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Darren writes to government on rectal mesh

Currently, the forthcoming review covering vaginal mesh does not cover rectal mesh, which has similarly affected women. That includes many who were treated at Southmead Hospital. Darren wrote to the government to make it clear that he thinks that this is wrong. You can read the full letter here:

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Darren calls for cross-party NHS commission

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has co-signed a letter calling for a cross-party Health and Social Care commission to be set-up. This commission should report to Parliament before Easter 2019 and use expertise from across the house.

Darren commented:

“It is vital the NHS has the resources it needs and there is a whole-system approach to ensuring a high standard of care across both health and social care services. The NHS, public health and social care systems are overstretched and no longer able to keep pace with rising demand and the cost pressures of new drugs and technologies – the government must ensure our-beloved NHS is funded to deliver its services properly”.

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Darren nominates local NHS Heroes for national awards

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has submitted a number of nominations to the NHS 70 Parliamentary Awards. In July 2018 the NHS will celebrate its 70th birthday. As a key part of the celebrations to mark this milestone, NHS England and NHS Improvement have established the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards.

The purpose of the awards is to celebrate 70 years of the NHS, identify and highlight innovative and high-quality care across every constituency in England, and thank staff for their dedication, hard work and commitment by recognising and honouring their achievements

Darren said:

“ I am incredibly proud of the work all of our NHS staff do in Bristol North West and across the city, it was difficult to narrow down some of the submissions I received but I’m delighted to have been able to make nominations in a wide range of categories. Whilst the national competition is bound to be a tight race, I’ve got my fingers crossed that at least some of our fantastic NHS services in Bristol make the final stage”.

 

Darren submitted the following nominations (click the links for more info about each nomination):

 

The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award Southmead Hospital’s Emergency Dept
The Excellence in Cancer Care Award North Bristol NHS Trust Colorectal Cancer Team
The Care and Compassion Award Southmead Hospital’s End of Life Care Team
The Person-Centred Care Champion Award North Bristol Trust Hospital@Night Team
The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award InterAct Stroke Support @ Southmead Hospital

 

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Darren supports Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s campaign for Orkambi

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has shared his views on access to Orkambi for constituents with Cystic Fibrosis.

Darren said:

“ I sympathise profoundly with anyone affected by Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and I appreciate the strength of support for making Orkambi available on the NHS, this is demonstrated by an online petition signed by  113,000 people.

In July 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) concluded in its final guidance that Orkambi “could not be considered a cost-effective use of NHS resources” and subsequently did not recommend the drug for use on the NHS. I share the disappointment that will have been felt by many at this decision.

I understand that access to the drug Orkambi can extend the lives of 50% of the 10,400 people in the UK who currently live with CF, with this drug already available in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Italy, the Republic of Ireland, Greece and the United States.

The Government has welcomed dialogue between the pharmaceutical company, Vertex, and NHS England to agree a deal that would make Orkambi available to NHS patients. I know that the Cystic Fibrosis Trust has been working hard in pushing Vertex to put forward a substantive proposal to NHS England.

Parliament will hold a debate on access to Orkambi for people with CF on 19 March 2018. I will follow the debate closely and keep in mind the points my constituents have raised. In the meantime, I believe it is the responsibility of Ministers to facilitate the end of the deadlock between Vertex and NHS England so that people can access this vital drug and see their lives transformed.

At the General Election I stood on a manifesto that pledged to tackle the growing problem of rationing of services and medicines across England. The manifesto also committed to ensuring that all NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatments, and to insist on value-for-money agreements with pharmaceutical companies”.

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7th March Science and Tech committee highlights

The subject for this session was the flu vaccination programme. The witnesses were Professor Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director, Public Health England, Professor Steve Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and Dr Sue Crossland, President Elect, Society for Acute Medicine.

Watch highlights here:

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27th February Science and Technology Committee: E-Cigarettes

Darren asked a wide range of witnesses questions about how safe and healthy e-cigarettes (otherwise known as vaping devices) are.

The first set of witnesses was Dr Ian Jones, Vice President, Reduced-Risk Products, Japan Tobacco International, Dr Chris Proctor, Chief Scientific Officer, British American Tobacco, Dr Moira Gilchrist, Vice President, Scientific and Public Communications, Philip Morris Limited, and Dr Grant O’Connell, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Fontem Ventures.

You can watch Darren’s questions to them below (pressing play on the videos will skip to where Darren speaks):

The second set of witnesses was Professor David Harrison, Chair of the UK Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, and Dr Lynne Dawkins, Associate Professor, Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research, London South Bank University.

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Darren welcomes plans to scrap privatisation of Southmead NHS staff

Darren Jones MP has welcomed the announcement from North Bristol NHS Trust to reconsider plans to transfer some  staff to a private management company.  The Trust had been assessing the feasibility of moving support staff management of positions, including cleaners, maintenance workers and caterers, to a private company. Under these plans, affected staff would have no longer been directly employed by the NHS and could have faced negative impact on their key terms and conditions such as pension, leave and sick pay.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I have been receiving regular updates from unions and campaign groups such as Protect Our NHS on this matter. I was incredibly concerned to hear about the initial plans. I’m pleased to hear that North Bristol NHS Trust has reconsidered their plans. Workers rights must be protected, as should the status of the NHS as a public institution.”

Darren has previously spoken of his concerns about the infiltration of private companies (including Carillion) into the NHS and the need to put public service before private profit. Darren backed moves for Carillion’s work to be taken ‘back in-house’ to the NHS.

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Darren supports Time to Talk campaign

Darren Jones MP will be showing his support for the national Time to Talk mental health campaign by attending a ‘Tea and Talk’ event at Henbury Library on 2nd February.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I will be supporting the annual Time to Talk campaign by joining a ‘Tea and Talk’ event taking place Henbury Library on Friday 2nd February.  Too often, it’s left to people with mental health problems to talk about mental health. It’s treated as a taboo subject – something to only be spoken about in quiet corners. Mental health affects us all, and everyone should feel able to talk about it.

Time to Talk helps us spread the word that wherever you are, any place can be the right space to talk about mental health! Too many people with mental health problems are still made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Conversations have the power to change lives, wherever they take place. I’d encourage employers, schools and community groups to all get involved – together we can tackle the stigma of mental health”.

You can find out more about local events and the Time to Talk campaign here.

 

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Darren backs Alzheimer’s Society and becomes ‘Dementia Friend’

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has pledged his support to the Alzheimer’s Society by signing-up to become a Dementia Friend.

Darren Jones MP said:

” I am proud to have become a Dementia Friend. Dementia Friends are a crucial initiative of the Alzheimer’s Society and they’re aiming for 4 million friends by 2020.

I’ve seen and heard first-hand at constituent surgeries, as well as last Autumn’s Bristol Memory Walk, the crucial work the society do and the value it has to those individuals and families experiencing dementia.

I’ve pledged to raise awareness of the great work the society does, attend their events where possible and to keep a close eye on government and push for more support to those experiencing dementia”.

You can find out more about Dementia Friends and sign-up to become a friend online.