There are signs of improvement in services provided by Whipps Cross Hospital. Part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, the hospital has been in special measures following poor Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. A presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Epping Forest District Council following the latest CQC inspections in May suggest the hospital has improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘overall requires improvement’. However, as one first-hand account of patient care at the end of the presentation demonstrated, there is still some way to go.
Dr Heather Noble – Medical Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
Alan Gurney – Managing Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
Signs of improvement at hospital trust
Alan Gurney, Managing Director said that any further CQC inspections today would see more improvements. However, he added that the condition of operating theatres was still a cause for concern. Investment in theatre refurbishments is scheduled for next year.
The CQC has seen an increase in the quality of the working environment and culture of the hospital. Bullying was previously identified as a major issue with high turnover of staff and heavy reliance on agency support. Significant improvements have been made in these areas. The hospital is also old. Many of its buildings pre-date the creation of the NHS. Investment is needed in new buildings.
Dr Heather Noble assured Councillor Steven Neville that issues around radiation exposure to staff had been resolved. Councillor David Stallan received assurances that Alan Gurney had no plans to relocate Whipps Cross, although the hospital is on a large site and could potentially operate from a smaller footprint.
Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about bed-blocking and capacity. Alan Gurney used the phrase ‘delayed discharge’ for which he had 11 cases at that moment. He assured councillors that he was working with partners to reduce discharge delays. No bed spaces had been closed this year and Mr Gurney considered it to be a lesser challenge than some other issues facing the hospital.
Councillors Mitchell and Sartin received further information in response to questions about bullying. Councillor Chambers explored the depth of hospital planning for the winter. Alan Gurney confirmed additional investment in building work and weekend cover arrangements to enhance winter cover. There is also additional ‘step-down’ coverage and coordination with partners in the ambulance service and care homes. The staff flu vaccination campaign is part of steps to prepare staff for the winter season.
Councillor David Wixley followed up on the issues of bullying and culture. Councillor Nigel Bedford focused on staff retention and reusing the defunct nursing home for other purposes. Alan Gurney provided assurance that recruitment and retention improvements are ongoing. He also felt that the site had plenty of capacity for development including accommodation for staff.
Responding to Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Dr Noble said that the Council could provide support by communicating the message about the need for redevelopment of outdated buildings.
Developing staffs careers
Dr Noble emphasised that managers as such ‘were not bad’ after Alan Gurney described how Whipps Cross was focusing on continual recruitment of nurses and a requirement for more doctors.
Dr Noble said that further work was needed in developing career and employment links with local schools and colleges. Responding to Councillor Holly Whitbread, she described good examples of work in Newham which could be adopted for Whipps Cross.
Mortuary facilities are old and in need of replacement but Dr Noble assured Councillor Bedford that the dignity of the deceased and care for the bereaved was a high priority.
Responding to Councillor Baldwin, Alan Gurney said that it would be wrong to say the use of Private Finance Initiative funding (PFI) was not an option but he added that there was no appetite for it.
Dementia care is also a priority. Responding to Councillor Aniket Patel, Dr Noble outlined some of the programmes including Dementia Friends and creating clinical areas more dementia ‘friendly’. Alan Gurney added that with the focus on older patients, dementia care was critical.
Councillor Mary Sartin, chairman of Overview and Scrutiny thanked Mr Gurney and Dr Noble, concluding questions with reference to the caring and compassionate approach of staff recognised in the latest CQC report.
Learning from the past
Mr Gurney and Dr Noble were invited to stay at the end of their presentation questions for a statement by a local resident. Janis Crowder gave an emotional account of her mother’s poor experience as a patient of Whipps Cross last year. Accepting improvements have since been made, Ms Crowder felt it was important to explain to hospital managers the difficulties and inadequacies of her mother’s care.
Transport for London managers have agreed to attend the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss various public transport issues in January. Essex County Council is also to be invited to attend the Neighbourhoods Select Committee to discuss County bus services.
Epping Forest College 27 February 2018
Committee councillors also noted the scheduled attendance of the Principal of Epping Forest College at the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 27 February 2018.
Only buy fireworks marked with the British Standard Kitemark BS7114
Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks
Keep fireworks in a closed box and always follow the instructions carefully when using them
Light them at arm’s length using a taper and stand well back
Never go back to them once they are lit. Even if a firework hasn’t gone off, it could still explode
Never throw fireworks and never put them in your pocket
Respect your neighbours, don’t let off fireworks late at night and remember there are laws to follow
Take care with sparklers ,never give them to children under five. Even when they have gone out they are still hot so put sparklers in a bucket of water after use
Keep your pets indoors throughout the evening
Know the laws on fireworks and don’t set any off after 11pm. On 5 November, displays can continue until 12am and on certain occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, fireworks can be set off until 1am.
If you are planning to have a bonfire make sure to:
Build your bonfire clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences and hedges
Never use flammable liquids to start a bonfire
Never burn dangerous items such as aerosol cans, paint tins, foam furniture or batteries
Don’t leave bonfires unattended
An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out
If it has to be left, damp it down with plenty of water
Always keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe nearby in case of fire
Stay safe and look out for other
“Bonfire night is always a busy time for our emergency services so wherever you are, remember to stay safe and look out for others” said Safer, greener and transport portfolio holder Councillor Sam Kane.
“Organised events are always the safest way to enjoy fireworks and North Weald Airfield is holding another fantastic event on Friday 3 November. There are many other organised events across the district, but if you do choose to have your celebrations at home, please follow the safety tips so that you and your family remember the night for all the right reasons.”
Halloween is a fun time of the year for many people but not everyone wants to take part. We ask trick or treaters if they see a poster similar to the posters below not to disturb that house.
To print a poster, download by clicking on a poster and right click save image as.
Not for everyone
“Trick or treating at Halloween has become increasingly popular and for most people it’s harmless fun. While many love to dress up as a ghost or zombie, it’s not for everyone” said Sam Kane, Safer, Greener and Transport portfolio holder.
“Some people would rather not have trick or treaters call at their home. They may not want to open their door to strangers at night time. They may have pets who are afraid of strangers, or small children asleep inside. We know that some elderly or vulnerable people can get distressed by unexpected callers.”
Respect their wishes and do not disturb
Councillor Kane asked trick or treaters: “If you’re out trick or treating and see a poster like this, please respect their wishes and do not disturb them. I hope that everyone taking part has a fun and safe Halloween, but not at the expense of those who wish to ignore it.”
Rachel Cooper of Lushes Road in Loughton, was found guilty of a waste duty of care offence for giving 10 bags of household waste to someone who fly-tipped her waste at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead in Loughton.
Failed to attend hearings
Rachel Cooper failed to attend two court hearings and was arrested on 29 September 2017. At court Ms Cooper pleaded guilty to handing over 10 bags of household waste to someone, who then fly-tipped them at the junction of Bushfields and Parkmead, Loughton on 30 November 2016.
Fined and prosecuted
She was fined £170 for the offence and failing to attend an interview with the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods team. She was also ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £1281.33.
So easily avoided
Environment Portfolio Holder, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”This is a situation that could easily have been avoided. Ms Cooper admitted that she had asked for the waste to be removed for cash, without first checking to see whether the person was licensed.”
”Ms Cooper’s decision was particularly foolish as over 80% of the waste could have been recycled using Epping Forest District Council’s normal doorstep collection. If she had used this, or simply checked the licence of the person removing the waste, she would not have been arrested or fined.”
He continued: ”Householders and business must make reasonable checks to ensure that they comply with their waste duty of care. You must only give your waste to a person authorised by the Environment Agency. Businesses who produce commercial waste must also keep waste transfer notes”.
Love Essex, a partnership of councils, businesses and environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, has launched its #CrimeNotToCare campaign to inform residents they could unwittingly end up with a criminal record and face an unlimited fine, if a rogue trader dumps their waste illegally.
Protect yourself and help us catch fly-tippers
To protect yourself from legal action, we advise you check, consider and record
On Thursday 12 October 2017 local school children, councillors and business members gathered to mark the start of construction for Waltham Abbey’s brand new state of the art leisure centre, which is due to open in Winter 2018.
Click on an image below to begin slideshow
Exciting times for Waltham Abbey
Councillor Helen Kane, Portfolio Holder for Leisure said: “These are exciting times for Waltham Abbey. The first new council housing in 30 years has just been completed in Harveyfields, Roundhills and surrounding roads as we start the construction of this fantastic new leisure centre. Sixty independent living accommodation units providing a positive alternative to residential care and new health facilities replacing the old surgery accommodation in Maynard Court are set to follow in partnership with Essex County Council and NHS England.”
”The leisure centre will be for everyone. Working with Places for People and their construction partners Pellikaan, we are set to deliver a top class leisure facility that will promote health and wellbeing, and provide a place for people to enjoy physical activity and socialise within the community.”
Investing in our community
Councillor Kane continued: “We are investing in our community and our future. Coming hard on the heels of the recently refurbished and extended museum in Sun Street and the development of the brand new Epping Forest Shopping Park in Loughton, Epping Forest District Council is signalling its intent in the best possible way.”
Councillor Sue Lissimore, Cabinet member for housing at Essex County Council added: “These plans breathe new life into taxpayer-owned land. We’ve pledged £42m over the next five years to bring sites like this forward for much needed homes with multi-use developments that also help to drive economic growth. The leisure centre ground-breaking is a fantastic milestone and a great example of public and private sector partners working together across Essex.”
Design, build, operate and maintain
Places for People Leisure were awarded the 20-year Design, Build, Operate and Maintain contract for the new Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre by Epping Forest District Council, along with their construction partners Pellikaan Construction and architects Pozzoni.
£9.5m investment in centre
The new £9.5m leisure centre has been designed with a green roof to complement the surrounding recreational ground and will feature an 80-station fitness suite, 25m six lane pool with 15m learner pool, exercise and group cycling studio, a community room, and café.
Virtual cycling & Les Mills
The Centre will also feature a dedicated Virtual Cycling studio with classes led by Les Mills virtual master trainers, enabling customers to participate at their own convenience when it suits them.
Fantastic community leisure facility
John Bates, Business Development Director at Places for People Leisure said: “We are extremely excited to begin work on what will be a fantastic community leisure facility. Through our partnership with Epping Forest District Council we are looking forward to providing a leisure operation that will capture the local community’s imagination and encourage even more people to adopt a love of physical activity.”
Those in attendance yesterday included pupils from Hillhouse Church of England Primary School as well as representatives from the Epping Forest District Swimming Club who buried a time capsule as part of the ceremony which included the old set of keys to the previous community centre.
The current Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool recently received investment to improve the customer experience and will remain open and fully operational until the new centre opens.
Epping Forest District Council welcomed the first tenants into John Scott Court, Waltham Abbey this week.
50 guests gathered for the official opening ceremony, an event which marked the completion of Phase One of the Council’s House-building Programme to provide 23 new affordable rented homes in Waltham Abbey.
The development is named after former District Health and Housing Officer and Joint Chief Executive John Scott as a tribute to decades of service to the Council and the local community.
Guests, including John Scott, MP Eleanor Laing and local councillors joined council officers, contractors and tenants to open the nine newly built homes at John Scott Court, all of which are being let to local residents in need of housing.
Energy efficient homes
The brand new energy-efficient homes, which are built to Lifetime Homes Standards, are built on a formerly under-used garage site.
Resident delighted with her new home
One new tenant, who was delighted to move into her new home said: “I moved in last week and am so happy in my new home. I am very impressed with the size of the rooms, my son has lots of space for his toys. I’ve shown lots of friends and neighbours around my flat and they all want to live here!”
Programme of over 300 homes
The new homes at John Scott Court are the latest completions in the district-wide programme of over 300 new affordable homes to be built during the next 10 years. They will shortly be followed by the completion of Phase 2 of the Programme in Burton Road, Loughton, which is on schedule to complete by March 2018.
Proud to work with residents
Councillor Syd Stavrou, Portfolio Holder for Housing attended the official opening and said: “We are committed to making the best use of our housing stock and are continuing to build new homes for people in housing need within our community. We are proud to be working with residents and partners, building more well-designed homes for affordable rent in our district”.
After the ceremony there was an opportunity to visit another new development of six houses and flats at Hockley court, Waltham Abbey.