I was delighted to support the launch of a report by the College of Podiatry in Parliament this week. The event highlighted the unique role of podiatrists in tackling some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing people in Ealing Southall.
The report, ‘Podiatry: Driving value, improving outcomes - The vital role of podiatry in keeping our population active – saving lives and saving limbs’ covers three key areas in which podiatrists contribute their expertise and demonstrate their value:
- Diabetes and vascular disease, specifically foot ulceration and amputation prevention, conditions which costs the NHS around £1 billion per year.
- Falls prevention, particularly amongst the elderly, which costs the NHS and social care around £2.3bn every year, and rising.
- Musculoskeletal conditions, which consume around 5% of the NHS budget.
The report has found that early intervention by local podiatrists has the potential to improve mobility and independence in people who experience foot health problems.
- Despite the strong recommendation from NICE, the organisation responsible for producing clinical guidance, a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) carried out in 2017 (with a response rate of 87%) found that 29% of Clinical Commissioning Groups do not commission a foot protection service.
- A further FOI sent to hospital trusts revealed that a third of trusts which responded do not operate a dedicated falls prevention team, and of the 67% that do, only 4% include a podiatrist in that team.
- Podiatrists are under-utilised across the health and care system, avoiding critical chances to tackle problems before they escalate.
It is important to recognise the value of local podiatrists who are working day-in-day-out to keep people on their feet, living life independently and to its full potential. I would like to thank all podiatrists, and others working in multidisciplinary health and care teams across Ealing Southall.
LOCAL MP Virendra Sharma CALLS ON COMMUNITY TO JOIN THE ARMY OF 788 LOCAL STEM CELL DONORS”
Anthony Nolan and Virendra Sharma calling for more local lifesavers
Local MP Virendra Sharma and the charity Anthony Nolan are searching for more local lifesavers in Ealing, Southall to join the Anthony Nolan stem cell donor register and help in the fight against blood cancer.
The charity has revealed that, in Ealing, Southall, there are now more than 788 selfless people willing to donate their stem cells, or bone marrow, to save the life of a stranger. In total, more than half a million people are currently on the Anthony Nolan register and the average per constituency is 905.
Now, Virendra Sharma MP is encouraging more 16 to 30-year-olds to sign up. He says it is particularly important that young men and people from ethnic minorities join the register as they are currently under-represented.
The blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan created the world’s first stem cell donor register, and has been saving lives for over four decades by matching remarkable people willing to donate their bone marrow or stem cells to patients in desperate need of a transplant. It also carries out pioneering research to increase stem cell transplant success, and supports patients through their transplant journeys.
Two thirds of UK patients will not find a matching donor from within their families; instead they turn to Anthony Nolan to find them an unrelated donor.
Anthony Nolan wants to give people the very best chance of life by finding the best possible match for them. But the charity can currently only find a perfect match for 60 per cent of transplant recipients, so they still urgently need more people to come forward.
Virendra Sharma MP said: “I am delighted that 788 people in Ealing, Southall are registered on the Anthony Nolan stem cell register. It is fantastic to see that there are so many heroic and selfless people in the constituency.”
“I hope that more local people will also now be inspired to sign up and to become potential lifesavers for people in desperate need.”
Ann O’Leary, Head of Register Development at Anthony Nolan, said: ‘We are delighted that Virendra Sharma has been inspired to encourage others to sign up as donors. Donating is an incredibly selfless thing to do and will give someone with blood cancer the best possible chance of survival. What many people don’t realise is that it is also surprisingly simple.’
To join the Anthony Nolan register you must be 16-30 and in good health. It involves filling out a simple online form and spitting into a tube. About 90% of people who are asked to donate will do so through a process similar to giving blood.
The charity needs supporters of all ages to champion the register at a local level and help us spread the word – from schools, communities and workplaces to your own friends and family. To find out how you can help, go to www.anthonynolan.org/communitiesvscancer
Virendra Sharma MP supports World Cancer Day 2016
Virendra Sharma MP from Ealing, Southall attended an event in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday 3rd February) to show his support for World Cancer Day today (February 4, 2016).
Virendra Sharma met with representatives from four of the UK’s leading cancer charities who are working together to unite the nation and help transform the lives of millions of people who are affected by cancer.
Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan and the Movember Foundation are calling on people across Ealing, Southall to show their support by wearing a Unity Band with pride today (February 4).
The Unity Band is made of two parts, knotted together, to represent strength in unity and the power of what can be achieved when people come together.
The Unity Bands are available from each charity in their own colours at www.worldcancerday.co.uk for a suggested donation of £2. All money raised from the Unity Bands will go towards the charities’ individual research projects and support services.
One in two people born in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime.
Today (February 4) is World Cancer Day and I’m calling on people in Ealing, Southall to join me by wearing a Unity Band, making a donation or spreading the word on social media.
Whether you want to celebrate people who have overcome cancer, show solidarity to those going through treatment or remember loved ones – World Cancer Day is a chance to get involved and help reduce the impact of cancer on future generations.”
Virendra Sharma MP
Collectively the four charities support millions of people every year through their individual work in the prevention, detection, treatment and support of those affected by cancer.
Money raised from the Unity Bands will fund breakthroughs in scientific research; save and improve the lives of people with blood cancers; provide high quality care, support and information for people with breast cancer, and fund research and support services to tackle prostate and testicular cancer.
By joining together this World Cancer Day, they aim to show that a small action taken by many will transform our future.
For more information, to get any of the charities’ Unity Bands or make a donation visit www.worldcancerday.co.uk
Across the end of November and the beginning of December I attended the 2nd Global TB Caucus in Cape Town. Nearly 50 political representatives from 30 countries came together at the biggest political event on TB for nearly 100 years. Over a three day programme, we heard presentations from civil society, from world-leading experts, and saw first-hand how South Africa is tackling its own TB epidemic. The Summit included a Conference on the afternoon of Monday 30 November. Delegates set priorities for the Caucus' activities in the year to come and agreed to found a formal Secretariat.
As part of the trip I visited the Ubuntu Primary Health Care Clinic in Khayelitsha to take part in a series of activities. It was heartbreaking to see the effect that TB is still having, TB is the world’s biggest infectious killer because it has been neglected for decades.
1,000 children needlessly die each year from this deadly disease
I back awareness of sepsis
I attended a reception hosted by Cheryl Gillan MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis, at the Palace of Westminster to show his support for efforts to tackle the relatively unknown illness sepsis, which claims the lives of 37,000 people – including 1,000 children - every year in the UK. The event supported World Sepsis Day (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 – the Trust’s teams cycled more than 700 miles from hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales, raising awareness of the devastating disease by tweeting, posting and sharing their heart-breaking stories at each stage of the journey.
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. Speakers included the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust and Sue Morrish, who lost her son to sepsis.
At the reception, the Department of Health welcomed vital steps for healthcare professionals to follow in the case of a dangerous fever - a 'paediatric toolkit' designed by the UK Sepsis Trust - in a bid to drive down death rates. The UK Sepsis Trust also launched a screening tool for healthcare professionals and pocket guide for parents, incorporating the new concept of Red Flag Sepsis in children. Greater recognition in hospitals and the community could prevent thousands of deaths and save the NHS £160 million annually.
Dr Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said: “We hope that the event will help patients and healthcare professionals find out more about how to detect and treat the disease in the early stages, and maximise the chances of recovery. This year, the government has driven up care standards, but more needs to be done to raise awareness levels throughout the UK, to save lives.”
Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, said: "It’s vital that we tackle this devastating condition, which destroys the lives of hundreds of families each year. We’re already making good progress to improve diagnosis – but of course we want to go further. So I welcome this toolkit, which will help NHS staff spot the early signs of sepsis and act quickly with the right treatments, preventing children from needlessly losing their lives to this silent killer.”
“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, including 1,000 children. 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.”
“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”
Virendra Sharma MP
About UK Sepsis Trust
The UK Sepsis Trust is a coalition of doctors, nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals, health care managers and members of the public who have been directly or indirectly affected by the condition. The UK Sepsis Trust is a registered charity (registration number 1158843, company number 8644039).
On Friday I received formal confirmation that inpatient services would be ended for children at Ealing Hospital within a year. I had asked the Secretary of State for Health what plans his department had for the local Children’s unit, and received the answer that current services would end on the 30th June 2016.
“Over the seven years I have been the MP here I have countless times helped raise money to improve the local children’s ward. Within the last few years the local community have raised money for a special play area on the roof of the hospital, and I am now appalled to discover that this time and energy has been wasted. This heartless Tory government are closing a popular local service, and moving the care of our community’s children further from their homes. I am outraged that this has been done with so little local consultation, and against the wishes of residents.”
I have started a petition on the new government website, which I hope all Ealing residents will sign, to make clear local opposition to the reduction in services. I asked good friend of mine, and the woman who should be the next mayor of London, Rt Hon Tessa Jowell, to be one of the first to sign the petition.
You too can sign my petition here.
There are many months left of work here to do, to make sure that local services are not affected.
More people need to join the campaign to dramatically increase the number of people trained in life-saving CPR and help create a
Nation of Lifesavers.
Like many people in Ealing Southall, I’m fed up of this government undermining and underfunding our health service. An area of particular concern, which a number of people have raised with me, is waiting times for cancer tests which is why I’m proud that Labour will introduce a new one-week cancer test guarantee.