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Jim Fitzpartick
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12 Sep


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National Air Ambulance Week celebrates 30 years of emergency air ambulances in the UK

September 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

This week Air Ambulance charities across the UK are once again coming together to celebrate National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) in this the 30th year of helicopter emergency air ambulances (HEMS) in the UK.

Thirty years ago, the first air ambulance service was formed in Cornwall. More recently, Northern Ireland; the only area within the UK without such a service, became operational.
Since then, these critical life-saving services have invested funds to expand their operations, increased their operating hours to operate at night, upgraded to larger aircrafts, increased their medical capabilities with the carriage of blood products and invested in the advanced education and training of their paramedics and doctors.

The charities together raised £162 million in 2016, operated 39 helicopters and fly on average 20,500 missions each year. Collectively, they have a volunteer network of over 2,500 people and are one of the most exciting and innovative group of organisations in the UK.

During NAAW, many of the local charities organise events and initiatives in a bid to generate funds and raise awareness. Members of the public show their support by a variety of means and businesses look for ways of getting involved. It’s the perfect time to show your support.

One idea, which is set to ‘take off’ in support of the UK’s air ambulance charities, is a social media campaign called ‘Pie in the Sky’. The initiative is rapidly gaining pace and involves members of the public posting a video to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube of themselves taking a ‘pie in the face’, pledging a donation and nominating three others to do the same. A TextGiving code has been set up in support of the campaign: PIES21 £2 to 70070

Jim Fitzpatrick, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) and MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“Air ambulances play an essential role in our emergency services response and the advanced care which has recently plaid a part in a 20% increase in mortality should be commended. The number of incidents where the skills of the crews are needed is increasing, and the types of care needed are becoming more complex as our population ages and we stay more active in to later life.

“The APPGAA are champions and advocates of these life-saving services within Parliament and therefore as Chair I am delighted to help promote National Air Ambulance Week in 2017 with all of my colleagues.”

To find out what your local air ambulance is doing in support of National Air Ambulance Week, contact your local charity or visit their website and social media channels.
For more information on the Association of Air Ambulances and its members, visit: www.aoaa.org.uk

31 Aug


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP celebrates community’s efforts to cure blood cancer

August 31, 2017 | By | No Comments

Celebrating the potential lifesavers in Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick joined a cross-party Parliamentary event to celebrate the number of people who are registered as stem cell donors.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Stem Cell Transplantation, supported by blood cancer charity and stem cell register Anthony Nolan, held the event to mark the progress made by the transplant community in the past year.

In Poplar and Limehouse the number of potential stem cell donors registered with Anthony Nolan is 1,254. 47% of these donors are male, and the average age is 32.

In total, 645,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.

Now, Jim Fitzpatrick is encouraging more people from Poplar and Limehouse, particularly men aged 16-30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant. While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate, and are currently underrepresented on the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.

Jim said:

“I’m very proud that Poplar and Limehouse has 1,254 people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

“I strongly hope that more people from the constituency will be inspired to sign up and show that together, our communities can provide a cure for blood cancer.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said:

“It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to celebrate the achievements the transplant community has made in the past year, and we’re particularly grateful to all the registered donors in poplar and Limehouse for helping us in our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.

“Anthony Nolan’s pioneering research, dedicated nurses and patient-focused services mean we have increased the support patients receive at every stage of their transplant journey – but without the contribution of selfless donors, our vital work would be impossible.”

For more information about the All Party Parliamentary Group for Stem Cell Transplantation, visit: www.appg-stemcell.org.uk

For more information about Anthony Nolan, visit: www.anthonynolan.org

01 Aug


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Government launch consultation into leasehold properties

August 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Last week the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced they would begin an 8-week consultation and consider a range of measures to tackle unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold.

The APPG on Leasehold Reform, which I co-chair, and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership have campaigned tirelessly on this issue and welcome the announcement. We are pleased about the news from the DCLG that they are to consult on the proposal to ban the building of leasehold houses and the removal of opportunities to produce unfair leasehold ground rent terms on all new build homes.

However, many people will be left worried by the scope of the reforms. The APPG will now look to understand from the Housing Department what their position is on existing homeowners who will not be considered under the terms of the consultation.

If you’ve bought a new-build leasehold house or flat since 2005, please click here to fill in a 5-minute survey. We need help to fight back, your efforts will help us to make the case for reform.

27 Jul


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Jim Fitzpatrick Calls for Action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

July 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

Cut the Stake, Reduce FOBT Harm


Jim Fitzpatrick has revealed over £8 million was lost on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Poplar and Limehouse and backed the work of the FOBT All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in Parliament, expressing his support for the Group’s ‘Cut the Stake, Reduce FOBT Harm’ campaign.

FOBTs allow punters to stake £100 every 20 seconds on electronic versions of casino games such as roulette, but in a low supervision high street bookie environment. Political concern and controversy has been growing about the highly addictive nature of the machines, with one campaign group even calling them the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

The cross-party group of MPs and Peers, published its report in January 2017, assessing the impact of FOBTs, and called for a substantial reduction in the maximum stake playable, stating that there was a strong case for this to be no more than £2.

The campaign has secured the widespread support with the General Synod of the Church of England, 93 local authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health and politicians from all parties supporting the campaign.

Lending his support to the campaign for a stake reduction, Jim said:

“I was extremely concerned to hear that £8,441,681 was lost to FOBTs in Poplar and Limehouse. What needs to be understand is this isn’t just about losing the odd quid here and there, some gamblers are losing serious amounts of cash.

“These machines are strategically placed on high streets in poor areas across the country which in turn, effects vulnerable people and their families. There is no doubt FOBTs are causing harm. I urge the Government to bring forward their proposals, and to substantially cut the stake to £2 now.”

The Government is currently considering responses from the Call for Evidence into Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility launched in October 2016. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is expected to publish the next stage of the Review, with its proposals, in October 2017.

20 Dec


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Leasehold Reform Debate

December 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

Sir Peter Bottomley and I secured a backbench business debate in the House of Commons to discuss leasehold reform.

There are over 4 million leaseholders across England and Wales and tens of thousands in Tower Hamlets. At the debate, I raised the concerns of residents from two large private sites, Canary Riverside and West India Quay, both of which are controlled by John Cristodoulou under the Yianis Group and leaseholders in former council owned homes which were purchased under right-to-buy legislation. Problems of service charges, refurbishment costs and inaccurate billing have plagued the former social sector homes. Sadly these are only a few examples of the many problems faced by leaseholders across the country.

Please follow the links to watch or read the debate in full.

For more information and help, please head to Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.

13 Dec


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Backbench Business Committee: Leasehold and Commonhold reform

December 13, 2016 | By | No Comments

Sir Peter Bottomley and I went in front of the Backbench Business Committee to present our case for a debate on leasehold and commonhold reform and were granted a 3 hour debate on the topic in the House of Commons this coming Tuesday.

We recently set up an All-Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold and commonhold issues, to which over 50 MPs and Peers have already signed up. The issues we’re looking at compromise everything from exorbitant ground rent charges to problems with retirement homes. Leaseholds effect millions of homeowners across the country including many residents in Tower Hamlets.

You can watch our bid and please head to www.leaseholdknowledge.com for further information.

05 Dec


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Bank fines celebrated by Minister at Air Ambulance Reception

December 5, 2016 | By | No Comments

A reception held by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) took place on the House of Commons Terrace. The event, hosted by Chairman of the APPGAA Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, gave members of both Houses of Parliament the opportunity to meet with representatives from air ambulance charities and ambulance services.

Jim introduced Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Social Society who thanked the APPGAA for all their hard work before addressing the audience. Rob highlighted the excellent outcome of the Autumn Statement last week where air ambulances were a major beneficiary in being awarded £10.8 million from the banking fines fund (LIBOR).

Rob Wilson MP said:

“Air ambulances across the UK have grown to play a key role in our emergency services response capacity. The latest award of £10.8 million is in addition to the £24 million previously allocated in previous statements, however there is a possibility that these funds will run out in the not too distant future.

“The air ambulance network needs to consider not only how to continue saving lives but also ways to enhance the network so that they can continue saving lives into the future. It is making great use of their 2,500 volunteer community in many different ways. The UK is the second most generous nation in the world donating £11 billion to good causes. My goal is to create an environment so that the voluntary sector can create a sustainable future. The public must trust that their fundraising is going to great causes and you have my continued support as the Minister of Social Society.

Hannah Sebright, Chair of the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) responded and said:

“I would like to thank the Minister and Central Government for their continued support. The recognition that Central Government affords us in giving greater visibility and raising our profile, is a goal that we are all working towards because it’s essential that we remain in the public domain.

“We are however, aware of the financial constraints on the NHS and our Ambulance Service colleagues. This is why it is a priority that through the AAA we work continue to work together in our communities and support our NHS Trusts by continually improving our services.”

Hanna explained that the AAA has ambitious plans for 2017 and highlighted a number of key projects including input on the Ambulance Radio Programme which will impact all AAA members, as well as other emergency service providers. She also said that the AAA recognises that with the extension of flight time limitations, it had the potential to impact on the number of paramedics needed as technical crew members and pressed the need to develop a cohesive national lit helipad network.

Finally, Hanna concluded in saying:

“The APPGAA’s annual reception is an important date in the calendar and an opportunity for the community to come together and meet with members of Westminster to highlight our successes and discuss our Key Issues. On behalf of the AAA, I would like to thank everyone for being here today, it’s a testament to how passionate we feel about providing the best possible service we can, to the patients we attend to.”

Jim Fitzpatrick MP brought proceedings to a conclusion with a final message of thanks:

“The APPGAA are here as your champions and your advocates in Parliament. Keep providing the amazing service that you do for our constituents; without you, many of them would not be around.”

The Association of Air Ambulances (AAA), which represents the majority of air ambulance charities, ambulance services and the supply chain throughout the UK, supported the reception for the fourth year, bringing patients, charities, ambulance services and legislators together.

More information on the APPGAA, Association of Air Ambulances and the air ambulance community can be found by visiting: www.aoaa.org.uk

11 Nov


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP shows support for women and men affected by breast cancer at Parliamentary Reception

November 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

APPGBC hosts ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ Reception and launches parliamentary inquiry into geographic inequalities in breast cancer services

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse demonstrated his support for women and men living with breast cancer this October by attending the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer’s (APPGBC) Reception at the House of Commons on 26th October.

More people are developing breast cancer than ever before – with 50,000 women and around 350 men diagnosed every year in the UK – and around 11,500 patients lose their lives to the disease each year.

Attended by more than 100 representatives from the breast cancer community, including 45 MPs, the APPGBC reception was held in support of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to keep the issues that matter most to breast cancer patients high on the parliamentary agenda.

With MPs, Peers, civil servants, health professionals, patients and charity representatives in attendance, the APPGBC announced the launch of a new parliamentary inquiry into geographical inequalities in breast cancer services across England.

Currently, while breast cancer patients should receive the same high level of treatment across England, unfortunately this is often not the case. Many patients receive varying levels of care depending on where in the country they live, with inequalities throughout the patient pathway, from early diagnosis through to treatment and survival.

Led by co-chairs Sharon Hodgson MP, Craig Tracey MP and Dr Philippa Whitford MP, as well as vice chairs Jo Churchill MP and Baroness Massey of Darwen, the inquiry will seek to establish the extent of these geographic variations, explore their impact on patients and ultimately make recommendations to reduce inequalities.

Although the inquiry will focus on breast cancer services and care in England, the APPGBC is keen to learn from examples of good practice in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is encouraging people from the devolved nations to respond to the call for written evidence.

Jim said:

“Breast cancer is still the most common cancer in the country and the UK still has one of the lowest survival rates in Western Europe with every year around 11,500 women and 80 men dying from the disease.

“A huge amount has been achieved but as these statistics show, especially in Tower Hamlets where Breast screening coverage is well below the national average, there is still more to do.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“It was heartening to see so many MPs, peers, civil servants, healthcare professionals and patients come together to support those affected by breast cancer.

“Breast Cancer Awareness Month may have drawn to a close, but our work to save lives and to improve patients’ experiences across the country must now continue.

“We are so grateful to Jim for his continued support both for breast cancer research and for women and men living with this dreadful disease.”

For more information on Breast Cancer Now’s work, visit breastcancernow.org


13 Oct


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Jim Fitzpatrick shows support for people living with incurable secondary breast cancer

October 13, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick met with Breast Cancer Care in Parliament on Wednesday 12th October to pledge his support for the charity’s campaign to ensure people with incurable secondary breast cancer no longer get second-rate care.

A survey of people with incurable breast cancer by Breast Cancer Care revealed just over a fifth (21%) of people who previously had breast cancer are first treated by their GP for another condition. And more than four in 10 (42%) do not feel their overall care is well-managed and well-coordinated. This suggests people living with incurable breast cancer are not getting the care and support they need.

In addition, a report from the charity reveals that, despite it being mandatory since 2013, a fifth (19%) of Hospital Trusts are not collecting any data about the number of people diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. And almost half (47%) are not recording the numbers fully.

Breast Cancer Care believes incomplete data for the number of people with incurable breast cancer is one of the major barriers to urgently needed improvements to poor care.

Ahead of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Jim attended Breast Cancer Care’s parliamentary event – hosted by Sharon Hodgson MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer and new Shadow Public Health Minister – to meet women living with incurable breast cancer and call for an end to second-rate care.

Jim said:

“It is so important to show my support for women living with incurable secondary breast cancer. It is absolutely vital that this Breast Cancer Awareness Month people with incurable breast cancer are not forgotten.

“I am calling on the Government to do more to support women and men affected by incurable breast cancer and make vital improvements to care.”

Danni Manzi, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, says:

“We are extremely grateful to Jim Fitzpatrick for joining us ahead of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day to show his support for our Secondary. Not second rate. campaign, improving care for incurable secondary breast cancer patients.

“There are still gaps in care for people with incurable breast cancer and consistent data collection is essential to enable crucial services and support to be planned effectively for people living with the disease.

“We are calling on the Government, Public Health England and NHS England to do all they can to ensure everyone with incurable breast cancer gets the best care possible.”

When time is uncertain, women with secondary breast cancer need to be certain of your support. Act today to improve care, visit: breastcancercare.org.uk/secondary

28 Sep


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP backs calls for better care of heart failure patients living in Poplar & Limehouse

September 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

New report reveals shortfall in care for heart failure patients and makes recommendations to transform lives and save NHS millions.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP attended an event in Westminster to show his support for the launch of a report which makes recommendations to improve the treatment and care of heart failure patients. This follows an inquiry prompted by Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heart Disease.

The inquiry received evidence from patients, health care professionals, and commissioners to identify ways to improve the outcomes and experiences for people with heart failure, their families and carers.

Heart Failure is a debilitating, distressing and life-limiting condition, which when untreated, has worse survival rates than some cancers. 564 heart failure patients are living in Poplar and Limehouse however there are likely to be many more undiagnosed cases. An ageing population and improved survival from heart attacks, mean that the prevalence of those living with heart failure is on the rise.

It is also an increasingly costly problem for the NHS, accounting for 2 per cent of the total NHS budget and one million patient bed days each year.

Ten recommendations were put forward in the report, including the availability of a simple blood test, costing under £28, to all hospitals and GPs in England to speed up diagnosis. Implementing the test in primary care in line with NICE guidelines could save the health service a predicted £3.8 million each year.

Calls were also made for all patients to receive specialist input to their care, as this means they are more likely to receive the right treatment and care, and is crucial in improving their outcomes and quality of life. The report also recommends better monitoring of the workforce who deals with heart failure patients to ensure that there is sufficient resource to meet demands.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar & Limehouse said:

“Heart failure can have a substantial impact on the quality of life of patients, and their families and carers – both physically and emotionally. However, we know that with the right treatment and care their outcomes and experience can be significantly improved.

“I am keen to see the recommendations in this report implemented as soon as possible to ensure that heart failure patients in [insert area] are receiving the best possible care.”

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Heart failure is a devastating condition which leaves sufferers constantly short of breath – unable to continue to do the work and activities they once enjoyed.

“Our research has helped to drastically improve heart attack survival rates, meaning 70% of people now survive. However many are left with irreversibly damaged hearts meaning a life sentence of living with debilitating heart failure.

“We urgently need to fund more research into heart failure to find new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat this cruel condition. But we must also improve quality of life for those currently suffering with this condition and we are keen to work with the Government and NHS to achieve this.”

To find out more about the report and its recommendations visit: www.bhf.org.uk/heartfailurereport

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