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Darren makes Carers Week Pledge

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has pledged his support to Carers Week 2019.

Darren Jones said:

“Every year, #CarersWeek raises awareness and celebrates the contribution of the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers, and spreads the word about support available for those who are caring. This year is the 25th anniversary of Carers Week. I held a carers-themed surgery back in January to ensure I heard from constituents and the issues they are encountering as carers or those who have carers.

The focus of Carers Week this year is ‘Getting Carers Connected’. Everyone has a part to play in connecting carers and helping them to get the support they need to care without putting off their own health needs or losing important relationships with others.

This year seven major charities are coming together and will be Getting Carers Connected. They are Carers UKAge UKCarers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, @Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, Rethink Mental Illness and Sense.

I’ve signed the Carers Week Pledge to do what I can to keep carers connected and reflect on their concerns in my work as your MP.

To find out more about Carers Week and the support available please visit: www.carersweek.org/about-us/about-caring “.

 

 

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Darren backs “Dump the Scales” campaign

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has signed a cross-party letter supporting calls for the NHS to “Dump the scales” when assessing treatment thresholds for people with eating disorders.

Darren said:

“I’ve signed a cross-party letter to the Department of Health and Social Care supporting the ‘Dump the Scales’ campaign. The campaign seeks to improve the support for people with eating disorders, with thresholds not based on BMI but the a person’s needs.

At present, people need to be at a very low BMI before they are referred for support – that means people have to reach a crisis point (anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness) before they can get the help they need – that’s totally unacceptable and must change”.

 

 

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Darren visits Southmead for Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another busy Saturday (18th May 2019) hosting two Powered By You stalls in Henbury and Southmead followed by a visit to Southmead Fire Station to thank the Alzheimer’s Society fundraisers for their efforts which included a car wash and cake sale.

Darren said:

“Today was another fantastic constituency day. I started off talking local and national issues at my Powered By You Street Stalls in Southmead and Henbury and then hopped back over to Southmead for a fundraiser at the local Fire Station. As a Dementia Champion, it was particularly great to see the efforts the team had gone to to raise both awareness and money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

I’ll be doing Street stalls most Saturday mornings in the coming months, to find out where I’ll be next, please visit my Powered By You page where you can also find out how to download my Powered By You app”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren challenges CCG Mental Health contract

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has responded to constituent concerns about the awarding of a CCG contract for mental health (psychotherapy services) to Vita Health Services.

Darren said:

“I have been contacted by several constituents about the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG’s decision to award a new contract (which was due for re-tendering) for psychological therapy to Vita Health Group.

Constituents have advised they are concerned about:
• The lack of local knowledge of the new provider – we understand they are based in Essex.
• The significant lack of expertise of the new provider in providing mental health/psychotherapy services– we understand they have one similar contract (in Essex) which commenced 1 4 19.
• The high dividends shared by the company’s two directors in 17/18 (in addition to salaries) – particularly, given the other providers who bid for the contract included social enterprises, charities and the local NHS Mental Health Trust who have extensive experience in the local area and do not operate on a private/bonus-based model.

Constituents were clear they felt this decision put the treatment of 20,000 clients (who access services annually), and who have a diverse range of needs at risk.

I have contacted the CCG and asked whether they considered these risks and what mitigation is in place to ensure there is no negative impact on clients or prospective clients”.

To follow Darren’s work on health click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren backs Mental Health Week

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has supported this year’s Mental Health Week.

This year’s theme is body image – how we think and feel about our bodies. New online surveys were conducted by the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov in March 2019 of 4,505 UK adults 18+ and 1,118 GB teenagers (aged 13-19) found:

* One in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year. 
* Among teenagers, 37% felt upset, and 31% felt ashamed in relation to their body image.
*Just over one third of adults said they had ever felt anxious (34%) or depressed (35%) because of their body image.
* One in eight (13%) adults experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.
*Just over one in five adults (21%) said images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image.
* Just over one in five adults (22%) and 40% of teenagers said images on social media caused them to worry about their body image.

Clearly action is needed to build and promote positive body image and support good mental health and wellbeing in relation to our bodies. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies and Darren backs the Mental Health Foundation‘s recommendations for:

1- Effective regulation of how body image is portrayed.
2- The need for commitment from social media companies to play a key role in promoting body kindness.
3- Taking a public health approach to body image by training frontline health and education staff.
4- Individually being more aware of how we can take care of ourselves and others in relation to body image.

Find out more here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren attends first-ever Autism Awareness session for MPs

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has attended the first-ever Autism Awareness session, run by the National Autistic Society, held for MPs on 1st May.

Darren said:

“Approximately 700,000 people in the United Kingdom are autistic, and with 2019 marking ten years of the Autism Act, it is an opportune time to learn more. From discussion with adults and parents of young people with autism, there is a fairly wide range of autistic experiences and in order for me to better support my constituents who have autism, MPs need to understand how it affects people”.

The aim of these Understanding Autism sessions is to improve awareness and understanding of autism, so that MPs can better champion the issues that matter to autistic people in their local area as well as in Parliament. Darren is also working with Bristol Autistic Spectrum Services to host an autism-focused surgery in May.

 

 

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Darren to host Autism-focused surgery

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, will be hosting an autism-themed surgery with help from Bristol Autism Spectrum Services (BASS) on Friday 24th May.

Please note – as of 2nd May – this surgery is now fully booked. Another will be held later in the year.

Appointments will be available from 10.30am – 12.45pm. To book an appointment you must live in Bristol North West or be supporting a constituent as their formal advocate (if that’s the case, the constituent should also be in attendance). You can check if you’re represented by Darren by visiting: www.theyworkforyou.com/

These 30-minute private appointments could be used to discuss personal concerns that you are seeking Darren’s help/support with (for example, you or your child are struggling to get specific help) or you may want to share more general experiences that you feel Darren should be aware of (for example, how difficult it can be for you to access the community or services).

It could also be that you (or a family member/partner) want to lobby Darren on a policy issue related to autism for example, carers allowance, access to mental health services, SEN support or therapies.

Places are limited so please do get in touch with BASS by calling 01275 796 204 or emailing: awp.bassbristolas@nhs.net and providing your name, address, contact telephone number and a short summary of the issue you would like to discuss.

Once your appointment is confirmed, BASS will send you a time and the exact location of the appointment, which will be held in the Southmead area.

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Darren nominates Southmead NHS Heroes for national awards

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has 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 have been nominated by peers or managers.

 

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:

“ I am incredibly proud of the work all of our NHS staff do in Bristol North West and right 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 (see image below). You can view more information on each nomination on Darren’s Facebook.

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

 

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Darren champions Bowel Cancer Awareness

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has championed the need for earlier diagnosis and treatment of Bowel Cancer as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

This follows Darren’s joint letter to government, ahead of the release of last year’s NHS 10 Year Plan in November,  calling on them to back Bowel Cancer UK’s campaign to ensure bowel cancer is diagnosed quickly so patients have access to treatment and the highest possible chance of beating the disease.

Darren said:

“Every 15 minutes in the UK somebody is diagnosed with bowel cancer. Young, old, female or male – it affects us all. Around 268,000 people living in the UK today have been diagnosed with bowel cancer. This doesn’t just impact the person diagnosed, it affects families, friends and colleagues, doctors and nurses, scientists and researchers – that’s millions of people. We need everyone affected to take action to create real hope, now and for the future.

That’s why I’m working in Parliament to ensure bowel cancer is diagnosed quickly so patients have access to treatment and the highest possible chance of beating the disease: 

Join me by supporting Bowel Cancer Awareness Month via:www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/“.

To follow Darren’s work on health click here.

Darren writes to Chancellor calling for free menstruating products

Darren has signed a letter to the Chancellor calling for universal free access to menstruating products.

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