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20140904_145659.jpgLast week, I visited St Bernard’s Hospital, for a tour of the Wolsey Wing; one of its newly refurbished buildings. Since spring 2013, the wing has housed many of the local mental health services provided for Ealing residents, so I was eager to see the building, find out how service delivery has improved and discuss the trust’s plans for the future of the site.  

Horizon ward, a male service users ward was my first stop where I met service users and staff and was impressed by the ward’s ‘Tree of Hope’ a functional image which allows service users to attach inspirational quotes and messages to motivate others on the ward. It was then over to Hope Ward, where I spoke to some of the women about their experiences of the mental health system, before going to Discovery Ward to view the artwork displays and complete my tour. 

The St Bernard’s site is currently being transformed to provide a more modern and suitable environment for everyone receiving care there. This includes the construction of a new medium secure unit (MSU) which will be completed in early 2016 bringing all the trust’s medium secure services together into one campus. This will result in more effective care as well as a range of brand new facilities benefitting both patients and staff.    

With local services based in the newly refurbished accommodation and the MSU project well underway, the trust continues to upgrade and make improvements to other services both on the St Bernard’s site and throughout the borough.

Once people actually realise the imperative work that takes place within mental health services or have their own personal experience, they finally understand how important the work of the trust is. Visiting the Wolsey Wing and speaking to Ealing residents, it’s clear that the trust is doing everything it can to improve mental health care both on this site and out in the wider community.

This work is helping to alleviate the negative stigma attached to mental health conditions and shows that although many people are affected, with the specialised support and care the trust offers, these conditions are manageable.

Leading the tour, Sandra Bailey, senior nurse manager said: “Virendra has shown a keen interest in our work, and this visit reflects the importance he places on mental health services in his constituency. He has already requested a follow up visit and expressed an interest in getting more involved with some of the activities we have coming up over the next 12 months.’

Visit to the new Wolsey Wing at St Bernard’s Hospital

Last week, I visited St Bernard’s Hospital, for a tour of the Wolsey Wing; one of its newly refurbished buildings. Since spring 2013, the wing has housed many of the...

I’ve spoken to many people in Ealing Southall who have told me that they are struggling to cope with the hated bedroom tax, introduced by the Tories and Liberal Democrats in Westminster. In London alone over 48,989 people have been affected. 

This is a policy that unfairly hits hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities or who are carers, and it threatens to cost more than it saves which is why the next Labour government will abolish it.

The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly backed the Tories to keep the Bedroom Tax in place and have refused to join previous Labour attempts to scrap the policy. Yet today the Liberal Democrats joined me and other Labour MPs by voting against their own policy in Parliament.

Unfortunately this vote will not abolish the bedroom tax, as Labour will do if elected next year, but it is a step in the right direction and a glimmer of hope for many.  

The Labour Party has been clear and consistent in its opposition to the Bedroom Tax. It is an unfair and unworkable policy that causes misery to hundreds of thousands of people by forcing them out of their homes, most of whom have nowhere else to move to.

I’m glad the Liberal Democrats voted with us today but sadly it’s come too late for the thousands of people who’ve been forced into debt as a result of the Bedroom Tax and thousands more who have been forced to rely on food banks to survive.  The truth is you can’t trust a word that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats say.

The only sure way to get the Bedroom Tax repealed will be to elect a Labour government next year.  

Misery of the Coalition’s Bedroom Tax continues despite vote in Parliament

I’ve spoken to many people in Ealing Southall who have told me that they are struggling to cope with the hated bedroom tax, introduced by the Tories and Liberal Democrats...

2014.09.03_Sepsis_Awareness.jpgI attended a reception hosted by Sarah Newton MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis, in Parliament to show my support for efforts to tackle the relatively unknown illness sepsis, which claims the lives of 37,000 people every year in the UK.  

The event supported World Sepsis Day, which is on 13th September, aiming to raise awareness of a condition that kills more people than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined.

This awareness reception was supported by the ‘Cycle for Sepsis’ campaign – teams from England and Wales cycled to Westminster, stopping at hospitals along the way to raise money and awareness of sepsis with healthcare professionals.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly. Sepsis is the leading cause of death from infection around the world and, despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines and antibiotics acute care experts believe not enough is being done to save lives.  

The event was attended by many parliamentarians, and was supported by a number of representatives from charities and the medical and nursing Royal Colleges, sepsis survivors, doctors, nurses, health professionals and the general public.

Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said, “Through strategies for early recognition and treatment, many more sepsis patients will be diagnosed and interventions delivered before severe organ dysfunction develops.”

While sepsis is a condition which may not hit the headlines, it is deadly. It is a little known life threatening illness that claims the lives of 37,000 people in the UK every year. If timely interventions proposed by the UK Sepsis Trust were adopted across the NHS it could save up to 12,500 lives a year and the NHS money.

In Ealing Southall, there are an average of 140 cases of severe sepsis per year and more than 50 deaths. Simple, timely interventions could instantly cut deaths from sepsis by more than 50%.

I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle the disease and save lives. I want to see sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public.

Sepsis Awareness

I attended a reception hosted by Sarah Newton MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis, in Parliament to show my support for efforts to tackle the relatively...


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