Forum Topics

National Health Service breakdown and privatization: "Sustainability and Transformation Plans"

I'm deeply concerned that in the build up to the General Election there has been little discussion about the disastrous changes to the NHS being proposed by the local Sustainability and Transformation Plan, the "North West London STP" which covers 8 boroughs from Westminster to Hillingdon. These plans for the 44 "footprint" regions of England and Wales have been made in a secretive manner, with very little public information and are nothing more than plans to slash, trash and privatise our NHS.           But most worrying are large private healthcare companies and their lobbyists, such as Virgin Care and American healthcare companies including UnitedHealth, the previous employer of Simon Stevens CEO of the NHS, which will chase the UK's expenditure through the NHS using the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This pressure will inexorably lead to the American model of healthcare management which causes 50% of personal bankruptcies each year in the US. All the STPs call for "Accountable Care Organisations/Systems", a term which Americans recognise only too well. This system with low fixed budgets will be screwed down so that it does not meet the public need and it will turn the health provision in England and Wales into a two tier health system where the rich will pay and the rest of us will be left with a very poor, minimal NHS, like the American Medicare/Medicaid system.         I would urge all readers to contact their candidates and let them know that the public will not stand for the destruction of the NHS and all MPs must reject the STPs and reject the move to Accountable Care Organisations. These "new models of care" will end the NHS as a comprehensive service that provides the full range of care to all who need it, free at the point of need and fully accountable to the public (private companies will hide their waste as well as their profits).               Readers can find their candidates on the website. www.whocanivotefor.co.uk/elections

Una-Jane Winfield ● 2075d0 Comments ● 2075d

Cygnet Players present Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Cygnet Players are proud to present Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsFrom Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th February 2017At John McIntosh Arts Centre, London Oratory School Theatre, Seagrave Road, London, SW6 1RXPerformances nightly at 7.45pm with a 2.30pm Saturday matineeTickets £16 (£14 concessions) can be bought from the Cygnet Players box office via telephone on 07941 448 689, via email at cygnetsboxoffice@gmail.com or via www.cygnetplayers.com Book by Jeffrey Lane | Music and lyrics by David YazbekBased on the film "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" written by Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro and Paul HenningThis production is presented by arrangement of Music Theatre International (Europe) All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI Europewww.mtishows.co.ukAbout the show Two con men, a beautiful woman and the elite of the French Riviera collide in this sexy and irreverent farce. Based on the 1988 MGM film starring Sir Michael Cane and Steve Martin, this hysterical comedy features a delightfully jazzy score by David Yazbek (The Full Monty) and was nominated for a staggering 11 Tony Awards. Be transported to Beaumont Sur Mer and its decadent underworld, as two seasoned swindlers attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress. As the pair compete in the true art of the con, they discover there is only room for one of them. Sophisticated, suave with a good dash of mischief, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is set to be the finest night out of 2017 - Secure your ticket today!

Cygnet Players ● 2227d0 Comments ● 2227d

12 & 24 hour Spinning Marathon! Calling all spinners & cyclists!

The Starfish Spinning Marathon is back - with a twist!Take on the challenge. Your way.The epic thigh busting team event is back for its 4th year and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Qualified instructors from the Pedal Studio will lead back to back Spinning classes.  With pumping tunes and fierce competition this will be a weekend to remember. Teams must clock up a total of 12 or 24 hours but it’s up to you how you take on the challenge....So how can you get involved and how does it work?Here’s how the team set up works:Option A:  The ultimate 24 hour challenge, 6pm Friday 27th- 6pm Saturday 28th February Option B: New for 2015, 12 hour challenge 6am – 6pm Saturday 28th February Teams can have 2 – 10 members. The team decides how to make up its hours and can either cycle together as a group or as a relay.You can enter as a team or those of you who would like to participate but don’t have the time to gather a team can still take part in this awesome event. Just choose to do a single or multiple classes over the 24 hour period and we will find you some shiny new teammates. There is no sign up fee and a fundraising target of just £50 per person. And don’t forget - everything from the Putney Pedal Studio space to the Popchips is donated so every penny raised goes to improving the lives of vulnerable kids in South Africa. To register please email stephanie.kitson@starfishcharity.org or call Stephanie on 020 7597 3797.

Jessica Francis ● 2918d0 Comments ● 2918d

Singers wanted for choirs!

SEEKING TENORS & BASSES!The Hammersmith based ADDISON CHAMBER CHOIR and the ADDISON JAZZ ENSEMBLE are each looking for a couple of extra Tenors and Basses for the 2015 season. Some sight reading skills are helpful and an informal audition is required.The CHAMBER CHOIR have a large repertoire but have become particularly known for their high quality performance of music by a wide range of contemporary composers, many of whom have written pieces especially for the choir. Concerts include our own and others e.g. the Brandenburg Festival and the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and a performance at Kings Place later this year.  The Music Director is David Wordsworth.The JAZZ ENSEMBLE sing jazz standards, occasionally pop, and pieces written especially for the Ensemble by the talented Jill Jarman.  We perform in the Addison Jazz concerts and in the Brandenburg Festival.Bursary - a bursary to attract and retain young singers who demonstrate talent and wish to join may be available on application.  The bursary covers all fees and music for one year and is conditional on committing to singing at all performances during the year.Rehearsals are held at the Polish Centre in Hammersmith, London W6 0RF. Chamber Choir on Wednesday evenings 6.30pm-7.45pm, Jazz Ensemble on Monday evenings 6,30pm-8pm.  We’re a very sociable choir and there are plenty of opportunities for meeting like minded friends! There are also two Addison unauditioned larger choirs for people of all abilities: the Oratorio Choir and the Jazz Choir, should these be of interest.To arrange an informal audition or for more information, contact Julie Davies our Membership Coordinator on 07531 447960, or email us at info@addison-singers.org.uk , or see our website http://www.addison-singers.org.uk/

Morna Wheatley ● 2951d0 Comments ● 2951d

Local Hospitals "Require Improvement"

Save Our Hospitals has responded to the CQC's report as follows:Overall, this is a disappointing report, but not entirely surprising.The rating of the A&E at St Mary’s as inadequate bears out what we have been saying for some time: problems in the handover area for ambulances; problems with ambulance turnaround times; worrying issues about early discharge; lack of adequate links with primary care services which would keep people out of hospital.Yet the A&E at Charing Cross, marked for closure, is rated as ‘good’.Why are Imperial planning to move the stroke unit, ‘third best performing stroke unit in the country’ according to the CQC, from Charing Cross to St Mary’s?Outpatient services across Imperial’s hospitals are rated as ‘inadequate’. There are concerns about inconsistent cleanliness, infection control and hygiene across the Trust. There are significant backlogs for elective surgery and major staff shortages in some wards with an over-reliance on agency and bank staff. Bed capacity for some areas is a cause for concern. Save Our Hospitals is left wondering why Imperial Health Trust and the CCG should proceed with the largest reorganisation of the NHS before they have got outpatient treatment – increasingly long appointment and then clinic waiting times – sorted. We are told the aim is to treat more people in the community – but outpatient bookings, key to out of hospital services - at all 3 hospitals has not increased capacity to meet patient needs, nor have appropriate additional links with primary care been established – where these currently exist!The management response to the report is worryingly complacent. The CQC has found some serious concerns which cannot be wished away. Imperial College Healthcare Trust needs to get the basics right before embarking on the major reorganisation that is planned across NW London. Already the closure of two small A&Es in the NW London area has caused Imperial to fall dramatically in the league tables for A&E waiting times. To proceed with the demolition of Charing Cross, the sale of 55% of the land and the building of a mini-hospital there with no acute beds and no real A&E, the demolition of 45% of St Mary’s with a major rebuild there and the closure of the Western Eye Hospital is a serious attack on local health provision.SOH is calling for a moratorium on further reorganisation, for a rethink of the proposals and a new consultation based on clear clinical evidence that that reorganisation will work. From the CQC report it seems that current provision is inadequate and now is not the time to reduce the number of beds and close A&Es and move a world class stroke unit to another hospital.

Una Hodgkins ● 2971d0 Comments ● 2971d

Choose the right care this Christmas

People in Hammersmith and Fulham are being encouraged to choose the right care for their need this Christmas to help ease pressure on NHS services.Many common winter illnesses and injuries, such as colds and flu, can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet containing:-Paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief -Decongestants for cold and flu symptoms such as blocked noses or sinuses-Tablets or liquids to help with heartburn and other digestion problems-Antiseptic wipes for cuts, grazes and minor wounds-Rehydration remedies-A thermometer-Plasters and sterile dressings-AntihistaminesYour local pharmacist can provide professional, confidential advice and treatment without an appointment. You can see a pharmacist for a range of problems including coughs, colds, skin conditions, aches and pains, and stomach complaints or emergency contraception. They may prescribe you with over-the-counter remedies and will be able to advise on medicines that are safe to use with any other medications you are already taking.There are a number of pharmacies open in Hammersmith and Fulham over Christmas. Click on the link below for more information.http://www.hammersmithfulhamccg.nhs.uk/media/14425/hammersmith_and_fulham_nwl_pharmacy_xmas_rota_20141.pdfIf you’re still unsure which care option to choose, NHS 111 is a round-the-clock phone service, free to call from landlines and mobiles. NHS 111 offers expert advice for situations when you need help urgently but it isn’t an emergency.The telephone team are fully-trained and supported by nurses, paramedics and other medical professionals. If they think you should see a healthcare professional, they will direct you to the correct service for your need, including GP practices that are open at weekends.Dr Tim Spicer, chair of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, said: “During the winter months, an increase in winter illnesses and injuries puts additional pressure on health services, so it’s important to use your NHS wisely.“Self-care is important all year round but can be particularly essential during the winter months. It’s vital to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, and be sure to wrap up warm.“We would also encourage people to check in regularly with any neighbours or family members who might be vulnerable in the cold and the dark.“A&Es come under a lot of pressure at this time, so using services sensibly not only means that you will get the most suitable advice or treatment as quickly as possible, it also frees up emergency services for people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.”

Louisa Elliott ● 2973d0 Comments ● 2973d

Protests at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust AGM

There were angry scenes at the Imperial AGM. Ross Lydall of the Evening Standard correctly recorded them in his blog of 26th September at   https://rosslydall.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/charing-cross-sell-off-vital-to-avoid-disastrous-pfi-deal-insists-hospital-chairman/The most salient parts of his report are:Sir Richard, fighting back against hostility from Save Our Hospitals campaigners at Imperial’s AGM on September 24, told them: “We don’t have any choice. We have a 19th century, 18th century estate on one of our sites [St Mary’s], trying to deliver healthcare to the best possible quality for your benefit.“If we don’t do that we will be in serious, serious trouble. There will be all sorts of problems. We have to rebuild our estate for your benefit, not for mine.”There were gasps of "But why demolish Charing Cross which dates from 1974, and is just 40 years old!"Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, challenged Dr Tracey Batten, Imperial’s chief executive, to guarantee that “there will be no further closures or run-down of services, particularly at Charing Cross, unless and until you can demonstrate there is not a demand for these services”. He added: “Not to do that will be incredibly irresponsible.”Dr Batten said the trust was “guided by our clinicians” in all the proposed changes. She said: “We can only change the number of beds within our facilities when these community services are established. That is the way we need to work.”

Una Hodgkins ● 3041d0 Comments ● 3041d

Sex Education

We have had unlimited sex education for years sexualising children as young as 4.now the answer is show children phonographs at school,anything rather than taking it down from the Internet all together..And educating the adults who use it. Secondary schools were criticised for concentrating on the mechanics of sex during sex education classes rather than the importance of loving relationships and the report called for primary school pupils to be taught about the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touching. According to an official Home Office report into children’s exposure to sexual imagery, author Dr Linda Papadopoulos said there was a clear link between sexualised imagery and violence towards females. She further mentioned, “Both the images we consume and the way we consume them are lending credence to the idea that women are there to be used and that men are there to use them.” This effect according to her, distorts young girls views about themselves: “Unless sexualisation is accepted as harmful, we will miss an important opportunity to broaden young people’s beliefs about where their values lies,”Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at Kent University, said society as a whole and adults were to blame. He said: “The whole of society is hyper sexualised – sex becomes the common currency through which adults make their way in the world and continually send a signal to children that sex is all that matters. One of the big problems that we are faced with is that increasingly adults have lost the capacity to draw a line between their own attitudes and those of children and increasingly we’re recycling adult attitudes about sex through the prism of children.”Quite clearly then there are deep problems within British society with the early sexualisation of children that distorts their views about where their value lies and leaves them susceptible to abuse by some deviant adults. Teenage pregnancy rate in Great Britain is the highest in western Europe. It is a civilised country and Yemen is a backward country because it allows young girls to get married. It is also gross hypocrisy for the police to prosecute paedophiles when the government is overseeing boy scouts being given condoms from the age 11 and girls of the same age being told it is OK to have sex if they use ‘protection’. Boys and girls at age 11 are not allowed to marry but they can have sex and produce children. Every parent is worried about his child being indoctrinated into the idea that gay and sexual promiscuity is “normal” modes of behaviour. At the same time, all parents have the right to control their children and it is their Duty to control them. However, each year in England and Wales around 300 under-13s become pregnant. Since 2002 there have been 63,487 pregnancies among under-16s including 15 aged ten, 39 aged 11, 268 aged 12, 2,527 aged 13, 14,777 aged 14 and 45,861 aged 15. So it is clear that many young people either don’t have the information, access to help and advice, or the self-confidence to take precautions or say ‘no’. The thought of being a virgin on your wedding night forget it, where are our morals and values. The answer, down the toilet. These are children having sex, getting pregnant exploring with partners. Just where is society going, I'm not psychic but from what's going on in society today the future does not look pretty. More than a quarter of young women today lost their virginity when they were below the legal age of consent, NHS figures reveal. This does not surprise me at all, Britain has the most teen pregnancies in the whole of Europe. . Very sad that despite sexual education in schools nothing has really changed in the last 30 years, if anything it has become worse. Britain has the highest rates of abortion, STDs, crime, obesity, divorce, illiterate school leavers, teen pregnancies, excessive drinking and drug use. Makes me ashamed. Some 27 per cent of 16 to 24 year-olds admit they were 15 or under when they had sex for the first time. One in eight of this age group have already had sex with at least ten different partners. MPs and campaigners yesterday blamed the ‘pornification of society’ for encouraging young girls to dress themselves up as sex objects before they have even reached puberty. Critics say the rise in promiscuity over the generations is linked to increased sex education in schools that has ‘broken down the natural inhibitions of children with regard to sexual conduct’. This research confirms why the UK has the highest teenage BIRTH and ABORTION rates in Western Europe !!!!!!! What’s the point of the legal age being 16 when you are being taught at school that it’s ok as long as you practice safe sex. Nothing about love, respect, serious relationships or more importantly abstinence! Oh and something needs to be done about BOYS, too! Girls can’t be the only ones responsible for resisting pressure you know. More sex education in schools = more teenage pregnancies= more abortions. One of the problems is that now in schools we are taught safe sex at an early age, and not abstinence. The message was basically that sex at a young age is fine as long as it’s practiced safely. It should be taught that at such a young age, neither protected or unprotected sex is ok. The message is simply not clear enough. Muslim schools provide an education in accordance with the Muslim beliefs and values, such as providing single-sex schooling after puberty. They are thus a response to the danger of absorption into the dominant culture. You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands.British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion. Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be "sink schools"? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a "school hijacker" by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different. Muslim schools, in spite of meager resources, have excelled to a further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in Birmingham and Hackney. Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism, multiculturalism and bullying. There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.IALondon School of Islamics Trust

Iftikhar Ahmad ● 3167d0 Comments ● 3167d

Halal Meat

Halal Meat Muslims say a prayer before they kill an animal. Christians say a prayer before they eat it. I'm not sure why either of these practices should be thought particularly offensive. How on earth does eating a piece of meat or poultry that has been slaughtered with a prayer equate to accepting or supporting a religious practice? Why are you so threatened if a person has said a couple of words in Arabic beforehand? With so much crap going on in the world it's ridiculous (and frankly embarrassing) that this is something of major concern to the extent that it is creating so many headlines. Granted, people should be told if they are eating halal meat, but the vitriolic responses are becoming increasingly disturbing. This is not about food standards, it is not about 'defending' a secular society, it is not about labelling or consumer rights or animal welfare. This is about the fact that some people just don't like Muslims.Slaughterhouses are businesses, they also have "the right to choose" to conduct and practice their business in whichever way they wish in order to maximise their customer base. Pizza Express and other restaurants also have "the right to choose" what their menu consists of, again in order to maximise their customer base. Both halal-compliant slaughterhouses and Pizza Express are doing just that, nothing sinister or malicious or untoward. You have the right as the consumer to choose what you buy/eat, sure, which is why it's important that products are labelled well and that, say, places which use halal meat say that they do. Which Pizza Express was doing anyway. This wasn't a secret, the company are pretty clear about it on their website and if this matters so much to you then surely in order to exercise your "right to choose" as a consumer and decide whether/not to eat there you have to actually go and do some research? If you want to be an engaged consumer you have to actually be an engaged consumer, you can't expect everybody to do it for you, you have to ask. When you buy a chocolate bar, do you expect somebody to rush up to you and say 'BY THE WAY THAT CONTAINS NUTS~!' or do you read the packaging?This is a story about lazy people who couldn't be bothered to act like engaged consumers and are horrified to find out that they were 'unwittingly' being given something they never asked not to be given in the first place. That is all it is. My only concern is mislabeling food. If it is halal - it should be labelled as such. For example, the branches of subway which sell halal meat clearly show it. So, you have a choice - go in and buy halal food or not. In the case of supermarkets selling meat which is actually halal but not clearly labelled, this should change. Just like for a muslim it is important they eat halal eat meat it is important for some people (e.g. Sikhs) that their meat not be ritually slaughtered. In regards to animal welfare its a load of bullcrap. Ask the animal how it feels when it's life is taken. Calling it 'humane' is just nonsense. These type of news articles are purely about inciting hatred - the only ones who don't see it are the ones who truly believe that they have a right to hate on another group of people purely by what they believe. As my son asked "All our tongues are the same colour so why do they hate us daddy?" You guys can eat anything even pigs that roll in their own filth but you wont eat HALAL which is clean meat.  You know, the bible also says you shouldn't eat pork as it is 'unclean'.....just saying for all of you stating this is a christian country. Bit of course it's nothing to do with the meat, it's just another excuse to have a pop at Muslims isn't it. I for one am proud to live in a multicultural society and am glad that my child is growing up in one. I would hate for her to grow up as a little Englander with a hateful, narrow view of the world and frightened of anything even remotely different to her. Pork is banned in the christian religion. Read the bible and find out. Stop this vendetta against Halal meat......how many will get an Asian / Indian halal curry after a night Boozing! And as usual I bet the Muslim parents wouldn't have an issue with pork etc as long it was served n cooked separately to the Halal food which would also apply if catering for vegetarians and non vegetarians!! British Muslims have every right to be catered for. They are as British as the rest. I think people are worried in case the ritual prayers are in fact spells which will turn them all into Muslims. This week's row has got nothing all to do with animal welfare. The fuss is about people's fears over the covert Islamification of society. You may or may not agree that concerns are realistic or even legitimate, but food suppliers and others concerned ought not to deny that it is an issue or answer criticisms honestly. I don't think eating halal meat actually turns you into a Muslim. This time it is aimed at Muslims. However assaults on ritual slaughter have a long history in terms of European anti-Semitism. This is just more of the same, prejudice dressed up as concern for animal welfare. Taking lives, foods and shelters of others are cruelty, so, don't take meat, fish and vegetables  for food because they have lives. Don't milk animals because they are their babies food. Don't take drinks because they are the abodes of so many living creatures. Don't let mothers do breast-feeding because it harms their beauty.....Just be the champion of saints of mankind! "  - Do this words sounds funny? Hope, don't for those champions who are the modern advocates of "RIGHTS". Stunning is unethical. Stunning causes the animal SO much pain. Halal is HUMANE and CARING to the animal. Denmark is a country that SUPPORTS animal cruelty. Science has shown the Halal is peaceful. Science has shown that stunning causes animals PAIN and SUFFERING. Centuries ago people were more natural. Stop perverted GMO and perverted food practices. Islam is the best way of life.Birmingham school says sorry for serving non-Halal meat to Muslim pupils. Council catering staff had wrongly dished up the non-Halal food to Muslim pupils on December 12, but details have only just come to light. On Monday parents received a letter from Craig Jansen, head of the 1,400-pupil secondary school and sixth form, in which he apologised unreservedly for the incident. There are hundreds  of state and church schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies so that non-Muslim children could enjoy their own meals in their own schools. IA London School of Islamics Trust