• Tenants of rented accommodation; 'second class citizens?'
    I am one of those unfortunate people who - through no direct fault of their own - have 'lost their home'. For over 'fourteen years' (following on from buying our house/10 years) we have rented 'four' different houses. All of them - particularly the first 'three' came with a bizarre range of difficulties and problems culminating with us having to up- sticks and move on to somewhere less troubled! Our problems included immense noise problems, drug busts by the police to our immediate neighbours, racist remarks, drunkenness, barking dogs, failure of landlord to hold to the Tenancy agreement, theft, anti social behaviour: and blatant promises (by Estate Agents) of improvements that never materialised and so on. (I have detailed documentation on most of these difficulties). I often feel that renting tenants (particularly 'private' tenants) are 'used' primarily to pay the mortgage on the landlords second, third (etc) house but with 'nothing' in return beside broken promises and a very 'poor' service all round! The TV channels are currently running repetitive adverts on 'landlords insurance' but nothing is seen about the much needed 'tenants insurance'; this insurance should be included as a part of the rental agreement. I have often been made to feel like a second class citizen with little or no rights on many occasions. Surely, even if only to attempt to bridge the increasing gap (chasm) between the haves and the have-nots'- their should be made available a strict set of rules for 'landlords'. Rules which would protect tenants, provide us with a fair say on renting issues without the fear of reprisals or evictions, and to discontinue the poor practise of 'money for nothing' for bad landlords.
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    The consortium – which includes Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust – aims to cut pay for nurses, doctors and other healthcare staff by up to 15 per cent at a time of unprecedented change and financial pressures in the health service A total of 20 trusts across the south west are ploughing £200,000 into the cartel in an attempt to introduce radical changes to pay and conditions through a regional pay system. The proposals – which could include making staff work longer hours with less annual leave and smaller pay packets – would undermine the national pay system that provides a fair and transparent system and ensures health managers anywhere in the country can recruit staff with the right skills and experience to give patients the right care. The proposals will be bad for staff morale and have an adverse knock-on effect for patient care. It will damage recruitment at the hospital and cause staff instability as fewer people are attracted to work in a low pay zone. With a workforce of 4,000 at Salisbury, lower local pay will also hit the local economy.
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    Created by Dick Bellringer
  • Withdraw your sponsorship of PyeongChang 2018 Olympics in S. Korea, a Dog Eating Nation!
    In S. Korea, dog meat industry is estimated at $2 billion that results in the annual slaughter of over 2.5 million dogs, served in upwards of 20,000 restaurants nationwide. That's about 7,000 dogs slaughtered every single day. It is estimated that over 100,000 tons of dog meat is consumed annually, including 93,600 tons used to produce ‘health’ tonics called "Gae Soju" which is prepared by boiling dogs with various herbs until it become a thick liquid. Cats are also made into these tonics which is called "Goyangyee Soju". Current Situation of S. Korea's Dog Meat Industry Little has changed over the years regarding the dog meat industry in S. Korea. The selling and processing of dog meat is still technically illegal. The situation could be summed up with this paradox: it is illegal to produce and consume dog meat but it is not against the law. Debate continues on its legalization but an impasse remains at the moment between the S. Korean government and animal welfare groups, meaning that everything continues on now as it has done in the past. More Info: Korea still conflicted over its custom of dining on dogs (Part 1 of 2): http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2963308 Pets on plates are dog industry’s dirty little secret (Part 2 of 2): http://koreajoongangdaily.joinsmsn.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2963369&cloc=joongangdaily South Korea's dog meat clash: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/542514.html Dogs in Hell: http://koreandogs.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/dogsinhell.pdf The Fight Against the Dog Meat Industry: http://busanhaps.com/article/feature-fight-against-dog-meat-industry Send messages to Olympic Committee: https://secure.registration.olympic.org/en/faq/ask-question [Sample message] To the International Olympic Committee: I am extremely distressed about the torture and consumption of animal companions in South Korea. Even though the government has established an Animal Protection Law, dogs are still electrocuted, hanged, and beaten to death by farmers and slaughters. Also, dogs and cats are still being tortured and boiled alive for so-called elixirs, which have no medicinal properties except in the minds of gullible customers. Until South Korea ends this appalling suffering, the country’s reputation in the international community will continue to suffer. Its citizens will face shame and embarrassment. And South Korea will continue to be regarded as “third world,” despite its glittering modernization and attempts at globalized thinking. There will be worldwide attempts to boycott “PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics unless the abuse of cats and dogs has finally come to an end. Korean Olympic Committee Homepage: http://www.sports.or.kr/eng/
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    Created by Whang-Gu Kim
    I want to be able to deliver the best possible Holistic care to my patients their family friends and carers. As a health professional it is important to me to know that my patients feel they are listened to and not just a person on a "conveyer belt" and to inspire confidence in my great profession of NURSING. I greatly admired the work of Claire Raynor who was relentless in her campaigning for the NHS. I have returned to nursing practice after a 20+ break from clinical practice and as a trained nurse am frustrated that I am spending a high percentage of my time on duty completing paperwork with many details being repeated many times, this is a harder but not smarter way in terms of time management and directly impacts on the quality time spent talking to my patients and actually listening to them. The thing that most concerns me is the fear instilled in my colleagues of litigation and complaints and this appears to be the uppermost thought in their mind when they arrive on duty. My understanding is that the NHS is now big business and needs to generate income it needs someone like yourself to get involved with a no holds barred attitude. We seem to be dealing with complaints or fear of complaint that it is almost impossible to do the Job! I do know that we have to embrace change but as we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER as the current government continues to tell us we still have this problem of all agencies involved in Holistic patient care not sharing information. Please help. Sue Abnett
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    Created by Sue Abnett
  • Children's Medicines
    The ingredients listed in most medicines, are actually harmful for children so seriously that they can cause death or kidney damage or cancer. It is unecessary for so many chemicals, artificial - colourings, flavourings, preservatives to be used, especially when natural versions are just as effective and not as harmful.
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    Created by Annalisa Welsh
  • North West TUC Charter for Young People
    Austerity and recession are destroying employment opportunities all over the region. More than 64,000 young people, aged 18-24, are now out of work in the North West. There are 149,000 young people who are not in Education, Employment and Training (NEETs). With one in five young people jobless, many are being forced to take unskilled, part-time, temporary work, unpaid internships or work experience. Others simply become detached from society. Meanwhile, the abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance and increases in tuition fees are preventing thousands from gaining qualifications and new skills for the job market. Urgent action must be taken to give the young people of the North West a future that works. Taking positive action to help our young people will demand commitment, determination and real resources from Government, employers and trade unions. The North West TUC pledges to play its part. We urge MPs, local councillors, employers and others to sign up here – and pledge to take practical and immediate action to give young people a future that works.
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    Created by Matthew Finnegan
  • Save A&E at Trafford General
    Patients will face longer journeys to A&E at other hospitals in Manchester and longer delays for treatment because these hospitals are already working well above their planned capacity. Patients lives in Trafford will be put at risk if they are stuck in traffic jams when they need emergency care. And loved ones face longer, more expensive journeys to visit patients in hospitals outside the borough. See www.savetraffordgeneral.com
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    Created by Matthew Finnegan
  • New Royal Thames Valley Hospital
    Buckinghamshire and Berkshire health authorities have systematically closed, changed and moved services, to the detriment of residents in the Thames valley area (Buckinghamshire & Berkshire) A new vision is needed to maintain, develop a new hospital to cater for the needs of the the people in Bucks, Berks,Hants, thats fit for purpose and capable of delivering 21st Century health services to the Thames Valley area. It’s your health service, your money and your future need, we want you to make a difference, and together WE CAN DO IT.
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    Created by Save Our Hospital Services S O H S
  • Please sign this petition to help the elderly people of this country.
    Since the pensions and earnings link was cut in 1980 by the then Thatcher Government, the State pension has severely declined in value because increases have been linked to the lower inflation rate, and not the much higher national average wages. Due to this policy, todate, millions of elderly people live in poverty due to among other things, excessively high Utility charges, and the price of food in shops. There are 12 million pensioners in Britain, and 1 in 5 live in poverty, with millions having to make choices between heating their homes and buying food. I have long believed that the younger people of this country have a duty to stand and be counted on behalf of the old, not least because if it had not been for our war veterans, none of us would likely be around today, but also because what's happening to the old today, is going to happen to the young when they are old. The State pension in this country is a national disgrace, yet means testing pensioners for equally disgraceful State handouts is costing 20 times more than a better and higher basic State pension. The thing is we can spend £9.1 billion a year in overseas aid, plus fight foreign wars, plus sending £50 million a day to the EU, yet we are told by our Government ministers that we can afford to pay our pensioners a decent level of State pension. I say that what's being said is rubbish. The reality is that the right wing Governmnent's we British have constantly elected over the past 3 decades, simply do not believe in the State pension, or the role of the State, they believe in private pensions, and privatisation, hence the cuts now. Today, critics will ask "why should richer pensioners also receive a much higher basic State pension ?". The answer is simple, "because they also have paid in all their working lives". The State pension should not be based on "need", it should be paid as a "right" for all UK pensioners. Also, remember, means testing pensioners for State handouts is via the beaurocratic paperwork involved, is costing 20 times more than a decent increase in the State pensions. It is also harrowing to know that Cold kills 180 British pensioners a day during winter. Britain has 12 million elderly people. “”Nine elderly people died every hour from cold-related illnesses last winter against a background of soaring energy bills. Official figures show the number of deaths linked to cold over the four-month period reached 25,400 in England and Wales, plus 2,760 in Scotland. Charities and energy company critics claim the UK has the highest winter death rate in northern Europe, even worse than much colder countries such as Finland and Sweden. Winter worries: More than 300,000 UK pensioners have died of cold related illnesses since 1997 There are fears the toll could rise this year following a recent barrage of price rises that may frighten elderly people into not turning on their heating. Heated issue: Pensioners see rising fuel bills and worry about whether they can afford to warm the house While the UK death rate is high, the total was down by around 30 per cent compared with 2008/9 because there were fewer flu outbreaks, according to the Office for National Statistics. Also the Coalition government has cut the last administration’s Winter Fuel Allowance payments of £250 for pensioners and £400 for those over 80, by £50, but nothings been said about it via the media. ENERGY BILL RISES Energy providers have announced big rises in prices this winter. • Scottish Power is increasing electricity bills by 8.9 per cent. • Scottish & Southern Electricity is putting up gas by almost 10 per cent. • British Gas announced a 7 per cent rise on gas and electricity Michelle Mitchell, director of the charity Age UK, said:'It’s still unacceptable that in this day and age tens of thousands more older people die in this country every winter from the effects of the cold weather. 'As another winter sets in, plummeting temperatures will once again spell misery, ill-health and, in some cases, even death for too many people in later life across the country. 'The simple fact that the UK has one of the highest winter mortality rates in Europe – higher than even Sweden or Finland – makes it clear this is very much a home-grown problem. The fact is the UK’s elderly have seen their living standards plummet since the 80’s, and as a result millions of pensioners have and are living in poverty, after paying taxes and N.I. Contributions into the system all their working lives, ie for 30, 40, and 50 years. And the same thing is going to happen to young people also, if things don’t change for the better soon in this country. Please sign my petition.
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    Created by Michael Thompson Picture
  • Stop High Street Loan Sharks
    STOP HIGH STREET LOAN SHARKS Through floods of tears our friend outlined her debt problem. She had borrowed from friends to make ends meet until payday. When she found paying them back difficult from her small salary she took out loans from high street money shops. New money shops are opening all the time. We get 3% APR on our savings. She was being charged between 2000% and 4000% APR. To default at such interest rates is like chasing a train that has left the station. You never catch up. Worse still she had assembled a “portfolio” of companies hoping to pay off one by another. Could we help her? Having money was useless because none of these companies wanted to provide statements or invoices. A nightmare. Yes. Is it legal? Yes. Slavery? Well yes. Salvation? For her yes through a Debt Relief Order thanks to you the great British taxpayer and the Legal Aid Scheme. My friend is not alone. 45% of people say they struggle to make it to payday. Millions are vulnerable to these legal loan sharks. Legislation is urgently needed. France caps the maximum charge for a loan at 133% APR and Germany 200% APR. For more information try www.sharkstoppers.org Dear 38degrees members please back the campaign to encourage parliament to pass legislation as soon as possible to introduce loan capping in the UK.
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    Created by Arthur and Judy Breens
  • A National Suicide Bereavement Service
    In Britain there is a suicide every 90 minutes and research suggests that it could be three times higher than this, as coroners often return verdicts of misadventure or open verdicts. For every suicide 6 to 8 people are intimately affected, with many more having resultant bereavement problems. To lose someone you love through suicide is indescribably awful. It has been referred to as a personal holocaust. People torture themselves with a million questions of ‘Why?’ There is a whole kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings stirring around in a pit of despair. The sense of rejection can be crushing too. How can he have loved me to do what he did? Then there is the searing guilt - if only I’d done this or that-the replaying in the mind of countless permutations of possible scenarios of what may have been. Over 30 years ago, I was bereaved through my father’s suicide. At that time there was no support available to my sister and I, other than what we could offer each other. It was incredibly hard. My sister became depressed and I went with her to see a psychiatrist who just told her to take tablets. There was no referral to a counsellor to whom she could ventilate her feelings. I was only 19 at the time and knew nothing about mental health problems and distress. However, common sense and intuition told me she needed someone to talk to but this was not on offer. The tablets had all sorts of nasty side effects and my sister gave up taking them. As a consequence, she became more depressed and suffered with depression for many more years. It is a fact that people bereaved through suicide are more likely to have mental health problems and be at increased risk of suicide themselves. In general terms, men have a lot more difficulty than women discussing their emotional issues and problems. Male macho culture, and the concept that ‘big boys don’t cry’ is still very much around and accounts for the fact that many more men than women take their own lives. There is also a strong need to develop culturally sensitive suicide bereavement/prevention services to people from ethnic minorities and asylum seekers and refugees. Another important need is to develop a suicide bereavement service for children and young people this by its very nature will demand a skilful, sensitive and specialised response. Another area of concern are mental health workers who loses service users through suicide. These workers need help and support in the distress that they are experiencing and often with the guilt around their perceived professional failure towards the person they have lost. We need to build a coalition of interested organisations to develop a national suicide bereavement response this also needs to be incorporated into the National Suicide Prevention Strategy similar to that developed in Australia. Presently in Britain we have a number of voluntary groups trying to provide a good service but limited by inadequate funding. This leads to a postcode lottery with some provision in some places and little or nothing elsewhere. Suicide bereavement and prevention are opposite sides to the same coin if we do not provide good support to those bereaved through suicide we will have further suicides. There is a lot of good evidence that properly run Suicide Bereavement support groups save lives and help to reduce mental and emotional distress. I was involved in running the Leeds organisation of Survivors of Suicide for 15 years and I know that during that time the group really helped many people bereaved through suicide and I am sure it played an important role in preventing further suicides. The Samaritans have people bereaved through suicide as one of their priority groups. I gave a keynote speech at the National Samaritans Conference in September 2009 on the “Impact of Suicide on Others” and highlighted the need for a national response. This is clearly necessary as, every day, people are being bereaved through suicide. They are an overlooked, badly neglected group of people, whose acute needs and problems are very considerable and warrant a compassionate, well-organised and systematic response. If we live in a civilised society is this too much to ask? Common humanity demands that we take effective action but, in addition, a fully funded National Suicide Bereavement Strategy would, in fact, prove to be very cost-effective because of its effect of in relieving mental distress and helping to reduce further suicides’. We desperately need a national, well-funded, organised, compassionate response to people bereaved through suicide throughout the country as soon as possible. I am delighted to say that the Samaritans are very supportive of the need for this. Mike Bush Consultant in Mental Health Retired Mental Health Social Worker Member of the Leeds Suicide Prevention Strategy Member of the All Party Group Suicide and Self Harm Prevention
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    Created by Mike Bush
  • Save North Tees & Hartlepool Hospital
    The NHS is very important to us as it is to millions of people in this Country.Myself and family have a lot to thank the doctors,nurses and staff as they saved the lives of our two grandchildren when they were babies both suffered from a virus which nearly killed them both. Thanks to the doctors and nurses they are both fit and well aged 11 years old and 8 years old.Our son who has a genetic conditon also has a lot to thank our local hospital and a hospital in Sunderland who done their best for our sons eye sight they give him years of sight and fought very hard to save his sight but sadly 3 years ago he lost his sight.He then went on to have a stroke at the age of 24 years old through the skill and care he recieved by James Cook Hospital he has pulled through with no lasting effects. So for us our NHS is the best in the World and fighting these cuts in services like a hospital a few miles away from us is having to run a monthly care boot sale to pay for front line services.This should not have to happen to our NHS we care passionatly as we do about our GP's service.Thank You.Ron,Viv
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    Created by Ron Carter-Bonsteel