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MP "delighted" hospital
is no longer in 'special measures'
21st March 2018
HARLOW MP Robert Halfon is
"delighted" Princess Alexandra
Hospital has been taken out of 'special
He said: "I would like to pay tribute to
the incredible nurses, doctors, porters, support
staff and management team for their incredible
work. It is testament to their dedication and
compassion that one of the three areas that the
hospital reprieved a 'Good' rating for was
"I'm proud that Harlow is among the best
performing hospitals in the country in areas
including cancer waiting times - number 1 Trust
in December 2017; maternity services - rated as
‘outstanding’ by the CQC; ‘End of Life’
and dementia services infection control - some
of the lowest MRSA rates in the country.
"I hope our hospital will continue to build
on these improvements to provide the best
healthcare possible for Harlow residents.
"However, despite the very best efforts of
all the hospital staff, our hospital faces three
major problems - difficulties recruiting and
retaining staff, being very close by to London
hospitals which can pay higher wages; poor
infrastructure and buildings which are no longer
fit for purpose; amongst the highest A&E use
per head in the country.
"A new hospital would answer to each of
these problems. New facilities would be far more
attractive to work in and would encourage
"Doctors and nurses would no longer have to
treat patients in deteriorating temporary
structures, well past their 10-15 year life
"A new development could be tailored to the
needs of the growing population of Harlow and
the surrounding area that the Hospital serves,
increasing capacity and reducing waiting
Mr Halfon added: "I will continue working
Harlow to support our incredible NHS workers and
get the investment for the new hospital Harlow
needs to deliver health care fit for the 21st
Hospital out of 'special measures'
21st March 2018
THE Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
has been removed from 'special measures'
following a Care Quality Commission
The trust was rated 'Inadequate' overall and
placed into 'special measures' following an
inspection in June 2016.
Between December 5 and 7 last year the CQC
returned and inspected six of the trust's core
services - urgent and emergency care, medicine,
surgery, critical care, children and young
people’s services and end of life care.
Inspectors found that, while further work was
needed, a number of improvements had been
As a result it is now rated as 'Requires
Improvement' overall and Professor Ted Baker,
CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, is
recommending the trust now exits special
He said: "Our return to The Princess
Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust showed significant
improvement had taken place. This is reflected
in the trust’s new rating - which has improved
from 'Inadequate' to 'Requires Improvement'
overall - and our recommendation to NHS
Improvement that the trust now comes out of
"Our inspectors found a dedicated staff who
had worked hard to ensure improvements were
made. They also witnessed a number of areas of
outstanding care, particularly in the children
and young people’s service, all of which was
fantastic to see.
"As a result a number of ratings for the
trust’s services and in the key questions CQC
asks when it carries out its inspections have
"While the trust’s overall rating has
improved, how effective and well-led the trust’s
services also improved to be rated as 'Good'
overall. Previously we rated whether the trust
was well-led as 'Inadequate' overall, while the
rating for whether services were effective was
"We also saw improvements in the ratings
for end-of-life care, critical care and urgent
and emergency services.
"However, this trust has to ensure it
continues and consolidates this work and makes
further changes so that people receive the care
they should be able to expect.
"We have given feedback to the trust on
where it needs to make improvements and we will
return to check on its progress.
"The trust’s staff and leadership should
be proud of their achievement so far and they
know what they must do to ensure any remaining
improvements are made."
Inspectors found examples of outstanding
practice, notably in children and young people’s
service. This included the neonatal unit (NNU)
which had recently implemented a project to
improve nurse-led discharges in straightforward
and low risk cases, which meant nursing staff
didn’t have to wait for a doctor to approve
The critical care unit had implemented a secure
medication return bin, which meant staff could
return any unused medicines to the pharmacy for
recycling or disposal. In the first month of use
the bin saved the hospital £1,200 by recycling
However, the trust has been told it must make a
number of improvements. This includes that it
must ensure mandatory training improves to meet
the trust’s target of 95 per cent and that
staff annual appraisal completion rates
Fridge temperatures in urgent and emergency
services must be consistently monitored, and any
concerns surrounding this are acted upon.
Medical records must contain a complete
contemporaneous record for each patient and
appropriate risk assessments must be completed
Patients arriving by ambulance to the emergency
department must be appropriately assessed and
triaged in a timely manner and the trust must
take action to address mixed gender
accommodation breaches in the critical care
In the children and young people’s service,
the trust needed to ensure it met the Royal
College of Nursing (RCN) requirements to ensure
enough staff, with the correct competencies,
were available to provide care on Dolphin
Paediatric life support training needed to
improve to ensure staff had the required
knowledge and competencies to recognise and
respond to patients at risk. In end-of-life care
the trust needed to review ‘do not attempt
cardio-pulmonary resuscitation’ (DNACPR) forms
to ensure they were completed fully and in line
with trust policy and national guidance.
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust is
rated as 'Requires Improvement' overall as well
as for whether its services are safe and
responsive. It is rated as 'Good' for whether
services are caring, effective and well-led
Trust chief executive Lance McCarthy said:
"People have worked tremendously hard over
the past 12 months to deliver major improvements
in quality across our hospital services. These
efforts are reflected in our triple achievement
of ‘Good’ in the areas of ‘Effective’,
‘Caring’ and ‘Well-Led’, which is
fantastic news for patients and the people who
"The removal of the Trust from ‘special
measures’ is something that I’m sure people
will be celebrating. I am enormously proud of
everyone and have personally thanked our staff
and volunteers across the Trust. Together we
have shown that we’ve got what it takes to
make this Trust outstanding.
"The momentum we have created continues
and, whilst this is a moment to be celebrated,
we all remain committed to delivering our
ambitious, but achievable quality improvement
"At the moment we’re not getting it right
for all of our patients all of the time, and we
are not going to be satisfied until we do - our
ambition is to transform Princess Alexandra
Hospital into an ‘outstanding’ Trust.
"With the scale of change we have delivered
in such a short space of time, and with three
out of five areas now rated as good by the CQC,
the next jump to becoming a ‘Good’ Trust
overall is clearly within our grasp.
"I am pleased to say there were no
surprises within the CQC report. We know and
understand the areas where we need to make more
progress. Our quality improvement plan reflects
the findings of the most recent inspection and
work continues to build on the good practice we
have achieved so far.
"Our services have benefited greatly from
the £7.5m we have invested into our estates
this year, and we are actively pursuing our
plans for a new, modern hospital at
Full details of CQC’s inspection, its ratings
for the trust, including a ratings grid, are
given in the report published online at http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RQW
Harlow Ballet Association
A BALLET dancer from Epping will be
taking the lead role in Cinderella at The
Natasha White, 17, who has been dancing with
Harlow Ballet Association for seven years, is
looking forward to being one of the main
characters having previously appeared in Les
Sylphides, Snow White, The Nutcracker, Coppelia
The Harlow Ballet Association production of
Cinderella runs from April 12 to April 15.
Tickets are available via www.harlowplayhouse.co.uk
or by ringing 01279 431945.
Spring Ball raises over £24,000
A SPRING Ball has
raised over £24,000 for St
The event, attended by 13 local
businesses, was held at Weston
Homes’ Conference Centre in
The 130-plus guests enjoyed a
champagne reception and
three-course meal with musical
entertainment from local bands
Frisco Monk and Vintage
An online silent auction and
live auction saw 'lots'
two golf holidays, a luxury
hotel visit, afternoon tea,
football tickets and dining
Children visited by reptiles
CHILDREN at Cooks Spinney Primary Academy
were visited by cockroaches, snakes and lizards
as part of their latest Wow day.
The school gets enthusiasm for every new topic
started with a Wow day each half-term.
Year 3 were visited by a bearded dragon,
Madagascan cockroach, Tegu lizard, Sinaloan milk
snake and a royal python from Animal
Year 3 teacher Sarah Brennan said:
"Children learnt about the creatures and
got to hold and/or touch them. This visit was to
tie in with our dragon topic.
"Children were thrilled by the close
encounters with the reptiles. It really was a
Public Health England scientists
SCIENTISTS from Public Health England
spent a day inspiring students at Burnt Mill
Academy to consider careers in science as part
of British Science Week.
They carried out interactive science sessions
with Year 8 and 9 students who worked with a
clinical scientist, quality control supervisor,
healthcare scientist support worker and a
product and distributor manager for microbial
They got to look at microorganisms through a
microscope, grow bacteria on pizza samples and
check how much bacteria is left on their hands
Francis Collins, Burnt Mill Academy Trust
director of science, said: "The event was
great. Every student enjoyed it. It was great
for the students to get hands-on experience of
what scientists do on a daily basis.
"The students were so happy to be given the
experience and the visitors were overwhelmed by
their excellent behaviour and attention.”
As well as promoting science-based careers,
Public Health England was promoting its planned
move to Harlow in 2021, where it will create a
world science hub.
Guides receive Baden Powell Awards
SIX Guides from 3rd Harlow Guides have
been presented with their Baden Powell Awards -
the highest award in Guiding.
To gain the qualification the girls - Jessica
Bowes, Sophie Bowes, Zoe Endean, Emily Hibbert,
Kelsie Parfitt and Hollie Swaffer - had to
complete ten clauses from five zones - Healthy
Lifestyle, Global Awareness, Discovery, Skills
and Relationships, Celebrating Diversity and
provide evidence as to how they met the
They then had to attend a weekend adventure with
people they did not know which was run by
Their work was examined before the awards were
For information on Guiding for females from aged
over five visit www.girlguiding.org.uk
#Poowatch man released from police
custody after 47 days
THE man at the centre of the so-called #Poowatch
on social media has been released from police
custody after being held for 47 days.
In a statement issued this morning, Essex Police
stated that officers from the force's West
Operation Raptor team had arrested a 24-year-old
man in Parsonage Leys Harlow, on Wednesday,
The man, Lamarr Chambers, of Villa Road,
Brixton, London was subsequently charged and
appeared in court on Thursday, January 18.
At that hearing, and in seven subsequent
hearings, the court authorised his further
detention (under section 152 of the Criminal
Justice Act 1988) to enable him to pass drugs he
was suspected to have inside him.
The statement added that Mr Chambers was
detained in police custody for 47 days.
A spokesman added that during this time he was
routinely supplied with food and water, received
medical visits every day and comprehensive
reports of his state of health were provided to
the court at each hearing.
His health, wellbeing and dignity were paramount
at all times, the spokesman added.
The statement added that despite this, nothing
was passed by Mr Chambers, who also routinely
declined medical treatment and the opportunity
to visit hospital.
On Monday (March 5) the decision was taken by
Deputy Chief Constable BJ Harrington, following
medical and legal advice, to release Mr Chambers
The Crown Prosecution Service discontinued the
charges against Mr Chambers in relation to
possession with intent to supply a Class A drug
and driving matters.
Mr Chambers was subsequently rearrested on
suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a
Class A drug and was released on bail.
On his release from police custody, Mr Chambers
was taken by police car, in company with a
medical professional, to hospital for
The police spokesman said the force understands
that since his release Mr Chambers has been
treated in hospital.
Deputy Chief Constable BJ Harrington said:
"Police forces have a legal and ethical
responsibility for the welfare of anyone brought
in to police custody.
"Although an investigation concerning the
supply of Class A drugs is routine for our
officers, there have in this case been some
highly unusual circumstances which have
attracted national attention.
"On the basis of all the medical evidence
in this case it is most appropriate, both in the
interests of Mr Chambers and of justice, to
ensure he receives the hospital treatment he
"Where detainees are suspected of ingesting
or concealing drugs inside their body, we must
balance overseeing their welfare and ensuring
that all evidence is captured to ensure the best
possible chance of prosecution.
"In some cases this will involve seeking
the continued detention of a suspect, as
authorised by the courts, to ensure that drugs
are passed, retained and tested.
"That evidence will then form the basis of
subsequent charging decisions and court
"Essex Police’s Operation Raptor teams
spend every day pro-actively hunting those
involved in the supply and sale of drugs on our
streets. It is a crime that we are not prepared
to tolerate in this county and we will go to
every length to capture and prosecute those
"We will also not shy away from talking
about the unpleasant truths that go hand in hand
with the drug dealing lifestyle, from the
violence often perpetrated by those involved to
the expectation on dealers to ‘plug’ drugs
to avoid capture."
Man dies in M11 collision
9.01am - 4th
A PEDESTRIAN has died after he was struck
by a vehicle on the M11 at Hastingwood.
Police were alerted at 8.15pm on Friday with
reports of a grey BMW hitting the central
barrier on the southbound carriageway at
Officers were then told that someone was
believed to have been hit by a black Ford Mondeo
and was in a critical condition.
Despite the efforts of the emergency services,
including doctors from the Essex and Herts Air
Ambulance, a man in his 20s was pronounced dead
at the scene shortly before 9.15pm.
The road was closed until about 3am on Saturday
with traffic being diverted.
A 22-year-old man, from Bexleyheath, has been
arrested on suspicion of causing death by
careless driving. He remains in custody
Anyone with information about the incident is
asked to ring the Serious Collision
Investigation Unit on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Boy, 16, charged over stabbing
8.55am - 4th
A 16-YEAR-OLD from Harlow has been
charged with wounding with intent after another
teenaged boy was stabbed in the town.
The boy will appear before magistrates in
A second 16-year-old boy who was also arrested
following the incident in Hodings Road has been
released under investigation.
Hospice's Winter Walkies set to
10.22am - 3rd March 2018
MORE than 100 dogs joined St Clare
Hospice’s annual Winter Walkies event which is
set to have raised over £5,000.
The winner of the hospice’s Cutest Canine
competition, Milo the Cockapoo puppy, led more
than 250 walkers at the start of the sponsored
5km countryside stroll from the hospice at
Among the participants was hospice patron, Dame
Claire Bertschinger, Deputy Lieutenant of
Hertfordshire, who took part with her two Bichon
She said: "Winter Walkies is a great
community event. I can’t think of a nicer way
to raise funds for St Clare than by taking part
in a walk with dozens of other dog lovers and
their pets across the beautiful countryside
around the hospice.
"My dogs loved being with so many other
dogs of all shapes and sizes, and it was
actually very moving to see hundreds of people
gathered in support of St Clare."
Event organiser Emma Broadbent, the hospice's
challenges and events fundraiser, said:
"This was the twelfth year we have
organised Winter Walkies and it continues to be
our best-loved event with hundreds of
four-legged friends and their humans taking
"It really was a sight to see so many happy
wagging tails as the dogs set off out the
Council's "surprise" at
Osler House Surgery closure
9.55am - 3rd March 2018
HARLOW Council has expressed its
"surprise" at the news that Osler
House Surgery is to close.
The council, as was the case with Harlow MP
Robert Halfon, was not consulted over the
A council spokesman said: "We understand
why local people are concerned about the sudden
announcement that services at Osler House will
cease from April 30.
"West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group’s
decision to discontinue services at Osler House
gives residents no time to have their say and
very little time to make alternative
"This decision came as a surprise to us too
and we are very disappointed that we were not
consulted. "There are many families and
older people in Potter Street who will be
affected by this.
"Our officers met with West Essex CCG
officials on Monday afternoon where they were
first informed of the decision.
"A further meeting with the CCG is planned
and our priority is to ensure that residents are
given a say on a decision which impacts on
"We are encouraging those who use Osler
House to attend the drop-in sessions the CCG has
organised and to get more information by
telephoning the Patient Advice and Liaison
Service on 01992 566123 or emailing WECCG.Comments@nhs.net."
In a statement from West Essex Clinical
Commissioning Group, which Harlow Council has
published on its website - but which was not
sent to Everything Harlow by the CCG - states:
"‘The Practice Group’, the provider of
medical services at Osler House, has resigned
their contract to provide NHS services from
Osler House, stating that it is not financially
viable for them to continue to run such a small
"Services will cease as from Monday, April
"We empathise with patients that have to
relocate to other health centres within Harlow.
However these centres are more modern and offer
more patient services.
"Over the last few years the West Essex
Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in
partnership with Harlow Health Centres Trust (HHCT)
and NHS England, has explored various options to
redevelop the Osler House health centre.
NHS England had come to the decision that the
patient list of approximately (3,300) proved to
be unviable for a new build.
"Following the decision by the ‘The
Practice Group’ (tenants), the CCG has
explored various solutions to continue providing
health services but unfortunately to no avail
therefore we have taken the decision to
discontinue services at Osler House Health
"Discussions have taken place with
neighbouring surgeries Church Langley, The Ross
Practice, Hamilton Practice, Sydenham House and
Lister Medical Centre who have confirmed they
are willing to accept new patients from Osler
House Surgery. These surgeries are within very
close proximity to Osler House Surgery.
"More information about GP surgeries can be
found by visiting www.nhs.uk,
which provides information on the number of GPs
at the surgery, what services they offer
patients and what people think of those
"If patients fall outside of the identified
surgery’s catchment areas this website will
also help them to identify the surgeries closest
to where they live.
"Alternatively, patients can contact
Healthwatch Essex, an organisation that supports
people with healthcare issues, on 0300 500
"The external refurbishment of Osler House
is part of the Prentice Place regeneration
scheme and will remain so."
The CCG is holding drop-in sessions at Potter
Street Community Centre between 1pm and 3pm on
Tuesday, March 13, and at Potter Street Baptist
Church between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on Monday,
MP slams "terrible and
short-sighted" decision to close GP surgery
2nd March 2018
THE decision to close the Osler House
Surgery in Harlow has been condemned as
"terrible and short-sighted" by MP
West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group
announced last Friday that the surgery would
close on April 30.
Mr Halfon, who was not told about the closure
before the announcement was made, said: "I
think the closure of Osler House is a terrible
and short-sighted decision.
"Harlow is an rapidly expanding town and it
makes no sense to close a surgery which has been
serving the Potter Street community for over 60
"I am very concerned that I received no
prior notice of this closure and that the
decision appears to have been reached without
any consultation with patients, user groups, and
the wider community.
"I have been contacted by patients of the
surgery, particularly the elderly, who are
worried about how they are going to access GP
services because of a lack of public transport
to other GP locations and anxious that they
might not be able to access a home visit when
"I have already been in touch with the
Chief Officer and the Chair of the West Essex
CCG and will be challenging this
Everything Harlow has received no media release
or statement to publicise or explain the reasons
why the surgery is to close.
Children enjoy Dress Up Day
8.42am - 1st
CHILDREN at Cooks Spinney Primary Academy
and Roydon Primary Academy were challenged to go
into school dressed for their dream job.
The schools encouraged pupils to indulge in
their dreams, whatever they might be.
Roydon Primary Academy Head of School Michael
Clark said: “At Roydon, we are privileged to
have such a supportive community; the outfits
children came into school in were brilliant! Our
school motto is Dream, Believe, Achieve and our
dream job day rally did relate to this.
"Our children have some wonderful dreams
and aspirations and we hope we as a school can
go a long way to helping them achieve their
Cooks Spinney Head of School Neil Stirrat said:
“The aim of the day was simple - to have fun
and raise aspirations.
"We want our pupils to always think about
why they attend school and what they need to do
to achieve their dreams, however ambitious those
dreams may be.”
Stuart Pope, executive head for both schools,
said the Burnt Mill Academy Trust is about
helping young people to achieve their goals, no
matter where they start in life.
He said: “My philosophy for achieving
outstanding outcomes for all young people was
summed up on our simple dress-up day.
"When challenged to come into school
dressed for their dream job, we didn’t follow
the example set by some other schools of banning
footballer, vlogger and popstar costumes. Why
put barriers on young dreams; why not give them
the belief all of those dreams - no matter how
wild - really are within reach. That’s what I
believe and that’s what we teach our
“Once they have that belief in themselves, we
give them the tools, the characteristics and the
drive to get them there.
"Our dress-up day wasn’t just full of
YouTubers and racing drivers, though, our young
people also dream of becoming doctors, zoo
keepers, dentists and teachers. “Our young
people are imaginative and ambitious.
"The day really reflected the aspirational
tone of our schools. It was more than just a
dress-up day, it showed they are already
thinking about what they want in the future and
what they need to do to achieve it."
Teachers across the schools also dressed as
superheroes, actors and sports stars.
Hospice launching Compassionate
8.40am - 1st
ST Clare Hospice is
launching a new volunteer
Compassionate Neighbours, which
is aimed at tackling loneliness
Compassionate Neighbours is for
people living with a
life-limiting illness, or who
are experiencing loneliness or
The project was founded by St
Joseph’s Hospice in east
London in 2011 and received
national recognition when it won
the Charity Times Community
Award in 2017.
projects have now been
established in seven
Hospice chief executive Sarah
Thompson said: "We know a
lot of people living with a
life-limiting illness become
socially isolated and that there
are people facing death and
dying on their own in our
"We also know there is a
desire in our communities to be
there for one another, and
Compassionate Neighbours is
about unlocking and enabling
this to happen.
is a network of trained
volunteers who offer their time
and support to people living in
their local area. They offer
friendship and a listening ear,
and help them to continue to do
the things they enjoy.
"We carefully match the
Compassionate Neighbours with
members of the community so they
are suited to each other based
on their interests and hobbies.”
St Clare Hospice is launching
the project alongside fellow
local hospice charities Isabel
Hospice and Garden House Hospice
The three hospices serve more
than 800,000 people across west
Essex and east and north Herts.
The St Clare project is being
led by Stacey Towler. She said:
"We know very often older
people and those who feel
isolated would benefit
considerably from a simple cup
of tea and a chat.
"The fact that
Compassionate Neighbours pairs
community members based on their
shared likes, interests and
shared experiences, means that
the support will be even more
meaningful and have a positive
impact on people’s well-being.”
To find out more about the
project and how to become a
volunteer and refer a person to
the scheme, ring Stacey Towler
on 01279 773279 or visit https://stclarehospice.org.uk/care/compassionate-neighbours/
St Clare Hospice is hosting a
Compassionate Neighbours Open
Day on Wednesday, March 7
The event is an opportunity to
learn more about the project and
find out how to get involved.
Local health, social and
voluntary sector professionals
are encouraged to attend, as
well as those interested in
Anyone planning to attend should
inform Stacey Towler on 01279
773279 or by emailing email@example.com