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Emergency Services

25 Jul


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Jim Fitzpatrick slams the Government as more Met Police Officers cut

July 25, 2017 | By | No Comments

Responding to the police workforce figures which revealed the Metropolitan Police Service has lost another 608 Officers, Jim Fitzpatrick slammed the Government’s shameful record. 20,000 Police Officers have now been axed in the UK since 2010. The crime statistics show the largest rise in recorded crime in a decade, including an 18% jump in violent crime.

Jim Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“The Tories’ claim of being the ‘Party of Law and Order’ lies in tatters. It is no coincidence that in a week when we learn of further cuts to Police numbers, it’s also revealed that crime is on the rise.

“Barely a day goes by without a constituent raising their concerns over anti-social behaviour, acid attacks or drug use. Tower Hamlets Police do an outstanding job but they deserve the resources to deal with the problems in our borough. Being told by the Government to do more with less is nonsense.”

Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Policing and Crime Minister said:

“These damning new figures prove that this government cannot be trusted to keep our communities safe.

“Thanks to years of Conservative cuts, police numbers are now the lowest on record, at a time when forces are under unprecedented pressure. You can’t protect the public on the cheap.

“This is the grim legacy of seven years of Tory austerity; dedicated police officers fighting hard to keep the public safe with fewer officers per head than ever before. Labour will recruit another 10,000 new police officers to help keep us safe.”

28 Sep


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP shows support for National Air Ambulance Week

September 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

NAAW ran from 19th to 25th September- an initiative created by the Association of Air Ambulances (AAA) and celebrates the work of local air ambulance charities, giving them a national voice and an opportunity to promote the work they do at a local level. Together, the UK’s air ambulance charities raise £120 million a year, operate 37 helicopters, have a volunteer network of over 2,500 people and are one of the most exciting and innovative group of organisations in the UK.

London’s Air Ambulance treats on average five critically injured people in London each day, performing medical interventions at the roadside which are normally only found in a hospital emergency department. Barts Health NHS Trust provide the doctors and some financial support and the London Ambulance Service provides the paramedics and the emergency infrastructure to dispatch the service. The charity relies heavily on voluntary donations and has a world class reputation for delivering clinical innovation and excellence at the roadside. Since its inception 28 years ago, London’s Air Ambulance has treated over 35,000 patients.

The MP for Poplar & Limehouse said:

“I am proud to support London’s Air Ambulance. They provide a unique service to London by bringing the hospital to the patient.  In the first 6 months of the year alone 39 people in Tower Hamlets have already been treated by London’s Air Ambulance.”

Charles Newitt, Interim CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, said:

“National Air Ambulance Week is the ideal time to release our new infographic with data from the first 6 months of this year. It serves to highlight the work that we do, all across London, all day, and all year. We want everyone in London to know that we are there for them, should they need our help and that as a charity we can’t operate without the donations of those that live and work in London.

“National Air Ambulance Week is a week when air ambulance charities across the UK rally together to raise awareness and funds in their local communities. I am urging people to get involved during National Air Ambulance Week in any way you can to support us. Your support is vital in saving lives.”

28 Sep


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Don’t Stop at 999: Jim Fitzpatrick MP attends British Red Cross parliamentary event to help people save lives

September 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

MPs from across the UK attended a British Red Cross event in Westminster on Tuesday 6th September 2016.

New research reveals up to 59% of deaths from injury could potentially be prevented if public knew first aid: people call 999 then do nothing. The British Red Cross is calling for more opportunities for people to learn first aid throughout their lives.

Up to 59% of ‘pre-hospital’ deaths from injury could potentially be prevented if more people stepped in with some simple first aid, according to new research commissioned by the British Red Cross and conducted by the University of Manchester. The research was launched in Westminster on Tuesday 6th September and attended by Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar & Limehouse.

Whilst 93% will call for an ambulance if they find someone with an injury, first aid intervention of any kind was infrequent. Around half did not attempt any first aid while waiting for the emergency medical services to arrive. Mr Fitzpatrick learnt two simple first aid skills and pledged support for others to also have the opportunity to gain the confidence and learn the skills that could save a life.

The research, which has studied data from coroners’ offices, was last carried out 22 years ago by Prof Anthony Redmond, who also led the new research which was conducted by Dr Govind Oliver from the University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.

Mr Fitzpatrick commented:

“These shocking figures show exactly why more training must be delivered. Those who call 999 should have the confidence to administer basic first aid during the time it takes for the emergency services to arrive. So much is at stake in the immediate moments after an incident and I fully support The British Cross’ efforts in this initiative.”

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education said:

“The good news is that most people are calling 999. But after calling 999 we want people to then do something in those crucial minutes before the ambulance arrives, every person needs to recognise that in an emergency, you are part of the ‘chain of survival.”

The British Red Cross is calling for everyone in the UK to learn two basic first aid skills that could help to prevent the number of people who die from injuries, such as those resulting from falls or road traffic accidents, before reaching hospital.

“Sadly in the majority of deaths we looked at, the simplest interventions could have helped keep someone alive until they got to hospital. For example something as simple as turning someone on their side and tilting their head back to keep their airway open – could be all it takes to make that difference between life and death in certain situations.”

The charity is calling for more opportunities to learn first aid throughout one’s lifetime, starting at school, but also through the driving test and public health initiatives.

The latest research follows the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and British Heart Foundation ‘Every Child a Lifesaver’ campaign last year in support of Teresa Pearce MP’s Private Members’ Bill to make first aid mandatory in all state-funded secondary schools in England. Despite widespread support the Bill was ‘talked out’ and did not progress past its second reading.

Find the report and more about the British Red Cross campaign online at: redcross.org.uk/dontstopat999

Show your support on social media using the campaign hashtag #DontStopAt999

10 Feb


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Westminster Hall Debate – Emergency Services

February 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

emergency services

Tuesday 9 February

Watch online: http://goo.gl/b5QMC0

Read full hansard: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160209/halltext/160209h0001.htm#160209h0001.htm_spnew33

10.17 am

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab): It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Portsmouth South (Mrs Drummond), who demonstrates that some local authorities are ahead of the game on this issue. It is also a pleasure to see you in the Chair this morning, Mr Bone. I congratulate the hon. Member for Bedford (Richard Fuller) on securing the debate and on the eloquent way in which he described the conundrums and dilemmas facing the Government.

I should declare an interest. I was a member of the London fire brigade for 23 years. It celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. I was a former Fire Minister. I am secretary to the fire and rescue service all-party group and am chair of Fire Aid. I am also a Member’s representative on the House’s Fire Safety Committee. If colleagues have not done their online fire training yet, go on to the intranet. Only 30 out of 650 Members have done the training for their own safety, let alone the safety of the staff and constituents who come in, and it takes only 10 minutes.

There are two key questions for me: governance and the question of operational issues. As has been mentioned, the Government recently changed control of the fire service back to the Home Office from the Department for Communities and Local Government. As the Minister has already said, it was there before. Government moves things around; I do not think that matters too much. We have had a national fire service and we have had local government controlling the fire service. In London we have had the London County Council, the Greater London Council, the Greater London Authority, the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, and now control is going to the Mayor. Do the public know? Do they care? I do not think it matters at all.

9 Feb 2016 : Column 521WH

The key question, raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey) and others, is about accountability. Having someone to go to to make a complaint or to congratulate and praise is the most important thing. Given the state of the fire service in recent years with the disputes and strikes, we have hardly had a model of a successful operation of the fire service. I do not think the integrity of the service will be affected by a transfer to police and crime commissioners, although my hon. Friend the Member for Wansbeck (Ian Lavery) made a powerful point about the integrity of the fire service, which was accepted by my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall and which the Minister knows is out there in the public domain. I am not a big supporter of PCCs. Police and fire services would be better located with local government, along with some health matters, as many colleagues know, although I do recognise the points made about shared services.

More important for me is operational effectiveness. As the Minister knows, the fire service will always respond. A great recent example is its response to the floods. There is a suggestion that the fire service should have a statutory flood duty, allied to those of the Environment Agency and the water companies. The Government’s response so far has been that we do not need a statutory duty because the fire brigade will always turn up. Well, the fire brigade always turned up to fires before it became a statutory duty. The point is to make somebody responsible, and for it be somebody’s job to do the planning and argue the case to Government for the resources for a particular job. That is another question that is out there.

The fire service is a victim of its own success. The reduction in the number of fires, deaths and injuries has led to reductions in the number of fire engines, fire stations and firefighters. The service is being cut because it has been successful. The Minister knows all the reasons why that has been the case: better building construction, double glazing, central heating, and fewer candles and paraffin heaters. As my hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall said, there has also been much better fire protection, with the fire service reaching out to communities. That is another important factor, which goes back to the Fire Precautions Act 1971.

Ian Lavery: We need to be clear about the suggestion that there are now fewer fire deaths. That is generally the case in some regions, but regions such as Merseyside have seen a huge increase in fire deaths, and the trajectory is likely to go up over the next couple of years.

Jim Fitzpatrick: My hon. Friend makes a good point. If we cut services when the service has been successful, at some point it hits rock bottom so it has to start bouncing back. The statistics demonstrate that we do not have enough police officers or firefighters, but they show that only after there has been a rise in crime or in the number of fire deaths.

The hon. Member for Bedford made a powerful point about the number of fire brigades. One reason why the last Labour Government’s botched attempt at regionalising the fire service failed was the intrinsic opposition of so many fire empires throughout the country. The Minister knows only too well who I am talking about.

9 Feb 2016 : Column 522WH

This is a missed opportunity: it is not until question 15 of the consultation document that the ambulance service is even raised. That is despite the successful operation of combined fire and medical services in most states in the United States of America and the fact that most European Union states have combined fire and emergency medical services. That is despite the greater need for first-aid skills in firefighters; despite the arrival of idiot-proof defibrillators—I am not saying that they have to be idiot-proof for my fire colleagues to be able to operate them, but it makes it easier for us all; and despite the 2013 report from the Government’s fire adviser at the time, Sir Ken Knight, called “Facing the Future”, which looks mainly at the more developed area of co-working with ambulance services. That ought to be a key recommendation.

The fire brigade in London has been cut because of its success. We see the London ambulance service under pressure, with a rising number of calls. It is criticised for not making its call times and is under budget pressures. More lives could be saved in London through the more efficient use of the emergency services, particularly the ambulance and fire services—frankly, if the Minister wants to add the police to that list, that is not the most important issue to me. More savings could be made in London through co-location, the disposal of property assets and closer worker. I have not seen any of the candidates for the mayoral election bring that up, but I have been feeding it out to them and am still hoping.

In conclusion, I congratulate the hon. Member for Bedford again. He says that the Minister intends a higher level of collaboration. I look forward to hearing what both the shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham (Lyn Brown), and the Minister, with his excellent knowledge of the fire service, have to say. I am interested to hear whether the ambulance service and the fire service can be brought together.

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP