20 December 2019 00:49

Michael Jackson Wade Robson The Specials

stafford hospital scandal

COUNTY council chiefs have started to prepare for potential winter flooding as heavy rainfall is predicted. Bosses at Wiltshire Council say that as the autumn saw higher than average rainfall throughout England – and due to the possibility that this winter will be warmer and wetter than normal, "it is important that everyone in Wiltshire is prepared for a potentially increased risk of flooding this winter". Cllr Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for Highways, Transport and Waste, added: "While it is not anticipated that there is an immediate risk of river or groundwater flooding in Wiltshire, further prolonged periods of heavy rainfall may see the Environment Agency issue flood alerts across the county. "It is therefore important that people are prepared, so they know what to do in the event of a flood, and that they are signed up for Environment Agency flood alerts. "We have been working closely with our parish councils and volunteer flood wardens to ensure they are as ready as they can be.

national health service

We recently held training sessions with our volunteer flood wardens in parishes throughout the county, and they are well prepared and supplied with emergency equipment such as sandbags, but we must not be complacent to the risk of flooding." Groundwater levels in parts of Wiltshire are currently higher than average for this time of year, and although there is not expected to be an immediate risk of groundwater flooding, it is important that people are prepared. Unlike river flooding, groundwater flooding does not usually pose a risk to life, but it can cause significant damage to property, as it takes a long time to clear and it can make access to properties difficult for a prolonged period. Council bosses add that it is also difficult to predict when and where groundwater flooding will occur, but Wiltshire Council works closely with the Environment Agency, and town and parish councils through its network of flood wardens to ensure communities are as resilient as possible when dealing with potential flooding, and to help them prepare effectively. In the Salisbury area, which could be at risk from river flooding in the event of increased rain, sleet or snow, the Environment Agency has produced new flood maps that show greater detail about how the city reacts to potential river flooding. To see these new maps, and how they may affect properties in the Salisbury area, people should contact the Environment Agency.

julie bailey

In October, several partner agencies – including Wiltshire Council, the Environment Agency, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, and the military – took part in a successful exercise to test the speed and efficiency of the army in setting up temporary flood barriers to reduce flood risk to properties in Salisbury. Councillor Derek Brown, chair of the Salisbury Flood Working Group, said: "We have planned and are well prepared for any potential flooding in Salisbury this winter. "The city's flood plan is up-to-date and available on the Salisbury City Council website, and volunteer flood wardens in the city have received advice and guidance from the Environment Agency to ensure readiness in case of any flooding. "The exercise to test the joint agency response to flooding in the city was successful and helped to prepare us all for the potential risk and ensure our working relationships with partners are strong and collaborative." Work is also under way on a scheme to reduce the flood risk to parts of the city centre alongside the regeneration of the Maltings and Central Car Park area. Flood wardens are active in many parishes throughout Wiltshire; they are responsible for their parish's flood plan, and have access to flood prevention equipment such as sandbags and gel-sack alternatives.

So, too, would The Cure (Channel 4), a retelling of Julie Bailey's fight, after the death of her mother, Bella, in 2007, at Stafford hospital, to expose the welter of extraordinary failures in patient care at the hospital and Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust, which ran it. The ambulance arrives, the paramedics reckon it is her hiatus hernia playing up – all manageable, no cause for concern – and take her to hospital. In vain, one of the board's medical staff asks why only glancing attention is paid to the effects Yeates's plans will have on patient care and ward safety. Lesser managers berate the staff still trying to treat patients as patients rather than impediments to financial freedom. Another demands that Julie sign a "do not resuscitate" order for her mother, because "She's going to die a painful death, just like THAT," he says, clicking his fingers. Julie begins a campaign to expose the hospital's behaviour – Cure the NHS – and it is her work gathering support and evidence from other bereaved people that is largely responsible for a Healthcare Commission investigation and, finally, the public inquiry whose findings hit the headlines. Julie's transformation from happy cafe owner to driven activist felt underpowered, and her problems with people who believed she was trying to close their local hospital or "doing down" the NHS were too lightly sketched. Channel 4's The Cure left viewers horrified this evening, branding the programme "compelling but hard to watch". The drama, which is based on a real-life story, covered Julie Bailey's campaign which exposed one of the most horrifying hospital care scandals in the history of the NHS. Mid Staffs hit the headlines in 2008 after the disgusting neglect of patients in their care came to light. This included patients being left for hours desperately hydrated, with no pain relief and in filthy wards. Julie began the campaign after her 86-year-old mother was admitted to the hospital and was left utterly appalled by the care she received and believed that she had died as a result. I'm going to sit with the pain I feel for them and ensure I never allow anything like this to happen.