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Inspirational Southport volunteer picks up award from Diabetes UK

FIONA Kenyon, 49, from Southport received the Campaigning and Raising Awareness Inspire Award from Diabetes UK for her work helping gyms across Liverpool support people living with diabetes. Fiona, a team leader for North Mersey Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, engaged with gyms across Liverpool and helped educate staff on diabetes and helping people with diabetes to manage their condition while exercising.

Fiona, whose mum passed away from complications relating to Type 2 diabetes 5 years ago, said:- "Diabetes is a condition that has impacted me personally and I work with people managing the condition every day, and wanted to do something to help people living with diabetes in the local area. Exercising and going to the gym can be daunting for people with diabetes as they have to manage blood glucose levels and may fear having a hypoglycaemic attack. I'm proud to have been able to support this initiative and help gyms understand the potential difficulties and to help create a supportive environment for people with diabetes."

Diabetes is a serious condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK said:- "It's an honour to recognise Fiona's hard work and dedication with an Inspire Award. We couldn't raise awareness of diabetes and support people living with the condition without the invaluable support of volunteers like Fiona. This award is incredibly well deserved and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank Fiona for all the support she offers to people living and affected by diabetes."

To find out more about Diabetes UK visit:- Diabetes.Org.UK.

More than 9,000 motorists were caught doing over 100mph in 2018

IN 2018, over 9,000 motorists were caught by Police speeding at more than 100mph on UK roads, according to data obtained by the road safety charity Brake. The highest speed recorded was 162mph jointly on the M1 Southbound in South Yorkshire and the M4 Eastbound in Avon and Somerset, more than twice the national limit on Motorways. Brake want to see automatic driving bans for those caught travelling at over 100mph and greater resources provided to the Police to help improve speeding enforcement.

The road safety charity obtained figures from 40 of the 45 Police forces across the UK, following a Freedom of Information request. Each force was asked to supply the total number of offences recorded by a speed camera or from an officer's speed radar where a motorist was found to be going over 100mph, for 2018. They were also asked to provide the top 5 speeds recorded in their area, including what the speed limit was, the location, the driver's age and gender.

From the responses, a total of 9,596 motorists were clocked doing over 100mph. The top 5 speeds recorded nationwide were: 162mph on the M1 in South Yorkshire, 162mph on M4 in Avon and Somerset, 160mph on the M5 in West Mercia, 157mph on the M62 in West Yorkshire, and 157mph on the M25 in Kent.

4 forces recorded more than 1,000 motorists exceeding 100mph in 2018. West Yorkshire Police recorded the most with 2,252; followed by Kent Police with 1,323; then West Mercia Police with 1,114; and Surrey Police with 1,016.

Drivers caught speeding at over 100mph are referred to Court, where magistrates have the discretion to issue a driving ban or 6 penalty points on a driver's licence. The maximum fine for serious speeding offences is ₤1000, rising to ₤2500 if caught on a Motorway.

Road safety charity, Brake, are concerned about the number of drivers caught travelling at more than 100mph. Stopping distances at speeds over 100mph are more than 182m, the equivalent of about 45 car lengths, or nearly 2 football pitches. Brake want to see drivers automatically banned if caught travelling at over 100mph and are calling on the Government to invest in national roads policing, as a matter of urgency, to give the Police the resources necessary to increase enforcement.

Commenting Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said:- "There is absolutely no justification for any driver to be travelling at such excessive speeds; more than twice the national speed limit in some cases; putting themselves and others in grave danger. The number of drivers caught speeding at over 100mph highlights some deeply concerning issues with speeding across the country and makes clear the need for action. Anyone caught travelling at such speed should always face a ban; we have to make sure these dangerous, selfish drivers are taken off our roads. The Government must invest in national roads policing as a priority to provide the Police with the resources they need to get out on the roads and act as a true deterrent to dangerous driving. The law must also be used to its fullest extent in penalising such dangerous behaviour, making it clear that speeding will not be tolerated."

Outsourced NHS staff in Liverpool set to strike after unanimous vote

STAFF employed by private contractor Compass within Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have unanimously voted to take strike action, at the end of the July 2019, over their employer's failure to match NHS pay rates, says UNISON. The staff work for the multinational outsourcing company as catering, cleaning, security, portering and reception staff and most are paid only the minimum wage rate of ₤8.21 an hour. But Compass staff work alongside colleagues who are employed directly by the NHS, where the lowest rate is ₤9.03 an hour. This difference of 82p an hour is worth ₤1,600 a year for full-time staff says UNISON. After Compass refused to give its staff a wage rise in line with that paid to NHS employees in 2018, UNISON asked its members whether they wished to go on strike over the issue. The result was that 100% of respondents voted to take industrial action. Compass staff working within St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and have also been balloted by UNISON, with staff in both trusts also voting 100% in favour of action. A 1 day strike will take place within all 3 NHS trusts on Wednesday 31 July if ongoing talks between UNISON and Compass are not able to reach a successful conclusion.

Commenting on the vote Laura Ellis, a ward hostess employed by Compass at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital said:- "We're all doing the same work and it's totally demoralising that some are paid more than others. It's not just our hourly rate either; we don't have a proper sick pay scheme. When we're ill we just have to go in and get on with it or we don't get paid. Some of my colleagues have been diagnosed with serious conditions and had to continue working because they couldn't afford to go without pay. I'm working 6 days a week every week. It would be a huge relief if Compass committed to ending the 2 tier workforce it has helped to create in the Hospital. Then I could afford to spend more time with my family."

Michelle Tymon is a UNISON representative who also works for Compass, but gets the higher NHS rate for the job. She said:- "I am fully supportive of my striking colleagues. We all do exactly the same work and yet those of us lucky to be on NHS contracts earn thousands of pounds more per year. We all play our part in keeping the health service going and it's only right we all receive proper NHS pay and conditions."

UNISON North West regional organiser Lisa Walsh said:- "It's completely wrong that staff working side by side together within the NHS are getting different rates for the job. On top of the issue of hourly pay, those on Agenda for Change (NHS) contracts are receiving shift bonuses and better sick pay schemes. All of these workers deserve an NHS contract for an NHS job; it's time for the 2 tier workforce to end. The 100% mandate for strike action shows how strongly these dedicated Hospital staff feel about this issue.  Compass made ₤1.7bn in profit last year. They should put their hands into their deep pockets and find the 82p per hour that would make little difference to their profits but would be a huge help to NHS workers in St Helens, Blackpool and Liverpool."

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