Author Archives: westlancashirerecord

About westlancashirerecord

I am a pensioner. I was a strong supporter of the rights of elderly and disabled residents of West Lancashire to receive equal treatment from the old Tory WLBC that unfortunately did not agree, leading to the social exclusion of some immobile disabled residents. My personal suggestion of honouring the County Regiment led to us having probably the proudest day ever in West Lancashire, with the help of Cllr Adrian Owens who wrote "You will be pleased to learn that this evening the motion passed unanimously. Colonel Amlot from the Regiment was accorded a standing ovation and we look forward to a parade and march through Ormskirk next year. Thank you". After the Parade I wrote to Cllr Owens "I was reading through the emails we exchanged after I made the suggestion to honour our County Regiment. As you said today, we got there in the end, and what an end? This celebration of our Regiment was quite simply, as my original mail said, the greatest honour of all. To see all these young people who risk their lives for us was so moving. Little did I know what Council could do and how our residents would react to it all. Well, we should all be so proud of this great day. I know I am".

NHS Consultations


Shaping Care Together is led by NHS Southport and Formby CCG, NHS West Lancashire CCG and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and is the first stage of a process to understand public experience and views before any proposals to solve the challenges faced are considered.

Like NHS services across the country, our local hospitals face significant challenges. Some have been with us for years while the urgency of others has been made clear during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shaping Care Together aims to redefine how we provide hospital services, help people use them only when they need them, and ensure those services are safe, sustainable and high quality.

Shaping Care Together will explore how we can build on what we have in place now, understand what works well and how things can be made better. To listen to people’s views and experiences, we are holding online events across the area of Southport, Formby and West Lancashire.

The Shaping Care Together programme is led by a partnership of NHS organisations; Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS West Lancashire CCG. We are working as a partnership to look at service transformation as a whole and not as separate parts. This is because we know that working together means a better, more joined up and efficient service that delivers better outcomes for patients.

We want to keep services as local as possible where it is appropriate and keep our focus on delivering the highest quality clinical care provided by the range of excellent professionals we have working in our local hospitals. At the same time, we also want to explore improved ways of working. We want to create opportunities which puts us in the best position to deliver services and to ensure our existing staff are retained as well as attracting additional staff in the future.

Over the coming months, we are taking a staged approach to engagement. Firstly, we will listen to our stakeholders to capture views and experiences of services as they are now and how things could be improved. A report based on the feedback will be produced and published. We will then involve all interested parties in exploring solutions for the future. Go to the website, below.

People who do not feel comfortable using the internet can call 01695 588025 to receive paper copies of a questionnaire.

Two Local NHS Staff Contract Coronavirus After First Vaccine

A local nurse tested positive after receiving her first dose of vaccine and she gives an important warning “It’s important we get the vaccine, but we need to remember it takes time to build immunity, and that one vaccination doesn’t stop you getting the virus”. She caught the virus three days after her first jab.

She said it is important we get the vaccine, but we need to remember it takes time to build immunity, and that one vaccination doesn’t stop you getting the virus”.

A GP receptionist says she caught the virus almost three weeks after receiving her first injection. She said “I got [the first vaccine] on December 16, and I tested positive on January 4. They do say that the vaccine helps prevent serious illness, so either it was too soon after the vaccine or I could have been much worse. I think it’s made clearer now, but at the time I naively thought I was safe. Don’t get me wrong, I was still taking all the precautions but I was really shocked when I got Covid”.

Both workers are employed by Southport and Ormskirk Hospitals NHS Trust. The Trust’s medical director, Terry Hankin, said “Covid infection rates are still very high in our community and we would urge the public to continue to follow the guidance – washing their hands regularly, wearing a facemask, and maintaining social distancing at all times, regardless of whether they have received the vaccine or not.

“The vaccine can take up to three weeks after the first jab to offer any protection against the virus, so it is vital people continue to do everything they can to minimise the spread of the virus”.

Coronavirus Infections Fall In West Lancashire

The West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust hospitals reported 37 new coronavirus infections today. There have been 7,480 infections, that’s 6,543.8 per 100,000 of our population. Between 19 January 2021 and 25 January 2021, 470 people had a confirmed positive test result. This shows a decrease of 17% compared to the previous 7 days.

No coronavirus deaths were reported today at our hospitals. Between 19 January 2021 and 25 January 2021, there have been 6 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 40% compared to the previous 7 days. 

Wise Comment On Culverts

“Culverts are only effective so long as they are regularly maintained. In order for that to happen, someone has to take ownership of them right from the off, to routinely inspect, clear and if necessary, repair.

“So the emphasis is on preventing catastrophic failure rather than trying to do a make do and mend job by the first company to blink when the worst happens.

“The elevated township that is Yew Tree Farm has culverts, and since the day they were built, I’ve wondered whether anyone has ever inspected them. Is any company tasked with maintenance, or has the builder just built them as a condition of the development, and then walked away whistling Dixie, not caring a scooby who is responsible for the upkeep of them?”.

They might, of course, be unfit for purpose? As are UU, developers, the LCC and WLBC officer classes, and those who are elected who turn a blind eye so long as they and the council coffers remain unfettered by the ignorant eyes of the duped public.

Culverts must be properly sized and installed, and protected from erosion and scrub. The purpose of constructing culverts is to prevent flooding. Effective culverts permit water to travel without interruption. When culverts are too small or poorly designed, they can interrupt the natural flow, hence flooding. Our dimwit officers don’t get it, or worse, do get it and ignore it!

As Winston Churchill quoted “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us”. So do culverts!



Building On The Greenbelt

From a letter “In the St Helens Star dated January 7, I read that plans for giant warehousing on greenbelt land were passed in October by St Helens Council. This would use 75 hectares of arable farmland in the Bold area, with the loss of woodland and trees.

“I then read that under the Trees for Climate programme run by The Mersey Forest organisation that 40 hectares of new woodland is to be planted. They want landowners to release land for tree planting, targeting areas in St Helens where they can make the greatest difference because they have shown that trees and woodlands boost the economy, reduce flooding, creating new habitats for wildlife and therefore increase community spirit. A £12m grant will enable this.

“How can St Helens Council, on the one hand, pass plans for the destruction of great areas of woodland and green belt, whilst on the other, Mersey Forest Organisation is actively working and using a great deal of money to expand these areas?

“It seems unbelievable madness to me. Let’s hope the Planning Inspector has more sense than St Helens Council”.

England’s Vital Flood Defences Are Almost Useless

As we read that Lancashire Labour, via Nikki Hennessy is concerned about flooding “I want to know about your flooding issues in Ormskirk. Please would [you] fill in (and share) my survey so I can take up concerns. ‘Many thanks, County Councillor Nikki Hennessy. Ormskirk”, perhaps she hasn’t spoken to her Labour Borough councillors recently? Those in Burscough?

 Why just Ormskirk? Why not read the Burscough Residents Flooding Group website? Flooding in Labour West Lancashire, courtesy of the Tory County, in cahoots with UU, is almost permanent. We know that thousands of England’s vital flood defences were in such a state of ruin last year they would fail to protect communities from extreme weather. Why do a public survey? Oh, it’s coming up to election time. Must be seen to care!

More than 3,400 of England’s “high consequence” flood assets, defined as those where there is a high risk to life and property if they fail, were judged by the Environment Agency to be in such a bad condition they were almost useless. More than one in 20 of the country’s crucial flood defences were in disrepair in 2019-20, the highest proportion in years. This rose to nearly one in 10 in the regions battered by Storm Christoph last week.

Just check with Unearthed, part of Greenpeace UK that declares “The poor state of so many critical flood defences in England is putting thousands of people and homes at risk. This is unacceptable”. Of course it is.

The Environment Agency said the 2020 recovery programme inspected more than 20,000 assets and that they were “winter ready” either through repairs or, if not, “robust contingency plans were in place”. It said that 95% of its 78,000 flood assets, which range from embankments to culverts and tidal barriers, were in good condition and that repairs were prioritised when there was “significant threat to lives and livelihoods”.

But Unearthed analysis found that 3,460 of England’s most important flood defences were judged by the Environment Agency to be in a poor or very poor condition in 2019-20. This was 5.9% of the total, the highest proportion in years, up from 4% in 2017-18. And of the 3,460, 791 were judged “very poor”, meaning they had “severe defects resulting in complete performance failure”, essentially rendering them useless. The remaining 2.669 were in poor condition, meaning they have defects that would “significantly reduce” their performance.

And who manages this? Just under half of England’s 59,000 vital flood defences are managed by a complex array of third parties, including government departments, local authorities and private landowners. The figures show that 8% of those managed by third parties are in poor or very poor condition, compared to 4% of those overseen by the Environment Agency. And while major floods had been expected every 15 to 20 years in the last century, in the past decade this has shortened to every two to five years.

It’s all about money, or lack of it. The Environment Agency needs £1bn a year to build and maintain England’s flood defences, it’s been promised £5.2bn by the government for 2,000 new projects up to 2027.

Why not ask County Cllr David O’Toole about his “every new development means extra income” for UU specifically but the local authorities too? How can flooded West Lancashire be a great place to live, as he claimed he was campaigning for back in 2010?

West Lancashire Coronavirus Infections Reduced

Our  West Lancashire Ormskirk & Southport NHS Trust Hospitals have reported 55 new cases of coronavirus infections today. The cumulative total is 7,443, that’s now 6,389.9 infections per 100,000 of our population.

No deaths from coronavirus have been reported in the borough today. The total remains 320.

Between 18 January 2021 and 24 January 2021, there have been 7 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. This shows a decrease of 22.2% compared to the previous 7 days.

Covid Vaccine And Why Are Doctors Alarmed About The 12-Week Gap Between Jabs?

From the Sunday Times

Britain’s mass vaccination programme has roared into action with dramatic results. More than five million jabs have been administered, and the outlook for February and March is much brighter than seemed likely at the start of winter. Yet for all the undoubted early success of a crucial national campaign, concern is growing that the government’s two-dose strategy has a fatal flaw. What happens if the effects of the first jab wear off before the second jab is administered?

All three vaccines approved for use in Britain require two doses for maximum protection. The safety and efficacy trials of the Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were conducted with the assumption of a month-long gap between doses. The first jab alerts the immune system to the presence of a hostile invader; the second boosts long-term protection.

The basis of the government’s decision to scrap the manufacturers’ recommended three to four-week dosage intervals in favour of a 12-week gap was mathematical, moral and at least partly political. The calculation was that it is better to use the limited early supplies of the vaccine to provide a measure of protection to as broad a section of the population as possible.

Otherwise 50 per cent of supplies would have to be reserved for second jabs and by now only 2½ million people would have been vaccinated. “The more people that are protected against this virus, the less opportunity it has to get the upper hand” Dr Yvonne Doyle, the medical director of Public Health England, told the BBC.

Some scientists doubted that decision from the start, partly on the grounds that no data was available on longer-term immunity. Two weeks ago a group of leading UK and American doctors and scientists claimed that delaying the second dose could have a “catastrophic” impact on efforts to end the pandemic.

Yesterday Dr Chaand Nagpaul,

chairman of the British Medical Association, which represents more than 150,000 doctors, warned that the decision was “difficult to justify”. He has written to the chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, calling for the gap between vaccine doses to be cut to six weeks. “The absence of any international support for the UK’s approach is a cause of deep concern and risks undermining public and the profession’s trust in the vaccination programme” the letter stated.

Nagpaul told the BBC’s Breakfast “Obviously the protection will not vanish after six weeks, but what we do not know is what level of protection will be offered we should not be extrapolating data where we don’t have it”.

Meanwhile, a senior manager in the NHS has been accused of jumping the vaccine queue after booking herself in for a Covid jab despite falling outside the priority groups. Diane Baynham, who leads a team at NHSX, the health service’s digital arm, is understood to have received the vaccine last week.

While she works for the NHS, she does not deal with patients, and she is understood to have been working from home. At 49, she is not in an age group that makes her eligible for a vaccine. It is understood Baynham, who lives in Nottinghamshire, drove to her local hospital on Sunday evening to see whether any vaccines were spare. When told there were none, she said she was an NHS worker and booked a jab the next day.

NHS England said “No one has been vaccinated as a result of working for NHSX”.

NHSX, the NHS’s “digital transformation” unit, is collaborating with two digital health companies, Huma and Luscii. Coronavirus patients are provided with an app, into which they enter their symptoms, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen level. They check their oxygen levels with a pulse oximeter three times a day.

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Nurses and doctors are in regular phone contact, and patients can be brought back to hospital for checks or treatment if any concerns arise.