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

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, visited Stevenage Home-Start based in Bedwell Park to meet the staff and learn more about the work they do supporting local families with very young children. Home-Start volunteers make many visits to families at home, supporting parents and helping families through difficult times.

Stephen said, "There are many agencies providing help in specific areas, but sometimes families just need a friendly face from Home-Start who can help them navigate their way through the system. I spend a lot of my time helping local people make sense of local organisations who struggle when a family does not fit in their particular area of responsibility. This often results in some of the more vulnerable families being passed from agency to agency without receiving any real help. Unfortunately, the tragic case of Amelia Arnold is a stark reminder that people do slip through the cracks and if organisations like Home Start can help, then I am 100% behind them."

Stevenage Home-Start played a lead in setting up Home-Start Hertfordshire which now provides more flexibility to meet the needs of local families and facilities Home-Start's collaboration with other agencies.

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Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland dropped in to visit patients and staff enjoying the garden outside the Strathmore Wing of the Lister Hospital. The garden has just had a makeover thanks to the efforts of a group of Year 8 children, organised by the Kissing It Better charity.

Stephen said, "The garden looks amazing and provides a place that is wonderful and calm for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy. The community spirit shown by all those who have helped make it such a lovely space is fantastic. The Kissing it Better team are a real inspiration and seeing the difference such little changes make to patients really does show the important work this charity does.

"I would also like to thank the Lister Hospital who are focused on making the patient experience as positive as possible and I am proud that they have taken the opportunity to work with Kissing it Better.There are very few hospitals that have a flourishing garden like this, but the Lister are leading the way once again as they continue to be a centre of clinical excellence."

Liz Pryor from Kissing it Better said, "Kissing it Better uses simple ideas to create big change. We are proud to be working with the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust and enormously grateful to Mr McPartland for spending time with us today."

The Kissing It Better charity is supported by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust.

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, was invited to join in Datchworth Cricket Club youth section's last session of the season. Stephen handed out awards to all those who have played during the season as well as individual awards for those making particular contributions and progress.

The youth section at the club has increased over the past few years and currently has around 80 members. The club is looking to develop the players more through new cricket nets providing a fully enclosed triple lane facility at a cost of around £50,000.

Stephen said "It was a new experience for me as I have never played cricket before, but I think they went a little easy on me as I scored three runs off two balls. I was very impressed with the large numbers of youths and volunteers involved at the club and I am always proud of the community spirit we have locally."

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Stevenage Member of Parliament Stephen McPartland joined Stevenage Ambulance crews on a nightshift from 6pm to 2am last week, to see for himself some of the challenges the crews face.

Stephen said, "I would like to say it was exciting but to be honest it was terrifying and a little bit awe inspiring. The paramedics and emergency technicians are devoted to helping people and turn up at what is often the worst time in a family's life. I was of course impressed by the professionalism and knowledge they have which I saw for myself. They really do saves lives every single day, but what struck me most was the way they reassure the families whose loved one is in real difficulty, at the sane time as giving them life saving treatment.

"I was tweeting as we went to each new call and as soon as we would clear the hospital a call would come straight in and we would set off again. I saw a number of local people receive help and every single patient's needs were different, but the ambulance crew just took it all in their stride.

"I am proud of the NHS and I was amazed at how well our local ambulance service works with the staff at the Lister Hospital. They are a fantastic team and with the massive £150 million government investment into the Lister Hospital, the service should only get better and better."

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Letchmore Infants and Junior School welcomed Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, to see the launch of 1Decision an interactive website PSHE programme which they have been taking part in filming.

Stephen said, "I was very impressed with how interactive 1Decision is and how engaged the children were. It was a very enjoyable lesson and the children really did think about what was safe and unsafe. 1Decision is a great tool to help teachers make children think about how to behave safely in a range of situations."

1Decision has been developed by a Stevenage enterprise, led by Hayley Sherwood. It provides a series of educational videos with alternative endings together with assessment and exercises to support learning throughout the Personal, Social, Health, and Economic subject. The media based programme suits all learning styles to encourage children to make the right choices concerning their safety, health and relationships with others.

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The staff at FIRA, one of Stevenage's oldest established companies on Gunnelswood Road since 1963, are raising money for the Garden House Hospice with a cycling challenge. Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage launched the challenge with FIRA’s Chief Operating Officer, Phil Reynolds. Staff from FIRA and The Furniture Ombudsman are raising money for the Garden House Hospice charity by cycling 874 miles, the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats, on an exercise bike.

Stephen said, "The staff at FIRA and The Furniture Ombudsman really are going the extra mile for the Garden House Hospice and I was delighted to launch the challenge. I have done a few miles myself to help hit the target and support this amazing fundraising effort."

FIRA’s Chief Operating Officer, Phil Reynolds, who had the idea for the challenge, said, "We are really pleased that Stephen McPartland MP joined us to launch the challenge. We will be asking our furniture industry members for support and I hope that we can raise much needed funds to help support the work of the Hospice.”

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Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, expressed his delight that as a result of his campaign the Lister Surgicentre will be taken over by the NHS from the private sector firm ClinicentaCarillion.

Stephen said, "I am absolutely delighted with the news that the Lister Surgicentre will now be managed by our local Lister Hospital. It has been a long and difficult campaign, but I have persuaded Jeremy Hunt the Secretary of State for Health that ClinicentaCarillion just had to go so patients can be safe.

"I campaigned hard on behalf of local people to improve the level of service available at the ClinicentaCarillion owned Surgicentre ever since they opened their doors almost eighteen months ago. The service never reached a satisfactory standard despite the best efforts of the NHS staff who work in the facility on a day to day basis under intolerable pressure. Quite simply, the Surgicentre was not managed properly by the owners ClinicentaCarillion and we are clearing up the mess of the previous government, which placed a building company in charge of highly sensitive and complex surgical procedures. This must never happen again.

"At least three people died, 8,500 patient records were lost and a whole host of serious failings that led to the Care Quality Commission beginning proceedings to suspend ClinicentraCarillion's licence to operate at the Surgicentre because of serious concerns for patient safety. They lost the confidence of the local community and the medical professionals, as GP's refused to refer their patients to the facility for treatment, because they were so concerned about the lost records, missed appointments and a range of serious failings found during the several Care Quality Commission inspections.

"I believe Carillion should never be allowed to manage another hospital facility in the UK and both they and the Labour Party should apologise to the local community for putting profits before patient safety and playing roulette with our local health service. They can never again be trusted with the NHS.

"I am proud of the NHS and proud of the staff who work in it every single day to try and improve our quality of life. I am delighted that the Lister Surgicentre will now be managed by the Lister Hospital which is a centre of clinical excellence. We can now begin the job of rebuilding trust and this facility with state of the art equipment can be managed properly inside our NHS, where it should have been from day one."

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In just one afternoon, the students of Barnwell School raised over £1,150 for charities at its annual Community Day. There were stalls ranging from face painting to space hoppers with music provided by students and local bands. Greenside School sold sweets, local charity groups came along to raise awareness of their work and DogWatch's Lawful Larry was on duty too.

Stephen McPartland, Member of Parliament for Stevenage, who supports the event annually, said, "The Community Day was absolutely amazing with all the pupils and staff enjoying themselves. I had a lot of fun especially on the space hoppers, although I did not quite win. It was a wonderful event and raised funds for some great causes."

Tony Fitzpatrick, headteacher, was very pleased with the way the event went. He said, "It is a long standing tradition at Barnwell School that the students organise and hold a Community Day event. Many thousands of pounds have been raised over the years for very worthy charities. This year’s event did not disappoint with many exciting stalls and competitions for the students to enter. The day reflects the true spirit of Barnwell where we come together as a one big family to help less fortunate people."

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Stevenage MP, Stephen McPartland, opened the new £3.0 million Lister Scanning Centre which has two state-of-the-art CT scanners and an MRI scanner, with a second MRI scanner in the process of being installed.

Stephen said, "It is a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to open the new scanning centre and see the equipment at first hand. It is an amazing experience to see projects I am fighting for in Parliament built and ready to be used by staff and patients. The Lister hospital is a centre of clinical excellence and the £150 million investment we are making is creating one of the most advanced and modern hospitals in the UK here in Stevenage. I am proud of our local NHS and proud of the staff who work as a team to improve the experience of patients and their families every single day."

Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said, "In many ways the creation of the Lister Scanning Centre is representative of the wider transformation and changes being made at the hospital currently. The Centre was created in a phased appraoch because the radiology team needed to keep its service going whilst the building, refurbishment and installation work was underway. The team has also taken advantage of the latest technology to both improve the range and quality of services provided to patients, but also to enhance patient experience at the same time.

"We are also delighted that Stephen McPartland was our guest of honour today. His support of the Trust's hospitals, services and our staff over the last few years has been much appreciated and we were pleased that he has been able to return to see the Lister Scanning Centre all but completed following a visit he made last year."

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