move to GP commissioning will remove this impetus and expertise.

2. Similar schemes for sufferers of Type 2 Diabetes (the next largest group to be emergency accessed to acute hospitals) are similarly at risk.

3. A scheme to prevent Childhood Preventable Disease by placing stair gates in homes and explaining healthy nurture options (e.g. don’t cuddle babies whilst drinking hot drinks) has produced a 50% drop in A&E referrals for the babies in the trial. The scheme is to be rolled out by the local PCT but again this will now be at risk."

They also state that:- "The Health Bill is also fundamentally flawed as it does not involve patients, all health professionals, and local authority community representative in designing improved services nor in those parties being directly involved in holding the NHS to account.  The NHS needs such real co-operation and involvement and accountability not the Health Bills (yet another) top down reorganisation."

Do you, our readers agree?  Email us your views on this to and let us know what you think!

Liverpool museums shortlisted for prestigious awards for excellence

TWO Liverpool museums are in the running to receive prestigious industry awards at the national Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence ceremony in May 2011.  Projects by The Merseyside Maritime Museum and World Museum Liverpool have been selected from more than 300 entries across 10 hard fought categories.  The museums, both of which are run by the National Museums Liverpool, have been shortlisted in the Classic and Temporary/Touring categories (respectively) and are facing tough competition from museums across the UK.  National treasure, comedienne and broadcaster Sue Perkins will announce the 11 lucky winners at the Awards ceremony on Wednesday, 11 May 2011, at Church House, Westminster.  The Awards applaud projects ranging from groundbreaking achievements of national institutions to those crafted with limited resources and budget. The winners are selected by a panel of sector judges including: Diane Lees, Director General, Imperial War Museums; Sam Mullins, Director, London Transport Museum and other leading sector professionals.  Diane Lees, Director General of Imperial War Museums, said:- “The Museums & Heritage Awards is the only scheme which recognises the breadth of scope and scale of operation in museums across the globe. In times of budget cuts they inspire museums and their partner providers to continue to achieve great things and recognise the success of their efforts. They also raise the profile of the participants with their stakeholders which is also critical during times of difficulty.”THE deadline for applications to hold street parties in Liverpool, on 29 April 2011, to celebrate the Royal Wedding has been extended by a week.

Street party deadline extended

PARTY organisers now have until 15 April 2011 to submit their applications to the city council.

A council spokesman said:- “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to hold a party so we are giving residents some extra time to get their applications in.  We don’t want to be party-poopers and we would not want to put red tape in the way of any celebration. However we do need to have proper applications – if roads are being closed we have to be aware of that so we can redirect traffic and liaise with the emergency services.”

The council is covering the costs associated with the legal closure of roads where parties are being held.  However, party organisers are being advised that they will require public liability insurance for their events.  They will also need to arrange with Enterprise-Liverpool for “road closed” signs.  To date 10 applications for street parties in the city have been received:- Application forms are available via email  and on the council’s website.

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