• NHS Healthcare: No charge at the point of use
    On 22 May 2014 GP's are to vote on whether to introduce appointment charges (estimated £10 - £25 per visit). If this vote is passed it could mean the end of our NHS, free at the point of use. The NHS is currently being dismantled under the guise of an ineffective system and more consumer choice. Increased GP workload and patient demand driving this issue is largely as a result of government policy, hospital closures and privatisation. GP income has fallen by design and patient charges are not the answer. "How many times are we going to fall into the traps set by our political masters?" asks Gurdave Gill, GP Partner writing on the Pulse Today website. "Patient charges are NOT the answer. User charges deter the sick and poor as much as the 'worried well'. Expensive and bureaucratic to collect, evidence shows patients delay seeking medical advice when user charges are introduced. Delay in diagnosis can cause significant harm. If we know this to be fact, to introduce charges appears to suggest that our incomes are more important than any potential harm to the patients. Is this ethical? "The current crisis in Primary care has been manufactured to create a pressure from GPs for charges. [...] We should be demanding increased resources from Government and not our patients. The NHS returned £5bn underspend to the treasury in the last 3 years. The cost of the purchaser-provider split exceeds £10bn pa yet delivers absolutely no patient gain at roughly the entire cost of primary care! {...] We need to identify the correct target and demand our representative bodies are more effective rather than the incompetence/collusion with Government we have seen in recent past. The minority of pro-privatisation GPs leading the call for charges need to be recognised for what they are. We must not be persuaded by the 'greedy and dims' amongst us.” And how about that consumer choice? Right now we have the best of both, individual private healthcare and tax-payer funded. Both are a form of 'paid for' healthcare, one is paid for by the individual, the other paid for and negotiated collectively. If the asset strip continues we will only have the most expensive poorly-negotiated option open to any of us. That is no choice at all. UPDATE The BMA's current position on this motion as outlined to one of our members, obviously, it would be naive to rest on these laurels: "The BMA's current position is not in favour of charging patients for GP appointments. Introducing charging would undermine the basis of the NHS; that healthcare is free at the point of use, and patients receive care based on their clinical need. A fee charging system could require an expensive bureaucracy to collect money from patients. It is also possible that the charges may deter vulnerable patients from seeing their GP which could lead to delays in treatment. However, there will be a motion debated at the Local Medical Committee (LMC) conference in York later this month. If the motion is carried, this does not mean it will become BMA policy. BMA Policy is decided at our Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) in July [ed- It's actually Sunday 22 - Thursday 26 June 2014] and motions are proposed by individual branch of practice conferences (e.g. GPs, consultants, junior doctors etc) and submitted for debate by geographical divisions. It would require further consideration by the BMA's leadership and the BMA's Annual Representative Meeting in July. It is understandable that GPs are looking at raising these kind of ideas, given the enormous pressure on GP services. Many GP practices are struggling from a combination of rising patient demand and falling funding that ministers have failed to recognise. However, the BMA feels that we don't need a complicated and unfair charging system to be introduced for GP appointments. We need the government to provide the resources to enable GPs to deliver the care that their patients need. I hope this is helpful and that it clarifies the BMA position for you." Links: Facebook page that inspired this petition: https://www.facebook.com/healthcharge Pulse Today - GP leaders to vote on whether to support patient charges for appointments: http://bit.ly/1lrI1gg LMC Conference - Full Agenda: http://bit.ly/fullagenda BMC/GPC: http://bit.ly/bmcandgpc BMC Annual Meeting: http://bma.org.uk/working-for-change/arm-2014-info Wessex LMC: http://bit.ly/aboutWessex
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    Created by Frank Coles
  • Please bring back the No 30 bus
    The number 30 bus from Richmond to Keld in North Yorkshire is very important to me as it is my lifeline. Living in a rural area, independence is very important for me but following cuts by North Yorkshire County Council my bus service has been withdrawn completely meaning a loss of independence which in turn has triggered a return of severe depression and anxiety. I travel by bus regularly for my dentist,doctors and psychiatric appointments all of which are over 9 miles away. I am now no longer able to go shopping and do any kind of leisure pursuits with my son as I am unable to get a connection from Richmond to travel by train should I wish to do so. My son who also uses the bus has now had to stop drama classes as he can no longer get home in the evening. The loss of this service is having a detrimental impact on my state of mind and well-being and we feel our right to public transport has been taken away leaving us in total isolation. Richmond our nearest town is over 20 miles away. I cannot drive and I am unable to afford a taxi or costs of other transport as I live on a limited budget. Having to move away from this area would have a devastating impact on my mental health as I would have to leave my job, where my employers are totally supportive of my mental illness, my home where my landladies are also supportive of my mental illness. Many other people in the surrounding areas have also been badly affected. Both the Government and local council must understand that cutting bus services to make short term savings has hugely detrimental effects on people. Upper Swaledale also gets a lot of tourists and walkers along the Coast 2 Coast path and Pennine Way during the year who also use the bus services. Cutting off access to the countryside means that businesses and the tourist industry will also suffer. Please sign my petition to Leader of North Yorkshire County Council: Councillor John Weighell calling for them to think again and reinstate the number 30 bus service between Richmond to Keld.
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    Created by nina davies
  • Save our Ambulance
    Cumbria is the second largest county in England covering 2632 square miles, therefore it is extremely challenging for an Ambulance Service to provide excellent clinical care in a timely manner. As part of a cost saving plan the management of our Ambulance Service are proposing to reduce night time cover by a third in Carlisle, Cumbrias only city. They are also reducing the night time provision provided by a Rapid Response Car in the town of Penrith which is manned by a Paramedic some 16 miles south of Carlisle. This will have a detrimental impact on patient care & safety as a reduction in resources will mean that patients may have to wait even longer than they do now on some occassions. It will affect not only residents in Carlisle but most probably all of North Cumbria as Ambulances that cover outlying rural towns & villages are pulled into Carlisle to respond to the proposed shortfall in resource. Cumbria is a unique county and as such cannot and should not suffer any detriment in the provision of patient care provided by the Ambulance Service just because of its size. We are campaigning to keep the Ambulance resources that we currently provide for our patients within Cumbria. To make these cuts will have an impact on patients and could ultimately cost lives. Please support our campaign
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    Created by michael Oliver
  • Save Newcastle Sure Start
    Sure Start Children's Centre services in Newcastle are facing a two thirds cut in funding over the next three years. This will mean closure of services, buildings, parents groups, activity for young children across the city. It will mean at least 100 jobs will be lost across the council and the voluntary sector. It will mean the opportunities for children and parents will continue to be worsened, following significant cuts already 2010, and the axing of the councils play and youth services last year. SSCCs in Newcastle are all rated Good and Outstanding by Ofsted, reach the vast majority of children under 5 and their families offering universal as well as targeted services. The council proposals:  For the three year budget cycle (2013 – 2016) - the cuts proposed equate to over £5 milllion (or approx. 65% of the total budget) The first £1 million savings have already been agreed, with a proposal for a further £1 million this year and then £3 million for the year 2015-16.   Overall the cuts since 2011 will equate to over 70% with the budget being reduced to less than £3 million from approximately £10 million in 2010-11.   The review of Sure Start and Early Years Services has now been incorporated with the Family Services Review which is being asked to cut £670,000 over the next two years out of budget of £2.3 million which is a 34% cut in services to the most vulnerable families, children and young people.   50% of these services are delivered by the council and 50% by the Community and Voluntary Sector. The city council have estimated that for the work they directly deliver this would equate to the lost of 63 full time equivalent posts (i.e. this will actually be more than 63 people losing their jobs as many jobs are part-time or may be job share) we can only estimate that the equivalent level of job cuts would be made by the Community and Voluntary sector meaning the job cuts proposed would be at least 126 full time posts (probably between 130 and 180 people losing their jobs)   The review has not identified which Sure Start Children’s Centres, Services, Buildings or staff will face cuts.   The councils review timetable includes: ·         April 2014 onwards: Options appraisal (looking with partners at what the cuts could like and coming up with proposals) ·         July 2014: Consultation on the proposed cuts and closures ·         August 2014: Partners agree which options are to be implemented ·         September 2014: Implementation of the cuts for both 2014-15 and 2015-16. ·         March 2015: All cuts implemented.   The councils proposals for 2014 – 2016: http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/sites/drupalncc.newcastle.gov.uk/files/wwwfileroot/your-council-and-democracy/budget_2014-15_-_pc_-_2_-_family_services_review_0-25_incorporating_early_years.pdf   Previous year budgets: http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/your-council-and-democracy/budget-annual-report-and-spending/budget   Unison’s campaign page: http://unison-newcastle.org.uk/sure-start.html   Motion passed at Unison Newcastle City AGM: http://www.unison-newcastle.org.uk/assets/files/AGM2014/140210_18%20Motion%20-%20Save%20Sure%20Start.pdf
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    Created by ed whitby Picture
  • Restoring the disused railway line from Chepstow to Tintern for a shared use path
    The permission was granted by the Forest of Dean District Council for their ownership, but the Monmouthshire Council have been making excuses for the last few years since the original proposal. All over the UK county after county's citizens have been benefiting from these valuable resources for leisure and transport purposes. Why are we waiting and consistently fobbed off with trivial excuses all the time? There are no cycle paths through Chepstow while everywhere else benefits. Despite all the Bills, Papers, and Consultations you pass and now 'The Wales we Want' campaign, we are ignored. This path would enable less able bodied people to access the beauty of the Wye Valley, it would provide business and opportunities locally, and hold these opportunities within Chepstow and surrounding villages where presently people go further afield for leisure facilities. Also it would encourage forms of sustainable transport such as cycling and walking, enabling many people to leave their cars at home. The already established paths in the UK are used by thousands everyday for multiple purpose. Why are we denied this resource, is it because our Council is blind to the future?
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    Created by Jennifer Goslin Picture
  • Reusable nappy incentive scheme for Brighton and Hove
    Brighton and Hove is the first and only green council and yet it doesn't have any real green initiatives! There are many councils that do various schemes (vouchers, cash back etc. full list here http://www.fill-your-pants.com/councilnappyincentives.html) but Brighton does nothing. Around 8 million disposable nappies are used every day in the UK (50 million were dumped in 2007 in Leicestershire alone- the equivalent of 70,000 double- decker buses)! Most of these end up in landfill sites. It is estimated that more than 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable nappies for one baby each year. For every £1 spent on disposable nappies, there is a cost to the taxpayer of 10p to dispose of them! Leicestershire taxpayers pay £250,000 every year to dump disposable nappies in landfill sites. By ‘going cloth’ your family can incur a direct saving of up to £500.
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    Created by Lara Rix-Paradinas
  • Turn the tide on Environment Agency negligence and reinstate Pagham Harbour Mouth
    In 2004 the EA stopped maintaining the harbour mouth delta. Some say it was cost cutting others cite a change in EU policy to create more wetlands. The result has been a huge build up of shingle which blocks the harbour mouth and forces the tide landwards. As the tide flows from the harbour along the shore twice daily it carries away large quantities of shingle and the beach is being lost with every tide. Without action the sea will claim 300 homes, render their owners homeless with the village hall as temporary shelter and continue to flow inland to engulf the low lying sewage works, important infrastructure and arable land. The destruction is not limited to a SSSI rated beach but also a local tourist economy and vibrant community. It is a simple procedure to reinstate the harbour mouth and to allow the sea free passage in and out of the harbour thus conserving the tidal nature of the harbour and the wildlife that depends on it. Please help us to make the EA see sense, to change their mind and save our homes and this beautiful part of the UK before it is lost forever.
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    Created by Save Pagham Beach Save Pagham Beach Picture
  • Make Whitton Station Accessible
    Whitton Station is a critical transport hub for the people of Whitton handling 1.3 million passengers per annum, more than the Cities of Walsall and Gloucester. It is run down and has no lifts and only steep stair access/exit meaning that it is off limits to people with children and buggies, the elderly and people living with disabilities. It has been decades since it has seen any investment and with the Rugby World Cup coming to the town in 2015 it is important that the station is made ready for this influx of visitors and more importantly the residents of Whitton. The RFU, as part of its winning bid to host the World Cup, is committed to providing a legacy to local communities and the station should be considered in these plans. Whitton hosts rugby supporters at each match largely with no fuss yet its creaking infrastructure is in need of improvement. With monies from the development of Twickenham's South Stand still unspent we call on the RFU to release these funds for the upgrade/improvement of Whitton station. Ultimately the station is owned by the Alliance (Network Rail and Southwest Trains) and at present it is simply not fit for purpose. It is long due an upgrade we call on the Alliance to bring forward proposals to improve the station and provide essential accessibility to all the residents of Whitton including the use of Access for All Funding made available by the central government. We also call on the Council to bring together all key actors and to act on its pledge to commit Uplift funding to the scheme in order to bring about funding from the Alliance and the RFU. *** UPDATE: Whitton Station Awarded Access for All Funding *** On Tuesday 29th April the Minister of State for Transport, Stephen Hammond MP, announced that Whitton is to be awarded Access for All funding as part of an additional £100m to be spread across 42 stations. This is fantastic news fulfilling the key part of this campaign for better accessibility but is not the end of the campaign. We still need your support to get the RFU and the Alliance to provide funds to bring about a station fit for the residents of Whitton. Click here to read more about the announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/access-for-all-funding-announcement
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    Created by Gareth Elliott
  • Stop the Zone 'E' Pay-for-Parking Scheme in Brighton and Hove
    The initial consultation was manipulated to include responses from people who wouldn't be affected by the scheme. This 'fix' enabled the council to claim a 50%/50% split vote, but their own guidance (document HP 4/15) states "Experience has shown that Resident Parking Schemes will not be successful unless they have majority support of responses received". 50% is not a majority, but members of all parties (including the Greens!) decided to go ahead anyway. There is neither the wish nor the need to move from free parking to permits of £120 per year plus the cost of visitor permits. Council officers and members deny that the scheme is about the money. But a FOI (Freedom of Information) request showed that, in this zone alone, they could expect net profits (ie profits after costs) of £700,000 over 10 years: and that without any increase to permit or parking costs. The Council intends to continue rolling out its pay-for-parking schemes right across Brighton and Hove, in every area: these schemes are viral. Once an area has a scheme, displaced parkers create parking problems in neighbouring areas, who then also feel forced into having a scheme, and so it goes on. It is a completely deliberate attempt to create a 'cash cow'. The council was so keen to instigate its scheme (we had already refused it twice) that its contractors worked all over Bank Holiday weekend (starting at 8am with angle grinders, diggers etc). The lines are painted and some of the sign posts are already in. We are already being harassed by 'fake' parking tickets and bully-boy tactics by the council's contractors (and have plenty of evidence). The schemes spoil our environments, discourage visitors and threaten local businesses. In other areas, people have dug up front gardens to create off-road parking: flora and fauna lost, as well as the original parking space that was there. Some of us have organised ourselves, but the Ombudsman will not take our case, and we cannot afford a Judicial Review (complaints investigated' by the council themselves have got precisely nowhere, unsurprisingly). The council called the police twice to arrest our local lay priest - he was only exercising his right to peaceful protest, and - thankfully - the police saw this. We need your help, please, in getting the council to stop and pause, and re-run a fair consultation by which we will all stand.
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    Created by Chris Moore Picture
  • Saving the NHS
    The NHS was giving to the people of the UK it belongs to us and not the private proffiteers, We all pay for NHS in our taxes and local charity collettions for the local NHS Hospitals for things that they need like CAT scans. I like many others are not prepared to see it sold off bit by bit. The idea at the moment is to get people interested in saving the NHS nationally and the only way left now is a masive march in London on a mid week day.
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  • Every teacher to be properly qualified to teach.
    Would you buy a house using a solicitor who wasn't actually qualified in law but who the head of chambers thought was good at paperwork? Would you choose a surgeon who hadn't been to medical school but who the hospital head though was handy with a knife? I guess not! So why are we being asked to entertain the notion that school heads should be free to employ whoever they want as teachers? It suggests a disrespect for learning and professional qualifications and a disrespect for children and their education. Where are the parents who want their children taught by unqualified teachers? Nowhere! This is not a choice parents want. Rather it is a piece of party-political meddling- a back door method of cost-cutting and an assault on teaching standards and the teaching profession. I'm not a teacher, or member of a political party. I just do not want to see teaching standards being ground into the dirt. Recent BBC coverage at http://bbc.co.uk/news/education-27071953
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    Created by Henry Thompson
  • Petition To Initiate An inquiry In To SWPG Parking Penalty Notices Issued In Merthyr Tydfil.
    There has been a 148% increase in parking fines issued by SWPG in Merthyr Tydfil. The Town Centre traders are suffering at the hands of the parking wardens while they attempt to unload their vehicles to stock their shops. The parking wardens have advised that businesses should use white vans to unload, many small businesses can not afford to purchase a white van. The fines the parking wardens are issuing against the traders are jeopardising their profit margins and risking their businesses. The parking warden's practices are also affecting the public, many have also had to face an incorrectly applied penalty notice. Members of the community are reluctant to shop in the Town Centre as a result of the warden's practices, this has a further effect on the Town Centre traders. The appeal process against a penalty notice issued appears stacked against the appellant. SWPG do not take in to account evidence, or reasoning of incorrectly, or overzealously applied Penalty Notice Charges against individuals and continue to demand payment under the threat of Court action and bailiff collection.
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    Created by Merthyr Truths