Archive for March, 2010

Patients urged to put forward their views on Stafford Hospital

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Following the controversy surrounding Stafford Hospital health watchdogs in Staffordshire have launched a review to discover what progress has been made at Stafford Hospital within the last 12 months.

The county’s Local Involvement Network (LINKs) is undertaking the consultation on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). LINks which was brought under the remit of Staffordshire County Council last December is a group made up of local residents and community groups.

The consultation is being carried out to find out how the hospital have moved forward since the CQC’s original investigation was published in March 2009.

LINks will be calling on people who have had either positive or negative experiences at the hospital to get in touch.

The consultation will focus specifically on the quality of care that people received in inpatient, outpatient and accident and emergency departments between January 1 2010 and March 31 2010.

The CQC will use the feedback to decide what themes or issues it will focus on and follow up.

It is really important that as many people as possible put their views forward about the treatment they have at the hospital, whether they felt it was good or bad. The more information that you can provide, the better the service will be in the future.

People who would like to comment can request a survey form by:
• Calling 01785 887990
• Emailing enquiries@staffordshirelink.staffs.com 
• Writing to Staffordshire LINk, Staffordshire Business Village, Unit 30 Dyson Way, Staffordshire Technology Park, Stafford, ST18 0TW

The LINks findings will also be looked into by Staffordshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee.

County council clarifies its position on wind farms

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

A bit of an unusual blog today folks but id like to directly respond to around a dozen applications currently being considered by district planning authorities regarding the county council’s position on wind farms.

I know wind farms can be quite a controversial subject for some which is why I think it is important we keep residents updated on our position.

We have become aware that some of the companies submitting planning applications to create wind farms have been citing the previous county council’s policies in support of their application.

Whilst the county council accepts the contribution that renewable energy plays in tackling climate change, we feel passionately about our beautiful county. Taking this into account we would urge the planning authorities to give full and careful consideration of the impact that a wind farm development would have on the local community and on the rural environment.

We are concerned about the impact on the countryside of wind turbines, and are looking closely at the place this technology has in our strategy to reduce the county’s carbon emissions. This review is due for completion in May 2010 and I make every effort to keep you up to date with the latest decisions that are made.

Industry watchdog praises ‘excellent’ service in Tamworth

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Good news today folks! I am delighted to hear that Tamworth Enablement/Home Care has been given the top rating by social care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

CQC is the independent watchdog for England that regulates care provided by local authorities, the NHS, private companies and voluntary organisations.

CQC reviewed the domiciliary service over two days in January. This included an examination of records, care plans, staff files, training records and health and safety documentation. Information was also obtained from people using the service and from staff.

A quality rating of three stars was given to the team. This equates to an ‘excellent’ standard for how well the service meets the needs of the people that use it.

Workers help and assist people with personal care and some of the practical household tasks that help them to stay at home and be as independent as possible.

Id like to say well done to everyone on the team, your work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The Staffordshire Hoard story comes to Stafford

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

It wont have escaped you that the whole of the West Midlands region is currently working together to raise money to keep the Staffordshire Hoard in its rightful region.

Here at the county council we are busily organising a variety of initiatives to contribute to the funds. One of the treats we have in store will be ‘The Staffordshire Hoard: Stafford, Saxon Stories and Secret Gold’ an event which will take place on Monday March 29 at 7.30pm and will tell the story of the treasure from beginning to end.

Our county council archaeologists Ian Wykes and Stephen Dean who helped to uncover the gold will be take the audience through Staffordshire’s dark past with an illustrated talk about how the hoard got to be in the Mercian region right through to its excavation.

 If the story of the Staffordshire Hoard has captivated you like it has me I would definitely advise you to go along to this event. Tickets for the event which will take place at Stafford’s Gatehouse Theatre are on sale at a cost of £5 (concessions £4) and can be purchased from the box office on 01785 254653. All proceeds from the event go towards the fund to save the Hoard for the West Midlands.

Work is well underway at Stafford’s flagship Tipping Street development

Monday, March 1st, 2010

For those of you who live, work or visit Stafford you will have noticed that there has been a lot of construction activity over the last few weeks.

Im pleased that work is now well underway at the county council flagship Tipping Street development in the town centre.

I make regular visits over to the site which is bustling with activity. The contractors have just completed work on the ‘piling’ stage which basic terms mean they have completed the work that will provide support to the structure.

The team have created approximately 450 concrete piles, starting 23 metres below ground level, which hold the weight of the buildings.

Work on the concrete foundations is now taking place before the columns for the initial structure are installed.

The state of the art office and retail space is on schedule to open for business in September 2011.

The buildings will provide the main focal point for county council services for the people of Staffordshire. They will also be the base for more than 1,700 members of staff from across 170 separate teams.

The scheme will play a vital role in regenerating Stafford town centre, both in the short term and the long term.  

The developer is using local labour and resources wherever possible during construction and we are confident the retail part of the scheme will create new jobs in the future. 

The new development will be built to the highest standards of energy efficiency which will drastically reduce the authority’s carbon emissions by over 1,750 tonnes per year. This equates to the average annual emissions of nearly 50 households and will save thousands of pounds. 

It is great to see the hive of activity and is certainly very exciting  to see this future Stafford landmark taking shape.

Im particularly pleased as this will enable the local authority to provide a more modern, responsive and integrated operation which will deliver top quality services for residents of Staffordshire.