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News Report Page 6 of 29
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Celebrating our staff at the time of Florence Nightingale's Birthday

'INTERNATIONAL Nurses Day' (12 May 2019), 'International Midwives Day' (5 May) and 'National Operating Department Practitioners Day' (14 May) have given staff at Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust plenty to celebrate.  Events were held at both Hospitals, to thank ALL the staff for the incredible amount of dedication, commitment, empathy and professionalism that goes into each and every day.

Staff were able to drop into small parties to pick up lunch and a thank you cup cake, and enjoy music from Radio Heartbeat, the Hospital radio station. Raffle prize donations from Southport Pleasureland helped to raise funds for the Hospital charity, which enabled the celebratory thank you events.

Juliette Cosgrove, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Therapies explains:- "Nurses, midwives and ODPs are part of the lifeblood of our Trust and this is the perfect time of year to thank them all for their work. But we strongly believe that all staff play an equal role here, so whether they are fixing broken bones or a burst pipe, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone. Happy Nurses, midwives and ODPs day to everyone, you are all amazing and we are SO Proud of the work done here every day."

Your Ambulance Service wants to hear from you

LOOKING to hear views from both public and patients, North West Ambulance Service is recruiting volunteers to join a panel of voices to gain insight and feedback from the people that matter the most; their community. The Public and Patient Panel will allow the trust to make sure that they hear what their public think and act upon their views with the feedback working to shape the future of the Ambulance Service.

Volunteers are able to decide on their level of involvement, from completing online surveys and feeding back on strategies to attending focus groups right up to regular participation at the trust Board. NWAS are looking for representatives of all ages above 16 and from all areas of the North West.

Julie Treharne, Head of Communications and Engagement said:- "Everything we do is for our patients and our public and we feel that it's vital that we hear their views and that they have a say on service improvement and changes that we make as a trust.  Whilst you don't need to have used the service to be a member of our panel, we know that our patients with lived experience could offer us a unique perspective as members which we'd love to hear. We're looking for people from across the North West of all ages, beliefs, cultures and circumstances to help us build a representative picture of our community."

The overall aim of the Patient and Public Panel is for the Ambulance Service to ensure that the highest quality of care is provided to patients, their relatives and carers. Participants will be asked to give feedback on key strategies and new ways of working and will be able to choose their level of involvement varying from online surveys right up to taking an active role in Board and committee meetings.

There are 3 different types of involvement which require different levels of time and contribution. These are:-

Influence - Members will be supported to attend meetings within the trust such as board and committee meetings where their views will help to influence decision making and discussions on a variety of different subjects. This role will require regular time commitment such as reading agendas and supporting materials ahead of scheduled meetings and availability to attend meetings at a trust location.

Co-produce - Our co-production panel will work together on projects with the trust to help make service improvements. As part of the co-production panel, participants may be asked to get involved in focus groups on topics such as vehicle design, communication with the public or new models of providing patient care. This role will require occasional commitment and travel to a trust or community based location.

Consult - The consult panel will be virtual and members will be asked to contribute online which can be flexible to fit in with other commitments they may have such as work and family life. Examples of participation may include completing surveys or providing feedback on leaflets or publications via email or online.

Panel members cannot be current NWAS employees and must be over the age of 16 living in:- Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside or Greater Manchester. They should be able to empathise with and reflect a range of different perspectives when sharing opinions. Expenses will be reimbursed and although members are asked to commit to a minimum of 1 year, they are welcome to withdraw at any time.

Information about how to apply to become a panel member can be found on:- NWAS.NHS.UK/Panel

Are rural road speed limits safe?

ROAD safety campaigners are calling for a review of speed limits on rural single carriageway roads as a report is released revealing that drivers don't feel safe travelling at the default 60mph speed limit. The report, by Brake, the road safety charity and Direct Line and based on a survey of more than 1,000 drivers, found 6 in 10 would feel unsafe travelling at the default 60mph limit on rural single carriageway roads compared with 9 in 10 saying they generally aim to drive at around the limit on roads of any kind. 23% stated that 60mph is a safe speed for a vehicle on a road where there may be people on foot, bicycles and horses.  Safety on rural roads is incredibly important. 40% of all deaths on Britain's roads occur on rural single carriageway roads. On average, 17 people are killed or seriously injured on these roads every day.

Most rural roads in the UK have a 60mph speed limit, which is the national default for single carriageway roads. However, these roads are unsuited to high speeds. They are often narrow with blind bends, brows and no pavements or cycle paths, with a lack of alternate direct and segregated routes for people on foot, bicycles or horses. These roads also have other hazards like the presence of animals or items in the road such as a tree branch. Overgrowing hedges and trees can obstruct visibility of the road and signs and can also present an additional danger in the event of a crash. Even in dry weather, the stopping distance at the default 60mph limit is 73m, which is more than 6 double decker bus lengths. This means that a driver travelling at the limit would almost certainly not be able to stop in time, if a cyclist on the road in front was hidden by a blind bend. The report found that drivers either wanted, or were ambivalent, about a reduction to the default 60mph limit on rural roads, with 19% objecting to a reduction.

Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:- "Drivers have made their views clear; travelling at 60mph on rural roads doesn't feel safe to them, and the majority would support or not object to the limit being reduced. The current default limit gives a false impression that 60mph is a safe speed and this is putting everyone who uses our rural roads at risk. With 17 people killed or seriously injured on these roads every day, the Government must review the default speed limit with a view to its reduction. Looking ahead to the publication of the Government's new road safety action plan, we urge a focus on speed reduction, both in our towns and cities but also on the country's many winding and narrow single carriageway rural roads that are often overlooked, but where so many of our road deaths and serious injuries occur. Simply put, slowing down vehicles save lives."

Steve Barrett head of Direct Line Car Insurance, said:- "Speed and rural roads can be a deadly combination. However, a speed limit is not a target that must be attained and people should drive to the conditions of the road. Rural roads have many challenges for all those that use them and speed can exacerbate this, in both stopping distances and reaction times."

Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, walking and cycling charity, has also welcomed the report:- "This report highlights that we need to continue to make everyone feel and be safe on our roads. Evidence shows lower speed limits save lives and prevent injuries, as well as making our roads more inclusive and pleasant for all, in particular for vulnerable road users, including:- pedestrians, those who cycle, disabled people, horse riders and children.  Our review of the National Cycle Network highlights that reducing speed limits in both rural and built-up areas can play a huge role in making walking and cycling more welcoming."

Commenting, Alan Tapp, Professor of Social Marketing at UWE, said:- "The findings that drivers tend to drive around the speed limit but few feel safe travelling at 60mph on single carriageway rural roads, is significant. Of course, drivers are not obliged to drive at speed limits, and we should encourage policies promoting more rigorous driver training and more rigorous testing. But there is also a case to review the widespread use of default national speed limits on single carriageway rural roads, particularly country lanes."

In a case study 1 tragic story of the dangers of rural roads is that of Jason Eaton. He was just 17 when he died in a car crash on a rural road in October 2010. Jason was a front seat passenger in his friend's car travelling on the B4036, a single carriageway 60mph rural road, near West Haddon, in Northamptonshire. The driver failed to slow down when approaching a bend, lost control and careered off the road. Jason was trapped in the car for more than an hour before being freed and rushed to Hospital, but tragically died of his injuries. The crash investigator concluded the cause was driving too fast for the bend and the inexperience of the driver.

Commenting, Jason's mother Marina said:- "8 years have passed since Jason lost his life, yet it still feels like it happened yesterday. Jason was a wonderful young man, loved by all his family and friends, and was taken from us far too soon. Speeding on rural roads is so dangerous; we all just need to slow down. I do not want any other family to suffer the life changing effect Jason's death has on all of our family every day."

But others have commented that cutting speed limits is not the answer, but a new law should be passed, like those used on some of German Motorways, that targets drivers on their driving, looking at the conditions of the road, and not a speed limit.

What are your views on this very emotive topic? Please do email them to us at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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