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Darren calls for Lyme Disease research and GP training

Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne disease and can be caught all over the UK including in urban parks and back gardens. Official estimates suggest around 3,000 cases a year, but this is thought to be much higher. Awareness amongst both the general public and medical professionals is low.

Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose. Tick bites are normally painless and very small they are easily missed. Left undiagnosed or under treated or if treatment fails, Lyme disease can be debilitating and have a devastating impact, leaving people chronically ill and disabled with little prospect of recovery.

You can find out more about Lyme Disease from NHS here.

Darren said:

” A member of my team has recently contracted Lyme Disease so I know how debilitating and serious it can be. It is really important people check for ticks and if you have symptoms or bite marks they seek immediate medical advice. The government must invest in research into Lyme Disease and  immediate training of GPs. It is ridiculous that Public Health England have created a ‘Be Tick aware’ toolkit but because of internal politics around raising awareness this has not been rolled out”.

 

 

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Darren thanks NHS staff and volunteers! #NHS70

The NHS was brought into existence on 5th July 1948 under a Labour government – today marks the NHS’ 70th birthday. On this special occasion, Bristol North West MP,  Darren Jones MP thanked everyone who supports the NHS ensuring to include staff and volunteers from across both health and social care services:

Darren said:

” On behalf of everyone in Bristol North West – today and every day – thank you NHS staff, volunteers, charities and fundraisers. We literally wouldn’t be here without you!”‬

To celebrate #NHS70, CQC has published 70 stories highlighting individuals who have gone ‘over and above’ and made a significant impact on the care people receive across health and social care services.

Importantly, while it’s the NHS that’s celebrating a birthday, these stories include people working alongside NHS services in adult social care who we all know have also played a vital and integral role.

 

This collection of short case studies is part of a series highlighting the work that individuals – from volunteers, to front line staff to senior leaders – have done to deliver great services across acute and mental health NHS trusts, primary care and adult social care.

Darren also praised the fundraising efforts of the Southmead Hospital Charity and will be visiting the volunteers in the coming weeks to see the new patient ambulance unveiled as part of the hospital’s 70th birthday celebrations:

” Whilst the government undermine our health service, privatise by the back door and chip away at funding and our dedicated NHS staff – its these fundraisers, NHS staff and the people who donated in support of this wonderful ambulance that deserve our attention! They are what represents #NHS70 each and every day~.

 

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Darren champions local parks and open spaces

On Friday 29th and 30th June, Darren visited Lawrence Weston Moors with Avon Wildlife Trust and attended a wildlife walk with local expert, Steve England, and the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh. This follows Darren’s recent nomination to Groundworks for the Friends on-going efforts to protect and sustain the local environment at the Marsh.

Darren said after the visits:

” What a wonderful couple of visits in the sunshine – I was keen to find out, Bristol North West has the most green space in Bristol, from super parks like Blaise Castle, the Downs and nature reserves in Avonmouth, Sea Mills and Lawrence Weston to vital woodland habitats and ancient trees in Kingsweston, Blaise and Stoke Park. it is vital we protect, maintain and use these beautiful parks and open spaces. These spaces are so important as they help to keep us fit and healthy and encourage us to meet our neighbours and bond as community.”‬

 

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Darren nominates Friends of Lamplighters Marsh for Award

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has nominated the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh (FOLM) for a Groundworks Community Award.

Darren said:

” This week, I have nominated the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh for the Groundworks Community Awards. Groundworks administer the Tesco Bags of Help Grants – last year the group were successfully awarded £3000. I have met the committee and volunteers on a number of occasions, including a walk last weekend, and have always been very impressed with their dedication and hard work to protect and enhance the marsh for local people.

The group meet on the first Saturday of most months at 10am at The Lamplighters pub for a working party, they also host many special events – they help local people meet other residents and enjoy healthy activities such as walks. The FOLM’s work is also a reflection of the excellent support they get from Bristol City Council’s Parks Team, Ground Services and the Shirehampton Community Action Forum. I hope the FOLM are successful in being recognised for their hard work”.

You can find out more about The Friends of Lamplighters Marsh (FOLM) here.

FOLM is open to everybody and is free to join.

How to nominate other groups:

Do you know a community group that deserves special recognition for making your local area a better place to live?

If so, please nominate them to receive a Groundwork Community Award. The form only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

Now in its second year, the Groundwork Community Awards honour the small local community groups making a big difference to everyone’s quality of life where they live but often get little recognition and support.

Nominate a community group by using this link.

The deadline for nominations is 22nd July.

 

 

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Darren challenges drug company over Orkambi

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to fight for access to Orkambi for the 10,400 people with Cystic Fibrosis in the UK.

Darren has co-signed a letter to Vertex Pharmaceuticals – this letter asks the company to urgently resolve the negotiations with NHS England so those with cystic fibrosis can have access to this revolutionary drug.

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  – that was clearly demonstrated by an online petition signed by  113,000 people. Cystic Fibrosis is a cruel and life-shortening condition – it is unacceptable this drug has been licensed for three years yet it is still not available for the people that sorely need it. Median life expectancy for someone with CF is just 47 – in the context of that stark figure three years is far too long and time is being wasted.

NHS England and Vertex need to sit down and sort this out and the government should be facilitating that discussion. These delays are causing unnecessary suffering to my constituents and thousands across the country”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find out more about Cystic Fibrosis and the support available here.

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Darren joins Marmalade Trust ‘Ending Loneliness’ event

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones joined Marmalade Trust’s closing party on College Green on Friday 22nd June. The party drew to a close the wide-array of organised events forming part of a week to End Loneliness in the UK.

Darren said:

“I was delighted to join Marmalade Trust’s #LetsTalkLoneliness event on College Green. Loneliness is such an important issue to so many people – we need to talk about it and support each other. It is astounding that loneliness can have similar impact on your health as smoking and obesity, some studies have also shown it leads to an increased likelihood of dementia.  I’ll be following up on how I can support Marmalade Trust’s great work in Parliament in the coming weeks”.

You can find out more about Marmalade Trust here.

 

 

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Darren gets response from government on rectal mesh review

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

Here is the reply Darren received from Lord O’Shaughnessy:

 

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Darren speaks about Obesity and Brexit on ITV

Darren appeared on this topical debate show with Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes and Lib Dem Peer Baroness Judith Jolly, who’s from North Cornwall.

The topics of debate were obesity and Brexit. This was because Dr Sarah Wollaston and Darren both sit on committees which had recently done work on addressing obesity, and moreover nearly 20,000 year six pupils in the West Country are obese – illustrating a growing epidemic. Brexit is always in the news, but this week it was particularly important as it was time to consider the Lords’ amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Darren discussed his work on the Science and Technology Committee, and what the government could do to tackle obesity. He then discussed his own position on Brexit, and what he would like to see in a Brexit deal if Brexit does happen.

You can watch the full episode here.

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Darren asks experts about Energy Drinks

The Science and Technology Committee are currently holding an inquiry into energy drinks. They are looking at the effect of these drinks on health, particularly of young people and children.

Darren asked a board of academics, dietitians and a representative from a teachers union about this issue. He focused on the advertising of energy drinks, and how this might affect their consumption.