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Jim Fitzpartick
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Health

01 Mar

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People with Arthritis need more support to work, says MP

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has called on the government to provide more support for workers with arthritis to help close the ‘arthritis employment gap.’

Arthritis is the number one cause of pain, disability and working days lost, according to Arthritis Research UK, which highlighted the issue to Jim at a recent parliamentary briefing. Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions like back pain affect one in six of us.

Musculoskeletal conditions cause pain, stiffness and fatigue that can make every day work tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, and typing difficult. They are the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK, causing 32.4 million sick days each year.

Only 60% of working age people with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 80% among those without a health condition or a disability. This ‘arthritis work gap’ means that 600,000 people with arthritis are currently missing out on the opportunity to work.

Now, following the Government’s Improving Lives consultation on employment support for disabled people, Jim is calling on the Government to ensure that people with arthritis have the support to stay at work for longer:

“It’s clear how enormous the impact of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions is on our local communities. 30,975 residents are living with back pain, a leading cause of sickness absence, in Tower Hamlets right now – 11% of local people.

“The ability to work is something that we often take for granted, but I’ve learnt today that for those living with arthritis this can be difficult. But with the right support and flexibility many people are able to work.

“That’s why I’m supporting Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Work Matters to Me’ campaign, putting this vital issue on the map. The Government must ensure that there is a level playing field so that people with arthritis who are able to work have the right support to remain and return to work.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer at Arthritis Research UK, said:

“I’m delighted that Jim is supporting our campaign to give people with arthritis the freedom from their condition in employment, enabling them to live their lives to the full.

“The current situation for people living with the daily pain of arthritis is untenable. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain are the number one cause for workplace sickness absence in the UK.

“Our retirement age has increased and we’re an ageing working population, so even more people are going to be living with the pain and unpredictability of arthritis, and face an uncertain working future.

“But with the right kind of support and job; work can benefit your mental and physical health as well as your financial position.

“We need to see Government action to address the employment needs of people with long term conditions such as arthritis, so that they have the right support and opportunity to maintain their freedom and quality of life.”

To find out more about working when you are living with arthritis please visit our website at http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-and-daily-life/work-and-arthritis.aspx

24 Nov

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP urges eye clinics not to cancel constituents’ appointments

November 24, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick recently attended the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) parliamentary reception to find out if time is running out for his constituents with conditions that can lead to sight loss.

Eye clinics that cancel appointments put their patients at risk of irreversible sight loss because many treatments for sight-threatening conditions require frequent follow-up appointments.

RNIB is campaigning for patients to be seen by eye clinics in the time advised by their consultant, and for patients to keep their appointments.

Jim said:

“I support RNIB’s campaign to make sure people are given timely eye clinic appointments. I’ll work with RNIB to ensure people in Poplar and Limehouse receive their treatment on time.”

Sally Harvey, RNIB’s Acting Chief Executive, said:

“Patients must be seen by their eye clinic within an appropriate time for their condition. No-one should lose their sight needlessly because their eye clinic was too busy to treat them on time.

Patients can also help themselves by attending their eye clinic appointment and not miss or cancel them. Doing so puts their sight at risk, prevents other patients being given timely appointments, and costs the NHS money.”

For more information you can call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk

21 Nov

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Local MP calls for greater Meningitis vaccine take-up

November 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP is taking a leading role in a campaign to help protect young people’s health in Poplar and Limehouse.

He has signed up to promote meningitis awareness and vaccine take-up with GPs following a Parliamentary reception organised by charity Meningitis Now.

The charity is campaigning to increase the take-up of the lifesaving Men ACWY vaccine, which is available free to first-time university students up to the age of 25.

Jim said: “The low uptake of the Men ACWY vaccine among this at-risk group of young people is very worrying.

“I don’t want to see anyone in my constituency dying because they didn’t know about or didn’t get around to getting this vaccination.

“As we enter the peak season for bacterial meningitis I’ll be writing to local GP practices and university leaders to urge them to do more to promote awareness and encourage improved take-up.”

Following an increase of 809 per cent in meningococcal (group W) meningitis cases in the past five years around the country, Government launched a vaccination programme to protect young people aged 14 to 15 through schools and those aged 17 to 18 and first-year students up to 25 through GPs and clinics.

Despite the increasing risk to students and the recent deaths of a number of them across the UK, the uptake of the Men ACWY vaccine within this vulnerable age group remains very low, with just 17.4 per cent taking up the vaccine in England, and similar levels across Wales and Northern Ireland.

Jim has pledged to support the charity in its awareness-raising work and will be writing to GPs and university leaders locally to encourage them to do more to persuade young people to take up the vaccination.

“It is vitally important that students protect themselves with the Men ACWY vaccine and learn the signs and symptoms of the disease,” Jim added. “It only takes a few minutes and it could save theirs or their friend’s life.”

Liz Brown, chief executive of Meningitis Now, said: “We welcome Jim Fitzpatrick’s strong stand and support in persuading GPs to encourage students to protect themselves.”

Up to a quarter of students carry the bacteria that can cause meningitis compared to one in ten of the general population. Over 12 per cent of all cases occur in the 14 to 24 age group, with first year students being at particular risk.

Meningitis Now, in its 30th anniversary year this year, is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.

It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.

For more information on meningitis and the work of Meningitis Now visit: www.meningitisnow.org

18 Nov

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MP joins Heart Rhythm Charity call for screening of people at risk of atrial fibrillation (AF)

November 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

More than 500,000 people have undiagnosed AF, with more than 11,000 people per year suffering an AF-related stroke- 9% of all ischaemic strokes are caused by unknown AF.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse has pledged to work with the Arrhythmia Alliance and its sister organization, AF Association, to demand the creation of a national screening programme for people over 65 at risk of AF. Currently, more than 500,000 people have undiagnosed AF and are at an increased risk of suffering an AF-related stroke.

At a Know Your Pulse event held in Parliament hosted by the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association on Wednesday 16th November, Jim Fitzpatrick MP signed a pledge calling on the UK National Screening Committee to reverse its previous recommendation and to endorse a commissioned National Screening Programme for People over 65 years of age at risk of AF.

This event raised awareness of the importance of a simple manual pulse rhythm check in helping to detect AF, Parliamentarians who attended had a pulse check and an ECG hand-held recording.

Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder & CEO, Arrhythmia Alliance, who hosted the event, said:

“Manual pulse rhythm checks are already mandated in the NHS Health Check but are not being offered to patients by many healthcare professionals, which is why we are calling for a commissioned National Screening Programme for AF. A manual pulse check, is so simple to do, takes less than a minute and does not cost the NHS – but the benefits in preventing AF-related strokes and unnecessary deaths are enormous. Everyone needs to be aware of their pulse and how to manually check for an irregular rhythm.”

Jim Fitzpatrick MP added:

“I was shocked to hear about the numbers of people walking around today completely unaware that they have AF and who could be at risk of a debilitating or life-threatening AF-related stroke. I fully endorse the work of the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association and their call for a national screening programme. The pulse rhythm check I had taken showed just how simple and easy it is to identify someone who may have AF.”

AF is the most common heart rhythm abnormality, and is associated with a third of ischaemic strokes, which are typically more severe and debilitating for the patient. Data from stroke registries show that both unknown and untreated or under treated AF is responsible for most of these strokes. The tragedy is that most could be prevented if efforts were directed towards detection of AF before stroke occurs, through screening or case finding, and the provision of oral anticoagulant medications to prevent clots being formed in the heart, dislodging to be carried to an artery of the brain, blocking the circulation and causing an AF-related stroke.

For more information about the Arrhythmia Alliance and AF Association or to sign the pledge, please go to: www.heartrhythmalliance.org

 

11 Nov

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Communities in Poplar and Limehouse could be equipped with lifesaving defibrillators, following £1 million government funding

November 11, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse has welcomed the news that The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Department of Health (DH) have launched a £1 million partnership to make public access defibrillators and CPR training more widely available in communities across England.

Over 700 defibrillators were placed across the country last year, thanks to the first £1 million of government funding. The charity hopes to increase availability of defibrillators by a similar number this year. So far, the BHF has helped fund over 14,000 lifesaving defibrillators in towns, cities and villages across the UK.

Latest figures from the BHF show just 22% people in the UK would use a defibrillator themselves in an emergency. The charity warns this lack of awareness and confidence could be wasting valuable time and costing lives.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP said:

“It’s fantastic news that the BHF and the Department of Health are working together for a second year to provide £1 million investment to provide hundreds of defibrillators as well as training in CPR to communities across the country.

“When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their heart stops pumping blood around their body and they will die within minutes without treatment. For every minute without defibrillation, a person’s chance of survival decreases by around 10 percent. 3 Learning CPR and an increase in publically accessible defibrillators will empower people in Poplar and Limehouse to know what to do in an emergency and save lives. I encourage all organisations to check if they’re eligible to apply for this funding.”

The BHF will now welcome applications for public access defibrillators from organisations such as charities, social enterprises, community groups and commercial organisations working in partnership with the NHS Ambulance Service. Each award will come with the BHF’s CPR and defibrillator awareness training programme, Call Push Rescue, allowing many more people in local communities to gain the skills and confidence to save a life.

Organisations can check if they are eligible, and apply for the free community package including up to five public access defibrillators and a Call Push Rescue training kit, by visiting: bhf.org.uk/defibengland

 

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

 

02 Nov

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Jim Fitzpatrick joined politicians from across London to pledge support for London’s Air Ambulance

November 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

MPs, Peers and GLA members gathered in Parliament on Tuesday to congratulate the charity on winning the Pride of Britain Emergency Services award.

Advanced trauma doctors and paramedics also attended and set up medical demonstrations so guests could try out life-saving medical treatment on realistic dummies.

Politicians were also able to meet the helicopter pilots, fire crew and former patients at the event, hosted by London MPs Rushanara Ali (Labour) and Boris Johnson (Conservative) – key supporters of the charity.

Welcoming guests to the event Rushanara Ali said:

“It’s wonderful to celebrate the tireless work London’s Air Ambulance does to support people across our city.”

Rushanara explained to the guests that London’s Air Ambulance had been named winner at this year’s Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, which were broadcast on ITV on Tuesday night. The charity was recognised for its use of a ground-breaking procedure on patient Vicky– known as REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta) – to prevent patients from bleeding to death after major trauma. She introduced a video showing the procedure being performed on Vicky, her constituent, who also attended the reception.

Dr Anne Weaver, Emeritus Doctor with London’s Air Ambulance then spoke to the room of over 100 guests to explain why the charity plays such a crucial role, and what politicians can do to support:

“Trauma is the biggest killer in under 45s, even in children. So we deliver the hospital to the roadside, to our patients, when they need it most. We work alongside our NHS partners, Barts Health Trust and the London Ambulance Service to improve the outcome for so many people whose deaths are preventable.

“London’s Air Ambulance is there for the 10 million people who live and work in London. As influencers in your constituencies please do what you can to help us serve London and spread the message we are a charity.”

Speaking about the House of Commons event, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, Charles Newitt said:

“This was our most successful Parliamentary Reception with a high turnout of politicians from across London and across the political parties. It was a pleasure to be able to meet with them, explain more about our charity, and receive their pledges of support.”

Since the charity started in 1989, it has treated more than 35,000 patients. Some of those former patients met their local MP at the event to share their stories. All London MPs and Assembly members were invited to the reception, as well as any politicians with an interest in health or charities.

For more information on the charity and the incredibly vital work they do, visit: https://londonsairambulance.co.uk/ 

01 Nov

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Action on heart disease ‘vital’ declares Jim Fitzpatrick

November 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick Member of Parliament for Poplar and Limehouse, attended a Heart Valve Voice Parliamentary reception today to launch a new report by the charity which sets out a 2020 vision for tackling heart valve disease in the UK. Parliamentarians were joined at the charity’s event by patients, leading clinicians and senior NHS leaders including Professor Huon Gray, the National Clinical Director for Heart Disease.

Heart Valve Voice’s report, Towards a Heart Healthy Future, brings together a range of new evidence and data on heart valve disease and highlights the significant under-diagnosis and under-treatment of the condition and the variation in access to services which exists for patients in different parts of the country.

Event attendees heard from leading experts about the importance of improving outcomes for heart valve disease patients, including tackling the low diagnosis and treatment rates in the UK. They also found out about the report recommendations which the charity says are key if patient outcomes are to be improved and if the UK is to be brought into line with other comparable countries in terms of access to services and timely and effective treatment.

Commenting on the event Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“I was pleased to attend the launch of the Heart Valve Voice report “Towards a Heart Healthy Future: A 2020 Vision for Heart Valve Disease” in the House of Commons today. The number of people with heart valve disease in the UK is increasing but many people are not being diagnosed early enough, when treatment could mean they return to a normal life expectancy.

“Given the UK’s ageing population it is vital that the variation in access to heart valve disease services and treatment is addressed to improve patient outcomes but also to ensure longer-term savings for the NHS.”

Heart Valve Voice Chief Executive Wil Woan added:

“For too long now heart valve disease has not received the prioritisation it deserves. Whilst we have seen significant progress in the treatment and management of other cardiovascular conditions in the UK in recent years, this sadly has not been the case for heart valve disease.”

“We were delighted to have Jim at the launch of our latest report in Parliament today. We look forwarding to continuing to work together to see the recommendations in the report implemented in order to improve the diagnosis, treatment and care of heart valve disease patients across the UK.”

You can read the report in full here and for more information visit: http://www.heartvalvevoice.com/

 

19 Oct

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP Joins Campaign to Save Lives

October 19, 2016 | By | No Comments

Every single year in the UK, 30,000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest. Sadly, just less than 1-in-10 survive. It’s time to take action.

As part of European Restart a Heart Day Jim Fitzpatrick MP visited The Oliver King Foundation at their launch event in Westminster to show support.

The Oliver King Foundation setup following the tragic death of 12-year-old Oliver King from a sudden cardiac arrest, which kills 12 young people every single week. Oliver was winning a swimming race at school.

In 2012 footballer Fabrice Muamba was shocked 16 times by a lifesaving defibrillator in front of the nation. Early access to a defibrillator is vital. For every minute that passes, chances of survival drop by 10%.

Signing up to become a Defibrillator Champion, Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“I am proud to become a lifesaving Defibrillator Champion for Poplar and Limehouse. It is vital that we take action to prevent any loss of life where one can be saved. I will be working with local schools in my constituency to get lifesaving defibrillators in our area, protecting our students, teachers and visitors whilst at school. It was interesting to hear from the Foundation about how many lives have been saved, including a caretaker at a school who had only received the defibrillator two weeks earlier. I will be delighted to work as a Defibrillator Champion, saving lives is a legacy that we can all be proud of.”

Jake Morrison, Chief Executive of The Oliver King Foundation said:

“We are delighted that Jim Fitzpatrick MP has signed up as a Defibrillator Champion. It is important that we spread awareness of the vital need for this equipment in our communities. Our Members of Parliament have a great platform and connection in their constituencies to spread this message. We look forward to working with Jim and saving lives for years to come.”

Mark King, father of 12-year-old Oliver King who died from a sudden cardiac arrest said:

“5 years ago when my son Oliver passed away from this hidden heart condition, we didn’t know that his legacy would reach this far. We are determined to save as many young lives as possible, so that no other family has to suffer a similar loss to that of ours.”

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

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