Alison Thewliss MP calls for a public awareness campaign on sepsis

Alison Thewliss MP supporting the Sepsis Trust

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, attended a Parliamentary event to raise awareness of Sepsis. A life threatening and relatively unknown condition, which claims the lives of 44,000 people – including 1,000 children – every year in the UK.  The event, hosted by the APPG on Sepsis and the UK Sepsis Trust, was attend by over 40 MPs and Peers, along with a number of patients and their families who have been personally affected by sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that can affect anyone. It arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly.

In a bid to reduce deaths like these, the UK Sepsis Trust (UKST) and the APPG on Sepsis are calling for both the public and healthcare professionals to be more aware of this ‘silent killer’. They are calling for the Department of Health to commit to a public awareness campaign, aimed at both adults and children solely on sepsis.

The UK Sepsis Trust, founded in 2010, brings together leading experts, grass roots health professionals, survivors and persons bereaved; to raise public and professional awareness of sepsis, and provide support for those affected by this terrible condition.

Dr Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said:

“We hope that the event will allow MPs to learn more about sepsis and take the message back to their colleagues and constituents.”

“An awareness campaign is something we’ve been calling for a long time. It is an absolute necessity that this campaign is dedicated on sepsis and aimed at a both adults and children. A campaign of course is only a part of what is needed. We need to make sure that healthcare professional education is robust and is mandated. We need to have a better measure of outcomes and we have to have some resources available that reward excellent care.”

Alison Thewliss MP stated:

“While sepsis is a condition which may not hit the headlines, it is deadly.  It is a little known life threatening illness that claims the lives of 44,000 people in the UK every year, including 1,000 children.  If timely interventions proposed by the UK Sepsis Trust were adopted across the NHS it could save up to 12,500 lives a year and the NHS money.”

“I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle the disease and save lives. I want to see sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public. The easiest and most of effective way of doing this is the government committing to a dedicated public awareness campaign for the general population.”

Alison Thewliss MP urges Glasgow communities to apply for HLF funding to mark the Centenary of the First World War

Alison Thewliss MP attending the launch of the Heritage Lottery Fund's First World War Centenary fund

The Centenary of the First World War is a chance to understand the war, uncover its stories and explore what it means to us today. At a recent Parliamentary event Alison Thewliss MP found out more about how the Heritage Lottery Fund supports projects across the UK that focus not just on the events of 1914–1918 but also on the lasting changes the war brought about.

Alison Thewliss MP is urging her constituents to consider applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for community projects to learn more about the First World War.

HLF is making at least £1 million a year available until 2019 as part of the First World War: then and now programme for small, community grants. It provides grants of £3,000 to £10,000 enabling groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.

Alison Thewliss MP urged her constituents to think about how they would like to mark the Centenary. Successful projects will include:

  • researching, identifying and recording local heritage;
  • creating a community archive or collection;
  • developing new interpretation of heritage through exhibitions, trails, smartphone apps etc;
  • researching, writing and performing creative material based on heritage sources;
  • conserving and finding out more about war memorials

Alison Thewliss MP said: “I’m delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is making this money available to local communities. Like many areas across the UK, the impact of the First World War on the people of Glasgow was extensive. For those who want to find out more about its legacy or who wish to mark the Centenary, I would urge them to get in touch with HLF.”

Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War: then and now programme will enable communities to explore the continuing legacy of this war and help young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Since April 2010, HLF has awarded over £70million to more than 1,300 projects – large and small – that will mark the Centenary of First World War. If a group have a project idea to mark the Centenary of the First World War, an online application pack is available. If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes.

Alison Thewliss MP welcomes Parent Friendly Places Charter

Alison Thewliss MP for Glasgow Central and NCT, the UK’s largest parenting charity, met in Westminster to welcome its new charter to make the High Street a more supportive place for parents with very young children. They were joined by Starbucks, who is the first retailer to adopt NCT’s Parent Friendly Places Charter, pledging to provide a parent-friendly environment in 800+ stores across the country.

The Charter commits to ensuring a supportive environment for parents, particularly when it comes to feeding their child whether by breast, bottle or high chair – or a mix of all three.

A training programme, designed by qualified professionals from NCT, has been delivered by Starbucks to its baristas across the country. The training increases understanding of the needs of parents with young children or babies so parents can feel confident to ask for help where needed. Starbucks stores will display the NCT Parent Friendly Places badge via a window sticker, alongside the Charter.

NCT hopes their work in developing the Parent Friendly Places Charter with Starbucks will lead the way for others on the High Street to offer a welcoming environment for young families.

The NCT Parent Friendly Places Charter
NCT’s Parent Friendly Charter recognises the work of partners who commit to ensuring that they are ‘parent-friendly’. Partners commit to offering:

  • A warm welcome for you and your family.
  • A place where you can feed your baby or toddler in comfort, knowing staff will support you without judgment.
  • Help from staff if you need any assistance; for example if you need help finding seats or carrying anything.
  • An open and responsive approach to your feedback.

Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I am pleased to welcome this joint initiative from NCT and Starbucks to help make the High Street more friendly for parents of very young children.”

Jeremy Payne, Director of Fundraising at NCT said: “We are proud to launch the Parent Friendly Places Charter on to the High Street with Starbucks as the first partner, so parents with young children feel welcome and supported when they walk into a store.

“We know from our members that many struggle when out and about with very young children. This can include unwanted attention and comments on their feeding method whether it’s by breast, bottle or in a high chair. It’s important that parents feel confident they have the support of staff and won’t be judged.

“We believe this Charter will address the challenges parents face on the High Street and hope that other retailers will follow suit in becoming more parent-friendly.”

Rhys Iley, Vice President of operations for Starbucks EMEA said:

“We recognise that parents out on their own with very young children, sometimes for the first time, appreciate some support.

“This collaboration with NCT and its members has helped us build on our existing customer service principles and identify what we can do to assist parents when visiting our stores. Meeting with Alison Thewliss MP has been a great opportunity to outline our work with NCT and explain how we have refreshed our training and improved our facilities.

“We hope parents of young children visiting local stores will let us know, there and then, if there is anything we can do to improve their experience. We welcome feedback as this is just the start of an evolving collaboration with NCT and its members.”

Alison Thewliss MP visits NSPCC Scotland project for young mothers

Alison Thewliss MP visiting the NSPCC Glasgow Service Centre

Alison Thewliss MP for Glasgow Central today visited NSPCC Scotland to observe first-hand their Minding the Baby project supporting young mothers who may have experienced neglect or abuse in their own lives.

Minding the Baby is based in Govan, Glasgow as well as 2 other bases in England and has been developed to ensure that young, first-time mothers are offered support to help them develop a positive relationship and secure a bond with their baby.

With a dedicated team of nurses and social workers, NSPCC Scotland helps young mothers to recognise and respond to their baby’s feelings and needs so that mothers understand their child to give the best possible chance in life. The charity has also demonstrated that the children of families who have been involved in the programme require less support services as they get older.

Alison also heard about the NSPCC’s Glasgow Infant and Family Team which aims to support families where their child has been placed in foster care and is aged from birth to five years. As a result of the work carried out with the families, the team provide information which helps social workers and legal decision makers to decide whether the child can be safely returned to the care of their family or if they should be adopted or remain in care permanently.

Alison said:

“I’m really pleased to have observed first-hand the work NSPCC Scotland do to support young mums in Glasgow – the charity through the enthusiasm and dedication of the nurses and health visitors is making a real difference to families who would be at increased risk of neglect without having support in place.”

Dog microchipping

Alison Thewliss petting a dog at the launch of the Dogs Trust ad campaign

With just one week to go before compulsory microchipping of dogs comes into effect in England, Scotland and Wales, I was delighted to meet “Dogcilla” at Westminster.

Dogs Trust are running a campaign which encompasses a cross-country tour of over 145,000 miles to raise awareness of the changes in the law, which come into effect on 6th April 2016. Help and advice on microchipping is available on the Dogs Trust website.

Easter weekend

My office will be closed on Friday 25th March and Monday 28th March for the Easter break and no surgeries will be taking place on Friday 25th March. The office will reopen on Tuesday 29th March.

I hope you have an enjoyable Easter break. If you have a case that requires urgent assistance please contact me on 07825451152.

Team Glasgow rail against “decade of austerity” Budget

Glasgow’s team of SNP MPs have today (Wednesday 16th March) railed against Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, which they say will “condemn the city to a decade of austerity”.

Team Glasgow highlighted a number of cruel policy announcements in Osborne’s budget which will have a detrimental impact on Glaswegians.

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss, said:

“This is a bad budget for Glasgow and reminds us that nothing and no-one is safe from the Tory axe. The SNP advocates a more balanced approach to the budget which would return the UK’s finances to a sustainable path whilst, crucially, still investing in public services. Today’s Tory cuts will only heap further unnecessary pressure on the public sector. The Chancellor has confirmed a decade of austerity. It is austerity through choice, not necessity.”

Glasgow North West MP, Carol Monaghan – a Physics Teacher at Hyndland Secondary School before becoming an MP – warned that the Chancellor’s budget is devastating for Glasgow’s young people. She said:

“In his 2015 Summer Budget, the Chancellor announced he would be slashing student maintenance grants for some of the poorest students, and converting them into loans. Today the Chancellor also scrapped automatic entitlement to housing benefit for unemployed 18-21 year olds, which the homeless charity Crisis condemned and said would result in an increase in homelessness.”

Chris Stephens, MP for Glasgow South West, said:

“The Tories have already cut Scotland’s budget by £2.4 billion and plan to make a further £1.3 billion of cuts by 2019/20. Welfare cuts in particular mean that 100,000 additional Scottish children will move into relative poverty by 2020. In announcing today’s budget, the Chancellor has just condemned this city and the rest of Scotland to a decade of austerity.”

Stewart McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, said:

“This harsh Tory budget means that the Scottish Government will see a real terms reduction of £1.5 billion in the funding for day to day public services over the next four years – that is bad news for public sector workers in Glasgow”.

Glasgow North East MP, Anne McLaughlin, said:

“The Chancellor is cutting benefits for the disabled, the sick and the vulnerable to fund a tax cut for high earners. Just last week, the DWP announced major changes to Personal Independence Payments. It is estimated that these changes will adversely impact 640,000 people, a large number of whom are Glaswegians. However, we know from today’s budget that this has allowed the Chancellor to give a tax cut to top earners and pull hundreds of thousands of people out of the higher rate of income tax.

“Put simply, the Chancellor is taking from the disabled to give to his pals in the city of London. The only people who are “better together” are the Chancellor’s cronies because it certainly doesn’t feel like we’re better together for my constituents.”

Patrick Grady, SNP MP, for Glasgow North, concluded by saying the only way to firmly reject Tory austerity was to send a clear message at May’s Holyrood election by using both votes for the SNP. He said: “Today’s Tory budget reminds us why – now more than ever – we need a strong SNP Scottish Government to stand up to Westminster.

“The best way to send a clear message to the Tories that we won’t take another decade of austerity is to vote SNP. Whether you live in Summerston, Shettleston or Shawlands, it’s got to be both votes SNP in May.”

City MP visits inspiring Family Addiction Support Service

Alison Thewliss MP meets with representatives of the Family Addiction Support Service to hear more about the services they provide to recovering alcohol and drug users

Glasgow MP, Alison Thewliss, today (Friday 11th March) visited the Family Addiction Support Service (FASS) which is based in the Tradeston area of her constituency.

Visiting FASS as they celebrate their thirtieth anniversary, the city MP said she was “incredibly inspired” by the dedication of the staff and volunteers who provide a lifeline service to families affected by alcohol and drug use.

Speaking after her visit to the FASS offices in West Street, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I am really grateful to Alicia, Katie, Andrew and Dot for taking the time to tell me all about FASS’ work this morning. I was incredibly inspired to hear of the team’s dedication to offering confidential support to those who are affected by alcohol and drugs. In one form or another, FASS have been doing this important work for thirty years now.

“It’s clearly important to help those with alcohol and drug addictions with their recovery and rehabilitation. FASS goes that one step further and offers vital practical support, advice and guidance to the family members of those who are affected by alcohol and drugs. What is even more impressive is the support they give to kinship carers, who are often the unsung heroes in our community.

“With over twenty-one local support groups in the city, I would very much commend FASS to anyone who has a family member affected by drugs and alcohol. It’s really simple to just pick up the phone and dial 0141 420 2050. I know from meeting them this morning that the staff at FASS are compassionate, kind people who are dedicated to providing a first class service to families who need help at an incredibly difficult time.

“A number of interesting policy issues were also raised this morning and I look forward to pursuing these on behalf of the service in the coming months.”