Author Archives: Ruby

Changes to giving free prescriptions to people aged 60 and over

Start Date:
1st August 2021

End Date:
31st August 2021

Start Time:
0001

End Time:
2359

The government is consulting on aligning the upper age exemption for NHS prescription charges with the State Pension age (SPA). In 2019, around £600 million was generated in revenue from prescription charges for frontline NHS services. Currently, people receive free prescriptions when they turn 60 in England, whereas the SPA is now 66.

The consultation is seeking views from the public and healthcare professionals on options for change including building in a period of protection so those aged between 60 to 65 can continue to benefit from free prescriptions if the upper age exemption rises.

History: Prescription charges were first introduced in 1952. They were abolished in 1965 but then reintroduced, with exemptions, in 1968 because of budgetary pressures. In 2019 approximately £600 million was generated in revenue from prescription charges which supported direct delivery of NHS services.

The Facts: In England out of 1.1 billion items dispensed in 2018, almost 90% of prescription items dispensed in the community in England were free of charge. Almost 63% of all items were dispensed free of charge because the patient was aged 60 or over. The prescription charge exemptions cover 3 broad categories:

  • those of a certain age, that is those:
    • under 16
    • aged 16 to 18 in full time education
    • aged 60 and over
  • those on low income, that is via certain Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits and tax credits (which will largely be replaced by Universal Credit) and the NHS Low Income Scheme
  • those with certain medical conditions and expectant or new mothers

There have been very few changes to the exemption arrangements introduced in 1968. The only change to the list of exempt medical conditions was the addition of cancer in April 2009.

Options for change

Changing the upper age exemption for prescription items would require amendment being made to the National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Regulations 2015 (the ‘Charges Regulations’). These regulations set out the applicable charges for prescriptions and some appliances and the various criteria for exemption from these charges that currently apply.

There are 2 options for change including the option to retain a period of protection for those already in the age range 60 to 65 (those who currently benefit from an age exemption).

Option A

Option A is to raise the qualifying age for free prescriptions to the SPA (currently 66) for everyone. This would mean that following changes to the Charges Regulations people aged 65 and under would have to pay for their prescriptions until they reach the age of 66, unless they qualified for another exemption.

Option B

Option B is to raise the qualifying age for free prescriptions to the SPA (currently 66) but with a period of protection, which would mean that people in the age range 60 to 65 would continue to receive free prescriptions. This would mean that anyone aged 60 and over when the changes to the Charges Regulations are implemented would continue to be exempt from prescription charges, whereas those aged 59 and under when the changes to the Charges Regulations are implemented would have to pay for their prescriptions until they reach the SPA (currently 66), unless they qualified for another exemption.

The above options would have varying impacts for people who need NHS prescriptions, and could raise additional revenue for the NHS. Option A would increase NHS revenue more quickly and by a larger amount than option B, but retaining a period of protection for those currently in the age group 60 to 65 (option B) could ensure that people have advance notice of a change and would not have to restart paying for prescriptions that they currently get free. Option A could lead to confusion about the rules, with some people potentially continuing to claim an age exemption and attracting penalty notices and penalty charges as a result and others potentially being deterred from collecting prescriptions by the unexpected cost. Option B, which would preserve entitlement for those in the 60 to 65 age group, would allow the Department for Health and Social Care (the department) to monitor any adverse impacts of a policy change.

Consultation questions (Below we show the questions in the consultation)

To enable the Government to take into account your views on these proposals, please answer the following questions which can be found in the online questionnaire that accompanies this consultation.

Question 1

Should the upper age exemption to prescription charges be aligned to the State Pension age?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  • Don’t know

Question 2

If the prescription charge exemption age is raised to State Pension age should people in the age groups 60 to 65 at the date of change retain their existing exemption?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  • Don’t know

Question 3

Do you think there will be any unintended consequences that a raise in the upper age exemption could have on people, pharmacies or other organisations?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

If yes, please specify.

Question 4

Do you think that aligning the upper age exemption with State Pension age could have a differential impact on particular groups of people or communities?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

If yes, please specify.

Question 5

Do you think that aligning the upper age exemption with State Pension age could adversely impact people from deprived backgrounds or between disadvantaged geographical areas?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

If yes, please specify.

This consultation is open for a period of 8 weeks and we welcome responses from members of the public, prescribers, pharmacists and other interested parties.

Responding to the consultation

This consultation is open for a period of 9 weeks.

The preferred method of receiving your response is via the online consultation questionnaire.

If you have any queries on this consultation or require an alternative format please email ageconsultation@dhsc.gov.uk.

Please submit your responses to the questions by 11:45pm on Thursday 2 September 2021.

If you do not have internet or email access, then please write to:

Prescribing Policy and Charges Team,
Department of Health and Social Care,
Floor 2, Area G, Quarry House,
Quarry Hill,
Leeds LS2 7UE

If you wish to do so, you can request that your name and organisation be kept confidential and excluded from the published summary of responses.

Click this link for the consultation and further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/aligning-the-upper-age-for-nhs-prescription-charge-exemptions-with-the-state-pension-age/aligning-the-upper-age-for-nhs-prescription-charge-exemptions-with-the-state-pension-age

 

Carers UK State of Caring Survey 2021

Start Date:
4th August 2021

End Date:
13th September 2021

Start Time:
0001

End Time:
2359

Carers UK have now opened their 2021 State of Caring Survey, exclusively for unpaid carers (or former unpaid carers) who are looking after a disabled, older or seriously ill relative or friend.

The State of Caring Survey is the UK’s most comprehensive research into the lives and experience of carers. 

Carers Rights UK say ” Research and responses to our surveys over the last year have helped us to highlight carers’ experiences across the UK to the media. With your help, we have campaigned successfully for better guidance, testing for carers, PPE for unpaid carers, carers’ ‘support bubbles’ and exemptions to allow carers to get a break. Carers were also included in the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccination, and we campaigned for specific advice to support juggling work and care. Carers telling us what their priorities are has also helped to focus our work and help decision makers know what matters to carers. We will continue to campaign for carers to get better support. 

We appreciate each and every person who takes the time to complete the survey and together you help us paint a picture of what caring has been like in the last year” 

Please note that this survey is only for unpaid carers (or former unpaid carers) who are looking after a disabled, older or seriously ill relative or friend.

This is the most extensive survey into carers’ experiences in the UK. As a result, it will take at least 30 minutes to complete but you don’t have to answer every question. 

Any comments Carers provide will not be kept confidential unless you give permission to be contacted and agreement from you is given. This survey is confidential and your details will never be passed onto a third party. We will publish the anonymised results of this survey. Carers Rights UK will then release a research report in November. 

To take part in this survey click here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9FWGGF9

If you have any questions about the research or require the survey in an alternative format please contact our policy team by emailing policy@carersuk.org

SDN Members an event for you! Learn to love Moths!

Many of our members will know about “Caring for God’s Acre” Beautiful Burial Ground Project. Shropshire Disability Network have been fortunate to be included in various sessions they have hosted for our members ie “Archives Department at Shrewsbury, Small Mammals event, looking at wildlife in Longden and Bridgnorth cemeteries. We have always had a great time and learnt a lot from these sessions.

Now you are being offered another session so “Join the Beautiful Burial Ground Project and Moths expert Charlie Bell in the Churchyard of St Bart’s part of the National Trust’s Benthall Hall near Much Wenlock”.

This event will take place on Tuesday 24th August 2021 from 10 am – 12 noon to learn to love Moths!

Overnight Charlie will set a harmless moth trap and in the morning will show us what has been found before they are released. 

Be prepared to discover the world of moths is more interesting and colourful than you first expected!

This session is free to attend but places do need to be booked, please book yours by contacting  George george@cfga.org.uk or info@shropshire-disability.net

This session is planned with accessibility in mind and will have seating and BSL interpretation available. 

Please let us know if you have any specific access needs that we need to know about in advance to accommodate. Also if you need help with transport, please let us know.

We hope many of you will join this FREE event.

Click here for Information on Benthall Hall https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/benthall-hall

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Shrewsbury Town Centre-Road Restrictions

New road restrictions are now in place in Shrewsbury Town Centre. Shropshire Disability Network are aware some of our members who have blue badges have been issued with fines regarding the changes that came into place on 9th July 2021. The experimental changes could last up to 18 months. As these changes are experimental, so it is extremely  important that if you,  your family and friends are affected, that you let Shropshire Disability Network know by emailing membership@shropshire-disability.net and if you can also tell Shropshire Council about your concerns that is important too.

What are the restrictions? Shropshire Council website says “This prohibition of motor vehicles, no right turn, and changes to the waiting and loading restrictions order is proposed to trial a potential reshaping of the physical public realm and traffic management arrangements within Shrewsbury town centre, promoting pedestrian safety, active travel alternatives and movement around the town.

What locations are affected? Dogpole, High Street, Mardol Head, Milk Street, Shoplatch, The Square, Wyle Cop – Shrewsbury

What about Buses and Taxis? Shropshire Council website says “Buses and taxis will be allowed to travel on weekdays only, with no motor vehicles allowed at the weekend. Changes to the waiting and loading restrictions are also proposed, reducing the number of vehicles in the town and providing additional space for pedestrians and cyclists during the main trading hours.

The above aims to provide both improved safety for all road users and quality of life for the local community, and will be applied on an experimental basis for up to 18 months”

A Consultation was started on Friday 9th July 2021 and ends on Sunday 9th January 2022. SDN says “If you are affected by these changes, please respond sooner rather than later to the consultation.

The details:

THE SHROPSHIRE COUNCIL (VARIOUS ROADS, SHREWSBURY) (VARIOUS EXPERIMENTAL RESTRICTIONS) ORDER 2021

On 9 July 2021 Shropshire Council made an experimental order to place the following restrictions on various roads in Shrewsbury Town Centre:

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles (except Buses, Taxis, and Refuse Vehicles) Monday – Friday 11:00-16:00

  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Beeches Lane to its junction with Dogpole in a north-westerly direction.
  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Dogpole to its junction with Milk Street
  • High Street In its entirety
  • Mardol Head In its entirety
  • Shoplatch From its junction with Mardol Head to its junction with Market Street

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles (except for Refuse Vehicles) Saturday – Sunday 11:00-16:00

  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Beeches Lane to its junction with Dogpole in a north-westerly direction.
  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Dogpole to its junction with Milk Street
  • High Street In its entirety
  • Mardol Head In its entirety
  • Shoplatch From its junction with Mardol Head to its junction with Market Street

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles (no exceptions) Every Day 11:00am-4:00pm

  • Milk Street In its entirety

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles Access to Premises allowed Midnight–11am and 4pm–Midnight

  • The Square (south east side) In its entirety

No Right Turn Except Buses, Taxis, Cycles, and Refuse Vehicles Monday – Friday 11:00-16:00

  • Dogpole From Dogpole into Wyle Cop (section between Dogpole and High Street).

No Right Turn except Cycles and Refuse Vehicles Saturday – Sunday 11:00-16:00

  • Dogpole From Dogpole into Wyle Cop (section between Dogpole and High Street).

Restricted Zone – No Waiting At Any Time No Loading 11am-4pm

  • Wyle Cop (south side) Between its junction with Beeches Lane and a point 119.9 metres south-east of its junction with Milk Street
  • Wyle Cop (north side) Between its junction with Beeches Lane and a point 51 metres south-east of its junction with Dogpole

No Waiting At Any Time No Loading 11am-4pm

  • Milk Street (both sides) From its junction with Princess Street and Belmont to a point 12.5 metres south-west of its junction with High Street.

Loading Only 7:30am-11am and 4pm-8pm Restricted Zone No Waiting and No Loading 11am-4pm

  • Wyle Cop (south side) Between points 80.8 meters and 119.9 metres south-east of its junction with Milk Street
  • Wyle Cop (north side) Between points 10 metres and 31 metres west of its junction with Dogpole
  • High Street (south-west side) Between a point 40.8 metres north-west of its junction with Milk Street to a point 61.2 metres south-east of its junction with The Square.
  • High Street (south-west side) Between points 6 metres and 33 metres south-east of its junction with Mardol Head.
  • Mardol Head (south-east side) Between points 20 metres and 36.5 metres south-west of its junction with High Street
  • Shoplatch (south-east side) Between points 30 metres and 50 metres north-east of its junction with Market Street
  • Shoplatch (north-west side) Between points 28.6 metres and 50.9 metres north-east of its junction with Bellstone

Disabled Badge Holders Only – Midnight to 11am and 4pm to Midnight Restricted Zone No waiting and No Loading 11am-4pm

  • High Street (south-west side) Between points 16.8 metres and 37.8 metres north-west of its junction with Milk Street.
  • Shoplatch (north-west side) Between points 75.6 metres and 95.6 metres north-east of its junction with Bellstone
  • Any existing restrictions at the above locations are suspended for the duration of the order.

This Order comes into effect on 19 July 2021 and will operate for a period of up to eighteen months.

The Council will consider in due course whether its provisions should continue in force indefinitely.

If you wish to question the validity of the order, or of any of its provisions, on the grounds that they are not within the powers conferred by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or that any requirement of the Act or of any instrument made under it has not been complied with in relation to the Order you may, within six weeks from 9 July 2021, apply for the purpose to the High Court.

How to give feedback to Shropshire Council: If you wish to raise an objection, express support, or make any other comments about these proposals, please send an e-mail to traffic.engineering@shropshire.gov.uk  or write a letter to Traffic Engineering Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND by 9 January 2022. You may also ring 0345 678 9006 for more information.

Please note that, for legal reasons, objections must be made in writing or by e-mail, and should state the grounds on which the objection is made. Objections cannot be accepted over the phone.

Useful documents to download in relation to the above:

 

 

Covid-Vaccine Walk-in Clinic Times

Which is the Right Vaccine for me? Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Intergrated Care System have published and asked organisations to share the message about getting the right vaccine and where to get them.

  • People aged 40 and above who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, can get their first vaccination at an AstraZeneca vaccination clinic.
  • Anyone who has already had their first vaccine dose at least eight weeks ago, is now being encouraged to get their second vaccination.
  • People should have the same type of vaccine for their second dose as for their first dose unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • People should wait 28 days after a positive PCR test to have a Covid vaccination. 
  • People aged 18 and over are eligible to have their first Pfizer (or Moderna) vaccination.
  • Women who are pregnant are advised to have the Pfizer (or Moderna) vaccination.  
  • People under the age of 40 who would like to have the Astra Zeneca vaccination may be able to, after a discussion with a clinician.

Walk-in vaccination clinics are available for those eligible at the following sites:

The clinics are open for walk-in appointments for anyone 18 or over. Booking is not necessary, you do not need to be registered with a GP, proof of address, immigration status, ID or an NHS number. A few personal details may be taken so that we have a record of who has been vaccinated.

Some clinics aren’t open to everyone – for instance, some are open just for people within a certain age group – so please read the clinic details carefully before you decide to go. Please do not turn up to a walk-in clinic site for a vaccination if a clinic is NOT being advertised.

All Pfizer and AstraZeneca clinics are for both first and second doses (at least 8 weeks after the first dose)

Turreff Hall – Turreff Avenue, Donnington, Telford TF2 8HG

  • Monday, 2nd August, 1.30pm-6.30pm. Vaccine available: Pfizer 1st & 2nd doses available (age 18 and over)
  • Wednesday, 4th August, 8.30am to 1pm. Vaccine available:  AstraZeneca 1st & 2nd doses available (40 and over)
  • Thursday, 5th August, 8.45am to 4.30pm. Vaccine available: Pfizer 1st & 2nd doses available (age 18 and over)
  • Friday, 6th August, 9am to 2pm. Vaccine available: Pfizer 1st & 2nd doses available (age 18 and over)
  • Saturday, 7th August, 9am to 12 noon. Vaccine available:  AstraZeneca 1st & 2nd doses available (40 and over)

Teldoc, Malinslee – TF3 2JZ

Pfizer Clinics (1st and 2nd doses) for 18 and over

  • Friday, 6th August, 8.30am to 6pm
  • Saturday, 7th August. 8.30am to 5.30pm
  • Sunday, 8th August, 8.30am to 2pm

(Further Pfizer clinics are planned at Teldoc for the following dates in August, including 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th. The timing of the clinics will be confirmed ASAP. Please keep checking back at this link https://stwics.org.uk/our-priorities/covid-19-vaccination-programme/walk-in-clinic-times?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term= ).

AFC Telford United, the Bucks Way, Wellington TF1 2TU (delivered by Wellington Pharmacy)

  • Tuesday 3rd August 10:00am-5:00pm. Vaccine available Pfizer 1st and 2nd doses (age 18+)

Station Drive Surgery, Ludlow SY8 2AB

  • Tuesday 3rd August, 6:00pm-8:00pm. Vaccine available: AstraZeneca 1st and 2nd doses available (40 and over)

Shrewsbury Indoor Bowls Centre – Shrewsbury Sports Village, Sundorne Road SY1 4RQ

AstraZeneca Clinics (1st and 2nd doses) for 40 and over

  • Monday 2nd August, 8am-6pm
  • Tuesday 3rd August, 8am-6pm
  • Wednesday 4th August, 8am-6pm
  • Sunday 8th August, 8am-6pm
  • Monday 9th August, 8am-6pm
  • Tuesday 10th August, 8am-6pm
  • Sunday 15th August, 8am-6pm
  • Monday 16th August, 8am-6pm
  • Tuesday 17th August, 8am-6pm
  • Sunday 22nd August, 8am-6pm
  • Monday 23rd August, 8am-6pm
  • Tuesday 24th August, 8am-6pm
  • Wednesday 25th August, 8am-6pm
  • Monday 30th August, 8am-6pm
  • Tuesday 31st August, 8am-6pm

Pfizer Clinics (1st and 2nd doses) for 18 and over

  • Thursday 5th August,  8am-6pm
  • Friday 6th August, 8am-6pm
  • Saturday 7th August, 8am-6pm
  • Wednesday 11th August, 8am-6pm 
  • Thursday 12th August, 8am-6pm
  • Friday 13th August, 8am-6pm
  • Saturday 14th August, 8am-6pm 
  • Wednesday 18th August, 8am-6pm
  • Thursday 19th August, 8am-6pm 
  • Friday 20th August, 8am-6pm
  • Saturday 21st August, 8am-6pm
  • Thursday 26th August, 8am-6pm
  • Friday 27th August, 8am-6pm
  • Saturday 28th August, 8am-6pm
  • Sunday 29th August, 8am-6pm

Covid-19 Vaccination Pop-Up Clinics

All Pop-Up clinics will have Pfizer 1st and 2nd doses available for those aged 18 and over

Hollinswood Neighbourhood Centre, 7 Downemead, Hollinswood, Telford TF3 2EW

  • Wednesday, 4 August. 9.30am to 4pm

Shrewsbury Town Football Club, Montgomery Waters Meadow, Oteley Rd, Shrewsbury SY2 6ST

  • Saturday, 7 August. 9.30am to 3pm

Brookside Central, Bembridge, Telford TF3 1LP

  • Tuesday, 10 August. 9.30 to 2.30pm

Louise House, Meole Village, Roman Road Shrewsbury SY3 9JN

  • Friday, 13 August. 10am to 2pm

Telford Balloon Festival, Telford Town Park, Hinkshay Road Telford Shropshire TF3 4EP

  • Friday, 27th August. 12 noon to 5pm
  • Saturday, 28th August. 12 noon to 6.30pm 
  • Sunday, 29th August. 12 noon to 5pm  

Please, if you have not had your first or second jab, please consider going to one of the above walk-in vaccination clinics

Highways England partner with AccessAble – Motorway Access Guides

Highways England Partner with AccessAble to provide Motorway Access Guides.

Highways England has partnered with AccessAble, the UK’s leading provider of detailed accessibility information, to help motorists plan where to stop for a break at any one of the 114 motorway service areas across England, for better, safer journeys.

This is good news as for many years disabled people and carers using AccessAble have been asking for these guides, so it will make a  huge difference to have comprehensive accessibility information to help when planning a trip.

The new guides, available online at this link https://www.accessable.co.uk/searches?query=Motorway+Services&location_query=&commit=Search  or via the free AccessAble app, providing 100 per cent facts, figures, and photographs to help motorists plan their visit. They cover key areas including parking, toilets, petrol stations, shops, and restaurants, with detailed information on everything from staff training and hearing loops, to walking distances and Changing Places.

In addition, the two organisations have worked together to create virtual route guides. This new type of guide, which uses 360-degree imagery, will enable visitors to ‘virtually’ explore routes to key facilities like accessible toilets and Changing Places, so they can find out exactly what to expect when they arrive.

People with disabilities and carers know how important it is to plan their journey and to know where there are facilities that they can access. Highways England encourages everyone to plan before setting off. Planning for some people isn’t as easy as for others so these guides will help many of the UK’s disabled people and their carers. Disabled drivers represents five per cent of the driving population, so it is encouraging that these access guides are one of many new services Highways England is introducing to break down barriers and help people reliably plan and feel confident about their journeys.

“The new access guides will not only give people all the information they need to plan a trip but also support Highways England and motorway service operators to see how facilities could be improved in the future.”

All Access Guides are available free of charge on the AccessAble website. and on the AccessAble App.

You can watch and listen to a YouTube video here on what these Access Guides will mean to people https://youtu.be/MeV-08LSxLc

Have you used Pain Management services in the county of Shropshire? – Healthwatch Shropshire

What a pain? If you have used Pain Management services in Shropshire in the last 2 years?  Healthwatch Shropshire want to hear from you.

Healthwatch Shropshire are currently looking at pain management services within the county, in the context of the ongoing transformation of MSK services.  Connect Health currently deliver pain management services within Shropshire through face-to-face clinics held in Shrewsbury but at the moment mainly using phone or online appointments.

Healthwatch Shropshire want to hear about your experiences of using the pain management service.  If you have ongoing pain issues which you have been unable to get help for, either due to the pandemic or because of other barriers, they would like to hear about this too.

Steve Trechard, Executive Director of Transformation for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs said ‘Across our communities we’re keen to hear peoples’ experiences of the Pain Management Services to help inform our future service developments.  Hearing directly from people who have used services is the best way to understand how well we’re doing, but more importantly where we need to make improvements.  The NHS and Local Care has been significantly impacted by the Covid Pandemic.  We want to hear from you about a range of issues, from how you would like to best access services, how information is best delivered, how we might use digital technology and how we can make our services more joined up.  We’d be grateful if you could spare some time to complete the Healthwatch survey or tell them about your experience.’

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer for Healthwatch Shropshire, told us ‘We really want to hear from people who have been using pain management services as we know that the health system is listening. This is an opportunity for your voice to count and be heard as services are developed.’

How to tell of your experience on pain management services in Shropshire.

  • People can go online to https://healthwatchshropshire.uk.engagementhq.com/pain-management-services to complete the survey, join the discussion in the online forum or leave a story about their experiences with ongoing pain and pain management services.
  • Telephone: You can also telephone Healthwatch Shropshire on 01743 237884 to speak to a member of the team and complete the survey over the phone if you wish.

Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

Shrewsbury Town Centre-Road Restrictions (Consultation)

Start Date:
9th July 2021

End Date:
9th January 2022

Start Time:
0001

End Time:
2359

New road restrictions are now in place in Shrewsbury Town Centre. Shropshire Disability Network are aware some of our members who have blue badges have been issued with fines regarding the changes that came into place on 9th July 2021. The experimental changes could last up to 18 months. As these changes are experimental, so it is extremely  important that if you,  your family and friends are affected, that you let Shropshire Disability Network know by emailing membership@shropshire-disability.net and if you can also tell Shropshire Council about your concerns that is important too.

What are the restrictions? Shropshire Council website says “This prohibition of motor vehicles, no right turn, and changes to the waiting and loading restrictions order is proposed to trial a potential reshaping of the physical public realm and traffic management arrangements within Shrewsbury town centre, promoting pedestrian safety, active travel alternatives and movement around the town.

What locations are affected? Dogpole, High Street, Mardol Head, Milk Street, Shoplatch, The Square, Wyle Cop – Shrewsbury

What about Buses and Taxis? Shropshire Council website says “Buses and taxis will be allowed to travel on weekdays only, with no motor vehicles allowed at the weekend. Changes to the waiting and loading restrictions are also proposed, reducing the number of vehicles in the town and providing additional space for pedestrians and cyclists during the main trading hours.

The above aims to provide both improved safety for all road users and quality of life for the local community, and will be applied on an experimental basis for up to 18 months”

A Consultation was started on Friday 9th July 2021 and ends on Sunday 9th January 2022. SDN says “If you are affected by these changes, please respond sooner rather than later to the consultation.

The details:

THE SHROPSHIRE COUNCIL (VARIOUS ROADS, SHREWSBURY) (VARIOUS EXPERIMENTAL RESTRICTIONS) ORDER 2021

On 9 July 2021 Shropshire Council made an experimental order to place the following restrictions on various roads in Shrewsbury Town Centre:

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles (except Buses, Taxis, and Refuse Vehicles) Monday – Friday 11:00-16:00

  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Beeches Lane to its junction with Dogpole in a north-westerly direction.
  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Dogpole to its junction with Milk Street
  • High Street In its entirety
  • Mardol Head In its entirety
  • Shoplatch From its junction with Mardol Head to its junction with Market Street

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles (except for Refuse Vehicles) Saturday – Sunday 11:00-16:00

  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Beeches Lane to its junction with Dogpole in a north-westerly direction.
  • Wyle Cop From its junction with Dogpole to its junction with Milk Street
  • High Street In its entirety
  • Mardol Head In its entirety
  • Shoplatch From its junction with Mardol Head to its junction with Market Street

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles (no exceptions) Every Day 11:00am-4:00pm

  • Milk Street In its entirety

Prohibition of Motor Vehicles Access to Premises allowed Midnight–11am and 4pm–Midnight

  • The Square (south east side) In its entirety

No Right Turn Except Buses, Taxis, Cycles, and Refuse Vehicles Monday – Friday 11:00-16:00

  • Dogpole From Dogpole into Wyle Cop (section between Dogpole and High Street).

No Right Turn except Cycles and Refuse Vehicles Saturday – Sunday 11:00-16:00

  • Dogpole From Dogpole into Wyle Cop (section between Dogpole and High Street).

Restricted Zone – No Waiting At Any Time No Loading 11am-4pm

  • Wyle Cop (south side) Between its junction with Beeches Lane and a point 119.9 metres south-east of its junction with Milk Street
  • Wyle Cop (north side) Between its junction with Beeches Lane and a point 51 metres south-east of its junction with Dogpole

No Waiting At Any Time No Loading 11am-4pm

  • Milk Street (both sides) From its junction with Princess Street and Belmont to a point 12.5 metres south-west of its junction with High Street.

Loading Only 7:30am-11am and 4pm-8pm Restricted Zone No Waiting and No Loading 11am-4pm

  • Wyle Cop (south side) Between points 80.8 meters and 119.9 metres south-east of its junction with Milk Street
  • Wyle Cop (north side) Between points 10 metres and 31 metres west of its junction with Dogpole
  • High Street (south-west side) Between a point 40.8 metres north-west of its junction with Milk Street to a point 61.2 metres south-east of its junction with The Square.
  • High Street (south-west side) Between points 6 metres and 33 metres south-east of its junction with Mardol Head.
  • Mardol Head (south-east side) Between points 20 metres and 36.5 metres south-west of its junction with High Street
  • Shoplatch (south-east side) Between points 30 metres and 50 metres north-east of its junction with Market Street
  • Shoplatch (north-west side) Between points 28.6 metres and 50.9 metres north-east of its junction with Bellstone

Disabled Badge Holders Only – Midnight to 11am and 4pm to Midnight Restricted Zone No waiting and No Loading 11am-4pm

  • High Street (south-west side) Between points 16.8 metres and 37.8 metres north-west of its junction with Milk Street.
  • Shoplatch (north-west side) Between points 75.6 metres and 95.6 metres north-east of its junction with Bellstone
  • Any existing restrictions at the above locations are suspended for the duration of the order.

This Order comes into effect on 19 July 2021 and will operate for a period of up to eighteen months.

The Council will consider in due course whether its provisions should continue in force indefinitely.

If you wish to question the validity of the order, or of any of its provisions, on the grounds that they are not within the powers conferred by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or that any requirement of the Act or of any instrument made under it has not been complied with in relation to the Order you may, within six weeks from 9 July 2021, apply for the purpose to the High Court.

How to give feedback to Shropshire Council: If you wish to raise an objection, express support, or make any other comments about these proposals, please send an e-mail to traffic.engineering@shropshire.gov.uk  or write a letter to Traffic Engineering Team, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND by 9 January 2022. You may also ring 0345 678 9006 for more information.

Please note that, for legal reasons, objections must be made in writing or by e-mail, and should state the grounds on which the objection is made. Objections cannot be accepted over the phone.

Useful documents to download in relation to the above:

 

Changes to giving free prescriptions to people aged 60 and over

Start Date:
1st July 2021

End Date:
2nd September 2021

Start Time:
0001

End Time:
2345

The government is consulting on aligning the upper age exemption for NHS prescription charges with the State Pension age (SPA). In 2019, around £600 million was generated in revenue from prescription charges for frontline NHS services. Currently, people receive free prescriptions when they turn 60 in England, whereas the SPA is now 66.

The consultation is seeking views from the public and healthcare professionals on options for change including building in a period of protection so those aged between 60 to 65 can continue to benefit from free prescriptions if the upper age exemption rises.

History: Prescription charges were first introduced in 1952. They were abolished in 1965 but then reintroduced, with exemptions, in 1968 because of budgetary pressures. In 2019 approximately £600 million was generated in revenue from prescription charges which supported direct delivery of NHS services.

The Facts: In England out of 1.1 billion items dispensed in 2018, almost 90% of prescription items dispensed in the community in England were free of charge. Almost 63% of all items were dispensed free of charge because the patient was aged 60 or over. The prescription charge exemptions cover 3 broad categories:

  • those of a certain age, that is those:
    • under 16
    • aged 16 to 18 in full time education
    • aged 60 and over
  • those on low income, that is via certain Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits and tax credits (which will largely be replaced by Universal Credit) and the NHS Low Income Scheme
  • those with certain medical conditions and expectant or new mothers

There have been very few changes to the exemption arrangements introduced in 1968. The only change to the list of exempt medical conditions was the addition of cancer in April 2009.

Options for change

Changing the upper age exemption for prescription items would require amendment being made to the National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Regulations 2015 (the ‘Charges Regulations’). These regulations set out the applicable charges for prescriptions and some appliances and the various criteria for exemption from these charges that currently apply.

There are 2 options for change including the option to retain a period of protection for those already in the age range 60 to 65 (those who currently benefit from an age exemption).

Option A

Option A is to raise the qualifying age for free prescriptions to the SPA (currently 66) for everyone. This would mean that following changes to the Charges Regulations people aged 65 and under would have to pay for their prescriptions until they reach the age of 66, unless they qualified for another exemption.

Option B

Option B is to raise the qualifying age for free prescriptions to the SPA (currently 66) but with a period of protection, which would mean that people in the age range 60 to 65 would continue to receive free prescriptions. This would mean that anyone aged 60 and over when the changes to the Charges Regulations are implemented would continue to be exempt from prescription charges, whereas those aged 59 and under when the changes to the Charges Regulations are implemented would have to pay for their prescriptions until they reach the SPA (currently 66), unless they qualified for another exemption.

The above options would have varying impacts for people who need NHS prescriptions, and could raise additional revenue for the NHS. Option A would increase NHS revenue more quickly and by a larger amount than option B, but retaining a period of protection for those currently in the age group 60 to 65 (option B) could ensure that people have advance notice of a change and would not have to restart paying for prescriptions that they currently get free. Option A could lead to confusion about the rules, with some people potentially continuing to claim an age exemption and attracting penalty notices and penalty charges as a result and others potentially being deterred from collecting prescriptions by the unexpected cost. Option B, which would preserve entitlement for those in the 60 to 65 age group, would allow the Department for Health and Social Care (the department) to monitor any adverse impacts of a policy change.

Consultation questions (Below we show the questions in the consultation)

To enable the Government to take into account your views on these proposals, please answer the following questions which can be found in the online questionnaire that accompanies this consultation.

Question 1

Should the upper age exemption to prescription charges be aligned to the State Pension age?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  • Don’t know

Question 2

If the prescription charge exemption age is raised to State Pension age should people in the age groups 60 to 65 at the date of change retain their existing exemption?

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree
  • Don’t know

Question 3

Do you think there will be any unintended consequences that a raise in the upper age exemption could have on people, pharmacies or other organisations?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

If yes, please specify.

Question 4

Do you think that aligning the upper age exemption with State Pension age could have a differential impact on particular groups of people or communities?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

If yes, please specify.

Question 5

Do you think that aligning the upper age exemption with State Pension age could adversely impact people from deprived backgrounds or between disadvantaged geographical areas?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don’t know

If yes, please specify.

This consultation is open for a period of 8 weeks and we welcome responses from members of the public, prescribers, pharmacists and other interested parties.

Responding to the consultation

This consultation is open for a period of 9 weeks.

The preferred method of receiving your response is via the online consultation questionnaire.

If you have any queries on this consultation or require an alternative format please email ageconsultation@dhsc.gov.uk.

Please submit your responses to the questions by 11:45pm on Thursday 2 September 2021.

If you do not have internet or email access, then please write to:

Prescribing Policy and Charges Team,
Department of Health and Social Care,
Floor 2, Area G, Quarry House,
Quarry Hill,
Leeds LS2 7UE

If you wish to do so, you can request that your name and organisation be kept confidential and excluded from the published summary of responses.

Click this link for the consultation and further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/aligning-the-upper-age-for-nhs-prescription-charge-exemptions-with-the-state-pension-age/aligning-the-upper-age-for-nhs-prescription-charge-exemptions-with-the-state-pension-age

 

National Garden Scheme

Albrighton Moat and Gardens are delighted that they have been accepted in the National Garden Scheme for 2021. They are looking forward to welcome a broader range of visitors to their gardens for the first time and know they have a lot of hard work ahead of us them to ensure the gardens fully represents the hard work and determination of the many who turned a disused field into the beautiful gardens of today.

Thee National Garden scheme dates are Friday 25th & Saturday 26th June and Friday 30th & Saturday 31st July 2021. They will be open from 11 am to 3 pm. Come along and walk around our accessible landscaped and natural gardens including, sensory and cottage gardens and ponds. There will be refreshment’s and homemade cakes available to purchase.  They will also be selling handmade woodcraft items on their woodcraft stall.

Why not put these dates in your diary now and make sure to visit and see the wonderful work that goes on at Albrighton Trust and Moat. You can book your tickets on-line at this link https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/42148?fbclid=IwAR3t5QnC64pHy5NlEwXzvhv8J1zZ0VxnkjcqlT1J3NHzivrbBiUyRinsL_Y

For further information call 01902 372441 or email moat@albrightontrust.org.uk or visit their website.

To find out more about the work of Albrighton Moat and Gardens, click here:  https://shropshire-disability.net/albrighton-moat-and-gardens-including-the-me-you-project-2/

To find out more about the National Garden Scheme click here: https://ngs.org.uk/