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Southport Reporter

Edition No. 87

Date:- 21 February 2003

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GILL Fell of Impact Business Coaching met up with local MP Claire Curtis-Thomas to discuss the possibilities of working together to help build a strong business network group for the borough.

The Chamber of Commerce 'women in business' meeting in January proved to be a huge success and the next meeting are booked for March 10 at Formby Hall Golf Club.  Curtis-Thomas will be delivering a short address to the women attending and has vowed to support the group whole heartedly.

Attending the meeting Claire said, "I support the women in business network and am deeply concerned at the lack of women in senior positions in the private and public sectors.  I am keen to do whatever I can to promote women whose contribution at the moment is not available in the community!"  Gill Fell is delighted to have this support and is hoping to assist Claire with the future development of workshops and training for women starting up new businesses in the area.

Odri Crewe, chief executive of the Sefton Chamber of Commerce added that, "Local business women will have the continued support of the Chamber and urges all business women, owners, managers or key personnel to attend the next meeting."  Building business through referrals is the subject of the next meeting when Claire Curtis Thomas is looking forward to meeting the group.

South Asian Organ Donors
Report with thanks to the Department of Health 
A new South Asian Organ Donor ad campaign to encourage more Asians to
become organ donors and save lives is being launched by the Department of Health.

People of Asian origin are three times as likely than the general population to develop conditions that lead to kidney failure.
Successful transplants are greatly increased if donor and recipient are from the same ethnic group but there aren't enough Asian people on the organ donor register.

Speaking about her involvement in the campaign to encourage more Asian organ donors, one of the campaign's 'stars', 25 year old
transplant recipient Riminder from Southall, said:-

"I have spent most of my life waiting for a suitable donor to come forward. As a community we need to understand issues such as organ donation that affect us directly as a community. The fact is there
are more Asians on the transplant waiting list and not enough of us coming forward to donate. We need to take action.

Everyday more and more people are finding themselves in the same position as me, and if I can prevent someone going through what I and my family did, then I am happy to do so. As a community we need to act now, and make sure that we join the NHS organ Donor Register, you could save someone's life"

Health Minister David Lammy said:-

"Currently 841 Asian people are awaiting transplants in the UK, but there are not enough people of Asian origin on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Unfortunately this means that some people die whilst waiting for a transplant. Due to a high rate of diabetes and high blood pressure amongst the Asian community, we estimate that in a few years time half the people on kidney dialysis may be Asian and in need of a transplant.

We all need to take action by carrying a donor card and joining the NHS Organ Donor Register. Please call the Organ Donor Line, 0845 60 60 400, or visit the website"
Epilepsy Audit.
Report with thanks to the Department of Health 
HEALTH Minister, Jacqui Smith today issued the Epilepsy Action Plan, which will help improve services for people with epilepsy, their families and careers. This follows publication of the National Clinical Audit of Epilepsy-Related Deaths. The audit was sponsored by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to establish whether or not any deficiencies in the standard of clinical management, or in the overall healthcare package, could have contributed to any deaths.

Health Minister, Jacqui Smith said:-

"We have taken the findings of the audit seriously and I hope that this action plan will result in improved services for people with
epilepsy and their families. It covers a wide range of strategies and policies, including:-

- spending £1.2 million over the next two years on a project with the NHS Modernisation Agency to improve access to neurology services;
- supporting the National Society for Epilepsy with a Section 64 grant of £288,600 over the next 3 years to improve support and information for people with epilepsy and their families; this is in addition to an existing grant of £122,000 to support their "Living Well" project which provides local courses to promote self-help and self-management for people living with epilepsy;
- work across government and by professional organisations to modernise pathology and post mortem services which will address any shortfalls in current practice, and help improve support and
information for bereaved families of people with epilepsy;
- medicines management programmes which are raising awareness among health professionals, improving partnership between patients and professionals in relation to medicine taking, and looking at the
effective use of medicines;
- helping to develop more general practitioners with a special interest in neurology; 
- improving care and support for pregnant women with epilepsy.

In addition to the Epilepsy Action Plan, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) will publish an appraisal of anti-epilepsy drugs next year followed by a guideline on the diagnosis, management and treatment of epilepsy in 2004. Also, the National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions will consider how we can improve neurology services and is due to be published in 2004.

Both of these pieces of work show our increased commitment to getting a better deal for this group of people."

Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said "I am happy to see the Department of Health publishing this action plan. My 2001 Annual Report recommended the need for a real commitment to put right the long standing weaknesses in the standard of care for people with epilepsy. I think this action plan is an important step in the process of improving awareness and understanding of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) and will lead to improved care and services for people with epilepsy."

The audit was sponsored by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the health departments of the devolved
administrations. The voluntary organisation, Epilepsy Bereaved project managed the audit and published the full audit report which is available on the internet at 

Find out more about epilepsy, via visiting the National Society for Epilepsy

Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.