News

Stroke Consultation deadline extended

The Joint Committee of Clinical Commissioning Groups for the Kent and Medway Stroke Review has taken the decision to extend the stroke consultation by one week. The consultation will now close at midnight on Friday 20 April.

The reason for this is that during the week of bad weather in late February and early March, we had to postpone a number of listening events, which have been rescheduled, and in response to feedback we have scheduled a number of additional events. Whilst these events will be concluded by the 13 April it is important to allow time for those attending to consider what they have heard and respond to the consultation. The extension would allow this and take into account time lost due to bad weather.

Transforming health and social care in Kent and Medway 29 March 2018
https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stp-workstreams/stroke/stroke-consultation-extended-to-friday-20-april-2018/

For more information on the consultation please see our previous post

https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2018/02/27/improving-urgent-stroke-services-in-kent-and-medway-consultation/

Bonfire spreads to bungalow

Ashford firefighters are warning residents about the risks of leaving bonfires unattended, following a callout to Ashford where a fire spread to a house.

Crews were called to reports of a fence alight in a garden Arcon Road. When they arrived they discovered that an unattended bonfire has spread to a garden gate, as well as the PVC window frames and guttering of a semi-detached bungalow.

Crews used a hose reel to contain the fire and prevent it spreading to the roof of the building, and drag rakes to expose hotspots in a heap of burning rubbish.

Ashford watch manager Mark Scott said: “Crews managed to bring this fire under control and minimise the damage to the house, but a few minutes more and we would have been facing a much larger incident.

“Our advice would be to find other, more environmentally friendly, ways of disposing of rubbish, such as taking it to your local recycling centre. If you do have a bonfire, make sure it is built well away from fences, buildings, trees and garden sheds, that it’s kept to a manageable size and that it’s not left unattended. An adult should supervise it until it has burnt out. If it has to be left, damp it down with water.”

There were no reported injuries.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service  20 March 2018
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/incidents/?entryid2=15482

Refuse collections

Waste and food binsAshford Borough Council’s refuse collection contractor, Biffa, will be collecting grey refuse bins this week.

Residents that have not had their refuse bin collected since the week commencing 26th of February and have a full bin are asked to bag additional waste, using refuse bags, and place it next to their grey bin so it can be collected in the upcoming week.

Please note that excess waste placed in carrier bags will not be taken.

ABC appreciates residents patience and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Ashford Borough Council 12 March 2018
www.ashford.gov.uk/whats-on/news/refuse-and-recycling-collections-update-12th-march/

Domestic Abuse Bill Consultation

silhouette of figureTransforming the response to domestic abuse

Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Opened 8 Mar 2018
Closes 31 May 2018

Domestic abuse comes in many forms, shattering the lives of victims and their families, and in recognition of this the government has put forward proposals for new laws which would transform our approach to this terrible crime.

The consultation launched today (Thursday 8 March) by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke, will seek views on measures to be included in the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

To ensure they get this landmark legislation right the Government now want to hear from all those who have been affected by abuse, from survivors, front line professionals, charities and the public, to gather views on how, together, we can best put a stop to it once and for all.

This consultation seeks to address domestic abuse at every stage from prevention through to rehabilitation. It references the connections and provisions of cross-sector agencies and departments and reinforces the Government’s aim to make domestic abuse everyone’s business.

By consulting the Government aims to harness the knowledge and expertise of victims and survivors, support organisations and research experts. They are also interested in the views of professionals across policing, criminal justice, health, welfare, education and local authorities who deal with these issues everyday.

The main aim through this work is to prevent domestic abuse by challenging the acceptability of abuse and addressing the underlying attitudes and norms that perpetuate it. This consultation asks questions under four main themes with the central aim of prevention running through each.

  • Promote awareness – to put domestic abuse at the top of everyone’s agenda, and raise public and professionals’ awareness.
  • Protect and support – to enhance the safety of victims and the support that they receive.
  • Pursue and deter – to provide an effective response to perpetrators from initial agency response through to conviction and management of offenders, including rehabilitation.
  • Improve Performance – to drive consistency and better performance in the response to domestic abuse across all local areas, agencies and sectors.

For each of these themes the current position is outlined and any potential areas identified where it is thought more could be done. These areas will be at different stages of development, and the accompanying questions will reflect this. In some instances feedback will be requested on specific proposals, whilst in others evidence or experiences will be asked for to further understand the problem.

The consultation includes some topics which are complex and/or technical.

Participate in this consultation

There are two versions of the consultation questionnaire:

Full version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/

Short Version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation-short-version/

Documents

Transforming the response to domestic abuse 1.8 MB (PDF document)
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/supporting_documents/Transforming%20the%20response%20to%20domestic%20abuse.pdf

Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse
Home Office and Ministry of Justice  08 March 2018
www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-action-to-tackle-domestic-abuse

Doorstep criminal alerts

Kent County Council have issued two alerts of fraudulent activity:

Bogus Police and Trading Standards Officers

Kent Trading Standards and Kent Police have received reports of criminals contacting residents by phone or in person claiming to be a Police or Trading Standards Officer. They will often refer to some previous poor work that might have been carried out and falsely claim the people involved have been arrested or are already in court.They insist the resident pays money which will be reimbursed after the court hearing.

The Police, Trading Standards, or the Court, would never ask for money – under any circumstances.

This type of fraudulent activity is on the rise so please report calls or visits to Kent Police. Residents that have previously been victims of doorstep crime are particularly at risk so please warn neighbours, friends and/or relatives if you think they may be targeted.

Report to Kent Police on 101 or at your local Police station.

Report it to Kent Police online
www.kent.police.uk/services/report-online/kent-police-online-reporting/

Criminals taking advantage of the bad weather

Doorstep criminals will take advantage of the current bad weather. Anyone calling at your home offering to do work on your roof, guttering, driveway, or inside your property, should be treated with caution.

Accepting work from a doorstep criminal can result in paying much more than you intended for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work.

If you require work done to your home get at least three quotes and never give a doorstep caller cash.

For a list of Kent County Council approved traders

Please look out for neighbours and report any suspicious doorstep criminals to us.

Report it

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or

phone 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Kent County Council Public Protection  01 March 2018

ABC Refuse bin collection update

ABC CrestAshford Borough Council have, announced that due to the severe weather, bin collections have unfortunately been disrupted this week. Residents are now advised to bring their bins in. The next refuse collections will take place on the week commencing 12 March.

Don’t forget, you can take your waste to the tip, or bag it up and put it next to your grey bin upon your next refuse collection. Food waste can also be placed in your refuse bin if your food caddy is full. Food waste will be collected with your next refuse collection.

Recycling collections will commence as normal from next week (5 March)

ABC apologises for the inconvenience caused and we would like to thank residents for their patience during these unpredictable weather conditions.

Lucky escape for woman who entered frozen lake to save dogs

‘Don’t try to be a hero during the cold weather’ – that’s the advice of 44-year-old Dani Michaels, who dialled 999 after her friend Jenny entered a frozen lake in Ashford, in an attempt to save their dogs.

The friends were out walking their Labrador and Alsatian-cross this morning when the excitable dogs ventured onto a lake that had iced over, known locally as ‘the moat’, behind Tool Station in Hall Avenue, Ashford.

In a matter of seconds, the weight of the dogs caused the ice to break, plunging them into the freezing water. The friends desperately searched for a way to reach them, but suddenly Jenny decided to get into the water.

Dani, from Willesborough, said: “I was on the other side of the lake looking for a way to get closer to the dogs, and then I saw Jenny get in – I was so shocked and started shouting.

“Her emotions and love for the dogs just took over, but it was not the right thing to do.

“I dialled 999 as soon as I spotted her in the water. A passer-by helped me to direct emergency services to the lake from the road – and for that I am very thankful.”

Fortunately, Jenny and the dogs managed to scramble out of the frozen lake without assistance before rescue services arrived, and she was looked after by paramedics from SECAmb. But not everyone is as lucky, and on average there are around 50 drowning tragedies each year in the UK.

Dani said: “My advice to anyone who finds themselves in this sort of situation is, don’t try to be a hero and end up putting yourself at risk – call the emergency services. Dogs are much more likely to get out of the water unharmed than we are.”

Following this near miss, Kent Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be careful around water, and especially frozen lakes in the current weather conditions.

Group Manager for Community Safety at KFRS, Leanne McMahon said: “Dani’s words are spot on, please don’t try to be a hero in this weather, please always call 999. If you’re getting into unknown waters, especially if the water has turned to ice, it’s hard to see the hidden dangers and sometimes it’s not as safe as you might think.”

Leanne added: “The water is often deeper than it looks and when it’s very cold like it is presently, this can quickly cause cramp and breathing difficulties known as cold water shock, which can lead to tragic circumstances. Many rivers and lakes can also contain hidden rubbish and debris such as shopping trolleys and broken glass which can cause injuries, and often the water can be polluted which can affect your health.”

In today’s incident, Jenny entered the water to try to save the dogs, but that’s not advisable. Here are some top tips when it comes to dogs and water:

  • Never enter the water to try and save a dog – dogs are usually much stronger swimmers than we are, and often a dog will manage to find its way out of water on its own.
  • Avoid throwing sticks or balls near water for dogs – they will go after it if they think you want it back even if you’ve thrown it too far or into dangerous water.
  • Even dogs that like swimming can usually only swim for short bursts – keep an eye of your dog and don’t let it enter the water if it’s older or tired.
  • If your dog loves the water make sure you have control and keep it on a lead to prevent it jumping into hazardous or unsafe areas.
  • Remember the wet riverbanks, steep edges or jagged rocks can make it hard for a dog to get out of water, and it can be a slip risk for owners.
  • Don’t lean into water and try and lift your dog out – you could topple in.
  • If your dog has struggled in the water it may have inhaled water and should see a vet, as dogs can drown after the event if water has entered the lungs.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service  28 February 2018
www.kent.fire-uk.org/news/news-releases/february-2018/lucky-escape-for-woman-who-entered-frozen-lake-to-save-dogs/

Improving urgent stroke services in Kent and Medway Consultation

The Clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway (Ashford, Canterbury and Coastal, Dartford Gravesham and Swanley, Medway, South Kent Coast, Swale, Thanet, and West Kent), along with NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group in London, and NHS High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group in East Sussex.

Opens 02 February 2018
Closes 20 April 2018

Stroke services can be separated into three areas: prevention; urgent care during a stroke; and rehabilitation. This consultation document is focused on changes to the urgent stroke services provided in hospitals across Kent and Medway.

Improving stroke services is part of a wider programme across Kent and Medway involving all the local NHS organisations, Kent County Council and Medway Council.
We are looking at what needs to be done differently to bring about better health and wellbeing, better standards of care, and better use of staff, funds and other resources. The changes to hospital-based stroke services are being developed alongside and in alignment with other work on improving hospital services, developing more local care outside of hospitals, and improving mental health and social care. We believe it is imperative that we move forward with a decision on improvements to stroke services, but we will continue to align stroke improvements to our wider sustainability and transformation partnership programme.

You can find out more about our sustainability and transformation partnership and the other projects at kentandmedway.nhs.uk.

If you would like to find out more about stroke, the symptoms and what to do if you or someone you know has a stroke visit www.nhs.uk/actfast.

Read the consultation document

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke-consultation-documents/

Review the supporting information

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stp/stroke-supporting-information/

Respond to the consultation

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stoke-consultation-questionnaire/

Meetings and events

Below are details of the confirmed listening events taking place during the stroke consultation nearest to Ashford. More events will be added over the coming days. Please refer to https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/stroke-consultation-listening-events/ for the latest list.

Our consultation on urgent stroke services stretches across 10 clinical commissioning group areas and we plan to hold a minimum of two open discussion meetings in each CCG area, one in the day and one in the evening. However, we are happy to look at scheduling more if there is sufficient demand. There has been a relatively short space of time since we were able to confirm definite dates for the start and duration of the consultation period, and in some areas we are still confirming dates and venues for meetings. This is a priority as we know people will want to have as much time as possible to get the dates in their diaries.

Date Day Time Town Venue Register to attend CCG area
 05/03/2018 Monday 18:30 to 20:30 Ashford Ashford College Click here NHS Ashford
04/04/2018 Wednesday 10:00 to 12:00 Ashford Singleton Environment Centre Click Here NHS Ashford

Frequently asked questions

https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Stroke-consultation-FAQs-01-02-18.pdf