Category: Health & Care

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Fire service staff administer 11,000 vaccinations

Jane Neville

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen residents, groups, organisations and businesses from across the public and private sectors having to adapt to a whole new way of life. This has included 169 staff and crew members from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) who have volunteered to temporarily move from their normal day job and […]

Covid passports, sporting events and international travel: more from the All Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus

Carol Westall

“The other dimension .., is what these passports will be used for. Will they be used for international travel, will there be a matter of restricting … activities like going to a football game, will they be used to restrict everyday activities like going to a bar, going to a restaurant, will they be used to restrict essential activities like going to a supermarket or to a job. These have very different implications.

North East People

Life-saving Waterside Responder scheme highlighted in new video to celebrate Be Water Aware Week

Jane Neville

“The waterside responders scheme as highlighted in the video demonstrates a real life example of this and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service like all other Services, as well as partners are committed to this. The swift and effective actions of the staff in the video in helping to rescue a person in a river at night and in trouble is a clear example of the lifesaving role that bar staff and others can make to saving lives with a little bit of training and equipment.

Opinion

No more shielding

Peter Lathan

Will the streets, parks and other open spaces be filled with released detainees celebrating their re-acquired freedom, running and singing and dancing in glee? Will there be parties and will joy be unconfined? Will bliss reign and the Kingdom of Heaven appear among the people of England?

World Autism Awareness Week

Louise Brown

Females are commonly able to ‘mask’ their autism more than males making diagnosis more difficult in some cases. Where someone’s autism is less obvious (also in the case of high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome) sometimes others are far less tolerant as they are not aware they have this condition and hence get annoyed with things they view as socially inappropriate.

A pandemic, a limited vaccine supply and secret vaccine contracts

Giuseppe Bignardi

On 17 March, the EU announced the intention of changing its export policy, particularly in relation to countries which are also vaccine producers. The EU argues that there needs to be reciprocity and proportionality to make sure there is an equitable distribution of vaccines. I do not know the details of the EU vaccine export plan, but I do know that Boris Johnson has failed on reciprocity and global solidarity.

Poetry Corner

Worth

Harry Gallagher

Striplight eyed, Eve tumbles out
to mourning’s waking arms,
home to bed’s hollow belly,
the longnight’s deadweight
gushing from her soul
into the pillow’s soft shoulder.

Hakuna Covid! A country of concern

Kim Sanderson

Farida Saidi documents the agonising detail of this political and personal saga on her blog Prayer and Science Tanzania, from the perspective of a Tanzanian living abroad. In one post, her joy that President Magafuli acknowledged Tanzania had a Covid problem was soon dashed by his subsequent mixed messages and over-reliance on another three days of prayer. She supports both prayer and a scientific approach, explaining that clear Covid-19 symptoms are still being explained away as “pneumonia”.

Rishi Sunak’s budget ignores the NHS and social care

Giuseppe Bignardi

The government has failed to put together a plan to rescue the social care sector, despite Boris Johnson’s claim in 2019 that he would fix the crisis in social care “with a clear plan we have prepared”. The NHS also needs extra funding to deal with the huge backlog of non-Covid health needs. Rishi Sunak made no mention of either social care or improved NHS funding in his budget statement.

Crap for our carers?

Scott Hunter

The government’s pay award of 1% to NHS staff has received widespread condemnation for its parsimony. There has been further condemnation that workers in the care sector continue to suffer low pay and poor working conditions.

Poetry Corner

1% and a round of applause

Harry Gallagher

For all the zipped-up body bags,
for carrying your country without pause,
for tending all those beds,
for tending to our dead
you get 1% and a round of applause.

Opinion

Digital friendships: taking back control?

Peter Benson

The pandemic has had a fundamental impact on millions of people all around the UK and globally. Demand for mental health service is rocketing in every corner of the world and just easing off on your mobile phone is not the sole solution but it’s a great start.

Covid memorial day

Julie Ward

It is incumbent upon us, the people, to take a lead in honouring the victims of the pandemic. The campaign suggests simple actions on 5 March such as putting a candle or picture in your window, walking to a hill top, sitting on a beach, or just closing your eyes and thinking about those we have lost.

Beware of the freedom-loving rhetoric

Giuseppe Bignardi

It is good to have a roadmap, but is it wise to have dates if we are really going be guided by “data not dates”? Now that dates have been announced, there will be a formidable resistance to change them, regardless of the data.

Take one leave one: “love in action”

Yvonne Wancke

Take One Leave One (TOLO) is based on a very simple idea. If you need a winter coat (or similar) you take one, if you have a coat to spare you leave one. It is described by the scheme’s founder, campaigner and investigative journalist Stefan Simanowitz as “love in action.”

Panic attacks and anxiety: it’s good to talk

Peter Benson

I never expected that a regular, wintry morning train commute to London Bridge station would see me ending up in the back of an ambulance. This particular morning in November 2018 started like any other work day as I took my 07:59 train, albeit delayed. I got no seat, which was unusual, the carriage was […]

Dear Mr Opperman: an open letter to the Tory MP for Hexham

Carol Westall

The UK has recorded over 3.9 million positive cases of Covid-19; of which more than 15,449 live in Northumberland. This means that, at least 390,000 people in the UK and 1,545 in Northumberland will continue to live with debilitating effects of Long Covid for many months, if not years, to come. Long Covid is the hidden health crisis of the pandemic.

Vaccine hesitancy: a need for trust

Carol Westall

“Trust would be improved with local discussions within communities. One example was Bristol and a suggestion of mobile vaccination centres with the involvement of religious leaders and local organisations in discussions. Money could be ring fenced to organisations so that they can create some trust within their care organisations to answer questions directly. She thought that hearing the same message from someone in your community could change someone’s mind.”

Why I didn’t clap for Captain Sir Tom

James Robinson

Free, widely available public healthcare has long been exuded as one of the great successes of British history. However, Conservative rule has left the NHS close to breaking point.
Our health service needs cash, not claps.