‘Health Hub’ plan for Leominster town surgeries


Current congestion impacts on residents says Trish Marsh
Photo  – Chris Watson.

Green councillors are campaigning for substantial NHS investment in Leominster so the town’s cramped GP surgeries can relocate to a spacious new ‘Health Hub.’

A Project Board, which includes members from the two medical practices at Leominster’s Westfield Walk Health Centre, has identified a suitable site at Mill Street. The Green councillors – Jenny Bartlett, Trish Marsh and Felicity Norman – are working together with the fourth Leominster county councillor John Stone (Con), to drum up support and attract funding.

The existing Westfield health centre in the Leominster South Ward, where Trish Marsh is the local councillor, has outgrown its site resulting in problems. Said Trish: “Current facilities at both Westfield Walk surgeries are already 40 per cent below recommended space requirements for the town’s population. The surgeries’ location, lack of parking and traffic congestion has a negative effect on the town in general and local residents in particular.”

Pressures will greatly increase due to Herefordshire Council’s plans for major expansion of Leominster.  Your councillors are calling on NHS Property Services “to agree the outline business case and baseline calculations for Leominster’s requirements” –  and give the health hub the green light.

Why equality is better for everyone

Join us for a Big Green Conversation about the research on economic inequality and its effects on people and society, as shown in Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s book “The Spirit Level – why equality is better for everyone”.  We’ll be exploring the connections between inequality, over-use of resources, and climate change – and thinking about what we can do to change things for the better.  All welcome on Wednesday 31st May 2017, 7 for 7.30pm at De Koffie Pot, Left Bank, Hereford. Please note that this is the event originally scheduled for 24th May but which has been moved due to a BBC Hereford & Worcester election hustings at Left Bank on the 24th.

Big Green Conversations are held monthly at De Koffie Pot, Left Bank Hereford, usually on the 4th Wednesday. They are an informal, relaxed and sociable event to which all are welcome.

Budget fails to address today’s challenges

You might have thought that there was no one left on a trolley in a hospital corridor. That our social care system wasn’t on its knees. That climate change wasn’t a crisis that threatens our very future or that there was no air pollution epidemic linked to the deaths of tens of thousands.

This budget should have been an emergency intervention to end the chaos in health and social care and address the air pollution emergency, but instead it’s another resounding failure from a Government that’s got no ideas beyond an obsession with scaling back the state. With our NHS in peril and social care in crisis, this Budget was a chance for the Government to take a stand for the public services upon which we all rely. Instead they continue to push ahead with planned corporation tax cuts, and their handout to high earners, while unveiling woefully inadequate funding changes for the NHS and social care.

This budget is another climate failure – with the Chancellor failing to mention climate change even once in his speech. Rather than reversing the solar tax hike or ploughing money into renewables, the Government seems hell bent on drilling for more gas and oil in the North Sea, and handing further cash to the motor lobby with the fuel duty freeze. Britain should be leading the world in climate change technology and green jobs, but instead we’re lagging behind and laying the foundations for another dash for gas.

The time is now. Join us to stand for the Common Good.

Jesse Norman: save our NHS

With patients being asked to stay away from Hereford A&E, and dying after hours left in corridors in Worcester, local healthcare is in crisis. Hereford hospital is too small, its management recently taken over by South Warwickshire, a move which Jesse Norman MP said in November ought to be halted while consultation took place. I agree with him on this, but there are underlying issues which he ought to be addressing.

He is a Minister in a government which has underfunded, disorganised and is privatising our precious NHS, and has demoralised its wonderful staff.  Respected aid agency the Red Cross describes the situation as a ‘humanitarian crisis’.

Local people need to be confident that government will provide us with a health service that is fit for purpose and does not lurch from crisis to crisis every winter.

We want a publicly funded, publicly run and publicly accountable NHS for our families and communities. The government’s wasteful privatisation agenda is not supported by the public

My party is committed to reinstating the NHS as a public service without privatisation and marketisation, where funding pays for healthcare and doesn’t inflate the profits of private businesses.

Let’s sort Hereford’s traffic right now

The news that Herefordshire Council has again failed to get funding to progress a bypass should make us all stop to think. Do we want to solve our traffic problems right now, or would we prefer to suffer another 20 years in traffic jams as we wait for them to find the money?

Most of Hereford’s traffic is internal. Half of all Hereford’s car journeys are less than 2 miles long. We could now switch our efforts to dealing with internal traffic and the 2 mile journeys which would never use a bypass anyway. This is much easier, faster and cheaper to fix.

This isn’t about forcing everyone to use a bike either. Just a small reduction in internal traffic could make the rest of it flow freely, as it does in school holidays.

Our politicians haven’t managed to deliver a bypass for decades. Do we trust them to deliver in the next 5 years when government won’t even fund a survey? Why are we still waiting? Why not solve our traffic issues now? A city wide 20MPH limit along with a proper well designed bike network, free school buses and better pedestrian facilities would make it easier and safer for our children to get to school and all of us to walk or cycle every now and then.

With air pollution a major factor in ill health for both young and old, even a small reduction in traffic volumes could reduce pressure on our underfunded NHS too, by making us all a little bit fitter, healthier and happier. We could start right now, but we need councillors who ‘get it’.

Breaking the Austerity Myth

Come along for an upbeat evening workshop exploring the realities behind austerity on Wednesday 18th January at 7.30pm.

This session will be presented by Charles Grimes of Positive Money, and is the first of the new year’s Politics & Ethics evenings at De Koffie Pot from our friends at Herefordshire Green Network.

Every Wednesday evening you will find sociable, participatory workshops going on upstairs at De Koffie Pot. There’s a chance to develop your political understanding with Talk Shop (first Wednesday), a challenge to political assumptions with Momentum (second Wednesday), a growing movement for social and environmental justice through political processes with the Green Party (fourth Wednesdays). And on the third Wednesday of every month Herefordshire Green Network will offer inspiration via practical and issue based workshops on a range of local and national environmental concerns.

Come along for 7.30, bring friends, network, find out more… everyone welcome

http://positivemoney.org/

Avoid A&E say hospital

The Hereford Times is reporting today that those with minor ailments should not attend A&E in Hereford.

During the last few days the emergency department at Hereford County Hospital has seen a spike in the number of patients treated and admitted with hip fractures, respiratory conditions and cardiac problems.

People with injuries and conditions which are not serious are advised to use alternatives – such as calling NHS 111, using the GP walk in centre in Hereford, the Minor Injury Units at Ross and Leominster Community Hospitals, seeing their local GP or seeking advice from their local pharmacy.

A spokesperson for Herefordshire Greens said: ‘Don’t go to Hereford A&E with minor ailments, fair enough, but please, Jesse Norman Conservatives, stop your wasteful privatisation agenda, and fund our NHS properly with taxes raised from those who can well afford to pay. This isn’t fair on the dedicated staff or the patients. We are a rich country still, and can afford it. It is simply a matter of priorities.’

The full article from the Hereford Times can be read here.

Chancellor’s statement has nothing to say on climate change emergency

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party co-leader and MP for Brighton Pavillion, has accused the Government of ‘shirking its responsibilities’ after today’s Autumn Statement.

Lucas accused the Government of having ‘deeply skewed priorities’. She said: 

“Britain is drifting towards the stormy and unchartered waters of brexit with ministers refusing to reveal the route, or properly adjust the sails according to the headwinds. We needed an Autumn statement which rose to the challenges of the day, but we see a government shirking its responsibilities, lacking any moral compass and leaving us dangerously exposed to both economic shocks and climate change.

“This Autumn statement shows a Government with deeply skewed priorities. At a time of uncertainty they are continuing with plans to give a tax cut to corporations and the highest earners – while our NHS is strapped for cash and local services are under immense strain. We could save billions by scrapping the plans to cut corporate tax and raising the threshold for the highest earners – and we could plough that money into our ailing NHS – but the Government has refused to change course.

Lucas slammed the Chancellor for failing ‘even mention climate change’ in his speech. She said:

“With Trump’s election this could have been a moment for Britain to become a world-leader in the fight against catastrophic climate change but, instead, we see little evidence of a commitment to facing up to the greatest challenge of our times. Indeed, it is shameful that the Chancellor failed to even mention climate change in his speech. By caving into the motor lobby and freezing fuel duty again for the seventh year in a row the Government has made a mockery of the fact that it is the hottest year on record and condemned us to more carbon emissions and deadly pollution.”

“A Government with a genuinely bold vision could have used this Autumn statement to ensure that the economy is future facing on everything from the risks of a potential Brexit to the threats posed by climate change and growing inequality. Instead we have a backwards looking budget that fails to wage war on poverty and fails to grasp the realities of an uncertain world and the limited resources in it. A serious response to the situation we’re in could, for example, have included a nationwide insulation scheme to keep people warm in their homes, cut bills and create jobs in every community. Or the Conservatives could have scrapped their plan to hand cash to corporations and high earners and instead give the NHS the funding it so desperately needs.”

It’s Tories not agencies privatising our NHS

It’s good to read in Bill Wiggin’s ‘Talking Point’ last week that he wants to stop our money being wasted on agency staff in the NHS.  I agree with him that ‘it is important that the NHS is able to manage its staffing budget and is not privatised by agencies who pay far higher rates’. However, it is not agencies who are privatising the NHS, it is his own party!  Many Herefordians are disappointed to see the support Bill, and Jesse Norman, have given over the years to the Government’s starving of our precious health service, and encouragement of wasteful internal markets.

Do we want Herefordshire to go the way of Bath and North East Somerset, where Virgin Care are now running NHS and social care services?  Where do we want our taxes to end up – in a nurse’s pocket or in Richard Branson’s tax haven?  The NHS is in serious danger, and to protect it as a public service, not a profit opportunity for big business, we have to challenge this Conservative obsession with breaking up and selling off our assets and services. It’s sad to see Bill and Jesse sharing this ideology, and I would like to remind them that Herefordshire is not for sale, the UK is not a business, and we are citizens not consumers. Some things, like the NHS, are priceless.