Tag Archives: News

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet to consider proposed changes to council tax support scheme

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet is to consider a number of proposed changes to the council’s Council Tax Support Scheme at its meeting next week (Wednesday 18 October 2017).

Introduced in 2013, the scheme is controlled locally to help people on low incomes cut the cost of the amount they pay in council tax.

Shropshire Council is one of only a few councils across the country which still provides 100 per cent protection through this scheme. After careful consideration, and in light of the financial challenges the council is facing, the report proposes to ask more people to contribute towards the cost of delivering local services.

The report sets out four options, these include:

  1. Option one – do nothing and retain the existing Council Tax Support Scheme. For the 2017-18 financial year the council provides more than £7 million council tax support to working age claimants. This option would provide no saving.
  2. Option two – make changes to the existing scheme to align with housing benefit and apply a minimum award of £1.50 a week. This option would save the council £206,000.
  3. Option three – make changes to the existing scheme to align with housing benefit and introduce a minimum award of £1.50 per week and apply 10 per cent minimum payment in council tax support. This option would save the council £694,000.
  4. Option four – make changes to the existing scheme to align with housing benefit and introduce a minimum award of £1.50 per week and apply a 20 per cent minimum payment in council tax support. This option would save the council £1,190,000.

The report also proposes that the following people would be exempt from the proposed 20 per cent minimum payment as outlined in option four:

  • Claimants in receipt of the severe disability premium.
  • Claimants in receipt of the support component of Employment and Support Allowance. The support component of Employment and Support Allowance is for people with a ‘limited capacity for work’.
  • Claimants in receipt of war pension exemption.

Councillors are being asked to agree upon option four as the preferred option, with the associated exemptions.

If agreed, the preferred option will be subject to a public consultation and be brought to full Council on 14 December 2017 for final approval, before potentially coming into effect from April 2018.

David Minnery, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance, said:

“Whilst we will ensure that the most vulnerable are protected, asking more people to contribute towards the cost of delivering local services is not an easy one to propose.

“We continue to face unprecedented cuts in central government funding, and ever-increasing pressure to maximise our own resources to pay for the delivery of essential services.

“These proposals have been carefully considered to ensure that we can continue to provide the things that matter to local people.

“It’s vital that we get things right, so the preferred option will also be considered by the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee as part the consultation.”

To read the report and appendices click here.

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust – Parking Charges to Change

Car parking charges for people visiting The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust are to change from November 1.

The Trust which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford is moving to an hourly tariff to encourage better flow and increased availability for visitors, but will continue to offer a free drop off period, discounts for multiple visits and free parking for patients receiving dialysis, radiotherapy or chemotherapy and people visiting hospital for issues connected with bereavement.

The annual income the Trust receives from car parking pays for the equivalent of 40 Staff Nurses.

Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Governance at SaTH, said: “This is the first change to car parking charges at SaTH in four years and we are still among the lowest in the country, with people able to park for up to 20 minutes without charge. The 20 minutes without charge is useful for people who could drop off and pick up patients without incurring any parking charges.

“Patients receiving dialysis, radiotherapy or chemotherapy and people visiting hospital for issues connected with bereavement are able to park for free. Anyone needing to attend hospital regularly can buy a discounted 10-visit ticket for £8. They should let the Ward or Department Manager know so they can help organise this.

“Patients on low income, who are in receipt of benefits, can also claim back the cost of their parking by requesting a receipt when paying at the machine. They can then take their receipt with proof of benefit and proof of their appointment, such as an appointment letter or card, to the cashiers’ office, where they will be reimbursed.”

The parking charges as of November 1: Up to two hours (£3), up to three hours (£4), up to four hours (£5), up to five hours (£6), up to 24 hours (£8).

Kingsbury Water Park in Warwickshire announce installation of Changing Places Toilet

We would like to announce that Kingsbury Water Park in Warwickshire has installed a Changing Places Toilet (with hoist, changing bed and shower) near the Broomey Croft entrance to the park.
Kingsbury Water Park is the largest of Warwickshire’s Country Parks, a series of large lakes developed in the 1970s from a former gravel extraction site. Attracting over 350,000 visitors each year the park has over 600 acres to explore and an extensive network of level paths which are wide and can easily accommodate wheelchairs. (Access to paths is generally good but may present problems after heavy or prolonged rainfall due to flooding/mud)
There are two entrances to Kingsbury Water Park; the main Visitor Centre side to the south of the M42 and the quieter side to the north (the Broomey Croft entrance near the caravan site). Both sides have a coin operated barrier where parking charges apply.
The Changing Places Toilet is situated by the entrance to the north side of the park (near the Caravan site). There are pleasant walks, bird hides with low ledged viewing points, a small cafe (the Granary Tea Room) and Broomey Croft Children’s Farm all in the immediate vicinity.
Please note that the Granary Tea Room is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday in term time and every day during school holidays. Broomey Croft Children’s Farm is open weekends and school holidays but visits can be arranged at other times (please check website).
A radar key will be needed to access the Changing Places Toilet and to access the full length of the circular path around Broomey Croft nature reserve.
It is possible to walk/wheel between the two sides of the park (takes about 45 minutes one way) but, for those visitors who wish to drive from the main entrance side of the park to use the facilities at the Changing Places Toilet, please ask at the Visitor Centre if you need to borrow a pass/radar key (a returnable deposit may be needed)
Thank you
Friends of Kingsbury Water Park

Job Vacancy – Shrewsbury

Small Charity in Shrewsbury seeks a person to complete the team of office administration assistants.

The role will be IT based covering bookkeeping and report logging.

Skills required. Computer literacy with knowledge of Excel. Excellent communication skills on both phone and emails. Good organisational skills. A Team player.

Desirable attributes. Disability awareness. Flexibility. Ability to work unsupervised.

The working week is for 3 days, hours 10 to 3 covering 15 hours. The pay rate is the living wage of £7.50.

We would like to be considered as an ‘Inclusive Employer’, with an accessible office and disability parking.

CV to general_admin@dogaid.org.uk


Opportunity to learn new skills with Small Woods

Small Woods are providing people with the opportunity to learn skills in traditional green wood craft (no previous experience required).  

Jane Kirby said in a recent email to us  “We are able to offer this opportunity to over 50’s and unpaid carers aged 19 – 25 who are not in work or who are not available to work in the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin areas. The programme is designed to help increase self-confidence and self-esteem, reduce social isolation and enable people to learn new skills in a supportive and relaxed environment. 

Over the course of 6 weeks people learn basic green wood craft skills; at the end of the 6 weeks people have the opportunity to sign up for a further 6 weeks to work as team with other participants to build a community bench.  The bench is donated to a local organisation of the group’s choice. The weekly workshops are held at the beautiful Green Wood Centre situated within the Ironbridge World Heritage Site”. 

The aim of the project is to address barriers to participation in activities which can improve a person’s well-being, particularly their economic wellbeing, and help them to move towards and eventually into volunteering, training /  education or employment.

Places are currently available on the Monday session 10 am – 3 pm.  Please contact us to book your place by calling 01952 432 769

The course is fully funded by Big Lottery and ESF through the Building Better Opportunities programme.  Funding covers (reasonable) travel expenses incurred by participants as well as expenses for care / sitting services to enable carers to take advantage of this opportunity.

For more information / to make a referral please call 01952 432 769

Telford & Wrekin Council Leader holds meeting with SaTH Chief Executive

Telford & Wrekin Council’s leader and the Chief Executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) met today to discuss proposals around the future of A&E services at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital (PRH).

Councillor Shaun Davies and Simon Wright discussed a number of topics related to services at PRH during the 90-minute meeting.

The meeting followed last Thursday’s (30 March) SaTH Trust Board meeting where members agreed to work up a detailed contingency plan which could lead to a temporary overnight closure of A&E at PRH, if staffing issues at the Trust do not improve.

Cllr Davies said: “It was very useful for both of us to talk frankly and honestly about the issues.

“I made clear to Mr Wright the Council’s position and the very strong public opinion against any closure of A&E facilities at PRH.

“Equally he was clear about the difficult decisions the Trust faces and his desire to ensure the best possible hospital provision for the whole community and we have agreed to keep talking because there is so much at stake.”

Mr Wright said: “I welcomed the opportunity to discuss openly the challenges we together face and stressed that I am open-minded as to what that solution may be and what that looks like.

“I am also working with my Board to ensure that PRH’s A&E remains open as long as it remains clinically safe to do so.

“As a Board we have been clear that we don’t want to close A&E at PRH overnight and we will do all we can to ensure that we don’t have to take this action, but clearly we need to ensure we have contingency plans in place to ensure the safety of our patients.

“We have committed to continue talking over the coming days and working together with all our stakeholders, including Telford & Wrekin Council, and I look forward to a constructive dialogue building over these very important decisions.”

World Autism Awareness Week 27th March to 2nd April 2017

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured‘. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilitiesmental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.

Sometimes autistic people get sensory overload.  This means that they find noises and lights too much to live with.  They may also dislike being touched by others.

How common is autism?

Autism is much more common than most people think. There are around 700,000 people in the UK living with autism – that’s more than 1 in 100. People from all nationalities and cultural, religious and social backgrounds can be autistic, although it appears to affect more men than women.

Tips for interacting with a person with autism

West Mercia Police worked with people living with the condition to create the information card shown here.

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Shropshire Council’s Mental Health Social Work Team

A reconfiguration has allowed Shropshire Council’s Mental Health social work team to develop a new approach to the way they deliver services.

They have moved to:

The Lantern,
Meadow Farm Drive,

From their new base they will  continue to  deliver a range of interventions to the people of Shropshire. From preventative work, through short-term support to the provision of statutory functions under the Mental Health Act (2007) and Care Act (2013) they will continue to ensure that the individual is at the centre of what they do.

They will work closely in partnership with South Staffordshire and Shropshire Foundation Trust’s Community Mental Health Team and this will not change. In fact, in Shrewsbury the team are now just over the road and they will continue to co-locate as necessary in the rural areas.

To find out more about the service people can email mentalhealthsocialwork@shropshire.gov.uk or call them on their new number 01743 255895.

Parking arrangements at SaTH

24 January 2017

Discounted parking is available for some patients using Shropshire’s acute hospitals – and parking is free of charge for up to 30 minutes.

The free 30 minutes gives people picking up and dropping off patients or visitors to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) or Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford an option to do so without incurring a charge if they are onsite for less than half an hour.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs RSH and PRH, is providing the update about parking at the two hospitals as some people are not aware of the free 30 minutes or the discounts available.

Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Governance at SaTH, said: “Parking charges at SaTH are still among the lowest in the country, with people able to park for up to 30 minutes without charge, and paying only £3.50 for five hours or more. The 30 minutes without charge is useful for people who could drop off and pick up patients without incurring any parking charges.

“Patients receiving dialysis, radiotherapy or chemotherapy and people visiting hospital for issues connected with bereavement are able to park for free. Anyone needing to attend hospital regularly can buy a discounted 10-visit ticket for £8.

“The income we receive from car parking also benefits our patients. Annually, the money we receive  from car parking pays for the equivalent of 40 Staff Nurses.”

The Trust is also looking at ways to improve car parking at the hospitals, and is working on a number of initiatives to support staff to travel to work in more sustainable ways.

Julia added: “We continue to explore ways to improve car parking at our hospitals as we appreciate it can be a challenge for patients, visitors and staff.

“Both hospital sites now have an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system to manage car parking.

“This system is designed to deliver key improvements, including a range of more convenient ways for people to pay on exit, including debit and credit card payments, improving the flow of vehicles to make spaces available for those who need them, increasing security, and allowing parking attendants to concentrate on helping visitors rather than enforcement.  You can also pay online once you get home before midnight on the day of your visit and make multiple visits on the day up until midnight without additional costs.  Please visit our car parking page at www.sath.nhs.uk for more details.

“During the daytime our car parks are often busy because we have a large number of outpatient clinics. Parking spaces are more readily available during the evenings and weekends, when fewer clinics are operating, so it would be a great help to patients coming for their clinic appointments, if visitors who can choose when they can visit their loved ones came in the early evening instead.”

Efforts to support staff to find more sustainable ways to travel to work include:

  • Lift-sharing – SaTH runs a dedicated lift-sharing service for staff, which allows them to sign up to a system and look for colleagues they can share lifts to and from work with.
  • The Trust has invested in improved facilities to encourage cycling and walking for staff.
  • SaTH has negotiated discounts of up to 20% for Arriva for bus tickets for staff.

Working together to help patients recuperate following a stay in hospital

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust’s (SaTH) Therapy teams provide support to patients needing everything from physiotherapy and occupational therapy to those needing support with their speech and language or with their diet.

And the teams embody the ethos of partnership working as they work closely with colleagues from other health organisations to provide care closer to home for patients.

Dianne Lloyd, Therapy Centre Manager at SaTH, said: “Our Care Closer to Home Therapy Centre provides a range of countywide services delivered by multidisciplinary teams of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists, Dietitians and Assistant Practitioners.

“Our therapy teams work closely with community colleagues in health and social care and voluntary organisations to ensure patients receive effective treatment and co-ordinated care in the most appropriate location.”

Services provided by Therapists for patients in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and those in Powys who have a Shropshire GP include:

Stroke Early Supported Discharge Team (ESD) – The ESD Team provides specialist goal-orientated rehabilitation at home and within the community for patients who have suffered a stroke, for up to six weeks following discharge from hospital. Staff are based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. They provide a range of approaches and treatment techniques to tailor rehabilitation programmes to individual needs, including advice and emotional support, education, and physical and cognitive therapies.

The team helps to ensure patients can be discharged in a timely manner, without having to have an unnecessarily long stay in hospital. Goals and rehabilitation are centred around each patient and the team works in the patient’s own home and in care homes.

Macmillan Integrated Therapy Service – The Macmillan Integrated Therapy Service (MITS) aims to deliver integrated, efficient and appropriate therapy to patients with complex needs. The aim of the service is to deliver equitable, effective and responsive therapy services for all patients being treated for cancer, ensuring they are treated in a timely manner, supported to leave hospital in a timely way once they no longer need hospital care, and prevent unnecessary admissions. The multidisciplinary team provides specialist therapy for patients living with cancer including assessment, therapy and signposting for patients, families and carers. It provides support for patients in hospital and the community, as well as a programme of education and development for healthcare professionals

Adult Community Speech & Language Therapy – Services are delivered in Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch and Bishop’s Castle Community Hospitals, patients’ own homes and care homes. The team helps patients who have difficulties with eating, drinking or swallowing, difficulties with speech and communication problems.

Community Dietetics Service – The team supports patients receiving artificial nutritional support in their own homes or in care homes, and also provides a service at Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch and Bishop’s Castle Community Hospitals.

Dianne added: “A recent development is the secondment of one of our Community Dietitians to work as an integral part of the Primary Care Support and Medicines Management Team within Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

“This role involves working collaboratively with patients, carers, GP practices, care homes, and community pharmacists to promote a ’food first’ approach and appropriate use of oral nutritional supplements to prevent and treat malnutrition in the community.”

She added: “Our ethos is to have our patients at the heart of everything we do and this is achieved by working really closely with colleagues in the community to help patients who no longer need hospital care and benefit from receiving our support in their own homes or in the community.

“It’s a great example of NHS team work and shows how health organisations work together every day to provide the best care possible for our patients.”