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London: Monday: June 12: 2017

First Published: September 24, 2015

 
 

 

 

 

 
Humanity will continue to live an inferior life than what is possible until the two halves: all individuals in them: that make it are absolutely, fundamentally and jubilantly Equal at Liberty
Elsinki

The Innerluminous Galaxillation

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The Long Walk to Humanics: There can never be an app that will replace a surgeon doing the surgery nor there can ever be a bridge built, symphony composed, epic written, painting painted by a machine. Reading is such a vital thing in pursuit of knowledge for without reading knowledge is rudimentary. The Humanion is for Readers to Read. The Humanion is not for anything else but for Readers to read so to be encouraged to think and ponder about things. The Humanion is a Human Enterprise which is an idea in which no one owns anything but everyone belongs to the whole as the whole belongs to everyone lawfully and equally and, it neither believes in nor makes money but human utilities, needs, aspirations, creativity, imagination and dreams are served without money, where everyone works and creates for others as others create and work for them, thus, bringing in meaning and purpose to life along with it come natural justice, equality and liberty  that establish a true civilisation. And in one word, this system of human affairs management is called, Humanics and a society that runs itself in humanics is called a humanical society.......But in the meanwhile...And thus, The Humanion believes we should seek to ensure that all citizens of a nation have: a: Guaranteed Universal Income; b: A Guaranteed Home; c: A Guaranteed Education Up to College and Guaranteed Subsidised Route to Degree-Level Education; d: A Guaranteed Job; e: Guaranteed Access to Free for All Healthcare at the Point of Need and f: A Guaranteed Universal-Child-Income-Protection Where Every Child is Guaranteed Equal Financial Support from 0-16; g: Guaranteed Social Care and h: Guaranteed Access to Equitable Pension:Provides a living income. So, join us: Join The Humanion Team

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England

Stories Published in England Section in September-December 2015

Flight an Installation: Arabella Dorman's Statement on the Refugee Crises

St James’ Church, Piccadilly
Flight, An Installation by Arabella Dorman
21 December 2015 – 2 February 2016
 

New installation Flight by acclaimed war artist Arabella Dorman. A salvaged dinghy, together with life jackets is to be suspended above the congregation in the nave of St James’ Church, Piccadilly in response to the humanitarian crisis of forced displacement.

The boat on display was made to take 15 people but carried 62 refugees, many from Syria, across 10km of rough sea from Assos, Turkey, to Lesvos
This year, more than 3,100 people have drowned in the attempt to flee their homeland.


Flight is an installation artwork by war artist Arabella Dorman, in response to the humanitarian crisis of forced displacement across the world. Together with three life jackets – two adults’ and a child’s – a salvaged dinghy will be suspended in mid-air in the nave of St James’s throughout the Christmas period and New Year. Meanwhile, further lifejackets will transform the traditional nativity display into scenes Arabella witnessed on the island’s beaches.

Dorman travelled to Lesvos in September 2015 to work with the refugees and was deeply affected by the plight of the thousands of men, women and children arriving daily in small rubber dinghies. Dorman has salvaged one of these dinghies and the lifejackets worn by refugees to create this installation and bear witness to what she saw. The boat on display was made to take 15 people but carried 62 refugees, many from Syria, across 10km of rough sea from Assos, Turkey, to Lesvos’s northern shoreline. As is the case with many refugee dinghies, the boat was steered by an arbitrarily appointed refugee with no maritime experience and powered by a small 30-horsepower outboard motor. The vessel and engine are unsuitable for the conditions and the load: many motors fail midway, and many unstable dinghies capsize in the waves.

The setting of the boat, dramatically lit from below, inverted and angled towards the altar, invites the viewer to embark upon their own spiritual journey, while a suspended interplay of light, form and shadows above the nave reflect the uncertain, rootless and volatile experience of life as a refugee. The suspension of the dinghy above the nave mirrors the tradition of hanging boats and symbolic objects from church ceilings and links Latin navis (ship) to nave. Meanwhile the three lifejackets suspended alongside the dinghy evoke the flight of the Holy Family from the Middle East into Egypt in search of refuge.

The boat, many of which are slashed on landing, remains partially deflated to illustrate the fragility and disposability of the boat, representative also of how the lives of refugees are all too often viewed. Meanwhile, the absence of figures reflects the transience of human life and pays homage to those thousands lost at sea during the crossing. Through this absence, the work’s significance is rendered timeless, ubiquitous and universally applicable.

The 62 people on this boat made it to safety in Europe after being pulled from the water by the Greek coastguard as it was sinking. This journey costs each person $1,000 – 5,000. The human smugglers are often armed and violent, terrorising refugees waiting on the beaches to board, and firing warning shots to scare anyone complaining about the overcrowding of their boat. Lifejackets are not included. Most of those sold on the black market are merely light buoyancy aids, ineffectual against the surging Aegean; many are falsely branded and sold at higher prices. These cheaply made fake jackets become absorbent once submerged for a while, acting like sponges and weighing the wearer down.

At a time of year when many celebrate the family and friends we have, Flight asks us to consider our responsibilities as fellow humans, and to remember those who have lost their families, friends and homes.

The reverend Lucy Winkett, rector of St James’ Church stated: “The real story of Christmas is of the child Jesus born in dangerous circumstances and a family fleeing a tyrannical regime. We are seeing this story played out in front of us today with family after family climbing into boats to escape violence and come to Europe. It’s therefore especially important for the church to reach out to people of all faiths and none who are experiencing displacement and danger as Christians mark the birth of Christ in similar circumstances”.

Arabella Dorman hopes to further understanding of the human face of this crisis and raise funds for The Starfish Foundation and Doctors of the World, both doing fundamental work on the ground in Lesvos and throughout Europe.

Further Emma Collins or Georgina Church at Kallaway PR  +44 (0)207 229 4595, emma.collins@kallaway.com 

About Arabella Dorman

Born in 1975, Arabella Dorman has gained an international reputation as one of Britain’s leading portrait painters and war artists. She enjoys the patronage of many prominent figures and establishments in Britain and her work hangs in public institutions and private collections around the world.

Dorman’s work demonstrates a mastery of classical technique with a contemporary twist; having painted commissions for prominent figures and establishments throughout Britain, her work hangs in public institutions and private collections around the world.

Dorman paints portrait commissions from her studio in Chelsea, London, while her military pieces are drawn from first-hand experience of working with British forces in Southern Iraq (2006) and Afghanistan (2009 – 14). Arabella’s recent body of work from Afghanistan is a response to the unfolding narrative that she witnessed during several journeys to the country over a period of five years, both as an embedded war artist and an independent traveller. This critically acclaimed exhibition raised over £30,000 for charities Afghanaid and Walking with the Wounded.

Her work is a powerful exploration of the everyday reality of life on the frontline and the tragedy of a country and people devastated by war.

About Doctors of the World UK
Doctors of the World UK is part of the global Medecins du Monde network, which delivers over 300 projects in more than 70 countries through 3,000 volunteers. Since opening in the UK in 1998, they have raised more than £8 million for overseas programmes, helped more than 7,000 service users here and fought for healthcare as a human right for all.


About the Starfish Foundation

During the summer and autumn of 2015, record-breaking numbers of refugees arrived on Lesvos, often up to 60 boats a day. So a transit camp was built in the car park of a nightclub called Oxy to provide food, water, shelter, medical facilities and buses to Mytilini for every refugee. Donations from tourists and volunteers from around the world all helped to make this possible.

Readmore

Posted: December 18, 2015

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2.42m Funding Granted for New Immunology Network

Professor Lucy Walker: Royal Free

A group of researchers, including a professor at the Royal Free Hospital, has been awarded £2.42 million to establish a new training network for immunologists.

Professor Lucy Walker, who works at the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation at the Royal Free Hospital, is the deputy coordinator of the network and will work alongside the coordinator, Professor Jochen Hühn from the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig.

The network, known as the ENLIGHT-TEN programme, will provide training for young researchers in T cell (a type of immune cell) immunology and big data analysis.

The immune system is characterised by highly complex processes that are controlled, to a large extent, by T cells, which act as the "conductors of the immune system". They play a central role in many diseases including autoimmune diseases, chronic infections and cancer, and are therefore key targets for new therapies. However, the development of new treatments requires a comprehensive and detailed understanding of T cells. This knowledge can be obtained only through technologies that generate huge amounts of data. Specialist expertise in the area of bio-informatics (computer generated biological information) is required in order to analyse this data.

Professor Walker said: "Our aim is to train a new generation of young scientists who have an in-depth understanding of T cell immunology and are also comfortable with the processing and interpretation of large data sets. We think that integrating these different skill sets is going to be critical in allowing the researchers to take full advantage of rapidly emerging technologies."

The ENLIGHT-TEN network offers 13 doctoral scholarships to highly motivated junior researchers. A total of 16 partners from eight European countries will contribute to the project by integrating young scientists into their research groups. The project establishes a cross-European network with strengths in cellular immunology and bio-informatics and encompasses partners from both academic and industry settings. For further information about the network and the partners in the consortium, please visit the website www.enlight-ten.eu.

For further Media contacts: mary.mcconnell2@nhs.net or call 020 7472 6665

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Posted: December 14, 2015

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The Green Party: London Airport Expansion Decision Delay 'Unacceptable'

Caroline Lucas MP

 

The government’s decision to delay the announcement of whether it will expand one of the London airports has been slammed by Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Lucas, who is travelling to the COP21 talks in Paris, labelled the delay “unacceptable” and derided airport expansion as being “incompatible with the UK’s climate change commitments”.

Lucas, who wants the government to consider a frequent flier levy, said:“The evidence against expansion at Heathrow is already clear cut – and delay is unacceptable when a rejection is what’s needed. Indeed endless growth in our aviation capacity is incompatible with the UK’s climate change commitments. The politics make this decision difficult for the government, but the climate science should make it easy: we don’t need further airport expansion.

“Expansion at either Heathrow or Gatwick would be bad news for local residents who will suffer enormously from increasing noise and air pollution. It’s clear that a small minority of wealthy individuals are fuelling the demand for airport expansion — not families taking an annual holiday or businesses.

“We need fairer and more honest approach to the aviation debate that rules out airport expansion once and for all. The government must urgently look into the proposed frequent flier levy as a fair way of reducing the demand for flights from those who fly the most, whilst benefiting the majority of people and protecting us all from the threat of climate change."

Readmore

Posted: December 11, 2015Up

Up

Parliament Approved devolved Powers Over Healthcare

New laws conferring devolved powers over healthcare have been approved by MPs amid BMA warnings that the changes have ‘significant implications’ for the NHS.

Parliament this week approved the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, which seeks to grant greater powers to local authorities over areas such as health and social care services.

But the BMA has continued to lobby MPs on the potential impact of a piecemeal approach to devolving healthcare commissioning responsibilities.

In a briefing before the bill’s report stage, the BMA emphasised that in all cases of devolution, the health secretary should remain ultimately accountable to Parliament and be responsible for setting out the standards, accountability and reporting arrangements in devolved areas.

It also warned that in approving the changes it was vital that resources were allocated fairly to avoid disparity in service standards across different areas.

The BMA supported an amendment to the bill reaffirming that the regulatory and supervisory functions remain with the health secretary.

The bill has now completed its progression through Parliament.

Readmore

Posted: December 11, 2015

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Institute of Directors Calls for a Temporary Business Rates Holiday for Small and Medium Businesses in the North West for Flood Damages

The Institute of Directors has called for a temporary business rates holiday for small and medium-sized businesses in the parts of the North West which have been affected by flooding, and welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of a £50 million fund to help the region along with grants of £2,500 to support flood-hit businesses.

Chris Ward of IoD Cumbria said: “With each day the destruction wrought by Storm Desmond becomes clearer, and more and more households and businesses are coming to terms with how they can deal with the damage. For some small and medium-sized businesses, the flood damage is a serious threat to their very existence. Many will be closed for months, and will face hefty bills to replace equipment, buy new stock and repair their premises. At this time, it is imperative that insurance companies move as quickly as possible to help small firms in particular.

“Central government, too, has rightly recognised that it has a role to play. The £50 million fund and grants announced by the Chancellor will help, but getting back to business as usual in the affected areas merits more intervention. Politicians should consider whether moves like a business rates holiday for SMEs would be appropriate. If local authorities were to forego one month of business rates, small businesses would receive an immediate cash boost to help get themselves back to health and let them continue to play the vital role they do as a vibrant part of the North West economy.”

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Posted: December 10, 2015

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With Aowen Jin's Midlight Birmingham City Centre Lights Up for Christmas

Aowen Jin's Midlight: Image Credit: Paul Painter

A stunning field of fibre optic lights will pop up at two Birmingham city centre sites in the approach to Christmas. Residents, city-centre workers, Christmas shoppers and visitors to the city will be able to view and control a unique and interactive art installation.

Commissioned and presented by Birmingham Hippodrome Creative, British-Chinese artist Aowen Jin's new outdoor artwork 'Midlight' invites people to create their own light displays. Through cutting-edge digital technology and social media interaction, the colours can be changed both with sound (music, singing, clapping etc) and via Twitter.

'Midlight' features thousands of LED lights with 90,000 colour variations which adjust so that no two experiences with the artwork are ever the same. The project is the first of its kind to include the participation of Birmingham’s local Chinese community who live and work around the Hippodrome in the Southside district.

Aowen Jin  is a renowned British-Chinese artist who works on critically-acclaimed public commissions that challenge cultural perceptions and social inclusivity.


Mightlight by Aowen Jin Image Credit: Aowen's Website
 

Aowen explained: “Working with the Hippodrome Creative team on this project has been a real pleasure. As an artist it’s so important to be able to create an original artwork that pushes boundaries and breaks new ground. Many organisations struggle with this, but the visionary team at the Hippodrome have been so supportive - they really embraced the concept and their help has been invaluable to getting it off the ground. Their devotion to engaging with the local community and bringing art to the city is admirable, and really does make Birmingham stronger as a whole.”

Graham Callister, Birmingham Hippodrome’s Creative Programme Director added: "Birmingham is now a super-diverse, international destination for culture that boasts an amazing array of artistic and creative talent. We want our creative programme to really engage with this agenda and offer something different for both our existing and new audiences. New commissions such as 'Midlight' do exactly that! Through Hippodrome Creative and the fantastic enthusiasm and commitment from our local Chinese volunteers and participants, Aowen has created a unique artwork that can bring together the city's communities at this very special time of year."

Viewing 'Midlight' is FREE to the public. It can be seen at St. Phillips Cathedral Gardens (Colmore Row) on Wednesday 16 December from 4pm – 7pm, and also in Millennium Point on Friday 18 December from 1pm – 5.30pm.

Visitors are encouraged to tweet the name of any colour to @himidlight and the installation will change colour.

‘Midlight’ is supported by Arts Council England, Southside BID, Birmingham City Council, Chicmi, Arcadian and Red Gate.

'Midlight' is the latest Hippodrome Creative project following hot on the heels of last month’s ‘2,241 Reasons to Remember’, a commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Birmingham Blitz. This summer Hippodrome Creative also produced two FREE outdoor events ‘Summer in Southside’ and ‘Birmingham Weekender’.

For more images of Midlight

Media Enquiries: Mandy Rose , Media and PR Manager, 0121 689 3069 mandyrose@birminghamhippodrome.com

Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity. The Hurst Street venue averages over 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK

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Posted: December 8, 2015

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The London Leytonstone Tube Station 'Terrorist Incident': Police are Treating It as Terrorist Motivated Crime

At the weekend a man of 29 attacked commuters with a knife at London Leytonstone Underground Station which has been reported in all the media outlets and created a wave of condemnations in the social media.

Read The Guardian report: Leytonstone knife attack: police step up patrols after 'terrorist incident'

Posted: December 7, 2015

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The Environment Agency is Urging Communities in Northern England to Take Immediate Action to Prepare for Flooding

Persistent heavy rain throughout Saturday and Sunday is expected to bring significant flood risks across Cumbria and Northumberland.

Heavy rain will be falling on already saturated ground throughout the weekend, raising the risk of flooding to its highest level. Severe flood warnings have been issued for parts of the River Tyne in Northumberland and in Cumbria, the River Greta at Keswick and River Eden at Appleby. Residents in Carlisle are also being warned to prepare for flooding as very high river levels are expected later today. Further flood warnings will be issued as necessary.

There is also likely to be significant flooding from rivers and surface water across parts of Lancashire, the West Pennines and the Cheviot Hills. The River Ouse in Yorkshire is continuing to rise, with levels likely to be raised until Tuesday.

Some localised flooding is expected to persist along the River Severn over the coming days as it responds to further rainfall. The Environment Agency raised temporary defences in Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, and Bewdley earlier this week to protect properties from flooding.

Environment Agency teams are out checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses, monitoring water levels and working with local flood wardens in the areas worst affected. Pumps are being moved to areas most at risk.

People can be prepared by checking their flood risk. If travelling, people should not attempt to drive through flood water – 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.

Jonathan Day, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager, said: “River levels across northern England are already high and we are expecting to see severe flooding locally as a result of today’s rainfall, with communities in Cumbria likely to be the most affected due to flooding of roads and properties.

“We are working closely with the emergency services and partners to make communities aware of the risk of flooding and take urgent action where necessary. Our teams are in action clearing watercourses, maintaining flood defences and putting up temporary defences where these can be effective.

“We urge people not drive through flood water: just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car. People should check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation by following @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter.”‎

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Posted: December 7, 2015

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Cap on Agency Staff Pay for NHS Trusts

Image: BMA
 

4 December 2015: NHS trusts in England have been subjected to a cap on the amount of money they can pay agency staff.

The cap, which came into effect last week, was opposed by the BMA, which warned it could have an impact on the supply of staff, including locum doctors, and the quality of services and patient safety.

The rules apply to all NHS trusts apart from ambulance trusts, but not to staff directly employed by trusts or bank staff who work additional hours to fill rota gaps at either their own trust or others in a network.

GPs are also excluded unless they work directly for a trust.

In its response to the consultation by Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority in November, the BMA says: ‘We have serious concerns about the impact that the caps will have in geographic areas and specialties where recruitment and retention is an ongoing problem, and in trusts with reputational challenges’.

The cap is being phased in with reductions from 100-150 per cent above the basic hourly rate from 23 November to 55 per cent above the basic rate from April 2016.

The BMA’s response says: ‘We urge consideration of the underlying causes driving doctors to agency work and encourage the use of alternative interventions such as improving working conditions and pay rates, better rota management and flexible shift patterns to help bring down agency costs.’

Readmore

Posted: December 6, 2015

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Oldham West and Royton By-election Elects Jim McMahon

Image:  PA

Jim McMahon of the Labour Party has become Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton after winning the by-election held in that constituency on 3 December 2015.
 

The by-election was called following the death of the former MP, Michael Meacher.

By-election results

The results of the Oldham West and Royton constituency Parliamentary by-election were as follows:

Jim McMahon - Labour - 17,209
John Joseph Bickley - UK Independence Party - 6,487
James Barry Daly - Conservative - 2,596
Jane Brophy - Liberal Democrats - 1,024
Simeon Hart - Green Party - 249
Sir Oink A-Lot - The Official Monster Raving Loony Party - 141

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Posted: December 5, 2015

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Green Party Criticised Disabled Students' Allowances Cuts


The government’s decision to cut a support grant, leaving many disabled students at universities and colleges without practical campus support has been slammed by the Green Party who believes education should be open to all.

The Disabled Students’ Allowance currently helps 53,000 disabled students pay for non-medical and technological support. The government’s plans for the allowance amount to a £70 million cut to support for disabled students.

Joseph Johnson, minister of state for universities and science, provided a written answer to parliament on Wednesday (02 December) [1] explaining that Disabled Students' Allowances will be cut, meaning that IT support, alongside reading, proof reading and scribing support would be significantly reduced. It is predicted that the cuts to IT support will particularly affect disabled prospective students over the age of 35, who may possess lower IT skills and may be deterred from applying to study at college of university after 2016, when the cuts will be come into effect.

The Green Party’s disability spokesperson, Mags Lewis said: “There seems to be an expectation from the government that if higher education cannot or does not plug the gap, it may be up to the individual student to make up the difference. Disabled students may fall into a no man’s land, with the government, DSA and colleges and universities claiming it’s everyone else’s responsibility.

“There is no mention of funding being transferred to higher education, so we have a potential bureaucratic mess, with students with less acute disabilities being abandoned by the DSA and some HE establishments who might say that they do not have resources.

“Poorer, less advantaged students at cash strapped universities will be the hardest hit by this decision. Sadly some students will drop out and some potential students won’t enrol.”

Dave Cocozza, spokesperson for higher and further education of the Green Party, said: “We welcome views from students likely to be affected by these cuts to ensure they are fed into the government’s ongoing consultations. The Green Party will continue to oppose them.”

Readmore

Posted on: December 4, 2015

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United Kingdom: Editorial : 'Rage, rage against the dying of the light'

'Rage, rage against the dying of the light'
Of reason of sense of British fair play
Of age old human dream of equality
Of what's British value for life's core

The Conservatives are the 'builders' indeed, of destruction, of demolition and of de-fabrication of the very fabrics of what United Kingdom is about. Read on

To My England

My England takes off her land embroidered dress
And goes swimming wild in style soft and swift

She touched round all corners in watery craft
And is all sure and glow a gentle rock that holds

My England is bound in voyage-vision’s terms
Abound she spells the multiple in a single rose

She is a poem written by green moss on white cliffs
Serenaded by creamy summer’s sun or April’s showers

My England weaves magic beyond man’s limitations
Where we find living is as much as letting others live

She is a cuddled up baby in water-mother’s womb
And she speaks to me in moonsphorescent tongue

My England meets and greets our mother with joy
In her palms she holds an all abound arcadia wrapped

My England takes off her land embroidered dress
And goes swimming wild in style soft and swift

My England: Neverbridge Stone Roses : Munayem Mayenin, ISBN: 978-1-4477-1626-6. First Published: February 2008

 

BMA Calls for Commitment to Public Health


8 December 2015: The Government must renew its commitment to protecting funding for public health services to avoid creating future problems for the NHS, the BMA has warned.

The message comes as the Commons health select committee prepares to consider evidence submitted to its inquiry into structural changes in public health services since 2013.

The inquiry aims to examine the delivery of services and the effectiveness of responsible local authorities in light of the reforms brought in under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

BMA public health medicine committee chair Iain Kennedy (pictured) said public health services in England continued to face a series of serious challenges, particularly regarding funding and workforce.

He said: ‘Public health services in England have had to contend with repeated cuts and reorganisations that have left many parts of the service in disarray.

'In order to ensure that patients are able to benefit from public health services that are fit for purpose, it is vital that ministers ensure there is adequate protection for funding and clarify the responsibilities of local authorities when it comes to spending.'

Vital role

Dr Kennedy added: ‘Given the types of health challenges likely to be facing the NHS over the coming decades, such as diabetes and obesity, ensuring robust and effective preventative services at a community level will play a vital role in relieving the pressure on the wider health service.’

Chancellor George Osborne imposed a £200m funding cut on public health earlier this year. At the time, Dr Kennedy warned that such a move was likely to leave services depended on by the most vulnerable patients 'gutted'.

As well as calling for these cuts to be reversed, the PHMC has repeatedly warned that ringfence protection for the public health Government grant must be maintained to ensure that public health continues to be effective and appropriately funded.

Dr Kennedy has also warned that the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 has reduced clarity and accountability within the sector, with some local authorities using public health money to fund non-related services.

Readmore

Posted: December 10, 2015

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Ten Beautiful Churches of Essex


You don’t to have a particular faith to enjoy going to church. Visiting a parish church or chapel offers you the chance to walk into a place that has been at the heart of its community for decades, even centuries. History is literally carved into their furniture and stonework and, amid the excitement of Christmas; churches also offer calm respite from the excesses of the festive season.

Visit Essex has put together a Top 10 of fascinating and beautiful places to discover.

1 -St Mary’s church in the wonderfully named village of Wendens Ambo was originally built in the Saxon period before being reconstructed in the Middle Ages. The church has several heritage highlights; including a medieval brass effigy, 14th, 15th and 16th century wall paintings, medieval glass and bench-end carvings and four remarkable carved grotesque heads.

2 - In Dedham, right in the heart of ‘Constable Country’ sits the impressive St. Mary the Virgin church. Begun in the same year that Christopher Columbus discovered America, it was completed prior to Henry VIII appointing himself Defender of the Faith and head of the Church of England. Inside is a rare painting by John Constable, The Ascension. The image is one of only three religious paintings by the artist, all of which were commissioned for churches in his native Stour Valley. It was commissioned in 1821, the same year that he completed his world-famous masterpiece, The Hay Wain. The churchyard also provides the final resting place for the infamous art forger, Tom Keating.

3 - Although not strictly a church, Mistley Towers are the haunting remains of what was once St Mary the Virgin, which was demolished in 1870 when a new church was built nearby. The two porticoed classical towers bear all the hallmarks of their designer, Robert Adam, and give a brief sense of the grandiose but highly unconventional Georgian church that stood between them.

4 - A remnant of the early origins of the church in Essex is the haunting chapel of St Peter on the Wall at Bradwell-on- Sea. Built by St Cedd of Lindisfarne in AD654, this Saxon chapel is always open and offers a small exhibition about its history and a bookstall. Having set sail from the monastery at Lindisfarne, St Cedd landed in Bradwell and found the ruins of a Roman fort. Using the stones, Cedd modelled his chapel on those established in Egypt and Syria. It was from here that he successfully converted the East Saxons (Essex) ruled by King Sigbert.

5 - Another historically important church in the county is that of St Andrews in Greensted. This is the oldest wooden church in the world and is believed to be where the body of the martyred King Edmund body was rested on its journey to Suffolk in 870 AD. Fans of the current BBC2 series The Last Kingdom will recall that St Edmund was beaten and then shot with arrows, after St Sebastian, by invading Danish Vikings. Dating from the 11th century, the wooden walls of this tiny church were already standing when William the Conqueror landed at Hastings in 1066. However there are traces of earlier foundations beneath the present ones, giving credence to the story about St Edmund. The brickwork of the chancel and sanctuary is from Tudor times, and the tower from the 17th century. The ancient grave slab on the right of the porch is thought to mark a crusader's grave.

6 - Another church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin can be found in Stansted Mountfitchet. Dating back to the 12th century, this lovely example features two exceptionally fine 17th century monuments with effigies: one to the wasp-waisted Hester Salusbury in her hunting clothes; the other to her father, Sir Thomas Middleton. The church was restored between 1887 and 1888, during which time 14th Century wall paintings were discovered. Two hundred years previously, in 1120 William Greno raised a hill and built Stansted Castle. William became known as 'de Monte fixo' which became Mountfitchet. He was probably responsible for the chancel, north and south nave doorways - which are from 1120. The font dates from 1200. In the 13th Century a chapel was added on the north side, possibly by Roger de Lancaster, who was lord of the Manor of Stansted Hall from 1285-1291. Roger’s son Sir John de Lancaster probably extended the Chapel eastwards. A stone effigy of a knight in armour, lying with his legs crossed is believed to be either Robert, or his son John.

7 - Continuing the Essex preoccupation with St Mary, the largest church in Essex is another dedicated to her. Nearly 200 feet in length and lavishly designed, this church was built in 1430 under the supervision of John Wastell, who also designed King's College Chapel in Cambridge, this magnificent building stands overlooking the historic market town of Saffron Walden.

8 - The remains of one of the earliest Augustinian priories founded in England lie in Colchester. Begun about 1100, St Botolph’s Priory is an impressive example of Norman ecclesiastical architecture, made all the more notable for its use of flint and recycled Roman brick. A key feature of the priory is the series of huge circular pillars and tall round arches. The Civil War siege of the town in 1648 resulted in St Botolph’s being badly damaged by cannon fire.

9 - The hamlet of Bures on the Essex/Suffolk border can claim to be one of the most important sites in English history. On Christmas Day in 855, Edmund was crowned King of the Angles at ‘Burva’, what is now believed to be Bures. The site of Edmund’s coronation was an ancient royal hill, upon which now stands St Stephen’s Chapel. Intrepid visitors to the now disused chapel will be rewarded for seeking it out. Lying about a mile outside the village and accessed via a track through Fysh House Farm, the chapel contains the effigies of three Earls of Oxford, the only survivors of twenty-one tombs once found at Earls Colne Priory. Experts have speculated that there are actually not three but seven monuments that make up what can be seen today. The confusion in trying to piece together the tombs was probably caused by the destruction of the original Priory during the Reformation.

10 - Prittlewell Priory is a medieval priory in Southend-on-Sea. It was founded in the 12th century, by monks from the Cluniac Priory of St Pancras and passed into private hands at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. Today it is a fully restored Grade 1 listed building where you can trace the story of the priory through the words of the historic house's former residents.

For more ideas and inspiration about Essex’s houses of the holy, please go to http://www.visitessex.com 

For further

Tracy Jones
 

Posted: December 10, 2015

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Cumbria Flooding: Government Plans to Cut DEFRA Funding Questioned by Green Party

The inadequate level of funding of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has been called into question by the Green Party after intense flooding in the North West of England.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett also says that the damage caused by Storm Desmond is a stark reminder that the effects of climate change are not only restricted to “far-off places.

Bennett said: "I offer the Green Party's sympathy and best wishes to the many hundreds of people forced to take emergency shelter over the weekend and the many thousands more who have seen their homes and businesses damaged. I also offer our thanks to the rescue teams who've been working tirelessly to help those at risk.

"Any individual event is of course weather, not climate change, but we know that scientists say that climate change will mean more frequent and higher level occurrences of extreme weather. The extraordinary Storm Desmond is a reminder that climate change is not something that will affect the distant future in far-off places, but an already existing reality that is impacting on all of our lives.

Bennett added:"Storm Desmond also brings into serious question government plans to cut funding for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as well as its failure to announce exactly what it will spend on repairing flood defences, which should be a clear priority.

"Cumbria County Council should be reconsidering the call from fossil fuel divestment campaigns to take the £108 million it had invested in 2013/14 in fossil fuels into investments that tackle climate change, rather than exacerbate it."

Friends of the Earth UK has published a briefing in the immediate aftermath of the devastating flooding that is not over yet. It can be read here

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Posted: December 9, 2015

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BMA: Overseas Patient Charges Pose 'Public Health Risk'

7 December 2015: Proposals to charge tourists and migrants for NHS services could have ‘unintended drawbacks’ on patients and the health service, the BMA has warned.

The Government is consulting on plans to extend charges for certain services such as primary and emergency care, under the Visitor and Migrant NHS Cost Recovery Programme.

BMA council chair Mark Porter has warned that the changes could lead to confusion. He said it would be unacceptable to create a climate where any patient with a serious health need was deterred from seeing a doctor owing to cost.

He said: ‘It is important that anyone accessing NHS services is entitled to do so. However, the Government’s proposals could create unintended drawbacks for the NHS and patients.

‘There could be confusion with access entitlements to emergency care services, given the proposals introduce charging for [emergency department] visits yet say no patients will be turned away if they need care.

'Similarly, while patients won't have to pay for GP appointments, they may have to pay for follow-up tests and treatment.'

He added: ‘Most importantly, there is a real risk that some migrants and short-term visitors who desperately need care could be discouraged from approaching the NHS if they cannot pay.

‘We cannot have a situation where any patient with a serious health need is deterred from seeing a doctor, especially if their condition raises a potential public health risk.’

Cost recovery

In announcing the consultation, the Government has said that applying charges to overseas visitors could help to recover up to £500m per year by 2017/18.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the proposals would have no impact on permanent UK residents, and that exemptions for vulnerable groups such as refugees, and those with illnesses posing a threat to public health, would remain in place.

He said: ‘The proposals explored in the consultation aim to support the principle of fairness by ensuring those not resident of the UK who can pay for NHS care do so.

‘The recovery of up to £500m per year will contribute to the £22bn savings required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.’

Dr Porter, however, said that the changes could end up generating more costs than savings.

He said: ‘Not only will this arrangement cause confusion among patients, it will also require GPs and hospital doctors to spend more time on the paperwork and bureaucracy needed to regulate these charges.

'This could mean the administration of the new system could end up costing more to run than it collects in revenue.'

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Posted: December 8, 2015

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Principia and One Giant Read

An exciting new reading initiative went live on December 1 a as British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia Mission prepares for launch in December, a new reading initiative – One Giant Read – will become a reality here on Earth.

Created by charity Literature Works, in partnership with the RNIB and the UK Space Agency, and supported by Gollancz, The Poetry Archive and the Plymouth Literature Project at Plymouth University, the project offers easy to access reading materials and content themed to the Principia Mission and Tim Peake’s stay on the International Space Station.

Supported by the RNIB, Plymouth Literature Project at Plymouth University, The Poetry Archive and Gollancz, the project offers easy to access reading materials, audio books, poems, interviews and short films from leading Scientists all themed around British Astronaut Tim Peake’s Principia mission to the International Space Station.

The site brings film, audio books and recordings of writing, poetry and scientific commentary in order to be as accessible to as many readers as possible. With only 7% of all readable materials in formats accessible for blind people, the One Giant Read project is working with the RNIB to develop materials which will be as accessible as possible to their members and the initiative aims to raise funds to enable Literature Works and RNIB to develop more reading and writing initiatives, with 40p of every £1 donated going directly to RNIB to support their work. For every month Tim circles the Earth, the One Giant Read website offers a series of themed writing and reading challenges showcasing the very best of science fiction writers and exploring the influence science fiction has had on science fact.

The first of month is called ‘Arrival’ and will discuss the ‘Overview effect’: the moment when Tim will see Earth from a distance for the first time – stirring strong feelings of the fragility of our planet. To compliment this, our first month starts with an audio clip of the novel Blue Remembered Earth by contemporary British science fiction author Alastair Reynolds, including audio book extracts donated by Gollancz. The Poetry Archive brings us ‘Mouse’s Nest’ a beautiful poem the 19th century English poet John Clare, recorded by poet Paul Farley and Biological Scientist Professor Camille Parmesan of Plymouth University will be commenting on climate change with our profile focussing on the Scottish science fiction author Iain M. Banks alongside book reviews, films and more sci-fi news.

January moves on to the theme of ‘Gravity’ – including an excerpt from the prolific science fiction writer H. G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon and poetry by critically acclaimed poet Simon Barraclough. During the following months we also have poetry by Sir Andrew Motion, poems from The Poetry Archive and scientific commentary designed to both enthuse and educate on topics from space to robotics, navigation to life on other planets.

Every month the site will publish the best book reviews and ‘flash fiction’ short stories of up to 500 words from our audience, with each entry having the chance to win a highly prized official ‘Principia Mission’ patch, as worn by Tim Peake, and a free copy of one of the books showcased on the website.

Tracey Guiry, CEO of Literature Works says: Science fiction is one of the most widely read and popular genres in the UK, and many ideas dreamt up by writers and poets in the past have now become science fact. The One Giant Read brings accessible examples of the best audio books, poems and videos from scientists to get readers excited about the arts and science, and our One Giant Write competition challenges writers to use the next seven months to complete and enter their unpublished novels.

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, says: We are thrilled that Tim’s mission will inspire such a great project that will recognise and encourage the imagination and creativity needed to continue our exploration of space. This exciting project will use literature to bring the latest science and engineering to new audiences.

Gollancz Commissioning Editor, Marcus Gipps, said: We’re thrilled to be involved with One Giant Read. The best of science fiction builds on the world we live in, and Tim Peake’s forthcoming stay on the International Space Station reminds us that we can already achieve remarkable things. Audio versions of our books are hugely popular already, and both Gollancz and our authors are delighted to be supporting an initiative to increase the resources available for people with sight loss.

Professor Kevin Jones, Executive Dean in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Plymouth University, said: Space exploration is one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time, and consistently inspires people to think beyond the boundaries of what might be possible. I hope the One Giant Read project can capture that spirit, using a combination of science fact and fiction to educate audiences about the impact science and the arts can have on their daily lives. It provides a unique opportunity for us to use our world-leading expertise to enthuse people about the STEM subjects.

Find out more at One Giant Read

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Posted on: December 4, 2015

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Greater Manchester LEP Awarded New Life Science Enterprise Zone
 

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has awarded a new Life Science Enterprise Zone to the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.

The new zone will include two strategic employment sites, Manchester Science Partnerships’ Central Campus and the Clusterlabs site owned by the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), both located within Corridor Manchester - the largest clinical academic campus in Europe.

The Enterprise Zone will specialise in life sciences, a key priority sector for economic growth in Greater Manchester, and will promote the continuing development of a leading innovation cluster within the North West’s life science sector.

Enterprise Zones offer incentives to attract new businesses, making it easier for them to locate there and generate jobs and growth. They also act as catalysts for new businesses, allowing the local LEP to reinvest business rate growth into the zones to attract additional investment.

The new Life Science Enterprise Zone will join the existing Greater Manchester Enterprise Zone at Airport City, which includes Medipark, increasing the region’s pull for businesses and investors. In the past three years, the 24 existing Enterprise Zones report that they have attracted more than 15,500 jobs, over 480 businesses and £2.1 billion of private sector investment.

Mike Blackburn, chair of the Greater Manchester LEP said: “This Enterprise Zone will provide a welcome boost to the life science sector in Greater Manchester. Our city is built on innovation and this sector is key for the future of our economy. It will attract top rate life science companies to the area and help make Corridor Manchester one of the top innovation districts in Europe. The Greater Manchester LEP is committed to this project and we look forward to seeing the benefits of the investments, business and jobs.”

Chris Oglesby, MSP chair and Corridor board member said: “Life sciences are recognised as vital to the growth of the UK economy and our region has a number of competitive advantages to drive future growth in this sector - from physical infrastructure through to its supply chains, skills and knowledge base. Locating the Life Science Enterprise Zone in the Corridor Manchester innovation district, together with our Alderley Park site which forms part of the successful Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone, reinforces the North West as a destination for life science investment and business growth.”

Rowena Burns, MSP chief executive, added: “The additional jobs created as a result of the Life Science Enterprise Zone will be of high value, in a priority economic sector with the potential to benefit not just Greater Manchester but UK plc as a whole. It will deliver immediate financial and economic benefits by capitalising upon the established, successful partnership between MSP and CMFT, at a time of huge opportunity afforded by the ground breaking devolution of health and social care to Greater Manchester. Once again, partnership working is proving to be the key to innovation which is at the heart of driving economic growth and social change.”

Sir Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of CMFT, said: “This Enterprise Zone will attract innovative life sciences companies to our campus, enabling us to work with them to develop new solutions for diagnostics, treatments and care.

“Our location on Corridor Manchester at the heart of a growing regional life sciences cluster allows us to work with our Corridor partners to create a compelling offer to companies to establish and grow their businesses here.

“The life science cluster located on Corridor, is part of a wider health economy that will deliver economic benefit alongside improvements to health and wellbeing for people across the City region.”

About GM LEP

GM LEP sits at the heart of Greater Manchester’s governance arrangements, ensuring that business leaders are empowered to set the strategic course, determine local priorities and drive growth and job creation within the city region. It is central to the wider partnerships established between local government, businesses and educational institutes, and the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. GM LEP is one of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the UK which is approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

For further information:
James Stanley
Communications Manager
james.stanley@marketingmanchester.co.uk
0161 238 4586

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Posted on: December 4, 2015

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Stop the War Protest Outside Parliament Today

As the debates go on about the Government's proposed extension of British Bombing in Syria and the Parliament is due to debate and vote later today on it Stop the War is organising another day of protest today outside the Parliament from midday and a rally is to be held in Parliament Square at 18:00

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Posted on: December 2, 2015

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Junior Doctors at Work: Photo: BMA

Industrial action by junior doctors has been suspended after the BMA reached an agreement with the Government to re-enter genuine negotiations.

The action due to begin tomorrow has been averted following conciliatory talks with the BMA, NHS Employers and the Department of Health. All action planned for December is also suspended while negotiations take place – and the imposition of a new contract is put on hold.

Junior doctors in England were set to provide emergency care-only for 24 hours from 8am tomorrow morning over the Government’s decision to impose a new contract on trainees.

However, following conciliatory talks via Acas the Government has agreed not to impose the introduction of a new contract. NHS Employers has also agreed to extend the timeframe for the BMA to commence any industrial action by four weeks to 5pm on 13 January 2016 to allow negotiations to progress.

In an email to members this evening, BMA council chair Mark Porter says: ‘Following conciliatory talks with NHS Employers and the Department of Health, we have agreed to suspend industrial action in England, which was due to begin at 8am tomorrow. The Government has also agreed not to proceed unilaterally with the introduction of a new contract.

He adds: ‘Today’s decision is in the best interests of patients, doctors and the NHS. It is unfortunate that we have not been able to reach agreement sooner but patients, doctors and everyone else who works across the NHS will be pleased that in the end the right decision has been made.

‘A return to genuine negotiations is clearly preferable to the imposition of a new contract or industrial action and provides us with the best opportunity to deliver a contract for junior doctors which recognises the central role they play in delivering patient care across the NHS.’

In January, all parties involved in the negotiations will decide whether meaningful progress is being made.

Dr Porter adds: ‘At that point, we will need to consider whether industrial action should be reinstated.

‘The coming weeks will be challenging, but it is vital that we do all we can to come to a negotiated agreement. I know that you will continue to support us in this, as you have over the past few months. We are one profession. We stand together.’

Full ACAS Statement

Following productive talks under the auspices of ACAS, the BMA, NHS Employers and the Department of Health are all agreed that a return to direct and meaningful negotiations in relation to a new contract for junior doctors is the right way forward. We intend to reach a collaborative agreement, working in partnership to produce a new contract for junior doctors, recognising their central role in patient care and the future of the NHS.

All parties are committed to reaching an agreement that improves safety for patients and doctors and therefore NHS Employers have agreed to extend the timeframe for the BMA to commence any industrial action by four weeks to 13 January 2016 at 17:00, to allow negotiations to progress. Within that timetable, the BMA agrees to temporarily suspend its proposed strike action and the Department of Health agrees similarly to temporarily suspend implementation of a contract without agreement.

All parties acknowledge that they share responsibility for the safety of patients and junior doctors, which must be paramount. In reaching this agreement to return to negotiations the BMA acknowledge the wish of NHS Employers and the Department of Health to agree and implement a new contract without undue delay. All sides wish to achieve a contractual framework that provides fair reward and a safe working environment for junior doctors throughout the week.

Note: for the purposes of this agreement, NHS Employers is acting on behalf of all employers of junior doctors.

Memorandum of understanding

This memorandum sets out the basis on which the parties will progress the agreement to return to negotiation reached on 30 November 2015.

We acknowledge the commitment of the BMA, NHS Employers and DH to the centrality of junior doctors in the current and future NHS, to recognise their dedication to patients and the NHS, and to provide a safe and supportive environment and fair reward.

The parties support the commitment to patients to ensure that the quality of care and patient outcomes (including appropriately adjusted mortality rates) are the same every day of the week. In that context we recognise the commitment of the government to work with the medical profession and other staff groups in partnership to improve access to seven day services. The parties recognise that junior doctors currently make a significant contribution across seven days, that urgent and emergency care is the priority for such services and that any new contract would support these aims.

All parties acknowledge the crucial role of doctors in training across the NHS in providing safe patient care and the need to properly recognise that contribution not only through terms and conditions but also by reaffirming the commitment to a high-quality training experience, the very best working environment and appropriate work-life balance.

The current cost-neutral November 2015 offer is the basis for further negotiation, and the BMA, NHS Employers and DH have agreed to work collaboratively to develop and oversee new contractual terms and conditions of service for junior doctors.

Contractual safeguards for safety are paramount and we therefore commit to develop a jointly selected and supported guardian role to oversee the hours of work of doctors in training and ensuring appropriate payment for hours worked outside planned work schedules.

A commitment is also made to define propositions on work schedules, including the number of hours designated as plain time ensuring that doctors in training would not be expected to work consecutive weekends, and how time for administrative duties and training should be recognized.

Our discussions will also address access to flexible training (through joint work between HEE, BMA and NHS Employers), taking into account the changing demographic of the medical workforce, as well as developing further our shared commitment to ensuring that the training and working environment for junior doctors is improved (including addressing issues of fixed leave, study leave, notice of deployment and duty rosters, access to rest and refreshment facilities).

Collaborative work on pay will include an ‘open-book’ approach to the November 2015 pay calculator and supporting data and models, including cost-neutrality and equality impact, helping ensure clear systems for pay progression and managing transition. This agreement also recognises the need to work in partnership with HEE and where relevant the medical royal colleges to improve the training experience for junior doctors, including improving access to flexible working and enabling the transition to a fully competency-based approach to support junior doctors to progress through their training.

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Posted on: December 1, 2015

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Remove the Threat to Impose Contract Before Industrial Action for Next Week can be Deferred: BMA to the Govenment's New Offer of Conciliation

Junior Doctors Demonstrating: Image: BMA

The Government has Agreed to Conciliation Talks with Junior Doctors, But Still Needs to Remove the Threat of Imposition to defer industrial action next week.

That was the BMA response to a letter from health secretary Jeremy Hunt today confirming that Government officials and NHS Employers will start talks via Acas.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said the BMA would begin these discussions as soon as possible but Mr Hunt must remove his threat of imposing a contract on doctors in training in England to defer Tuesday’s planned action.

Responding to the development, Dr Porter said: ‘It is encouraging that Mr Hunt has made a significant shift in accepting the BMA offer of conciliatory talks through Acas, finally recognising the fact that trust has broken down between junior doctors and the Government.

‘However, junior doctors and the public, who by now will be used to Mr Hunt’s political game playing, will not be surprised that he has waited until now to do the right thing.'

Dr Porter added: ‘We hope to start these talks as soon as possible in order to reach a collaborative agreement for the benefit of patients and the NHS.

'Importantly, Mr Hunt must finally remove his threat of imposition to defer Tuesday’s industrial action.’


'Talks Better Than Strikes'

In the letter to Dr Porter, Mr Hunt says: ‘While I believe the right thing to do is to return to the negotiating table directly, it is clear that any talks are better than strikes, so I am very happy for my officials and NHS Employers to commence those talks using Acas conciliation services.’

Mr Hunt adds that the Government has committed an extra £3.8bn next year to expand seven-day services and with that had to come reform of contracts.

NHS Employers chief executive Danny Mortimer said: ‘Employers across the NHS will welcome a return to discussions with the BMA, working with Acas conciliation services.

'I remain hopeful that through our joint endeavours we can end this dispute, and modernise the contracts for doctors while also addressing their concerns.’

Junior doctors in England will on Tuesday provide emergency care only as part of the first planned day of industrial action.

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Posted on : November 26, 2015

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A Snapshot of Junior Doctor Voices About the Disputed Contract

Image: BMA

24 November: The BMA asked trainees in England from a range of specialties why they feel so strongly about the contract the Government is threatening to impose (which has been published on BMA website).

Sanna Waseem : London Core Medical Trainee 1 in Acute Medicine

Every decision I make can impact on a patient’s health and well-being as well as my personal and professional life. Being forced to make such decisions when physically and emotionally drained is not only unsafe, but also unethical.There is no justification for taking away a mechanism that protects patients and doctors.

Research, working abroad, gaining varied experience, taking time to be certain of our specialties and even becoming parents all make for well-rounded consultants. Patients often benefit from time we take out as much as we do. Take away this option and everyone loses out. The conveyor belt approach to training will rob our profession of the rich and varied experience that makes excellent doctors.

Paula Bradley Newcastle ST6 in ENT

The Government thinks that extending standard hours will stop doctors being ‘incentivised’ to work slower. I know of no doctor who works more slowly for the prospect of getting paid more.Patient safety is our priority. If keeping patients safe means staying late at work, doctors will do this. Extending standard hours and removing safeguards means doctors will work longer hours with no consequences for the hospital trusts.They will be tired — and tired doctors are not safe.

Stretching an already stretched service will have dire consequences on the staff, their morale, and ultimately patient care and safety. Changing terms and conditions for doctors will threaten recruitment and retention. There are better terms and conditions elsewhere in the world for doctors. UK-trained medical school graduates will leave — they already are doing so.


Jasia Khan London ST3 in Emergency Medicine

It’s unfair to change the definition of unsociable hours and this seems to be singling out our profession. What is unsociable hours for one profession should apply to all. Often the premium pay is an accurate reflection of the care we provide during these hours.

The people making these cuts have no idea. The removal of safeguards results in tired and burnt-out doctors. Being financially penalised for taking time out of training is ludicrous. Who’s going to want to do research?

What about those of us who want families? It seems discriminatory to me.


Amanda Friend Leeds ST2 in Paediatrics

My biggest concerns centre on the removal of safeguards against unsafe hours. The proposed contracts include rotas with 23 hours ‘off’ between finishing night and commencing day shifts and there are no incentives to prevent doctors working stretches of over 12 days or seven night shifts without a rest, despite evidence that these shift patterns would lead to dangerously tired doctors. Tired doctors make mistakes, decision making is less sharp and procedural ability deteriorates.

As an academic trainee, I worry that the proposed financial penalties for those who go ‘out of programme’ will put off many potential researchers from doing PhDs, for example. I would never consider striking over pay alone. It is the potentially negative impact on patient safety that worries me, and a concern that these changes are an attempt by the Government to discredit the NHS and bring about privatisation.
 

Philip Smith London ST5 in Gastroenterology

It’s clear that the Government is trying to get junior doctors to work longer hours by removing the safeguards, but paying them less in the long term once the ‘pay protection’ expires in 2019. Most people realise that when you’re working more hours for the same money, it’s a pay cut. If Jeremy Hunt wants a seven-day NHS, he needs to be able to pay for it.

Last week, I was supposed to be working 9am to 5pm, but I came in at 7am and left at 7pm or 8pm. I was working four extra hours I wasn’t being paid for every day. As gastroenterologists, we have to deal with people who are bleeding or sick. We don’t have to work extra hours and come in early — we do it because we care about our patients.

The safeguards were there for good reason — because they stopped doctors from working excessive hours. Without these, I would have to work even more excessive hours. This would lead to me being tired — and when people are tired they make mistakes.

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Posted on : November 26, 2015

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Junior Doctors Voted Overwhelmingly for Industrial Action as BMA Approached Acas for Conciliatory Talks with the Health Secretary

Junior doctors voted overwhelmingly for industrial action as BMA approached Acas for conciliatory talks with the health secretary

Junior doctors have overwhelmingly voted in favour of taking industrial action after the government’s threat to impose a new junior doctor contract in England from August next year.

Following a ballot of more than 37,000 junior doctors in England, more than 99 per cent have voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike, and 98 per cent for full strike action1, demonstrating the strength of feeling amongst the profession.

While the BMA regrets the inevitable disruption that this will cause, junior doctors have clearly been left with no alternative due to the government’s continued threat to impose a contract that is unsafe for patients and unfair for doctors.

Even now and with such a resounding mandate, we are keen to avert the need for industrial action and have therefore approached Acas to offer conciliatory talks with the health secretary and NHS Employers to clarify the conflicting information coming from government over the past weeks.

If industrial action goes ahead, it is important to remember that other doctors and NHS staff will continue to provide high-quality patient care. As previously announced, we have released the dates of proposed action well in advance to allow employers to put in place plans to minimise disruption to staff and, above all, to patients2.

Commenting, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said: “We regret the inevitable disruption that this will cause but it is the government’s adamant insistence on imposing a contract that is unsafe for patients in the future, and unfair for doctors now and in the future, that has brought us to this point.

“Patients are doctors’ first priority, which is why, even with such a resounding mandate, we are keen to avert the need for industrial action, which is why we have approached Acas to offer conciliatory talks with the health secretary and NHS Employers to clarify the conflicting information coming from government over the past weeks.

“The health secretary is right when he says this action is ‘wholly avoidable’3. Our message to him is that junior doctors have today made their views perfectly clear but that it is still possible to get back around the negotiating table to deliver a contract that is safe for patients, contains the necessary contractual safeguards to prevent junior doctors being overworked and properly recognises evening and weekend work.”

BMA Press Release

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Posted on: November 21, 2015

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Stop the War's Rally in London Tonight in Parliament Square

Stop the War has asked all its groups and supporters to protest on Tuesday 1 December, against plans for bombing Syria.

Supporters are advised to assemble at 6pm in Parliament Square where a rally would take place followed by march to Labour and Tory Party headquarters, both nearby.

Elsewhere, there will be other protests in town and city centres around the country against the proposed British Bombing in Syria.
 

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Posted on: December 1, 2015

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Deaf By-election Candidate Simeon Hart Calls on Government to Overturn ‘Heartless’ Decision to Scrap Disabled Election Fund

The Green Party’s Oldham West and Royton by-election candidate cites issues in making voice heard. The Oldham West and Royton by-election will be on Thursday, 3 December 2015.

The government is making it harder for people with a disability to stand for elected office, according to the Green Party’s by-election candidate in Oldham West and Royton.

Simeon Hart, who was also the only Deaf and British Sign Language (BSL) user to stand as a parliamentary candidate in the May 2015 General Election, is dismayed at the government’s failure to renew a fund covering ‘disability-related costs’ such as carer prices and, in his case, sign language interpreters.

As a temporary replacement for what should be core government funding, Simeon is asking the public for help through crowdfunding to support interpreter costs incurred during the by-election campaign

The Access to Elected Office for Disabled People Fund was set up in 2012 and closed in March this year. The fund’s website states that the government is unable to give a ‘commitment’ to its future.

Hart, who is finding it difficult to locate and pay for essential BSL support for the by-election said:

“Becoming a candidate in elections and by-elections is supposed to be open to anyone eligible in the UK. Yet my experience has been a challenge and I know that many people with a disability will be put off trying to become an elected politician.

“My party and I have a detailed plan for how we can reduce fuel poverty and keep parks public in the constituency and I am unable to articulate my plans as well as the candidates from other parties because of problems finding and paying for an interpreter.

“If the government is serious about making elections a level playing field, it will reconsider its heartless decision to scrap the Access to Elected Office Fund.”

Natalie Bennett, the Green Party’s leader will be joining Simeon while he campaigns in the constituency on Tuesday (24 November). Bennett said: “Simeon is an excellent candidate who is eager to meet with constituents to tell them about Green Party plans for the area. It has been tough for him in finding and paying for an interpreter and it saddens me to think that a good number of quality prospective candidates with a disability could be put off from standing for election.

“We await to hear from the government about their plans for the fund and what they can do to ease the financial burden that’s being unfairly imposed on prospective political candidates with a disability.”

The Green Party Disability Group is also supporting Simeon’s campaign. The group’s convenor, Paul Weaver said: "If a change is ever to be made in the way that we work with and for disabled people within all levels of government then we need to ensure that funds are made available to assist with the extra cost involved.”

Green Party Press Release
 

To Support  Simeon Hart's Campaign
 

Contact 0207 549 0315 / press@greenparty.org.uk

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Posted on: November 24, 2015

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More Than 400 Pharmacists to Be Recruited to GP Surgeries by Next Year
More than seven million patients will soon have access to expert advice from a clinical pharmacist when they visit their GP, thanks to the expansion of a new scheme to fund, recruit and employ pharmacists in local practices.

NHS England has more than doubled funding from £15m to £31m for its clinical pharmacists in general practice pilot, due to an overwhelmingly positive response from GP surgeries. NHS England, Health Education England, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the BMA are today announcing the 73 applications that will receive a share of the funding, which will cover 698 GP practices and include 403 clinical pharmacists.

Recruitment of pharmacists for the three year initiative, which was announced in July, will begin immediately, giving patients the additional support of an expert pharmacist in their GP surgery from Spring 2016.

Examples of the benefits patients can expect include extra help to manage long-term conditions, specific advice for those with multiple medications and more access to clinical advice on treatments.

“Regional assessment panels examined applications against national criteria including the potential for the pilot to improve access to general practice for patients, reduce workload for GPs and to support clinical pharmacists within a multidisciplinary team.” Additional funding was found to more than double the number of supported applications after the panels were impressed by the outstanding quality of responses.

The pilots will be evaluated and will build on the experiences of general practices that already have clinical pharmacists as part of their team, in some cases as partners. The work is part of the GP Workforce 10 Point Plan, which aims to strengthen and support the GP workforce.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, said: “General practice is under extreme pressure after a decade of escalating patient demand and falling resources, with patients understandably frustrated that they are facing longer waiting times for appointments. Nine out of ten GPs have told the BMA that the standard 10 minute consultation is not sufficient and the unprecedented workload has negatively impacted on the quality of care given to patients.

“The pilot scheme is a positive and important opportunity to develop the role of pharmacists working in practices to relieve some of the unsustainable pressures faced by GPs up and down the country. Pharmacists bring specific skills that should add value as part of multi-professional teams working in GP surgeries. We need to ensure that the benefits from these pilots can be extended to all practices nationally, so that GPs can be supported to have the time to see the increasing numbers of patients with complex and long-term conditions, and in order to provide quality and accessible care.”

Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive said: “Joint working between pharmacists and GPs has the potential to have major benefits for both patients and clinical professionals. This pilot will be a win-win for GPs, pharmacists and patients.

“By testing these new ways of working across professional boundaries we are taking another step forward to relieving some of the pressure that GPs are clearly under and ensuring patients see the health professional that best suits their needs.”

Professor Ian Cumming, Chief Executive, Health Education England: “We will be supporting this important pilot by delivering the education and training programme through our national delivery partner Centre for Postgraduate Pharmacy Education.

“Pharmacists are key to effective multi-disciplinary teams in GP practices and to the delivery of high quality patient care in a modern primary care environment. This is the one of the key recommendations of the recently published Primary Care Workforce commission.”

Sandra Gidley Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Board said: “This extra investment of £16m in the pilot is fantastic news. It’s a real vote of confidence in the pharmacy profession and a huge step towards the integration of pharmacists into primary care.

“NHS England’s support in evolving the role of the practice pharmacist will prove enormously valuable to both patients and other clinicians. More patients will see at first-hand the difference a practice pharmacist can make to their health and more GPs will come to regard them as an essential part of the multidisciplinary team in their practice.”

Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "The opportunity for more pharmacists to work in GP surgeries as part of the practice team is great news for GPs and our patients. It's wonderful that what started out as a joint statement between our College and colleagues at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society just eight months ago, is now becoming a reality and we can start to reap the benefits.

"We have a severe shortage of GPs across the UK, and having highly trained pharmacists working with us to take on tasks such as medication management, will help alleviate the intense pressures we are under, and improve patient safety.

"The feedback that we have received from our members who already have a practice based pharmacist is that they play an invaluable role, so we are pleased that NHS England has taken the idea so seriously and so swiftly brought it to fruition.

"There is a long way to go to solve the workforce crisis in general practice and creating new roles, such as practice-based pharmacists, is just one of the steps in our 10 point plan to build the general practice workforce, launched earlier this year with NHS England, Health Education England, and the BMA. We now need to do everything we can to 'recruit retain return' as many GPs as possible so that our profession can continue to deliver the care our patients need and deserve."

BMA Press Release

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While The House of Commons Briefing Paper, titled,  Junior Doctor Contracts in England ( by Thomas Powell) describes the current situation. Here's  snapshot:

NHS Employers, on behalf of the NHS organisations and the Government, are currently working on detailed proposals for reformed contracts for doctors in training (junior doctors). Separate negotiations are taking place on a new consultant contract.

The Department of Health sets the framework for NHS Employers’ work on NHS staff contracts, and has specified that revised contracts must be broadly cost neutral. The Health Secretary has also asked the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) to report on contract reform, and how this can support the delivery of seven day services.

For junior doctors, the new contract would mean an extension of plain time working further into the evenings, and to Saturdays. It would also make changes to pay progression and replace the current banding system, where pay supplements are based on an assessment of the length and unsocial timing of contracted work.

NHS Employers state that their proposed contact changes will:

Enhance the quality and quantity of training opportunities for junior doctors.
Provide a higher basic rate of pay.
Provide proportionate payment for additional hours worked.
Unsocial hours paid at a higher rate.
Flexible pay premium for hard-to-fill specialties.

Negotiations between NHS Employers and the British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors committee stalled in October 2014. The BMA have expressed a number of concerns about the proposed contract changes, including concerns that doctors' welfare and patient safety are not being sufficiently considered by NHS Employers.

While the BMA has re-entered negotiations over the consultant contract it is calling on the Government to reverse the current proposals for change to the junior doctor contract. In July 2015, the Health Secretary set a deadline of mid-September for the BMA to re-enter negotiations. The BMA junior doctors committee refused to do so and the Government has said it will impose the new junior doctor contract in time for the new intake in August 2016. The new contract will apply to any doctor in training taking up a new employment contract.

On 26 September 2015 the BMA announced a ballot of junior doctors on industrial action. A detailed offer for a new contract was published by NHS Employers on 4 November 2015; this was rejected by the BMA. The results of the ballot were announced on 19 November 2015: 98% supported strike action (based on turnout of 76%). The BMA has confirmed plans for junior doctors to provide emergency care only on 1 December 2015, and for a full walk-out from 8am to 5pm on 8 and 16 December.

The dispute only relates to the junior doctor contract in England; the health departments in Wales and Scotland have said they will maintain the existing contractual arrangements and no decision has been reached in Northern Ireland.

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Junior Doctor Contracts in England

Posted on: November 21, 2015

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Sentinel-3A is due to be launched in December 2015 from Plesetsk in Russia.


This image shows the third satellite of the Sentinel fleet before being shipped to Russia before launch. Sentinel-3A is due to be launched in December 2015 from Plesetsk in Russia. Read on

The Lake Eden Eye

 

 

The
Earth

 

The Window of the Heavens Always Open and Calling: All We Have to Do Is: To Choose to Be Open, Listen and Respond

 

 

 

Imagine a Rose-Boat

Imagine a rose floating like a tiny little boat on this ocean of infinity
And raise your soul-sail on this wee-little boat and go seeking out
All along feed on nothing but the light that you gather only light
Fear shall never fathom you nor greed can tempt nor illusion divert
For Love you are by name by deeds you are love's working-map
 

 

Only in the transparent pool of knowledge, chiselled out by the sharp incision of wisdom, is seen the true face of what truth is: That what  beauty paints, that what music sings, that what love makes into a magic. And it is life: a momentary magnificence, a-bloom like a bubble's miniscule exposition, against the spread of this awe-inspiring composition of the the Universe. Only through the path of seeking, learning, asking and developing, only through the vehicles and vesicles of knowledge, only through listening to the endless springs flowing beneath, outside, around and beyond our reach, of wisdom, we find the infinite ocean of love which is boundless, eternal, and being infinite, it makes us, shapes us and frees us onto the miracle of infinite liberty: without border, limitation or end. There is nothing better, larger or deeper that humanity can ever be than to simply be and do love. The Humanion

The
Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Humanion Online Daily from the United Kingdom for the World: To Inspire Souls to Seek

At Home in the Universe : One Without Frontier. Editor: Munayem Mayenin

All copyrights @ The Humanion: London: England: United Kingdom

First Published: September 24: 2015

The names, some without images, and images used on the Home Page of The Humanion of these astonishing human  beings, a tiny representation of the human endeavours, whose lives and works not only enriched and enhanced humanity but will continue to do so in the future. The images and names are placed in random order. This is meant to be our effort to create a 'portrait of humanity' and we hope you take it as such. And let this be an open invite to everyone to learn more about these names and their works.