Liberal Democrat’s look to end discrimination in mental health

The Liberal Democrats are calling for reform of the Mental Health Act in a move to remove discrimination in the UK’s mental health services and support our mental health services in York and across the country.

In a new policy passed at Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference, the Liberal Democrats are campaigning for:

    • Substantially more funding for mental health services to match the same levels of funding given to services that treat physical illnesses.
    • To give mental health services the same policy focus at Whitehall, as other health services currently receive.

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Figures show smoking will kill one in two – don’t be the 1, now is the time to quit

City of York Council is supporting a regional stop smoking campaign, don’t be the 1, and encouraging those that want to quit to contact the council’s YorWellbeing service.

The “Don’t Be The 1” campaign from Breathe 2025 highlights how one in two smokers[i] will die from a smoking related disease, some in their 40s and 50s and is asking smokers to quit for the sake of their family. These odds are infinitely greater than the reported risks of being hit by a bus (around two in a million) or the chance of becoming a millionaire on the National Lottery (around one in ten million).

Worryingly, surveys show nine out of ten smokers underestimate the one in two risk, with around half believing their risk to be one in ten or less.

As well as York, the don’t be the 1 campaign is running in Hull, East Riding, North Lincs, North East Lincs and North Yorkshire for four weeks.

For more information visit http://www.dontbethe1.tv/ , those who want to quit in York are asked to contact the council’s YorWellbeing service on 01904 553377 or email yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “Smoking can have long lasting and devastating impacts on people’s health, which is why we have joined together with our partners and are supporting the don’t be the 1 campaign.

“In the run up to Stoptober there are more ways to quit than ever before and we are urging people to give it a go. Studies show you are more than four times more likely to quit with help. Our YorWellbeing service is there to help people quit and I would urge smokers who want to quit to get in touch.”

Dr Caroline Everett, Consultant Respiratory Physician, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Stopping smoking is one of the single most effective things you can do to improve your health and life expectancy. Quitting smoking early can prevent the onset of many different life-limiting and life-threatening health conditions such as COPD, heart disease and cancer. However, it is never too late to give up.

“We also have lots of evidence from studies in many different conditions which show that, even once a smoking-related health condition has developed, people who quit live longer and with better health-status than those who continue to smoke.”

Another sports facility to close in Westfield?

Kingsway West all weather football pitch

Council officials are pressing for the neighbourhoods only Multi User Games Area (MUGA) to be permanently closed

The MUGA is located off Kingsway West and was provided at the same time as the Hob Moor school was rebuilt in 2004. It was hailed as one of the community facilities that the PFI funded new build school would unlock. It proved to be the only causal use facility provided on the campus, with other facilities like the nursery later closing.

Initially the MUGA was to have been located within the school perimeter fence. It would have been secured by caretaking staff when not in use. Following pressure from the PFI contractors the MUGA became a stand-alone facility accessible outside school hours.

It satisfied the demand for “kick about” facilities to the east of Gale Lane.

Initially it was successful with detached youth workers staging events there. However, the then Labour controlled Council shredded the youth service following budget cuts in 2013. The organised use of the MUGA ceased. Calls for the Ward Committee to fund events there failed to get off the ground.

An experiment in leaving the area open resulted in arson damage to the all-weather surface which was never repaired. The service access gate was also damaged and not reinstated by the Council.

It is now little used and often strewn with litter and detritus.

Council consultation card Sept 2018

Yet there is still a demand for play and sports facilities for use by children in the area. The nearest alternative is the Energise (Better) sports centre on Cornlands Road which is run on a commercial basis.

Typically the cost of hiring an all weather pitch for a match is around £50.

Now officials are consulting on replacing the MUGA with other structures. They suggest wooden climbing frames, tree planting and better lighting.

There is a demand for better play facilities in the area but not at the expense of existing sports facilities.

We have already seen the Our Lady’s sports field developed and more recently plans have been approved to build on the football pitch at Lowfields. The Hob Moor school playing field will be reduced in size and an application to build on the Acomb Bowling Green is being considered by the Council.

Officials promised that, as part of the Lowfields scheme, pitches on Chesney’s Field would be levelled and upgraded. But the football season* has started without any sign of improvement.

The Council acknowledge that there is already a deficiency in sports and green space provision in the Westfield area. The Councils own Local Plan identifies the existing shortfalls as 4.98 ha of outdoor sports facilities, 6.02 ha of children’s play and 2.86 ha of young persons facilities.

Life expectancy in the Westfield ward is lower than in other parts of York. This is partly put down to unhealthy lifestyles.

Council run consultation exercises were discredited by the Lowfields fiasco. Rather than asking people to record a vote in favour or in opposition to multiple options, the exercise depended on narrative responses.

These were easy to manipulate by official’s intent on justifying a particular outcome.

This must not happen again.

There is a demand for “off the streets” activities for young people. Facilities like the MUGA – if well maintained and promoted – can make a difference. The plans for the new children’s centre on Ascot Way could also unlock the potential for better play facilities for younger children.

But all age groups need to be catered for.

*NB. The Beagle FC beat Cawood 4-0 in their Chesney Field encounter on Saturday

York Council sports and open space need assessments

Health, care and housing plans for Bootham Hospital site

Public sector partners say that they will propose a sustainable and achievable development master plan for the Bootham Hospital site.

It will “support the longer term sustainable delivery of a range of service to meet health and social care need”s.

Using monies granted by the government under the One Public Estate programme, the partnership will prepare a Site Development Plan. This will examine the constraints and opportunities of the site and will involve extensive stakeholder and public engagement.

A schedule of public consultation is being planned for this autumn to focus on the future of the 240-year-old site – one of the UK’s first mental health hospitals.

The partnership has been working on plan for a number of months and it could include:

  • the development of a residential / nursing care facility to support earlier discharge and relieve pressures on acute care
  • a new primary care / GP base, bringing together practices into a single building and provide an urgent care centre and voluntary sector led space for carers and others who need support
  • affordable housing targeted to key worker to support NHS staffing
  • an extra care facility, particularly care for those living with dementia
  • improved access to the York Teaching Hospital for pedestrians, bikes, buses, taxis and ambulances; and
  • better use of the parkland at the front of the historic hospital building for sport, play and leisure

New source of community information urges residents to Live Well York

A new source of information and advice for adults and families in York is now available from community groups across the city.

City of York Council has worked alongside York CVS, Age UK, Explore York and Healthwatch York to create a growing source of high quality information and advice which promotes opportunities for residents to enjoy healthy, active and independent lives.

Live Well York supports the council’s commitment to early help and prevention, and to help people live independently and well. It has links provided by voluntary and community groups to information and advice on topics from travel, housing, carers, money and legal matters, while community activities and events are listed to encourage people to get involved with their community and combat isolation and loneliness.

Local people were involved in the development of the website and wanted a local artist to produce its signature artwork. York Museum and the Art Gallery Trust, through its Cultural Consortium for Wellbeing Service, commissioned the artwork and supported an event at York CVS. There, over 70 people took part in a collaborative event to inspire artist Stephen Lee Hodgkins. The resulting artwork features seven York community places which are among those hosting numerous projects and community opportunities which feature on the website.

Live Well York also links to the council’s new www.movemoreyork.co.uk for ideas and inspiration on keeping active, promoting physical wellbeing, activity and active travel. (more…)

York Council issues advice as City heads for hottest day

Temperatures are expected to peak this week before falling away on Friday. There is then a possibility of some rain, which will please gardeners at least..

With the warm weather and children embarking on their summer holidays, City of York Council is offering tips for residents to have a happy, healthy summer.

With the school holidays upon us it is important during the summer break to be aware of potential risks to health and look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses.

Our love summer campaign offers some top tips on how to enjoy the weather –

  • Lots of water – it is important to stay hydrated in the hot weather.
  • Older people, remember to make sure they are ok in the hot weather. Simply checking in on your neighbour or family members that they have everything they need can make a world of difference.
  • Vaccination check-up. Summer is a good opportunity to check that your family’s vaccinations are up to date. Why not get in contact with your GP to check? It is important that people have MMR and Menacwy vaccines, especially before holidays and festivals.
  • Everyone needs sun cream. Wear at least SPF 15+ sun cream, ideally 50+ for children, and make sure you reapply regularly, especially if you are swimming or doing exercise.
  • Soap and water after petting farm visits. Keep your hands away from your face, and always was your hands with soap and water- not just gels or wipes, after touching animals.
  • Understand the dangers of open water and don’t swim in rivers or reservoirs. Hidden current, unexpected cold temperatures and debris make this dangerous – even for strong swimmers.
  • Make sure your BBQ meat is cooked thoroughly and don’t leave food outside for long periods of time.
  • Moderate your drinking, have water in between alcoholic drinks, never drink and drive, and stay away from open water.
  • Ensure your children are safe and protected from the sun. Accidents can happen when children are left unattended, make sure you keep an eye on where they are playing, especially if it’s near pools, ponds, BBQs or trampolines.
  • Remember to head for shade, the sun is especially strong between 11am and 3pm. If you are going outside, try to stay in the shade between these times, and remember to wear light, loose-fitting clothing and lots of suncream.

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York mental health support shortlisted for national BBC Radio 4 award

The team behind City of York Council’s mental health support line and crisis bed service have been shortlisted for a national award, selected by BBC Radio 4.

The service has been shortlisted in BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind awards which looks to celebrate people’s experiences of exceptional mental health care and will recognise the unsung heroes who helped make the difference. The team is one of three that have been shortlisted in the group category from a total of over 1,000 nominations. The winners will be announced on the All in the Mind show on Tuesday 26 June.
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What’s on in York: Save a Babies Life Workshop

Bookstart Bear Logo June

York Explore Library :

Wed 6 Jun :

10.00am – 12.00pm :

Free

Come and celebrate National Bookstart Week at York Libraries.

Are you a parent or carer of a 0-1 year old child? Come and learn some basic emergency skills at this workshop run by The Royal Life Saving Society UK.

This is a free event but booking is essential.

Book your place at York’s latest Nordic Walking course

There’s still time to book your place at City of York Council’s latest Learn to Nordic Walk course.

Nordic Walking is one of the fastest growing activities in the UK and at the end of the course participants will receive a Nordic Walking UK Freedom Card, which will enable them to attend Nordic Walking groups anywhere in the UK, including several in the York area.

The course starts on Friday 22 June and sessions will take place every Friday for four weeks from 10am until 11am, meeting at the Rowntree Park Reading Café and residents are being urged to book in advance so they don’t miss out

The cost of the course is £25, and booking is essential as places are limited. Nordic Walking poles will be provided to all participants.

Residents can book their place by calling 01904 553377 or emailing yorwellbeing@york.gov.uk.

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