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Issue:- 28 March 2013

Merseyrail raise £58,000 and counting for the Royal

STAFF at Merseyrail and suppliers raised £58,000 last year for the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, so that it can hosted a special event for staff to say thank you and to showcase the difference this has made to patients on the ward.

The Royal was nominated as Merseyrail's Charity of the Year by Paul Collins a projects engineer from Warrington, whose wife Anita passed away in June 2011. Anita, 38, had been undergoing treatment for a type of bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma.

During Anita's treatment Paul had been particularly impressed by the fantastic care his wife had received on the unit, but felt the day care area could be improved by providing more space, comfort and facilities to keep patients occupied.

Paul said:- "When you are on the unit, the nurses and doctors are not just clinicians, they become your friends. They make your time on the ward so comfortable and never complain even if you have called for them for the tenth time in an hour. I am glad we have contributed to the day care side of the unit to make it a more welcoming and comfortable environment for patients. I will never forget the care and kindness every single one of the staff gave to Anita and myself and will work to raise money for the unit continuously."

The money raised has been used to refurbish and expand the day care suite which treats patients who have undergone stem cell transplantation. The refurbishment of this area means that patients who are suffering from contagious viral infections can now be treated in two new specialised isolation rooms, improving their comfort and reducing their risk to other immune-compromised patients.

Around 80 to 90 people with leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma are treated at the Royal's Stem Cell Transplant Unit every year. During their admission, patients face intense treatment. The treatment involves high dose chemotherapy, immunotherapy and in some cases total body radiation. This treatment means the majority of patients become completely immune-compromised and are at very high risk of infection. To minimise this risk patients are isolated in especially filtered rooms for 4 to 6 weeks.

The Royal's stem cell transplant consultant haematologist, Dr Rahuman Salim, said:- "We are all very touched by the generosity of everyone at Merseyrail. We have used this wonderful opportunity to improve the environment for patients on the unit by modernising and updating facilities. It is fantastic to see the importance Merseyrail places on supporting local charities and helping to improve care for the people of Merseyside."

Paul has committed to continue to raise funds for the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit throughout 2013 and 2014, starting with a 100mile walk along the Pennine Trail. He also hopes to continue this activity as a fundraising ambassador for the new Royal over the coming years.

Merseyrail are also planning to hold an 'It's a Knockout' style event in May this year which will see the money raised split equally between the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and Merseyrail's 2013 charity of the year.

If anyone would like to fundraise or make a donation to for the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit or find out about fundraising opportunities with the Trust please contact our fundraising team on:- 0151 706 3150.


WITH more than 1 million pounds of drugs have been seized by Merseyside Police in a week long crackdown on cannabis farms it has been a good result in the fight againced drug related crime. Officers from the force have confiscated almost 1,500 cannabis plants with an estimated yield of £850,000 along with large quantities of cocaine, heroin and amphetamine.  The force wide 'week of action' targeted organised criminal groups responsible for operating cannabis farms in communities and resulted in 94 people being arrested for drugs and other offences. Handgun ammunition, expensive watches, drug packaging equipment and mixing agent were also seized after officers executed almost 100 Misuse of Drugs Act warrants last week. Superintendent Mark Harrison, who led the operation, said the results showed the force was successfully tackling the issue of cannabis farms in people's communities and going after the criminal gangs running them.

Superintendent Mark Harrison told us that:- "A great deal of work went into gathering the evidence for these warrants and into carrying them out so it is good to see them bring about positive results. We have seized large numbers of cannabis plants worth a considerable amount of money to the criminal gangs growing them and arrested almost a hundred people suspected of drugs and money laundering offences. The fact that we have found ammunition, Class A drugs and large amounts of unaccounted for cash at some of these premises shows that cannabis is not a harmless drug. It is linked to serious and organised crime and the cultivation of cannabis is damaging our communities so it is imperative that the Police, Crimestoppers and the general public continue to tackle it. The Crimestoppers 'scratch and sniff' card initiative was a great way of educating local people about what to look out for and, with farms increasingly being set up in residential areas, we need the public to be our eyes and ears and tell us what they know."

HMRC keeps up the pressure on tax cheats

TAX cheats who become insolvent to dodge their companies' tax obligations face up to 5 years' scrutiny from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Under Managing Serious Defaulters (MSD), HMRC will closely monitor the tax affairs of more individuals and businesses who have deliberately evaded tax for up to five years. From 1 April, HMRC is extending the close monitoring of the tax affairs of those who deliberately choose not to pay what they owe. MSD will ensure that they comply with their tax obligations and permanently change their behaviour.

MSD replaces and expands the Managing Deliberate Defaulters (MDD) scheme, which was launched in 2011 and aims to keep tax cheats on the straight and narrow through close monitoring. Early indications suggest that those monitored are changing their behaviour. This has led them to disclose concealed income and amend previous tax returns.

MSD will include evaders who:-

have received a civil evasion penalty for dishonestly evading VAT.
are required to give a security deposit for VAT, Environmental Taxes, PAYE or NICs.
become deliberately insolvent as a way of dodging their business taxation obligations.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:- "Increasingly, evaders are using contrived insolvency to evade tax, either through liquidation of a business or bankruptcy of an individual. It is only fair that someone who has deliberately tried to evade tax should face extra scrutiny from HMRC. This measure, along with those announced in the Budget, demonstrates that we will crack down on people who don't pay what they owe."

Jennie Granger, Director General Enforcement and Compliance at HMRC, said:- "HMRC monitoring has proved effective in making tax cheats comply with their tax obligations. MSD will keep the pressure up on even more defaulters."

Extra scrutiny under MSD can include:-

Unannounced visits by HMRC.
Asking for records so they can be checked.
Carrying out in-depth compliance checks into persons tax affairs.
Observing and recording business activities and cross-checking details in accounts.

Defaulters who fail to keep their tax affairs in order may face criminal proceedings.

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