Stephen McPartland
Working hard for you
in Stevenage, Knebworth, Codicote, Datchworth and Aston

Local Stevenage MP, Stephen McPartland, participated in a high-level parliamentary meeting on pneumonia for World Pneumonia Day 2010, on November 16th in Parliament. The event was organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Global Action Against Childhood Pneumonia, of which Stephen McPartland is an officer and was looking at ways of tackling pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children.

Stephen commented: “Pneumonia is the global leading killer of children, although people are often unaware of its prevalence. I am delighted that GSK is playing such a vital role in helping to supply this important vaccine to the world’s poorest countries. I support and will continue to work at Parliament to help efforts to tackle this devastating killer and I am monitoring with interest the progress of GSK’s vaccine in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

The event had an important local link for Stevenage as GlaxoSmithKline, which has a major facility there, is one of the leading manufacturers of a vaccine against the leading cause of pneumonia.

Dogwatch Mascot, Douglas (a rescue) makes fantastic use of all three legs as he joins Stevenage High Flyers flyball training session. The success of Stevenage High Flyers is down to a determined group of local people. There is a lot of hard work involved, with training week-in, week-out including through the winter. The group were struggling to find affordable indoor space, but thanks to help from Sarah Sheldrick of Stevenage DogWatch they have now found a suitable location.

Stephen McPartland MP was able to join a training session and help put some of the DogWatch participants through their paces. Stephen said, “It is great to see the different groups coming together and helping each other out. The High Flyers team are really impressive and I wish them all the luck in their bid to be champions again this year. Stevenage DogWatch is a fantastic initiative that helps improve safety in Stevenage and I would encourage any family with a pet dog to become a member.”

Sarah commented, “I was very glad to help High Flyers. DogWatch gained another 14 new members. All-in-all, what a great display of members of the community pulling together to help each other.”

Stevenage DogWatch has new members joining all the time. If you would like to know more please contact the coordinator Sarah Sheldrick on 07792 101893 or visit the website at http://www.stevenagedogwatch.org. Find more out about High Flyers at http://high-flyers-flyball.co.uk.

The Royal College of Midwives has launched a pledge to protect maternity services over fears that savings in the NHS may have an impact on the amount of money spent on midwives and maternity services.

Stephen McPartland MP for Stevenage said: "We are very lucky in Stevenage to have secured the development of a purpose-built maternity unit at the Lister Hospital, as part of the new Government's investment in our local health service. First class maternity services must be a priority, as we bring babies into this world safe and sound."

As well as supporting the pledge, Stephen will be a member of the Royal College of Midwives' Parliamentary Panel, a group of MPs who will work with the RCM to be advocates for mothers and babies, maternity services and midwives.

Cathy Warwick, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "I am delighted that Stephen has signed up to this pledge, and really welcome his support. I also look forward to working with him as a member of our Parliamentary Panel. We need people such as Stephen who are in positions of political influence to fight for maternity services from the inside, so his decision to join the panel is very much appreciated. It is imperative that spending on maternity does not fall and that it matches the demands placed on maternity services. Great strides have been made in maternity provision over recent years with increasing choice and more midwives. We need to be building on this welcome progress and protecting it for the future."

Stevenage Orthodontics, Stevenage’s only specialist orthodontic practice, has backed the joint campaign of our local Member of Parliament Stephen McPartland and The Comet newspaper for a satellite radiotherapy unit to be based at the Lister Hospital.

Stephen McPartland said “I want to thank Rhonda and Jonathan from Stevenage Orthodontics for supporting the campaign and helping us to move towards 2000 signatures. This is exactly the support we need, to demonstrate we have the support of local people and local businesses. I am currently talking to some of the major employers in the town and hope they will throw their support behind our campaign also”.

Jonathan Alexander-Abt, Practice Principal said “we are pleased to have taken a pro-active role in supporting the Radiotherapy Campaign and are encouraging our patients to sign The Comet petition.  We have also offered to post the petitions in for those who might not be able to sign up online”.

Staff and customers have been consulted at length over the design for the new branch with the emphasis placed on banking for everyone; making people feel more comfortable in the branch, keeping queues to a minimum and opening when customers want.

A new branch of Barclays was officially opened at The Forum in Stevenage by MP Stephen McPartland amongst a day of celebrations and street entertainment. Stephen said: “I am delighted to be opening the new Barclays Bank branch in Stevenage Town Centre and welcome the investment they are making in our local community.  The technology on display and available to customers is absolutely fantastic and really does fit in with our ambition for an improved town centre.”

Andrew Fletcher, Barclays Area Director for the A1 Corridor said: “This new branch demonstrates our significant investment in Stevenage and our branch network as a whole, opening modern cutting edge branches in the right locations. Whilst the staff have always provided first class customer service, they now have a fantastic new branch designed to elevate the customer experience to even greater heights.”

 

Stephen McPartland recently visited the Lister Hospital dialysis unit and met with the Kidney Alliance and members of the Trust Board. Mr McPartland was given a tour of the unit by Dr Paul Warwicker, where he learnt about the process which keeps people alive if their kidneys fail. He met Fiona Loud from the Kidney Alliance, and Kirit Modi, also a kidney patient. They talked about the importance of identifying kidney disease early, of people being able to make choices in their care (at home or hospital) and transplantation. The Lister Hospital treats 400 dialysis patients a week at the unit and is also a pioneer in the field of home haemodialysis, being the first unit in the country to offer a smaller more advanced dialysis machine, making the process a bit easier. Fiona and Kirit have both been treated at the Lister in the past and work to support other patients and to promote high quality treatment for those at risk of or with kidney failure.

The Federation of Small Businesses was delighted to welcome MP Stephen McPartland at a local breakfast networking event. Over 100 small businesses attended the event.

After the breakfast Stephen said:  “I was delighted to be given the opportunity by the FSB to speak to such a large number of local businesses. I know the work they have done with business locally and government nationally is valued. Especially important is their analysis of the cost of bureaucracy to small companies, which they have shown results in up to a full working day a week being spent on unproductive paperwork. Local companies need to be set free to get on with the job of running their business and becoming the engines of the economic recovery."

The breakfast event was sponsored by the FSB as part of the Herts B2b Exhibition held at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre and chaired by regional Chairman Ian Cording. FSB Business Consultant Maree Atkinson said, “We were delighted with such a high turnout of  our members and to welcome Mr McPartland to meet them.  It is vitally important for both the FSB and its members to build a strong relationship with our local MP.”

Stephen McPartland, local MP for Stevenage is delighted to announce that NHS Hertfordshire intends to formally approach East and North Herts Trust to consider better access to radiotherapy services for local people.

Stephen said “the campaign for a new radiotherapy unit at the Lister Hospital has reached the first successful stage and I am delighted that after a meeting with the Chief Executive of NHS Hertfordshire at the end of last week, we have moved another step closer to making our dream a reality, as they will now begin the formal process that could lead to a satellite radiotherapy unit being based at the Lister Hospital”.

“In the discussion it became clear that there has been long interest in setting up a satellite radiotherapy unit to reduce the number of local people having to travel long distances to get access to this treatment. Local people received a raw deal from the last government when they scrapped plans for a new Cancer unit at Hatfield. However, due to the new government’s changes to NHS procurement rules, they are now in a position to formally approach our local hospital trust about changing the commissioning of existing services to offer better access to radiotherapy services for local patients and their families”.

“This is fantastic news for all those supporting the campaign I am leading with The Comet and it really is important we keep the momentum going”.

The voices of more than 700 adults, many of whom have significant communications difficulties, are making themselves heard with a response to the consultation on the NHS White Paper, Equity and Excellence – Liberating the NHS, thanks to Stevenage-based advocacy charity, POhWER.

The response was presented to local MP, Stephen McPartland at POhWER’s office by Chief Executive, Valerie Harrison, and trustees Judith Smart, Arthur Bate, Neil Hoskins and Owen Parry. Stephen pledged to personally give the response to the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, and added, “This response is exactly what the White Paper is aiming at, we want to involve as many people as possible in determining the future of the NHS. POhWER and its work personify what we mean by ‘the big society’. I am very proud to give the views of so many disadvantaged people over to Andrew Lansley, and I know he will be equally delighted to receive them”.

POhWER Chief Executive, Valerie Harrison says: “The principle of ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ means a great deal to us and we are very glad the government has decided to adopt it. We hope our response will make a meaningful contribution to the consultation and our energy and passion will inspire the NHS to not only to listen and respond to people like us, but value our experience and respect the level of commitment it often takes for us to achieve what for others may seem straightforward tasks”.

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