Sunday, 13 July 2008 13:08
Last week I spent some time at local schools getting into the Olympic spirit. As this will be the final week many schools meet before the Beijing Olympics it was good to see local children really getting excited about the Olympics. Both events were excellent examples of sporting prowess, almost like the real thing, with teams competing in a very sporting manner, cheering from the sidelines, and brilliant opening displays; I particularly liked the display of flags at Earlsfield School and the costumes at worn at the opening ceremony at Sellincourt School.
I am sure that Tooting will once again be well represented at the London Olympics in 2012. Who knows, some of young athletes may well be there while we cheer them on. You can see a picture HERE.
I also spent some time at St Georges Hospital. Thankfully, none of these visits were for medicinal reasons. I was really pleased to present the staff with a massive 60th birthday card on behalf of local residents.
The creation of the NHS was one of the greatest achievements of our country in the last century. It is thanks to the dedication of staff at St George’s that the Trust continues to move forward and is recognised as one of the best in the country. While I was at St Georges, I took the opportunity to thank the hardworking staff there as they, and the staff at every other hospital, GPs surgery, walk-in centre and clinic, make the NHS what it is today. You can see a picture HERE. Read more...
I was equally proud to join members of the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) to present a cheque for £3500 to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) as a result of the recent Funday we had. The money will be spent on an additional transducer probe for their Sonosite mobile ultrasound system, one of the most used pieces of equipment in the PICU. It will mean that small veins can be visualised more easily and therefore that damage to nerves and other tissues will be reduced when intravenous lines are introduced. The portability of the apparatus will mean that lines can be introduced more simply in the often cramped conditions around an intensive care bed.
I was recently made aware of some concerns about alleged wastage of blood at St Georges. I have since spoken with the Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital Trust, David Astley, to discuss the situation, establish the extent of the problem and identify solutions to the problem.
I am reassured that the main reason for the loss of blood last year was due to fridge failure. This was an isolated incident which is not representative of St George’s long-term record. The Trust has recently refurbished its blood transfusion facilities in response to these problems, and invested in new systems to track blood around the hospital.
Having investigated the issue and discussed it with the Chief Executive of the Trust, I am satisfied that St George’s has in place robust measures to ensure that the blood stock in the hospital is well managed and is committed to minimising wastage.
Sadly, the most shocking statistic to emerge from my discussions on this matter is that blood donations have fallen by 25% since 2004. It is absolutely vital that people continue to give blood; it is literally a matter of life or death. Potential blood donors can make an appointment to give blood by calling 0845 7 711 711 or visiting www.blood.co.uk. I would encourage every resident in Tooting to give blood, and help save someone’s life.
I really enjoyed meeting children from Earlsfield Primary School twice in a short space of time. A group of children came to Parliament to present MPs with books as a part of the MP Summer Reading Challenge. They recommended some great books to help politicians understand the lives and concerns of young people. I’ll definitely be reading one or two of them to my two children over the course of the summer! You can see a picture HERE.
For the last couple of months I have been busy consulting local residents about plans to redevelop Springfield Hospital. My initial campaign with local residents forced the developers to reconsider and delayed the submission of their planning application until September.
Since then, I’ve conducted a survey in response a great number of concerns expressed by local residents. I felt the consultation was needed because this is the biggest development to take place in Tooting in over ten years and Wandsworth Council has failed to carry out any consultation of local residents at all.
The results are now in and they revealed massive opposition to the plans, with only 4.3% of local residents supporting the plans in their current form. I took swift action and presented the results to Andrew Simpson, Director of the Springfield Development.
I’m going to keep up the pressure on the developers and the council to reconsider the plans, but in the meantime, please encourage your friends and neighbours to get in touch. The more people respond, the louder our voice. Click HERE for more details.
I attended the White Pigeon Sports day, which continues to go from strength to strength. White Pigeon are a great local charity that raises money for orphanages in Sri Lanka. This year more than 150 young people took part in the annual event at Tooting Bec Athletics Track. In addition to watching the young athletes complete, I was given the pleasurable task of handing out medals and certificates. You can find out more about White Pigeon HERE and see pictures from the sports day HERE
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