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Darren opens new Ardagh Community Trust building

The Ardagh Community Trust opened the doors to their new building, which incorporates the Cafe on the Common, this weekend. They were kind enough to invite Darren to open the new community space, and the event was a success.

Speaking about Ardagh’s new community building, Darren said:

It’s great to join the fab team of volunteers at The Ardagh in Horfield Common this morning as they showcase their brilliant new community cafe and space. If you live in neighbouring Horfield, Henleaze or Bishopston do pop by, especially if you have dogs or kids!

community, engagement, ardagh, facilities, new, opening

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Darren backs Alzheimer’s UK report

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has offered his support to Alzheimer’s Research UK’s new report. The report calls on government to prioritise funding and research to find a cure for dementia.

In their 2019 manifesto, the Conservative party pledged to launch a “Dementia Moonshot” to find a cure for dementia – doubling research funding and speeding up trials for new treatments. Alzheimer’s Research UK’s plan outlines the steps government must take to deliver its Moonshot ambition of finding a life-changing treatment for dementia.

These are:

  1. Find ways to detect the diseases that cause dementia 10-15 years earlier, to broaden the search for new treatments and intervene with those most at risk of developing dementia.
  2. Find ways to more effectively validate novel targets in early drug development to maximise chances of successful clinical trials.
  3. Make the UK the best place to conduct clinical dementia research.
  4. Expand research infrastructure to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in dementia research.
  5. Further our understanding of dementia risk reduction and prevention and dementia in the context of multi-morbidities.
  6. Develop robust prevalence data for dementia to further our knowledge of the impact of dementia across our society.

Darren said:

” Dementia affects 1483 people in Bristol North West and, as a Dementia Champion, I know just how devastating dementia can be for families. Alzheimer’s Research UK has launched an ambitious plan in response to the government’s pre-election pledge to find a cure for dementia.

Dementia is the nation’s biggest killer. By 2021, over one million people in the UK will be living with dementia, and the condition will cost the UK economy a staggering £30bn each year. Despite this, dementia treatment and research lags far behind other serious diseases.

Finding new treatments means investing in key areas which have historically received little or no government funding. Government must take note of this report and act quickly. Opposition parties must hold the government to account to ensure they deliver on their manifesto promise”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Darren welcomes Cystic Fibrosis breakthrough

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has welcomed news that a deal has been agreed between Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the NHS to supply revolutionary drugs Orkambi and Symkevi to people with cystic fibrosis.

Following multiple communications supported by Darren last year, the MP had co-signed new letters in July (available below) to Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Secretary of State for Health and Social, Matt Hancock,  requesting both parties urgently sit down together and resolve the negotiations regards Orkambi so those with cystic fibrosis can have access to this revolutionary drug.

Darren said:

“After 4 years of hard work from Labour MPs and cystic fibrosis (CF) campaign groups and charities an agreement has finally been reached for these life-saving drugs to be available to people in the UK.

Median life expectancy for someone with CF is just 47 – in the context of that stark figure four years was harrowingly long to wait – I am glad that wait is now over and these drugs will be available within a matter of weeks.

Whilst I’m delighted with today’s (24 10 19) announcement, the 10,400 people with Cystic Fibrosis in the UK should not have been keep waiting 4-years for this vital treatment to be available.

I thank NHS England and Vertex Pharmaceuticals for finally agreeing a deal that is fair to the NHS”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Darren backs Westbury defib campaign

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, is backing a resident’s campaign for a new defibrillator in Westbury on Trym village.

The village previously had a defibrillator at a local pub but because of changes in ownership, that’s been moved to Kings Weston House. It is hoped a life-saving defibrillator will be placed at The White Lion pub, but residents are taking no chances by fundraising to ensure a new home is found for a defibrillator.

Darren also is also aware of fundraising being undertaken by the local church and hopes both groups can combine their efforts to secure this much-needed piece of equipment.

You can find out more about the fundraising efforts and donate here.

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Darren continues to support Bristol’s Cystic Fibrosis patients

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.

Following multiple communications supported by Darren last year, the MP has co-signed new letters to Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Secretary of State for Health and Social, Matt Hancock,  requesting both parties urgently sit down together and resolve the negotiations regards Orkambi so those with cystic fibrosis can have access to this revolutionary drug.

Darren said:

“After many, many months of meetings and letters,  it is unacceptable this drug – Orkambi – has been licensed for over four years yet it is still not available for the people in the UK that sorely need it. Median life expectancy for someone with CF is just 47 – in the context of that stark figure four years is harrowingly long to wait. People with Cystic Fibrosis must not have to keep waiting for this treatment to be available.

NHS England and Vertex need to sit down as a matter of the strongest urgency 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 warns against rushed NHS-Amazon Alexa partnership

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has written to the Information Commissioner and the Competition and Markets Authority to argue that there should be more oversight over a proposed deal between the Department of Health and Amazon. The deal would allow Amazon Alexa virtual assistants to give its users health advice from the NHS. Darren is concerned that patients have not been asked about what health data they think it is appropriate for Amazon to hold.

Darren said:

“This decision has been taken without any scrutiny or accountability to Parliament and – as far as I’m aware – without any attempt to understand if patients are content with this service.”

On the 25th of July Darren received a response from the Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, Andrea Coscelli.

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Darren signs Cancer UK Pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed Cancer Research UK’s Pledge (in full below) reinforcing that he will continue to support the NHS in fighting cancer. Southmead Hospital is sited within Darren’s constituency.

Darren has previously written to the government calling for more support for young cancer patients, the need for early detection of bowel cancer, post-treatment support for breast cancer patients and backed Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ campaign.

Darren said:

“I am delighted to have signed Cancer Research UK‘s pledge to Stand with the NHS Against Cancer.

We need a long-term, fully funded plan for a specialist cancer workforce. Without this plan, workforce shortages risk undermining the investment into the NHS and the ambitions of diagnosing 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028.

I will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our NHS.”

Darren recently nominated some of the team’s at Southmead for NHS Parliamentary Awards and one of these nominations went on to win the national award for employee wellbeing. To follow Darren’s work on health please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News: Bristol City Council’s SEND Investment

Bristol City Council has recently reviewed it’s SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Strategy.

Feedback from Special schools and data from the Council Place Planning Team suggest that many SEND settings are reaching capacity and if diagnosis rates remain as they are, full capacity will be reached by 2020/21. The data also shows that the largest need types are for children with autistic needs including SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health), ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ASC (Autism Spectrum Conditions).

Further to these recommendations, Bristol City Councils’ Cabinet have recently approved £2,057,009 condition grant funding to education capital budget.

In Bristol North West, £3,822,386 (basic need grant funding) has been approved by Cabinet to Kingsweston Special School to make permanent critical complex needs provision.

Additionally, Cabinet approved £200,000 (SEND grant funding) to Claremont and Elmfield, to develop and consult on more detailed options for managing the buildings deteriorating condition.

Cabinet noted the possibility that a future solution for the condition issues at Elmfield and Claremont may require a contribution from capital receipts, beyond the available capital grant funding.

You can find more Cabinet decisions and more information on the SEND Strategy by visiting here.

Darren said:

“It’s great news that Bristol City Council has approved various funding for SEND provisions across Bristol. I speak to many constituents on a weekly basis who are, or have family members facing difficulties accessing SEND settings, so it is vital that these provisions receive funding to improve and maintain them. At a time where local councils have suffered detrimental cuts by the Government, it’s good to see that SEND is a priority for Bristol City Council.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Southmead NHS staff win national Parliamentary award

In 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones once again submitted a number of nominations to the annual NHS Awards. All nominees work for North Bristol NHS Trust and are based at Southmead Hospital, the hospital in Darren’s constituency, and were nominated by peers or managers. Darren was delighted to hear one of these nominations was selected as the regional award winner and would be invited to attend the Parliamentary Awards held this week (10th July 2019). It is with great pride that the team went on to win the national award for wellbeing at work. Darren was able to join the team attending and thank them for their efforts.

The purpose of the awards is to celebrate 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 of the win:

“I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Southmead Hospital on many occasions, so I am delighted to hear my nomination in the Wellbeing at Work category has won the Trust this prestigious NHS Award. The staff and volunteers at North Bristol NHS Trust work hard, and often in very challenging circumstances. Whilst the team’s focus is on caring and supporting their patients, it is right that staff and volunteers have opportunity to focus on their own needs too. The Wellbeing at Work programme ensures staff and volunteers can access support and activities related to a whole range of health and wellbeing topics.  I made this nomination as I was really inspired when I heard the Chief Executive’s strap line to staff was ‘your health is as important as our patients’. That’s right, as ultimately staff who are absent due to illness, feel unsupported or are struggling, aren’t going to be able to provide the best care for their patients and may end up needing NHS care themselves.

I was genuinely impressed with the broad range of needs that had been considered in the programme from caring responsibilities, menopause to flu clinics, setting up health walks and training Mental Health First Aiders. It is accurate to say, the team at North Bristol NHS Trust are leading the way when it comes to Wellbeing at Work. I could not be prouder that the Hospital in my constituency has received this national award – well done to everyone involved”.

You can also follow Darren’s work on Health here.

 

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Watch: Darren demands greater accountability in NHS procurement

For patients, NHS staff and other stakeholders, the arcane procurement process can be completely mystifying. In practice, this means less accountability and not enough certainty about the future of service provision locally and their livelihoods. As Darren argued in a Westminster Hall debate secured by Bristol South MP Karin Smyth this afternoon, the process needs to be made much simpler and more transparent.