August Digest

August Digest


August 2021

“God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked”.

Terry Wogan

In committee

The digitising of your medical records has now been postponed indefinitely.  That’s good, but don’t delay sending the letter to your GP.  It may come back any time.

The NPC has been very active in fighting this proposal and is very sceptical about the real attitude in government.  Quote from a recent briefing:

“While this is good news, we will be keeping a strict eye on what is done and said in the coming months, particularly on how they communicate with every household in England about their plans. Because so far, they have done virtually nothing to publicise them – not to mention that they have so far excluded huge numbers of people who cannot go on online either to find out about the collection, or to opt out from it.”

July’s Talk

Members Meeting – Essex Fire and Rescue.

We had a very informative talk from Laura and Mohammad who gave very sensible safety advice. Basically don’t leave dish washers or washing machines on at night or when you are not at home, close all doors at night to prevent fire spread. Don’t over load sockets with multiple appliances,  use tower or multi socket bars, one appliance one socket is by far the safest way.

 It is very important to have working smoke alarms., so check yours  are update versions and check battery status, monthly,  with a broom handle if you can’t reach. Have an escape route planned with a handy torch. Carbon Monoxide alarms are essential in rooms with gas appliances.

They strongly recommended that members booked one of their free, personalised Safe and Well Visits.  Trained officers can provide advice and guidance in relation to fire safety and home security.  Call 0300 303 0088 to book your visit.

Elsewhere Margaret told us about Age UK   Lifebook which is an easy and safe way to record the practical details of your life.  It includes sections relating to Personal details, life contacts, financial, documents, possessions and your final wishes.

 Call Age UK free on 0800 169 65 65 for your free copy.

Local news from David Wiggins

First, Crowstone Dental now require patients to pre book-in & complete forms online & to pay upfront by card (I presume to minimize crowding at reception which is tiny).     I found it not to be an easy process.

Second & better news — I found you can still renew a passport conventionally using paper forms.  Mine expires next August (22).

He also sent a report to Jean,  “Jean – report as promised.  I had coffee in Havens this morning & was also given a tour of the upper floor by the manager !     Took me back to childhood – that wonderful leaded light.     The report in the ECHO was incorrect.  The cafe is open every day except Suns & they are aiming at 7days.    It was very busy today.

Having had it vetoed by my late Brother (our households money manager), when we had the house reglazed I had all of the front fanlights upgraded to colour last year.   My design is copied from a former Butchers shop in London Rd, Westcliff (another childhood fancy) & I have had one or two callers asking where the design comes from.   Attached picture is of just two windows from the set.

HealthWatch Southend

There was a very late report that all the volunteer trustees resigned in January.  Majzoub Ali has been asking questions.  This is one piece of information he got.

“We were disappointed when a number of volunteers on our Advisory Group decided to end their time with Healthwatch Southend. We are immensely grateful for their contributions. We continued to deliver a service to local people and have been actively looking for new volunteers to help set our direction for the future”.

Owen Richards

Strategic Manager

Health & Social Care

For years we have advocated the amalgamation of social care with the NHS so it is free and funded by taxation.  Until very recently government has kicked the can down the road.  The very recent news is a penny will be added to national insurance for social care.  Below is a letter from Linda Cook to David Amess which she copied to Kier Starmer and Dr Traub.  It is an example to us all.

“It’s time to fix social care.  As an unpaid carer, I am writing to ask you to do everything you can as my MP to ensure social care is reformed and gets the money to make it happen, this year. The Prime Minister pledged to fix social care in 2019 and now we are looking ahead to life beyond the pandemic it is time for him to deliver on his promise. 

Unpaid carers do not have a life outside the family, they have to carry on no matter how they feel, so many unpaid carers end up with burnout or becoming a patient themselves and cost the NHS and Social Care far more money than if more help was available from the start.
Consecutive government don’t look at the full picture, I believe that the NHS and Social Care should amalgamate so that the service would be seamless.

Social care was struggling before COVID-19 arrived but these last fifteen months have made things worse. I’m devastated by the tens of thousands of older and disabled people who have died before their time from the virus in care homes, along with hundreds of brave care staff. If social care had been properly staffed and funded some of those lives could have been saved.

Sadly, no-one can bring those people back but the Government must act to ensure a similar tragedy never happens again.

The Government has made clear it sees reforming how we pay for care as central to its plans, especially the need to protect people from sky high care bills. I agree this is a problem but I do not believe funding reform alone will allow the Prime Minister’s promise to be fulfilled. I want the Government to do at least two other things too, starting now: invest more money into social care, and give care workers the career structure, and pay and conditions they deserve for the crucial work they do. 

I agree with Age UK and the other charities in the Care and Support Alliance that with reforms like these we’d have the strong and effective care system our country needs, millions of older and disabled people would be better able to live decently and independently, and millions of unpaid carers would be supported. Plus, there would be less pressure on the NHS to fill the gap when social care falls short.

Social care has been a political football for far too long. It’s time for MPs on all sides to do right by older and disabled people, and their unpaid carers. So please will you contact the Prime Minister and urge him to release a bold and effective plan for reforming and refinancing social care this year, along the lines I suggest?”

SBC is holding a survey on the subject.  Go to

Dates for your Diary

Ongoing:  Exhibition on the story of the Thames Barge at Priory Visitor Centre .  Free

26 Aug:  Paul Metcalfe plays Rod Stewart at The cliffs

30 Aug:  Artists market in Old Leigh.  11 to 4pm.  Free

1 Sep:  Fund raising lunch at Brewers Fayre, Eastern Esplanade.  12 noon.  Register with Jean Howes.  Tel 341047

3 Sep:  Art wall exhibition at Leigh community Centre.  7-9pm.

nts sponsored by Leigh Rotary Club.  Raffle and music by Ken Palmer.  2-5pm.  Tickets £15.

10 Sep:  Coffee with the Cops at 138 Hamlet Court Road.  11 to 12 noon.

15 Sep:  Members meeting.  Balmoral Centre.

2 – 4pm. 

© JDS/ August 2021  Tel 01702 472670