The malingering disabled (or so those that issue blue badges would have you believe)

Twice recently I have been contacted by Milton residents in respect of their blue disabled badges. These badges are issued to those whose disability means that they have to park near to home or where they are driving or being driven to.

Gentleman A has had his blue badge for eight years. This year, though, he was denied a renewal.

Lady B had had her badge for six years. Again, her re-assessment has meant that this lifeline to the outside world was removed.

Both Gentleman A and Lady B are elderly and, unless they defy all known medical science, are not getting better. The health conditions that saw them issued originally would have worsened rather than improved in the intervening years. This suggests one question: why are their blue badges no longer considered necessary?

The answer put simply is that goalposts have been moved. This must be part of an agenda, encouraged by a Conservative Government that sees society’s ills as being down to its most vulnerable members. Thus, those once considered to have disability are now considered fit – a no mean transformation.

Of course, no such transformation has actually taken place. Gentleman A and Lady B are as much in need of their blue badges as ever, more so considering that their conditions are worsened.

Those that change the assessment criteria must, one presumes, seem malingerers everywhere. It would also seem that the distribution of blue badges to people such as I have described is a sin against the more able, younger, and the fit.

Do not grow old and infirm is the clear message here – for a caring society is being replaced by one that treats such people with ill-disguised disdain.

I want cancer survival rates in Southend West to match the best in Europe

002The UK’s cancer survival rates lag behind the rest of Europe, I am making them a priority.


Macmillan is calling for the next government to take action to improve cancer outcomes. Currently, according to the Eurocare-5 study, the one year cancer survival rate for England is 68%, meaning 1 in 3 people with cancer die within a year of diagnosis. The best one year survival rate in Europe is 81% in Sweden.

I’m helping 5.300 ( the number living with and beyond cancer up to 20 years after diagnosis in NHS Southend CCG) people in Southend by prioritisng cancer care.

Pleased to be one of the 166


The dementia promise

The following actions are from the Alzheimer’s Society’s General election manifesto 2015. If elected on May 7th I hope I can help make these actions a reality.

These 12 actions from the next government will improve the lives of people with dementia:

  1. Commit to increase diagnosis to at least 75% everywhere by 2017
  2. Ensure a streamlined diagnosis process to cut waiting times
  3. Ensure everyone with dementia has access to a dementia adviser
  4. Ensure everyone has the right to a carer assessment and guaranteed support
  5. Regulate that home care visits should be no less than 30 minutes
  6. Fund an annual national dementia awareness campaign
  7. Commit to all health and care settings being dementia friendly
  8. Ensure all service providers and care workers in dementia care have protected dementia training time
  9. Demonstrate leadership in creating a dementia friendly society with a commitment that all national and local government employees become Dementia Friends
  10. Double the spend on dementia research, focusing on risk reduction and improving care as well as cure
  11. Ensure every person with dementia has the same state support in managing their condition as people with cancer
  12. Develop and publish a national plan, jointly owned by government and key delivery stakeholders, to raise the ambition for people with dementia

Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015

Labour MPs and candidates supporting NHS Reinstatement Bill

I support the Labour Campaign for Mental Health

LCMH PPC pledge card

Southend West Labour Candidate calls for a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit based in Southend

Southend West Labour Candidate, Julian Ware-Lane, wants to see the best outcome for Southend people when it comes to the treatment of strokes. Julian Ware-Lane is unequivocal about his support for Southend University Hospital, and is disappointed that the two local MPs seem reluctant to back this local popular facility. A local Hyper Acute Stroke Unit (HASU) would deliver improved health outcomes for Southend people.

Southend is at the frontier of new research and treatments for stroke patients. They have recently introduced Vascular Intervention (removing brain clots via catheter) with spectacular improvement and outcomes. They are the only unit in Essex offering this treatment, which will be the benchmark for future treatment in acute stroke.

Stroke thrombolysis is not just about delivery, but also speed of delivery – there is no debate that quicker treatment improves a patient’s odds of a better outcome.

Given the shortage of stroke physicians in England and therapy staff, it would not be possible to fully staff four or five HASUs in Essex without vacancies and gaps in the rotas. The impact of fewer HASUs for Essex has been considered; the Essex SCAG has strongly recommended stroke patients be able to access expert stroke teams with 45 minutes.

Julian Ware-Lane, Labour candidate for Southend West, says: “Unlike the local Conservative Party, I back our hospital. I have used the hospital and it has always provided first class treatment. Long may it continue to do so.”

“I would repeat and support the plea previously made by Alan Tobias, Chair of the Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, that it is imperative that a joint public consultation is held urgently across South Essex with a clear précis of the clinical experts recommendations, and an agreed commitment that the CCGs will deliver the public wish.”

Julian adds: “A state of the art stroke unit would be a beneficial addition to the facilities currently on offer. Southend’s residents deserve the very best that can reasonably be offered.”


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