marks 10th anniversary
CHILDREN'S specialists are
celebrating 10 years of care giving at Ormskirk and District General
Hospital on Saturday, 11 October 2014.
The Paediatric Accident and Emergency Unit, which opened in 2004, is
holding an open day to mark the anniversary between midday and 4pm.
Among the attractions is the opportunity for children; and adults
who want; to bring along their teddy bear for check up.
The Unit saw more than 23,000 children last year aged from soon
after birth to their 16th birthday.
Senior sister Linda Connolly said:- "We have had 10 very happy
years at Ormskirk and the Unit has become a much loved part of the
The open day is an opportunity to celebrate with the community and
show off the health care services we have to offer here." Among the clinical teams represented at the open day will be
accident and emergency; the children's ward; children's outpatients;
the play specialists; the special care baby unit; the children's
community nursing outreach team; the paediatric diabetes team; and
the paediatric blood clinic.
A new scheme is starting to help
protect children from domestic abuse
A pioneering new scheme to
help schools support children who witness domestic abuse is being
rolled out across Merseyside on Monday. Operation Encompass will see
Merseyside Police inform schools on the next school day if one of
their pupils has been present during a domestic incident in their
home the night before. The aim is to give schools the information
they need in order to provide valuable support following a domestic
abuse incident. Merseyside Police attends 34,000 domestic incidents
every year and around 74 per cent of those involve children being in
the home at the time. By sharing information between the police and
the schools, the authorities hope to provide greater emotional
support to children aged 4 to 18 years who live and attend school in
Merseyside. All Merseyside local authorities have signed up to the
scheme alongside Merseyside Police and key people in each school in
Sefton have been trained by the Local Safeguarding Children Board on
how to record the police information and act on it. Support to an
affected child can include:-
► A teacher giving them some leeway if their behaviour is out of the
► Making sure they are given a proper lunch and any spare uniform
they need if the events at home have meant they have forgotten
anything that day.
► Allowing the child to keep a comforting toy with them even if
usual school rules are against toys being brought into classrooms.
► Giving them time to talk to someone they can trust such as a
particular teacher or a learning mentor.
► Giving them time out to study in a quieter part of the classroom
or try a different activity if they are getting angry or upset while
joining in with the rest of the class.
The initiative is the brainchild of a Police Sergeant in Plymouth
who is married to a Head Teacher and who felt that the silent
victims of domestic abuse; the children; were being forgotten about
by the authorities. After being successfully introduced in Plymouth
in 2011, more schools in Devon adopted the early reporting system
with great success. In the 1st 18 months of the scheme, more than a
thousand child victims of domestic abuse were helped in subtle ways
by their school who otherwise may not have been helped at all.
Officers and Council officials in Knowsley heard about the success
of the scheme and in September 2012 started train more than 100 key
adults in local schools to implement the scheme. All 63 local
authority schools in Knowsley signed up to the protocol and a 6
month trial began. Between December 2012 and June 2013 there were
239 domestic incidents involving 375 children being present in the
family home at the time. Around 70% of affected children were of
primary school age and 30% were secondary and the majority. The
trial concluded that Operation Encompass had enabled many more
children to be identified as living with domestic abuse that had
previously been known to the authorities, and subsequently given
more help and support. The scheme was openly advertised to all
parents and it also had the effect of de-stigmatising domestic abuse
and de-basing some of the myths around it. One parent told a school
that they were relieved that someone else knew to look out for their
child that day because of what had occurred in the family home the
night before. After a successful pilot in Knowsley, schools in
Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens have also pledged to sign up
to the agreement, which comes into effect on Monday, 6 October 2014.
Detective Superintendent Tim Keelan who heads up Merseyside Police's
public protection unit, said:- "Domestic abuse is a complex
issue which affects every strand of society. It exists across all
ages groups and social classes and damages the lives of everyone
involved. A great deal of effort goes into encouraging the adult
victims of domestic abuse to come forward and tell someone, and to
rehabilitating the offenders who want help in changing. However the
silent victims in all of this are children. The children of the
parents who argue aggressively or violently in the family home or
who see their mum or dad upset or hurt the following day. These
children carry that experience into school the next day yet no-one
else may know and they continue to suffer in silence. Our pledge is
to change that so that someone does know what that child has seen or
heard. Our pledge is to ensure that every frontline Police Officer
in Merseyside who attends a domestic incident knows how to make our
specialist Family Crime Unit Officers aware of what has gone on so
that they in turn can alert the right people in that child's school
and a caring arm can be put around their shoulders the very next
morning. It may seem like a small or simple step but that is the
beauty of it. It has made a huge difference to young people already
in Knowsley and our hope is that this positive difference can be
made to every child in Merseyside who witnesses domestic abuse in
the family home."
Cllr Trish Hardy, Chair of the Sefton Community Safety Partnership,
said:- "Any initiative that protects and supports children who
are subject to domestic abuse is welcomed. The introduction of
Operation Encompass across Sefton and Merseyside should hopefully
make a real difference to a child that has witnessed any form of
domestic abuse. This can be a very scary time for children, but
through this Operation, constant support is available for them and
they don't have to suffer in silence."
Julie Starkey, Newfield Special School Head Teacher in Thornton,
said:- "Operation Encompass is welcomed by schools across
Sefton. The communication between agencies is becoming increasingly
vital in ensuring that, together, we can improve the safeguarding
and support for our children and young people, who may face
significant emotional trauma and difficulties in their home lives.
Operation Encompass will play a massive role in providing the right
amount of information at the right time, to adults who may have key
support relationships for young people, when they may not feel ready
or able to ask for help."
establish charter for Zero Hours contracts
LIVERPOOL City Council is
set to establish a Charter Mark for local businesses to champion
good practice in the use of agency staff.
It is 1 of a series of recommendations in a report to the
Employment, Enterprise and Skills Select Committee, and follows a
Scrutiny Panel which has looked at the issue of Zero Hours contracts
in the private sector.
It looked particularly at what are known as mobile worker employment
contracts, which are used by agencies to place staff in various
It took evidence from a number of organisations including a
recruitment agency, a firm which uses agency staff, the Department
for Work and Pensions (DWP) and work programme provider A4E.
If found that 52% of the 6,500 job vacancies in
the City at the moment are agency jobs, and there is significant
growth forecast by the Recruitment Industry Trends Survey.
The Scrutiny Panel also discovered that:-
► A local firm which gave evidence is using large numbers of agency
staff instead of permanent staff
► People working for a local recruitment agency do not receive
overtime even if they work weekends and Bank Holidays; sometimes do
not know if they are working until the day they are called in and
are not members of a trade union
► A guarantee to have a 25 mile limit on travelling to workplaces
can often be much further in reality as it is calculated as the crow
flies rather than the distance by road or rail - and staff have to
pay their own travel costs
► A loophole known as the 'Swedish Derogation' is being used
to employ people on terms and conditions which aren't the same as
Councillor Barry Kushner, Chair of the Employment, Enterprise and
Skills Select Committee, said:- "What the Scrutiny Panel has
heard is alarming evidence in the private sector of the increasing
use of agency staff to replace core workers on inferior terms and
It is making it extremely difficult for people to plan their lives,
as they do not know from week to week or even day to day what hours
they will be working, or how far they will have to travel.
There is a real concern here that the welfare state is having to
carry the burden of low waged and poor working practices because
despite having more people in work they are increasingly relying on
in work benefits.
More and more people are being employed on these type of contracts
and we need action now to make sure that agency workers are treated
fairly and are not taken advantage of.
There is a case for good quality 0 hours contracts where it suits
the employer and the employee, and the City Council itself uses
standardised hours contracts for certain sessional jobs such as
youth workers, sessional tutors and events staff. But in contrast to
some private sector contracts, we ensure they have the same terms,
conditions, rights and protection as every other member of staff;
including access to the pension scheme and redundancy entitlements,
and we do not use them to replace permanent staff."
The Scrutiny Panel is also recommending
that the Government:-
► Puts controls and measures in place to ensure that
contracts are only used when there is a real business need and not
to circumvent broader employment rights.
► Closes the Swedish Derogation loophole that exempts firms from
paying the same rate of pay to agency workers that they do to
► Allow short term benefits claims to be made by people affected by
the uncertainty of 0 hour contracts and consider whether the cost
should be passed on to the businesses involved.
► Make sure that the terms and conditions of jobs advertised on the
Universal Jobs Match website are quality checked so claimants aren't
manoeuvred into 0 hours and low hours contracts.
► Consider regulation of Work Programme Providers being allowed to
use recruitment agencies they own as the end employer for their
clients, to make sure there is no abuse of public funds
It is also recommending that trade unions should actively recruit
agency workers as members.
Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills,
said:- "I welcome and support this report and the work that
has been done around this issue.
The City Council is fully committed to doing its part to ban
exploitative zero hours contracts which rip people off which is why
we have worked with our trade unions to ensure the Council has got
the highest standard of flexible working practices.
It's why we'll be shortly launching our Employment Charter to
encourage Liverpool businesses to follow our lead."
The report can be read
School Children Rise to the
Occasion at Liverpool ONE Bake-Off
AS Bake Off fever continues to sweep the
nation, a Southport primary school has taken part in its own 'Bake
Off Style' competition at Liverpool ONE.
Hosted at Home Coffee in the award winning retail and leisure
destination, pupils from Churchtown Primary School competed to see
who would be crowned Star Baker.
The pupils, who were all aged 7 to 11, demonstrated their baking
prowess, creating showstoppers that would make Mary Berry proud.
Iain Finlayson from Liverpool ONE, said:- "The afternoon was
the perfect opportunity to engage with the children and educate them
about the joys of baking. Fun competitions like this are a great way
of sparking an interest in cooking as well as allowing children to
showcase their creativity."
From cupcakes and sponges to brownies and doughnuts, the pupils
whipped up delectable delights during an afternoon of fun as the
final of the national sensation approaches.
Jinnie Payne, Headteacher at Churchtown Primary School said:-
"The Bake Off was a great afternoon for the children who all
thoroughly enjoyed themselves, particularly the measuring and
mixing. This bake off allowed the children to learn more about
baking and the importance of measuring and numbers too. We are
incredibly proud and pleased with the efforts made by all of the
children, whether they were crowned Star Baker or not. They were all
star bakers in our eyes." Rich Fiddaman from Home Coffee added:-
"We were delighted to play host to the pupils from Churchtown
Primary School as they showcased their baking talents. We also
thoroughly enjoyed judging the competition and we can definitely
verify that the cakes were as delicious as they looked!"