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Liverpool's Hospitals 'no place for alcohol' says new campaign

TAKING alcohol into Hospitals could be dangerous and is placing an unnecessary burden on already hard pressed NHS staff. These are the key messages behind an awareness raising campaign which aims to discourage patients and well meaning visitors from bringing booze to the bedside in the City's Hospital wards.

Spearheaded by Liverpool City Council's Public Protection Team, the Hospital Watch campaign is about to be rolled out at Aintree Hospital. The campaign stresses the possible dangers to patients of taking alcohol on top of any medication they may be on while in Hospital. It also highlights the potential for anti-social behaviour that drinking on the wards could bring. As part of the campaign, Public Protection officers have enlisted the support of the local licensed trade around Liverpool's Hospitals.

In the run up to the launch, Council officers took part in a number of test purchases at off licences close to Hospitals around the City. The team members posed as patients and attempted to buy alcohol. The undercover officers were served with alcohol at 13 of the 16 premises they visited, with no questions asked.  Since then, the Public Protection team has made contact with the off licences and offered training to staff to help them to refuse to serve anyone who is a Hospital patient.  A subsequent test purchase operation resulted in officers being refused alcohol at all 16 off licences.

Hospital Watch posters and pull up banners are placed in high profile locations throughout the Hospitals, whilst campaign packs, including leaflets for visitors and patients, are being distributed to individual wards and local off licences. The campaign will eventually be rolled out to all of Liverpool's Hospitals.  More information about the support available for alcohol related issues in Liverpool can be found online.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Brant said:- "Whilst the issue of people bringing alcohol into Hospital is a relatively small one, it impacts on the services and the ability of the staff to do their jobs properly.  If doctors, nurses and other health care staff are forced to deal with a patient who is suffering because of the adverse effects of alcohol, it takes them away from caring for people who are sick and in need of their help. Whilst we appreciate that friends and family members may be trying to make a patient's stay in Hospital more enjoyable, alcohol isn't the answer. We would urge all members of the public to take heed of the Hospital Watch message and keep alcohol out of our Hospitals."

Dr Tristan Cope, Medical Director at Aintree University Hospital, said:- "We understand that patients can be with us for a long time and it can be an unsettling experience, however, it's really important that people don't supply our patients with alcohol. When mixed with medication, alcohol can be extremely dangerous and can also make people more susceptible to antisocial behaviour, which is something our staff should never have to deal with.  While alcohol misuse isn't a big issue for us, we don't want any of our patients to come to harm, so I welcome the support of the City Council and our surrounding retailers."

Financial boost for environmental projects across Liverpool

Benefiting: Princes Park will receive some of the Section 106 funding

A  total of 9 projects which will improve green and open spaces across Liverpool are set to receive cash from planning agreements made with developers. The schemes, which have a total value of ₤1.2 million, will receive ₤523,837 of Section 106 funding, which is provided by developers as a condition of planning permission being granted for some schemes.

The biggest, for ₤288,628, is the Council's contribution towards a scheme that would see around 650 trees planted at 12 sites across the City, including the Fabric District off London Road. An application has been made to the Urban Tree Challenge Fund to match-fund the project, with a decision expected in September.

The Mandela8 project will be allocated ₤100,000 towards the creation of the memorial on the island, on Princes Park lake. The project has already received support for the installation of a new bridge, dedicated to Nelson Mandela, who was a Freeman of Liverpool.

The Florrie Community Garden in Toxteth will receive ₤40,000 for a public garden including new paths, gates, trees and shrubs. And Marybone Youth Centr,e in the City Centr,e will ₤7,500 towards a grant to repair building as part of a wider ₤75,000 scheme to create new outdoor space.

The other schemes to benefit are:-

Otterspool Play Area which has been allocated ₤37,209 as part of a ₤62,000 equipment upgrade.

► ₤12,000 towards the cost of improving the Dam Wood gateway entrance at Croxteth Park.

► Improvements worth ₤25,000, at Stalmine Gardens, in Warbreck including:- benches, trees and wildflowers.

► Better access to the Pony Fields, at Woolton, costing ₤13,500.

In addition, the Bronte Youth Centre just outside the City Centre will be given ₤115,500 to refurbish its garden area, including:- new play equipment, subject to the Council being satisfied with further information that it has requested.

A report recommending approval of the funding will be considered by the Cabinet, on Friday, 2 August 2019.

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "We are using the money we receive from developers for projects that deliver significant environmental improvements across the City, creating better quality green space for people to enjoy. It is part of our commitment to make Liverpool a greener place to live, work and visit, and making sure that new developments have a wider positive knock on effect for the City.  The City Council recently declared a climate change emergency which committed us to making the City carbon neutral by 2030, and the projects being funded will all play a part towards achieving this aim."

Sonia Bassey, Chair and 1 of the founding members of Mandela8, said:- "We are delighted with the additional funding secured for the Nelson Mandela memorial and associated improvement work for Princes Park. It will be a centrepiece of the park, ensuring his legacy, values and ideals are formally marked, breaking down barriers within local communities, promote social and racial understanding, tolerance and tackling issues around cultural diversity. The memorial will be focal point for our engagement and education programme with people of all ages."

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