Jeremy Hunt Petition reaches 310,000

Watch Jeremy Hunt squirm as he listens to letters from junior doctors
Watch Jeremy Hunt squirm as he listens to letters from junior doctors

A petition which calls on the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to face a vote of “no confidence” has reached more 310,000 signatures.  

The petition which was created by Graham Hillman centres on claims that Mr Hunt is “destroying all staff morale in the NHS & will cause recruitment issues”. 

The momentum behind the signatures comes just days after Mr Hunt was widely criticised for his decision to “unilaterally” impose a new contract on junior doctors which redefines “anti-social” working hours.  However the British Medical Association (BMA) claims an “eleventh hour” offer has been made by the Government and the BMA’s chief negotiator Sir David Dalton will present the offer to their committee in the coming weeks.

Let us hope this offer is one that includes phasing in new contracts which tie into additional resources.

There is not a single person I have spoken to who does not think that the aspiration to 7 days is a good idea. The facts around 11,000 deaths at the weekend have not only been misrepresented but as I commented on before, Mr Hunt (whilst wearing an NHS badge) refused to deny that the deaths were the result of junior doctors not being available at the weekend.  This is a monstrous dereliction of actual facts which are far more complicated than Hunt alludes to.

NHS Strike

Even the NHS’s medical director Prof Sir Bruce Keogh distanced himself from the Health Secretary’s rhetoric by reiterating a view held by many in the healthcare profession that “the weekend effect” cannot be accurately used to measure how many people die avoidably on Saturday or Sunday.

There is no doubt that a move towards 7 days is a good idea and one that will benefit patients in the long run.  BUT if Jeremy Hunt thinks he can bully the health profession into providing a 7 day service by twisting their hours and taking even more from them then he is unbelievably naive.

I personally think that Jeremy Hunt is nothing more than a careerist and political opportunist, of the worst kind, who’s current motive is not to improve our health system but is, in fact, to get this supposed 7 day NHS up and running so he can sit grinning at the cabinet table pontificating about how he has delivered the Prime Minister’s promised  7 days manifesto pledge.

However, at what cost?  The NHS struggles with 5 days.  How can it cope with 7? This change is not being done by adding more resources – but by stretching and pulling the already tight service – to the point where it is already beginning to snap in some places. Jeremy Hunt is putting his political ambitions  ahead of patients and doctors and I think it is shameful.

Jeremy could have had us all on his side by saying that he wanted to create a 7 day service and he will start the process by launching a nationwide recruitment campaign for more doctors and nurses and other healthcare professionals to enable it to happen.  He could of engaged the public and professionals by being seen to do things the right way. However, he didn’t. He isn’t close enough to the Prime Minister or Chancellor to get the funds required.  So instead, he has been forced into spreading the jam over a much bigger piece of toast.  And guess what – there isn’t enough jam…and he knows it.

It is for this reason that I believe Jeremy Hunt is not worthy to continue in his role and why I signed the petition.

The petition can be found by clicking here….

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Saturday Breakfast with flirting expert Jean Smith 06 February 2016

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On 106.9 SFM’s Saturday Breakfast show for the 6th February – we have the usual features including Who is the voice? in the first hour.

In Tranquil Time our poem is by John Masefield – Sea Fever READ BY: Gill Fraser Lee

THE chat-up line, “I like your dress but it would look better on my bedroom floor” has been named the worst of all by women. Jason is joined by flirting expert Jean Smith to discuss the art of flirting.

Play Your Celebrity Cards Right with Dickie Smallbone & Feather Barkweasle returns and we have our final Celebrity Big Brother Update brought to us by MC Jezza Fellows.

Pick of The Number One’s Pops returns where the songs we play were number one on this day.

Monday Matters from the 08 February 2016

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Tom Fletcher from Mcfly with CoppaFeel! founder Kris

On Chinese New Year our featured artist is Holly Johnson who celebrates his birthday in the week.

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It was the final on Friday and our digital celebrity spotter MC Jezza Fellows – best known for his lowdown on the Downton – long since departed – returns after 9pm with his take on all the celebrity shenanigans that happened in the BB House.

After 9pm our reporter Bonnie Britain returns with a look at an event aimed at breast cancer awareness called Coppafeel. Boobball is a c charity game held in the olympic park with interviews with some of the players. Tom Fletcher from Mcfly, Ashley James, Gaby Roslin, Dan Edgar and Kate Write from TOWIE and Kristin Hallenga.

Brits name the radio DJ they’d most like to spend a Valentine’s break with

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After years of listening to their dulcet tones and charismatic banter, many people start to feel like they really know their favourite radio DJ – in fact, some people even dream of jetting away with them.

And now a list of the top radio DJs Brits would like to go on holiday with for Valentine’s Day has emerged. In a survey of two thousand people run by Holiday Hypermarket, Radio 1 Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw topped the male presenters we’d most like to be abroad with for Valentine’s, while Emma Bunton of Heart Radio was the favourite female. The fight for the top spot was close run thing though with Nick Grimshaw, (13%) narrowly beating Greg James (12%), also of Radio 1. Radio 2’s Chris Evans came third with 12%.

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Early bird BBC Radio 4 Today’s Programme presenter John Humphrys received 5% of the vote.

 

For the ladies, Bunton’s 18% was closely followed by former Radio 1 presenter Fearne Cotton who gained 17.3% of the votes, then Sara Cox (12%), of Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s fame. Down at the bottom of the rankings, Jenni Murray and Vanessa Feltz didn’t fare so well, with 3.6% of votes each. The male DJs that voters would least like to go away with were Steve Wright (6%), Jeremy Vine (6%) and John Humphrys (5%).

Holiday Hypermarket representative Ian Crawford commented: “This was a close run thing and we didn’t expect for the margins to be so small. It’s clear that with so many great DJs out there we have lots of favourites. The figures for the ladies were a little higher and more unanimous, so well done Emma and Fearne.”

STOP! Paying for MPs to get Pissed – let’s spend it on the#NHS

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#isupportjuniordoctors

Nothing insenses me more than when a group of experts are bullied into agreeing to something which they know is wrong by a government desparate to make good on a shoddy election promise – on paper rather than practice.

And so today we have a strike by junior doctors who are worried that the terms and conditions they thought they had signed up to when they started their careers – is being ripped up and replaced with a new contract which, in its heart, is about doing more with less, for less.

Having squeezed all the juice from the apple – Mr Hunt and David Cameron are now attempting to squeeze juice from the remaining pips! And it is an utter disgrace.

I have used the NHS alot lately and so understand that it is climbersome, slow and at its best when dealing with life or death emergencies. The rest of us – form an orderly and long queue please.

So, I am all for new ideas and reforms. But they must be sensible and reasoned and funded properly.

Watch Jeremy Hunt squirm as he listens to letters from junior doctors
Watch Jeremy Hunt squirm as he listens to letters from junior doctors

 

This is NOT what we are getting from Jeremy Hunt. His proposals are designed to spread what is currently done over 5 days over 7. Let me tell you – the NHS in some parts is struggling with 5 days – never mind 7.  WE MUST NOT make Doctors pay the price of over funded and bad management of NHS boards.

I am not saying I don’t disagree with the Conservative aspiration of a fully functioning 7 day health system. It is inevitable.

However, where I am very angry with Jermey Hunt is that he is trying to impose this new way of working – without fully resourcing the other bits required to make the new term and conditions feasible and the aspiration achievable.

On the Andrew Marr show on Sunday 7th February Mr Hunt refused to say that Doctors were not responsible for the 11,000 deaths which are supposedly down to the “weekend effect”.

This made me so angry and the reason is – because it is a total LIE. 11,000 people are NOT dying because everyone packs up at 5pm on a Friday evening in the NHS. In fact, it would appear that Wednesay stands accused of being statistically the worst day to be in hospital. Do we avoid getting hit by a Larry on Wednesay the?

The truth is – you find trends in any data which may not accurately reflect the situation – certainly not to allow you to then base a concrete finding upon eg: if we look at those who died on Wednesay – you might find a majortiy white, male, under 6ft, with blonde hair and green eyes. However if you fit that description- and get hit by a car – you are not MORE likely to survive because it’s Tuesday! It will depend on a variety of other factors directly relating to that incident.

But Jeremy Hunt and the Government are trying to skew the statistics to create fear and get the public on their side. That is shameful and unforgivable.

When I think about how much MPs earn and the fact that as well as everything else the tax payer funds them for – just remember – at any point – MPs are getting pissed in the House Of Commons bar – or some other little function and you are subsiding it or paying wholly for it.

Instead of paying for MPs to get pissed – why isn’t that money used to get more Doctors, Nurses and other NHS specialists?

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Former Cop Nigel Boulton discusses Child Protection & Abuse

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Former detective Nigel Boulton is the original designer of the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH), and now supporting MASH delivery and safeguarding improvements around the UK.

Nigel spoke to Jason McCrossan on his Monday Matters radio show on 106.9 SFM (www.sfmradio.com) about how MASH is used to share information across agencies and identify children and vulnerable adults who are at risk from Female genital mutilation, extremism, radicalisation just to name a few.

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Tareena Shakil fled to the war-torn Syria in October 2014.

Jason spoke to Nigel on the day that 26 year old Tareena Shakil was found guilty of taking her toddler son to Syria to join terror group ISIS.  Tareena had fled to the war-torn region in October 2014 after telling her family she was going on holiday to Turkey.  She was found guilty of being a member of ISIS and encouraging acts of terror, becoming the first British woman to be convicted after return from the terror heartland.

More about MASH information can be found at his website: http://www.nibconsulting.co.uk/mash/

 

 

“Electoral corruption” – did the Tories lie about spending?

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Channel 4 News journalist Michael Crick in Rochester & Strood

Oh dear – has the Tory party been “creative” with their accounting?  Maybe they asked Google to fill out their expenses?

Channel 4 news journalist Michael Crick obtained hundreds of Conservative party receipts which where accumulated during local by-elections – but do not appear to have been officially registered, as is required by law, to ensure political parties do not spend more than a legal limit which is set at £100,000.

The phrase “electoral corruption” is used in Michael Crick’s investigation into undeclared party expenditure and the police may have to be called in to investigate!

You would think that after Conservative leader David Cameron appointed Sir Eric Pickles as his anti-corruption tsar to “stamp out corruption and restore public confidence” in politicians, the Tory party would be a bit more careful about how they do their own accounting?

As Michael Crick said in his investigation- did the Conservative Party show “contempt for the law”?

Are Age UK overcharging their customers for travel insurance?


Leading independent price comparison website PayingTooMuch.com thinks they might be!

Travel insurance from Age UK is nearly double the cost of a comparable policy from PayingTooMuch.com, potentially leaving customers feeling ripped off and perhaps even putting them off going on holiday.

A two week single-trip policy for a 78 year old male, with pre-existing medical conditions*, to the Canary Islands was £158.16 from Age UK, whereas the same level of cover from PayingTooMuch.com was £79.94.

If you are prepared to reduce cancellation cover from £5k to £3k (more than enough for most travellers) and baggage cover from £2k to £1k, PayingTooMuch.com can provide a policy for only £49.49, which is 31% of the price of Age UK’s policy, whilst still retaining the same level of medical cover (£10m).

Age UK has been under pressure recently due to their energy partnership with E.ON. Regulators are investigating Age UK as their recommended energy tariffs appear to be more expensive than shopping direct with E.ON. and much more than if customers shopped around.

 According to Age UK’s annual report they provided home, car and travel insurance products through Ageas to nearly half a million customers, generating commissions of £18.8m (net) for themselves.

In a statement Age UK answered some of the criticism levelled at them, replying that they never claim to be the cheapest, but provide “competitively priced, quality products and services but we never claim to be cheapest at all times. …. the products are designed to be relied on by older people in an ever changing marketplace.”


Michael Ward, managing director of PayingTooMuch.com, comments:

“Age UK has admitted that they are targeting their products at ‘older people’. Often elderly people do not have access to the Internet and rely on telephone sales, where they are given only one price.

Our elderly customers much prefer using PayingTooMuch.com’s telephone quote service, where they get a range of prices and discuss the options available.
“Age UK has taken advantage of their trusted brand status and is potentially overcharging customers for their energy and insurance premiums. My best advice is to shop around to find the best price for your circumstances. Sometimes you can be ripped off by the brands you ought to be able to trust the most, which shouldn’t be allowed.”

National Geographic Traveller (UK) March 2016 Available on Newsstands Now

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The March 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK) has hit the newsstands with a FREE Costa Rica guide: featuring the top 10 quintessential experiences, as well as the checklist no visitor should miss.

Launched in December 2010, the magazine is one of 16 local-language editions published worldwide.

 

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Cover Story: This month’s cover story, delves into cities that make a lasting impression. From the streets of Havana to the best restaurants in Beirut, their experts write a love letter to the places that have stolen their hearts.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 17.45.55Destinations:  Hop on a bicycle for a two-wheel trip across the Croatian islands; walk in the footsteps of Dr Jane Goodall in search of chimpanzees in East Africa; meet the cowboys of France’s Camargue region; discover Iceland’s friendly fishing villages; and sample the Isle of Skye’s natural larder.

Cities: Their urban adventures take us to the ‘ruin bars’ of Budapest and the arty sights of Delhi. Also the magazine explores the leafy back alleys of Bangkok, check out Philadelphia’s best beds and look at Helsinki’s creative edge.

 

Smart Traveller: Discover Macau’s best food, hotels under £100 in Gdansk and the Azores. Plus, why you should go to Liguria, and handy columns and checklists.

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Author Series: Alex Perry on Quirimbas, Mozambique.
Travel Talk: Ask the experts about your travel dilemmas.

Travel Writing Competition 2016: The National Geographic Traveller Travel Writing Competition 2016 is now open, with a 17-day trip to Madagascar up for grabs.

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PLUS: You can win a seven-night trip to Mexico for two. natgeotraveller.co.uk/competitions

 

For a sneak peak – you can view the 26-PAGE DIGITAL EZINE SAMPLE

 

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Police give hate crime the boot

Merseyside Police Commissioner at Mersey Pride event.
Merseyside Police at Pride event.

Officers from throughout the force are replacing the standard black laces for multi-coloured ones to mark the start of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender History month.

The unique rainbow laces use the same colour scheme as the rainbow flag, which has been flown by the force for the past nine years to mark International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) in May and will be raised again on February 1st.

Officers of all ranks will be allowed to wear the distinctive laces throughout February as a show of support for our LGBT staff and also for our partner agencies who stand alongside Merseyside Police to end discrimination and to eradicate hate crime.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Cooke, said: “As a force we have already pledged to do everything we can to support members of the LGBT community and tackle homophobic and Transphobic hate crime in Merseyside. The flying of rainbow flag of IDAHO is already a well-established tradition in Merseyside and the introduction of rainbow laces as a show of support for LGBT History month is another great initiative.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 21.55.57“We pride ourselves on being a diverse, fair and equal opportunities employer and the networks we have forged with support networks such as Homotopia and our GLSN have helped us improve the service we give to members of the LGBT community.

“Sadly, some people continue to be targeted because they are perceived to be different and it is important that victims feel confident enough in the police to report any hate crime incidents to us.

“We have made significant in-roads into addressing this issue through the establishment of our hate crime investigation ‘Sigma’ units, however there is further work to do to increase hate crime reporting and initiatives like this can only help demonstrate our commitment to this cause.”

Detective Constable Tracy O’Hara, chair of Merseyside Police’s LGBT network, said : “It is important for myself and other LGBT colleagues in Merseyside Police to see visible support from senior managers and those who do not identify as LGBT, wearing the rainbow laces.

merseysidepolice_34042783394.jpg“This is a team game and hopefully this will get people talking.

“LGBT history month is an opportunity to be visible in our stance against homophobia and transphobia. We have an established LGBT network however there are still those who feel unable to be out.

“Rainbow laces enable all staff to show their commitment to eradicating hate and discrimination in all its facets and that is what this is all about.”

During LGBT history month, members of Merseyside Police’s gay lesbian support network (GLSN) and Merseyside Black Police Association will be joining Homotopia and Liverpool’s Unity Theatre in welcoming a contingent of campaigners and academics from Poland.

The group will be looking at how LGBT cultural events such as Pride are organised in the city, how anti-discrimination is discussed in schools and universities, and how the emergency services and local councils work with charities to promote LGBT awareness.