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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 17 January 2013

Letters to the Editor:- "Unsound Retailing"

"WHILST it is very sad for employees of Jessops and HMV to lose their jobs at this time of year, the loss of these retail outlets really needs to be put into perspective. If Internet traders can supply goods cheaper and more conveniently than town centre shops (with all their parking problems deliberately engineered by local Councils), then these dinosaur enterprises will inevitably become extinct. Perhaps if HMV had not alienated customers like myself by stopping stocking their traditional 78's, I might have been persuaded to continue shopping there. As it is, my needs are now more than adequately catered for online!" John Eoin Douglas

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FOLLOWING the news this week, that over 4,500 jobs are at risk at major high street DVD and CD chain HMV, Retail Trust, the only charity that looks after the needs of all 3 million people working in retail, has pledged its support to all staff affected by the company’s administration.

Staff at HMV’s 239 stores are since 15 November 2013, are awaiting further updates, with many now facing an uncertain future. HMV is the latest major high street name to suffer financial difficulty, and the news comes less than a week after camera chain Jessops shut all of its 187 stores, resulting in the loss of 1,370 jobs.

The Retail Trust Helpline saw a significant increase in calls following news of Jessops’ demise, and even larger surges in demand for its services are expected in the coming days.

The Retail Trust Helpline provides free, confidential and independent advice and support for all staff affected by such developments.  The Helpline also provides access to Retail Trust's ReWork programme, which provides a range of free services to help retail staff find their next job, including workshops and career coaching.

Any retail staff wishing to contact the Helpline can do so by calling:- 0808 801 0808 (Outside UK number:- +44 845 766 0113), emailing:- or texting:- Helpline on:- 88010.


ACTION on Hearing Loss is calling on Southport GPs to ensure they communicate in ways that meet the individual needs of patients with hearing loss, following the charity's national research which found 28% of respondents had been unclear about a diagnosis during an appointment.  For its new report entitled:- 'Access all areas?' the charity's survey found patients who felt unclear after a consultation attributed the misunderstandings to their GP not facing them (64%) and not always speaking clearly (57%). Action on Hearing Loss says the findings suggest a severe lack of deaf awareness among GPs which could easily be resolved through training and making simple adjustments.  Action on Hearing Loss is also urging GP surgeries to have clear procedures in place to record details of patients' hearing loss and their individual communication needs after finding that, nationally, only 39% of respondents have this vital information recorded. Under the Equality Act 2010, GP surgeries must make 'reasonable adjustments' to be accessible to people with disabilities and ensure that the 10 million people in the UK who have hearing loss experience the same level of service as other patients.

Chief Executive of Action on Hearing Loss, Paul Breckell, said:- "It's disappointing that many people with hearing loss have difficulty understanding vital health advice because GPs aren't meeting individual communication needs. With deaf awareness training and simple changes, GPs can provide a much better service for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing and help avoid unnecessary follow-up appointments or the risk of exacerbated poor health."

Action on Hearing Loss encourages GP surgeries across Southport to be accessible by following the charity's deaf awareness tips:-

► Keep a note that the patient has a hearing loss on their record and check how they would prefer to make an appointment.

► The surgery should enable patients to contact them by email, textphone or SMS as well as by telephone.

► Ensure GPs and staff are trained in basic deaf awareness and realise that they may need to approach patients to let them know it's time for the appointment.

► Make sure there is good lighting (so that you can be lipread) and little or no background noise in your consultation room.

► Make sure you have the patient's attention before you speak and check whether they understand what you're saying. If not, say it in a different way.

► Face the person so you can be lipread and speak clearly, using plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions.

► Install a hearing loop in reception for hearing aid wearers, and regularly check that it's working and staff are trained how to use it. Don't raise your voice as it's uncomfortable for hearing aid users.

► Provide a registered sign language interpreter for people who communicate by British Sign Language (BSL).

To read the 'Access all areas?' report, visit:-

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