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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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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

28 Sep


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Jim Fitzpatrick MP shows support at Westminster for disease killing 44,000 people a year

September 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP backs national awareness on sepsis.

The MP for Poplar and Limehouse, attended a reception hosted by Cheryl Gillan MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sepsis, at the Palace of Westminster to show his support for efforts to tackle the relatively unknown illness sepsis, which claims the lives of 44,000 people every year in the UK. The event marked World Sepsis Day on the 13th September, aiming to raise awareness of a condition that kills more people than breast cancer, bowel cancer, prostate cancer and road crashes combined.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly. Sepsis is the leading cause of death from infection around the world and, despite advances in modern medicine like vaccines and antibiotics acute care experts believe not enough is being done to save lives.

The event was attended by many parliamentarians, and was supported by a number of representatives from charities and the medical and nursing Royal Colleges, sepsis survivors, doctors, nurses, health professionals and the general public.

Dr Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said:

“We hope that the event will help patients and healthcare professionals find out more about how to detect and treat the disease in the early stages, and maximise the chances of recovery. I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Health is supporting the launch of the national public awareness campaign on sepsis. This campaign is much needed to ensure that people can get to hospital quickly enough to be treated, and know to ask- could this be sepsis?”

20 May


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Business of the House – NHS health action plan on hearing loss

May 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

chamber 1

19 May 2016

Volume 611

Watch online here

Read Hansard here

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab):

The Department of Health is due to publish soon the NHS health action plan on hearing loss. Does the Leader of the House know whether there is a date for when that might happen, and whether it will be in the form of a written or an oral statement? A number of us will be bidding for Adjournment debate time to discuss the matter. It is a good news story for the 3 million hard of hearing and deaf people in the UK. A lot of great work is being done in the Department and by the NHS, and it would be really good to see the Government leading from the front on this.

Chris Grayling:

I know that the Government are working on that. I do not have an exact date yet, but I am sure that they will want to update the House fully. I cannot give the hon. Gentleman an undertaking that there will be an oral statement, but I suspect that, when it happens, there will be a desire by the Department of Health to inform the House as widely as possible. I am sure that it is the kind of issue that may well end up being debated either in an Adjournment debate or in a Backbench Business Committee debate once the new Chair is elected. Let me pass on my commiserations to the former—and potentially future—Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, the hon. Member for Gateshead (Ian Mearns), for the events of the past couple of weeks. Who knows, he might bounce back quickly.

28 Apr


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Antibiotics: Research and Development

April 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

eruyrtj jnb

Westminster Hall Debate

26 April 2016

Volume 608

Read full Hansard here

Watch online on Parliament TV here

Jim’s contribution:
2.57 pm

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab)

It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Mr Evans, and I certainly hope to follow your request without any difficulty; I do not expect to speak for too long.

I congratulate the hon. Member for York Outer (Julian Sturdy) on securing this debate and on his comprehensive introductory speech. As a former firefighter myself, I had to chuckle a little bit about his fire analogy. Also, in the main Chamber now, new clause 20 of the Policing and Crime Bill, which deals with the role of the fire brigade under police and crime commissioners, is being debated. So there is a little bit of continuity between the two Chambers in that regard.

I also speak as a member of the all-party group on global tuberculosis and because my previous constituency of Poplar and Canning Town had the highest TB rate in the UK and one of the highest TB rates in the world, despite being situated in central London. I congratulate Barts Health NHS Trust, which includes the Royal London hospital, as well as the local authorities of Tower Hamlets and Newham, on the work that they have done in tackling that problem and the efforts that they are making to address these issues.

I am very grateful to Dan Sharp, the policy adviser for the all-party group on global TB, for the briefing that he has sent me; I will quote from it extensively. The first quote is from Dr Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organisation:

“antimicrobial resistance is a crisis that must be managed with the utmost urgency. As the world enters the ambitious new era of sustainable development, we cannot allow hard-won gains for health to be eroded by the failure of our mainstay medicines.”

The report goes on to congratulate the Government on the lead they have taken, as referred to by the hon. Gentleman. It states:

“The UK Government prioritised tackling drug-resistance within its aid strategy, published last November, and created the related Ross Fund. In addition, it brought the issue to the attention of the international community by commissioning the independent Review on AMR in 2014”,

as mentioned by the hon. Gentleman. The report continues:

“The Ross Fund is a commitment to spend £1 billion over the next five years on research and development…including £315 million to fight AMR.”​

As the hon. Gentleman mentioned, the Prime Minister appointed Lord O’Neill to lead a review, and its recommendations are expected next month. The Chancellor highlighted the issue of AMR in a speech to the IMF. He said:

“Unless we take global action, antimicrobial resistance will become an even greater threat to mankind than cancer is”.

TB, as we know, is the leading infectious killer. It kills 1.5 million people in a single year—4,000 every day—and is the biggest killer of people with HIV. I met Dr Chan in Brazil in November last year at the UN World Health Organisation second world summit on road crashes; road crashes kill 1.25 million people a year. The Government are committed to sustainable development goals 3.6 and 11.2. It is to their credit that they are leading on TB also.

The number of cases of drug-resistant TB is increasing, with nearly 500,000 new cases last year, and almost 200,000 deaths. Multi-drug-resistant TB already accounts for one third of the 700,000 annual deaths from AMR. The all-party group produced a report last year entitled “The price of a pandemic: Counting the cost of MDR-TB”, which called for several measures: a pooled research development challenge fund to support innovative approaches such as the Médecins sans Frontières 3P proposal to incentivise the pharmaceutical sector, as mentioned by the hon. Gentleman; and investment in basic research to address key gaps that remain in our fundamental understanding of the biology of the TB bacterium.

I have questions for the Minister. When will funding provided through the Ross fund be allocated? Investment in TB diagnostics, drugs and vaccines through the fund is critical, as he knows. Which Department is ultimately responsible for the commitments pledged through the Ross fund, given that the remit is cross-departmental? I assume from the Minister’s presence here today that his Department will lead.

The Government recognise the serious threat posed by TB within the frame of AMR. In addition to the Ross fund, the Government’s aid strategy included the creation of a global challenges fund. Will that be used to address AMR? Can the Minister provide further details on that? Finally, what discussions have the Government had with pharmaceutical companies on addressing the challenge of AMR? I note the request by the hon. Member for York Outer to lead a delegation of pharmaceutical companies that he is associated with. What does the Minister say about that?

The Government have provided a positive lead on this matter, and more information will be reassuring. I look forward to hearing the Minister’s comments and those of the shadow Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Justin Madders), and of the Scottish National party spokesperson, the hon. Member for Glasgow North West (Carol Monaghan), in response to contributions to the debate.

11 Jan


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Early day motion 907

January 11, 2016 | By | No Comments


That this House expresses serious concern at the decision of NHS England to delay the clinical commissioning policy (D01X02) on prosthetics (microprocessor knees) for lower limb loss that has been on hold since April 2013; recognises that this policy is needed to ensure that NHS amputee patients can access appropriate treatment to enable them to live their lives to the full; notes that this policy has been accepted in principle, although funding has been denied for these patients; and calls on the Government and NHS England to ensure appropriate funding for this policy so that it can be implemented before June 2016.

11 Jan


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Early day motion 629

January 11, 2016 | By | No Comments


That this House is concerned that thousands of children with learning disabilities, who are estimated to be 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem, are not accessing their right to a free NHS sight test; believes that work by the charity SeeAbility and others in special schools has shown that sight testing in a safe, familiar and convenient environment by professionals, helps a child co-operate with a sight test, understand the benefits of wearing glasses and to participate and achieve their full potential in school; draws attention to SeeAbility’s report entitled, An Equal Right to Sight, which calls for a national plan to meet the eye care needs of children with learning disabilities in England; observes that paying optometrists the same fee for attending a special school as they receive for a high street sight test does not reflect the adjusted and specialist eye examinations these children crucially need; and, as a start, encourages the Government and the NHS to work together to create a comprehensive national programme and a properly-funded system to make sight tests available in all special schools in England, therefore supporting over 100,000 children in special schools who have the most complex needs.


Jim signed: 04.11.2015

27 Oct


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Early day motion 539 JUNIOR DOCTORS

October 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

Print version

Session: 2015-16

Date tabled: 19.10.2015

Primary sponsor: Lucas, Caroline


Flynn, Paul

Saville Roberts, Liz

Durkan, Mark

Debbonaire, Thangam

Meale, Alan

That this House recognises that junior doctors are dedicated professionals who are the backbone of the NHS, providing the best quality care for their patients; believes it is essential to ensure a contract that is safe for patients, junior doctors and the NHS; supports the view of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee that the best outcome for junior doctors is a contract agreed through genuine and meaningful negotiations and therefore calls on the Secretary of State for Health to drop all preconditions; further believes it is essential that proper hours safeguards are introduced to protect patients and their doctors, together with proper recognition of unsocial hours as a premium time, and an agreement that work on Saturdays and late evenings cannot be considered the same as daytime on a weekday; believes there should be no disadvantage for those working unsocial hours compared to the current system, nor for those working less than full time and taking parental leave; is concerned that the NHS Trust’s responsibility to monitor the number of hours worked has been withdrawn and urges its reintroduction; further recognises that junior doctors already work seven days a week for emergency work, and that the barriers to extend that to non-urgent elective work are the lack of complementary services, for example social care packages and pharmacists, not doctors’ working patterns; and urges the Secretary of State to accurately reflect this reality in his statements, to work to restore morale within the NHS, and to bring an evidence-based approach to renewed negotiations.

23 Mar


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Budget Speech

March 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

Excerpt taken from:

Ways and Means — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation — Amendment of the Law


12.16 pm

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab): It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Bury St Edmunds (Mr Ruffley). I have the highest regard for him, as I am sure he knows, and I am sorry that he is leaving the House. He has given another eloquent and solid performance on behalf of his Chancellor and his party, but he will not be surprised to learn that I do not agree with his analysis, as I shall outline in a few moments.

Many previous Budgets have taken until Sunday to unravel. It was to the credit of my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition that he immediately spotted the big flaw in this Budget. In his response, he cited the Red Book to identify that the level of cuts impacting on the public sector over the next three years will be as deep as the cuts during the past five years. Many Labour colleagues have already referred to that in the debates during the past two days.

In fairness, there were some redeeming features, as there are in every Budget. The hon. Member for Bury St Edmunds mentioned that that was true of Budgets during Labour’s period in office. Those features include the initiatives on savings and the extra money for air ambulances, while bashing the banks is always popular—the hon. Gentleman is going back to the City, but that measure has gone down well with the public—and the measures on tax evasion and avoidance clearly have universal support.

There are, however, clear dividing lines between the parties. In east London, the big ticket issues are homes, training, the national health service and the public sector in general, including the issue of local authority budgets. I and my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Rushanara Ali), whom I am happy to see in her place, have not only assisted the campaign to save the local health service for the past 18 months, but are still trying to get a clearer picture of the budget for primary care in our part of east London as well as that for east London generally. There is real concern about the funding of health centres right across the country, and it is not clear whether the Budget will offer them any help.

On adult training and further and higher education, Tower Hamlets college has had a 25% in its budget during the past four years, and only this week there has been an announcement about another 24% cut. That will have a huge impact on adult training in east London; it will certainly do so in my constituency. The announcement has united the Association of Colleges, the University

20 Mar 2015 : Column 1055

and College Union and the National Union of Students, as well as students themselves. The fact that such an alliance should come together demonstrates that the issue is very serious, and it is not just restricted to east London. My hon. Friend the Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham) raised it in an oral question yesterday, showing that other parts of the country are affected as well.

That announcement will also mean further cuts to English as a second language training, which is hugely important to east London. Last year, it was found that English for speakers of other languages training has already been reduced by 40% over the past five years. Such training is critical to train and educate people with English language challenges so that they can compete in the jobs market.

On policing, there seems to be something of a conundrum. Although crime figures are down, my office has supplied me with Library statistics that show that there were 825 police officers in Tower Hamlets in 2010 and 627 this year, which is almost 200 fewer. Theft is up by 8%, burglary by 24%, sexual offences by 28% and robbery by 33%. Notwithstanding the Government’s success in making efficiency savings in police budgets, at some point the pendulum is going to swing too far. We are already perilously close to that point, and, sadly, it looks like police budgets are going to be squeezed even more.

There is consensus on and support for the benefits cap, but it throws up some anomalies. In east London, a number of families live in private sector rented accommodation and are charged market rents, and the benefits cap has a disproportionate effect on their ability to live. That is one example of how a universal benefit cap affects families in London. The shadow Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn), outlined Labour’s proposals for a fairer rents policy and guaranteed rents over three years, which will go down very well in east London and elsewhere.

A number of colleagues, certainly the Chancellor, made great play of the minimum wage. Government Members have said a lot about Opposition predictions of the number of jobs that would be lost through austerity. We say that if there had been no austerity, we could have made progress a lot sooner, because when the coalition came to power the economy had been growing for a couple of months. I remind the Conservative Members that when Labour introduced the national minimum wage, they were very confident that it would cost 1 million jobs. That prediction proved to be entirely wrong. For many of us, the living wage is even more important than the minimum wage.

In Canary Wharf in my constituency there are some fantastically well-paid bankers, but 105,000 people work there, many of whom are in low-paid jobs in cleaning, security and retail. I am happy to report that the majority of companies on the wharf have a living wage policy. I would like to see the Government promoting the living wage far more aggressively than they currently do. I am sure that a Labour Government would bring that aggressiveness to bear in due course.

Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) (Lab): Does my hon. Friend agree that the Conservatives are taking exactly the same view of the living wage as they did of

20 Mar 2015 : Column 1056

the minimum wage? That is shown by the comments of the Tory peer Lord Wolfson, who, as head of Next, paid himself £4.6 million last year, but says that the living wage is “irrelevant”. It is not irrelevant to my constituents.

Jim Fitzpatrick: My hon. Friend makes a very good point. Low wages are costing the Exchequer, and higher, fairer wages would benefit both the Exchequer and families. That argument is borne out by statistics that show that the living wage would help not only families but the economy.

I intervened earlier on the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to ask him about the Institute for Fiscal Studies report on migrant labour fuelling the economy, which was reported on in yesterday’s Independent and today’s Guardian. We do not seem to have acknowledged the contribution of migrants to the economy and how they have helped it over the past five years. The Government do not deserve all the credit. As I said, the Government wasted a number of years—a point that has been made a number of times by the Opposition.

Moving towards a conclusion—I am sure you will be pleased to hear that, Madam Deputy Speaker—I want to draw attention to some comments that have been made about the Budget. The chief executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, said:

“People on the lowest income and those without savings benefit least from this Budget…Positive moves on the personal allowance and fuel duty provide some small gains for stretched households, but there was nothing to address challenges around childcare, energy bills and private rents.”

All those challenges are addressed by Labour’s programme, which will go down well with Citizens Advice.

The Chancellor might not have been happy to hear what two commentators from the right had to say. I do not often quote right-wing commentators, but the editor of The Spectator, Fraser Nelson, said:

“I wonder: how ‘independent’ is the OBR? Osborne created it, defined its remit, appointed its chairman, banned it from assessing Labour ideas”.

If the Government, particularly the Conservative party, are so convinced and confident that Labour’s plans do not stack up and that our figures would create a black hole, why not use the independent Office for Budget Responsibility to do the analysis and reinforce their argument? I find it very strange and curious that that has not happened.

In yesterday’s Times, the subheading to an article by Tim Montgomerie—I do not agree with a lot of what he and Fraser Nelson say, but they are great writers and always a pleasure to read—stated, “The chancellor’s statement was the latest example of the Tories’ risk-averse strategy and leaves them without a vision”, while the headline stated, “We need more than this dull, simplistic budget”. If the Chancellor is being attacked from the right and from the left, I assume that some people will say, “He must be getting it right, because he’s in the middle,” but Labour Members do not agree.

The Chancellor also referred a number of times to fixing the roof while the sun shines. In Tower Hamlets when Labour was in power, most of our health centres and schools were rebuilt or refurbished; more than 20 Sure Start centres and the new Royal London hospital were opened; and thousands—possibly tens of thousands

20 Mar 2015 : Column 1057

—of council and housing association properties were raised to the decency threshold for the first time in years and in some cases decades.

I do not accept that we crashed the car. As the shadow Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds Central, said earlier, Lehman Brothers did not crash in New York because of public sector spending in east London. Labour Members not only think but know there is a better way, and on 7 May I hope people will give us a chance to show exactly what it is.

20 Mar


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Barts Health NHS Trust

March 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Excerpt taken from:

Barts Health NHS Trust

19th March 2015

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse) (Lab): My hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green and Bow (Rushanara Ali) and I have been assisting the save our surgeries campaign in Tower Hamlets for 18 months, because, like many other GP surgeries in east London, ours are feeling under threat. Today’s response from the Minister indicating that the trust for Barts and the Royal London is in special measures, as well as the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, demonstrates that there is anxiety across east London about the state of the national health service. We did not hear anything in the Budget statement yesterday to give any reassurance to the people of east London. Does the Minister not recognise how serious this is for east London?

Jane Ellison: This report alone is a very serious report, and of course it is recognised. But it is right that we are transparent about it. As a London MP, I know some of the challenges that parts of the London health economy face. The issues need to be addressed, but this Government have put record amounts into the health service. We are also committed to backing the NHS’s own “Five Year Forward View”, and moving forward new ways of delivering GP care is a part of that vision. We have to make sure that that delivers for the hon. Gentleman’s constituents, as well as for mine and for other people in London.

Link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm150319/debtext/150319-0001.htm#150319-0001.htm_spnew111

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP