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Local residents often come to me with concerns about the accessibility of our trains and buses. I’ve also had many conversations with organisations like Guide Dogs about the broader transport accessibility issues across the country.

I’m always happy to raise concerns on these matters with the Government and I want to see real improvements.

The Government have launched a consultation on their “Accessibility Action Plan” and I want Bolton residents to know that you can have a say. This is a good opportunity for you to shape the transport agenda for the future.

The draft strategy includes plans to ensure accessibility features currently required by regulations are consistently monitored and compliance is enforced; measures to improve disabled access to parking; improving the amount, reliability and available information on passenger facilities, particularly accessible toilets, at stations and on trains; and steps to address the challenges facing those with physical or mental impairments seeking to travel spontaneously.

You can see the full document and respond to it here - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-transport-accessibility-action-plan

The consultation closes at midnight on 15th November 2017.

Have your say - Accessible transport

Local residents often come to me with concerns about the accessibility of our trains and buses. I’ve also had many conversations with organisations like Guide Dogs about the broader transport...

 

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Earlier this month there was an article in the Bolton News about my efforts in Parliament to highlight the need for a maximum workplace temperature.

You can read that story here - http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/15508857.Call_to_introduce_legal_maximum_working_temperature/

One of the common questions in response was, why is this important?

I understand that for most people this isn’t really an issue. Most places of employment are set up so that even at the hottest times of year they’re comfortable enough for you to do your job.

In workplaces such as bakeries, foundries and smelting plants heat stress is a real risk every day. Lots of employers take precautions and do things the right way, but some don’t and they won’t until they have to.

Despite the risk to employees the lack of clear guidance on this makes it incredibly hard for health and safety representatives to hold employers to account.

Heat can lead to a loss of concentration and increased tiredness, which means that workers are more likely to put themselves or others at risk. Heat can also aggravate other medical conditions and illnesses such as high blood pressure or heart disease due to increased load on the heart as well as interacting with, or increasing the effect of other workplace hazards.

If people get too hot, they risk dizziness, fainting, or even heat cramps. In very hot conditions the body’s blood temperature rises. If the blood temperature rises above 39 °C, there is a risk of heat stroke or collapse. Delirium or confusion can occur above 41°C. Blood temperatures at this level can prove fatal and even if a worker does recover, they may suffer irreparable organ damage.

We have clear guidance about low temperatures in the workplace. The same clarity for maximum temperatures could save lives.

As well as supporting EDM 56 in Parliament I have raised some questions with Government Ministers on this issue. You can see these below.

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Maximum workplace temperature

  Earlier this month there was an article in the Bolton News about my efforts in Parliament to highlight the need for a maximum workplace temperature. You can read that...

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Across the NHS we are seeing growing problems with staff shortages and recruitment. In many cases NHS Trusts need to bring in staff on a short-term basis in order to keep services running as normal.

The NHS spends around £3 billion a year on hiring temporary staff, of which up to 20% goes directly to private agencies as profit.

You may not know that we have a publicly owned organisation which helps with this issue. NHS Professionals was set up to help the NHS reduce its reliance on exploitative private staffing agencies.

NHS Professionals provides over 90,000 doctors and other healthcare workers for around 60 NHS trusts in England. This saves the NHS £70 million every year because it doesn’t charge expensive commission fees, unlike private agencies. However, the Government is looking to privatise it.

Privatising this service would only increase costs for the NHS and provide nothing more to patients. The money from the sale wouldn’t even match the amount we save in a single year thanks to this organisation.

I am opposed to this privatisation and have added my name to Early Day Motion 152, calling for the Government to halt the sale immediately and keep NHS Professionals in public ownership.

 

Update- 12:00 7/9/17

Well, sometimes things happen quicker than you'd expected.

Shortly after posting this blog I discovered that the Minister for Health has submitted a written statement to the House of Commons this morning confirming that the Government have changed their position and will be keeping NHS Professionals in public ownership.

This is a very positive result, I'm pleased to see that common sense has prevailed.

The Privatisation of NHS Professionals

Across the NHS we are seeing growing problems with staff shortages and recruitment. In many cases NHS Trusts need to bring in staff on a short-term basis in order to...

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