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Issue:- 15 March  2012

Hospital chief hosts 'have your say' meeting in Ormskirk

PATIENTS and the public in Ormskirk have the chance next week to find out more about plans for Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust to become a foundation trust.  Foundation trusts were created to put decision-making about healthcare into the hands of local people. Southport and Ormskirk trust wants to become a foundation trust by April next year (2013).  The 2nd in a series of public meetings will be held on Monday and hosted by Jonathan Parry, the trust’s chief executive. He said:- "Foundation trusts have been around since 2004 and now the Government says all NHS trusts must become one.  It is important we have local people’s support for our plans and this is one of a number of public meetings I am hosting where people can learn more and have their say."  The meeting will be held on Monday, 19 March 2012, at Ormskirk Civic Hall, Southport Road, Ormskirk, L39 1LN at 6.30pm. Please call:- 01704 704714 should you have any special requirements the Trust can help with in advance of the meeting. People can also make their views known by visiting the Trust website.  The Consultation responses can be completed online, but the Trust will pay the postage for people returning the responses by post.   To request a copy of the consultation document if you cant get it online, you should do so from The Foundation Trust Team at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, Southport and Formby District General Hospital , Town Lane, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 6PN, Plus you can find out more from the team via calling:- 01704 704714 or via emailing them.

 Unemployment has risen at its slowest quarterly rate since May 2011 according to official figures released

DATA from the Office for National Statistics shows that unemployment for the 3 months to January 2012 rose by 0.1%. The total number of unemployed people increased by 28,000 over the quarter to reach 2.67 million. The number of unemployed people aged from 16 to 24 increased by 16,000 over the quarter to reach 1.04 million.  Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Network Group, said:- "We have seen a number of initiatives introduced over recent months to try to tackle the unemployment problem and although we are yet to see the full results of their success, it is certainly an encouraging sign that the rate of unemployment is starting to slow. For the North West jobs market to fully turn a corner it doesn’t just need the participation of companies in government backed schemes, it also needs the confidence of employers from the various business sectors. We are frequently speaking to companies who are seeking to strengthen their workforce and increase productivity by taking on new staff on a temporary or permanent basis. This attitude has to reverberate throughout UK industry but it has to be based on confidence in future prospects. Recovery in the economy is within reach but its perceived proximity will be the deciding factor for many employers with regards to recruitment strategy."   For a full regional breakdown of the figures please click on here

Public welcome at Trust board meeting

THE Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust will hold its next board meeting on Wednesday, 28 March 2012, at 1.30pm. The meeting will be held in the Board Room in the Corporate Management Office at Southport and Formby District General Hospital. Members of the public are welcome to attend as observers. Anyone wishing to attend with a special requirement should contact the Trust in advance on:- 01704 704714.

UNISON calls on public and MP's to back campaign to stop the privatising of the Police

"WE have no time to waste.  Plans to privatise the Police services are a cost cutting measure that will undermine public safety", was the stark warning from UNISON, the union representing 42,000 Police staff.

The union is calling for a halt to the outsourcing of policing in West Midlands and Surrey, where the 2 forces are advertising lucrative private contracts worth £1.5bn. If the contract goes live it will place 10% of total police funding in the hands of a private company. If all the other forces, which have signed an option on the contract, also join in the future, this figure would rise to 25% of all Police funding going to the private sector.

The warning comes on the back of a bidder conference being held in London, between the 2 forces and hundreds of private company representatives interested in running Police services. Services that could be included are crime investigation, forensics, 999 call handling, custody and detention and a wide range of Police support services.

Ben Priestley, UNISON National Officer for Police Staff, went on to say:- "These dangerous privatisation plans must be stopped and stopped fast. We know that forces are under the cosh from the Government’s 20% cut to police funding. Privatisation is supposed to save money, but this can only happen by slashing the police services on which the public rely to keep them safe and by employing cut-price staff.  The public do not want 999 calls answered by someone who works in a remote call centre in another part of the country. But this is the way privatisation works! In fact there is no evidence that the private sector will provide value for money. Most local people do not even know what West Midland and Surrey forces are planning, because they have not been consulted. And lack of accountability runs right through these proposals. Private companies running police services are accountable to shareholders, not to local citizens. UNISON is stepping up our campaign and contacting minsters, chief constables, local residents and our members to stop this privatisation in its tracks."

Further objections to the privatisation plans include:-

Lack of Accountability.

The public cannot complain to the independent Police Complaints.

Commission about a private company in the same way they can about their police force.

Chief police officers will lose operational control.

Privatisation threatens democracy.

There is no competent business case for the proposals.

There is no evidence that the private sector provides value for

In-house solutions to improving efficiency have been prematurely rejected.

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