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MP highlights "major problems" with "inadequate" hospital

9.06pm - 19th October 2016

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has highlighted "four major problems" with Princess Alexandra Hospital after inspectors rated it as "inadequate". 
Mr Halfon is concerned over the increase in patients using the Accident and Emergency department - almost 22,000 more patients in 2015-16 than in 2009-10. 
He has also highlighted the age of the building which, he says, means parts are not fit for purpose; the long-term future of the hospital and whether a new facility needs to be built.
Recruitment is also a "massive challenge", Mr Halfon said.
England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has recommended The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust should be placed into special measures after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection highlighted a number of problems. 
The hospital provides services for around 350,000 people. The inspections were carried out in June and July and Monitor NHS Improvement will now decide whether to place the hospital in special measures and what additional support will be provided. 
Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “We found a number of concerns when we inspected the services run by The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust and I have made a recommendation to NHS Improvement that the trust should be placed into special measures. 
“We made NHS Improvement aware of our concerns following the inspection and it has started to work with the trust to make sure these are appropriately addressed and that progress is monitored. 
“It is hoped that the trust will make significant improvements through receipt of support from the special measures regime prior to our next inspection.” 
The trust has four sites. 
The main site is The Princess Alexandra Hospital. There are also smaller sites where services are provided including St Margaret’s Hospital, Herts and Essex Hospital and the Rectory Lane Clinic. 
The CQC only inspected the main Princess Alexandra Hospital site.

Dispersal order for Harlow skate park

9.24am - 15th October 2016

A DISPERSAL order has been put in place at Harlow skate park following a number of reports of anti-social behaviour. 
The order, obtained following the agreement of Harlow Council, gives police enhanced powers to reduce anti-social behaviour problems in defined areas. 
It covers the skate park in First Avenue and came into force at 6pm last night continuing until 6pm tomorrow (Sunday). 
The order gives police officers the power to order anyone to leave the area if they have reasonable grounds to believe the person is harassing residents or likely to be involved in crime or disorder. 
Anyone who refuses to leave the area once directed can be arrested and, if convicted, they could face up to a three-month prison sentence and £2,500 fine. 
It follows a number of incidents and anti-social behaviour, including motorbikes being ridden around the skate park, objects being thrown at passing motorists and nearby homes and people being subjected to abuse. 
Essex Police is working with the Harlow Community Safety Team which is supporting this dispersal notice with increased patrols. 
Any incidents should be reported to the Harlow Community Policing team on 101 or online at www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online
Dial 999 in an emergency.

Bail extended for boy, 15, arrested over man's death

2.55pm - 12th October 2016

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy from Harlow who answered his bail over the death of Polish man Arkadiusz Jozwik in Harlow in August has been rebailed until October 31. 
Police enquiries are continuing. 
Meanwhile five teenagers have been released from police bail with no further action to be taken.
Mr Jozwik, 40, was assaulted at about 11.35pm on Saturday, August 27, outside the TGF Pizza and Mr Luigi’s takeaway shops in The Stow. 
After receiving a single blow to the head and falling to the ground he suffered head injuries and was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital. 
He was later transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where he died on Monday, August 29.
Six teenagers, five aged 15 and one aged 16, all from Harlow, were arrested on suspicion of murder between August 28 and 29. 
Following a comprehensive police investigation five of the teenagers have been released from bail without charge due to insufficient evidence. 
DI Danny Stoten, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "The investigation into Arek Jozwik’s death is progressing and I am grateful to the Harlow community for their on-going support. Arek’s family has been updated throughout the investigation. 
"We have carried out a huge amount of work into the investigation. 
"So far we have taken over 150 witness statements, spoken to over 300 people during house-to-house and general enquiries and seized over 100 hours of CCTV which is subject on-going viewing. 
"In excess of 30 police officers and staff have been involved in the investigation and have committed over 1,200 additional hours.”

Work starts on £71m housing project

2.52pm - 12th October 2016

WORK has started on the first phase of creating new homes at The Briars, Copshall Close and Aylets Field estate in Harlow. 
The £71m scheme will feature 343 homes, including about 200 affordable homes, with a mix of apartments, terraced, semi-detached and detached homes. 
Of these, 103 homes will be built in the first phase, with 53 affordable homes for rent or shared ownership. 
Green spaces, landscaping, roads, parking, improved cycle and pedestrian routes and a new community centre, as well as training opportunities for local people, will be created. 
The development is a partnership between home builder Countryside, affordable housing provider Home Group and Harlow Council. 
Affordable rental and shared ownership properties will be managed by Home Group. 
The new development will replace outdated post-war bungalows on The Briars, Copshall Close and Aylets Field (BCA) estates which did not meet Decent Homes standards. 
The approved masterplan was designed by award-winning Gardner Stewart Architects.
The regeneration is part of Harlow Council’s Priority Estates Programme. Local residents and the residents’ association were involved in the design and development work and in creating a vision and a brief for BCA regeneration.

Breast unit sets fundraising challenge

7.55am - 10th October 2016

THE breast cancer unit that treats women from east Herts and west Essex is hoping 100 people will each raise £100 to mark October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 
The breast unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, and St Margaret’s, Epping, wants to use money raised to fund exercise sessions for women who are recovering from breast cancer treatment. 
Associate specialist breast surgeon Ashraf Patel said: “The latest evidence is that exercise brings lots of benefits to women who have been through treatment and we hope to expand our exercise programme to fund sessions for patients. 
“This month we hope 100 people will raise at least £100 to support us. If we get that many people raising just a small amount it all adds up to a memorable month that will make a real difference.” 
In addition to funding clinical trials, charity fundraising also supports programmes like Fabulous and Beautiful sessions. 
Mr Patel said: “These sessions are held at Epping and are invaluable. Patients meet other women going through breast cancer, get advice on wigs, hats and get help with things like how to draw on eyebrows or lashes and these little things make a huge difference. 
“October always sees so many people going the extra mile to support the charity for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we’re so thankful to everyone for their support, the time and effort they give to raise crucial funds for the charity, which will benefit so many women.” 
Over the years Mr Patel has joined fundraising hikes to Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Wall of China.
Trips are always being planned, so if you would like to get involved, ring 01279 827857, email pahbreasttrials@outlook.com, or search for The Princess Alexandra Hospital Charitable Trust – Breast Unit on Facebook.

Awards celebrate sporting success and commitment

4.35pm - 4th October 2016

HARLOW'S sporting community have celebrated success and commitment with the Active Harlow Sports Awards. 
The awards were organised by Active Harlow, supported by Harlow Council and funded and supported by Active Essex. 
More than 60 nominations were received demonstrating the contributions that many volunteers put into the Harlow community to provide positive opportunities for people to participate in sport and physical activity. 
The ceremony was led by Harlow Council chairman Edna Stevens with the awards presented by Arsenal Ladies and England footballer Casey Stoney MBE. Casey, who has more than 100 England caps, played  in last year’s World Cup and has also been England captain and captained the Team GB Ladies Football Team at the 2012 Olympic Games. 
Mrs Stevens said: "“Harlow has produced a wealth of sporting talent from Olympic and Paralympic athletes to professional footballers and world record holders. 
"The awards celebrate the current crop of sporting talent and recognise the often unpaid yet dedicated hardwork that goes into making sport and physical activity happen in Harlow. 
"There are some fantastic individuals that are going over and above in their endeavours to provide quality opportunities for the residents of Harlow to participate in sporting opportunities.” 
Casey Stoney said: "It was a pleasure to be guest speaker at the Sports Awards. It’s important to support grassroots sport where possible and having lived in Harlow I jumped at the chance to attend this event.
"It’s really uplifting to meet so many local sporting heroes and heroines and to hear all of the successes and dedication put into sport by the many volunteers that work hard in Harlow. 
"Having played at an international and national level I know how important it is to have access to high-quality facilities and dedicated coaches to help you reach and fulfil your potential "
Harlow has a great range of sports facilities and thriving community club scene. The town’s past and present sporting achievements and its future potential is a real success story for Harlow.” 

For details about the finalists, winners and runners-up CLICK HERE

Golf day raises £90,000 for hospice

2.27pm - 1st October 2016

A GOLF day held by Weston Homes, the house building firm and long-term partner of St Clare Hospice, raised a record £90,000 for the Hastingwood-based charity. 
The company's 22nd annual golf day took the total raised from the event over the two decades to over £1m. 
Golfers enjoyed breakfast before hitting the greens at Stoke by Nayland Golf and Spa Hotel. 
The day ended with dinner and entertainment and an auction with lots including a holiday in Dubai and golf breaks. 
Weston Homes chairman Bob Weston said: “Both myself and the whole team at Weston Homes are proud to host this fun annual event for an exceptional cause. 
"We have a long-standing and mutually beneficial partnership with the hospice, dating back two decades. 
"The work of St Clare is immeasurably important across Essex and we believe it is imperative, as a local business who operates in the same community as the hospice, to lend our support so that their care can continue.” 
St Clare chief executive Tanya Curry said: “Words cannot express the thanks St Clare owes to Weston Homes for their commitment to our partnership. It is incredible that their financial contribution over the years now amounts to more than £1m - not to mention the generous support they gave in building our new office facility earlier this year. 
"It is only with the dedicated help of loyal partners like Weston Homes that we are able to sustain and grow our services to ensure we can continue to be there for local people, now and in the years ahead.”

Hospice staff member set for Cambodia trek

2.24pm - 1st October 2016

A ST Clare Hospice staff member who heads up the charity's challenges fundraising has signed up to undertake one of her own events. 
Jade Clarke hopes to raise over £3,000 when she treks 100km across Cambodia in November. 
Jade, 23, from Harlow, joined the charity in June last year since when she has signed up countless St Clare supporters to take part in adrenaline-fuelled adventures. 
When it came to organising the overseas’ trek, Jade was motivated to put herself forward for the once-in-a-lifetime challenge. 
She said: “Over the past year I have supported hundreds of brave St Clare fundraisers to take part in epic challenges for the hospice. 
"I have helped dozens of people to skydive, walk across fire, run marathons – and even cycle across Europe! Not only that but I have come into contact with countless heroic patients and families who are going through one of life’s toughest journeys. 
"It has been witnessing, day in and day out, this incredible bravery, and the amazing work of all the clinical teams at St Clare that motivated me to sign myself up to the trek.” 
She added: “I couldn’t have chosen a bigger challenge to put myself forward for. 
"The annual overseas trek is by far the most adventurous way to fundraise for us - and has the biggest fundraising target, so I haven’t been easy on myself! 
"But I know I couldn’t be doing it for a more worthy cause. What I am doing is nothing compared with the heartbreak of losing a loved one, and the families I meet at the hospice just make me feel in awe of their strength. 
"I will be trekking with the thought of every single one of those people in my head. I feel like taking part in this tough, personal challenge is my way of really giving something back to the hospice that I love.” 
Jade will be in Cambodia from November 5-13. 
The expedition will take her through rice paddies and jungles before arriving at Angkor Wat, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire.

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