You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2013.

Statement from NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group

The Care Quality Commission today issued the report of an unannounced inspection into maternity services at Medway Maritime Hospital. While noting examples of good practice and that the staff were dedicated and caring, the inspection found that actions were needed to improve care in all six of the areas inspected. The CQC has issued three warning notices under section 29 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

The inspection comes at a time when Medway NHS Foundation Trust continues to be in ‘special measures’ as a result of the findings of the review led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s team, a review that was triggered by poor mortality rates. NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group welcome the arrival of the trust’s new Medical Director and new Chief Nurse.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust is regulated by the Care Quality Commission and by Monitor, the two national regulators of foundation trusts. They are the organisations that can impose warnings or undertakings on the trust, as the CQC has done here, to require change.

The CCGs’ role is to commission healthcare that is safe and meets the needs of our population, and to work with providers of healthcare to assure the public on the quality of services. In our response to the Keogh review, we made it clear that it is the responsibility of the trust’s board to ensure that services are safe, that the necessary monitoring is in place to provide that assurance and that any necessary rectification plans are implemented.

We will continue to work with Medway NHS Foundation Trust to improve the quality of care patients receive. NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group plans and buys healthcare for the people of Medway.

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Scandal in the Holy City: Prostitution in Victorian Brompton

These lectures are proving to be very popular, and have included talks on ‘Pubs of Old Brompton’, and the stories and history of Chatham Convict Prison. For the next talk, Brian Joyce, author of ‘The Chatham Scandal’ will take a look at the scandalous past of Brompton during the Victorian period. The talk is at 7pm on 28 November 2013 at the Royal Engineers Museum. Tickets cost £2 payable on the door. You are advised to book in advance.

For bookings please call 01634 822261 or email deputy-curator@rhqre.co.uk

Full details of this and future events are on http://www.bromptonhistory.org.uk/, or call 01634 822261

Irene Ropery CobblestonesAs darkness descends, The Historic Dockyard takes on an eerie atmosphere, providing the perfect backdrop for tales of history, mystery, murder and intrigue – mixed with a little adventure and romance. This year’s ghost walks and spooky tales take visitors around the darkened cobbled streets of the Ropery buildings and into the dimly lit Ropery itself – an eerie experience in the darkened ¼ mile rope walk.

Commencing at 8pm and lasting approximately 1½ hours these eerie evenings cost £12 per person and run on the following dates:
Friday 25th October
Friday 1st & 15th November
Friday 13th December

Places are limited! To avoid disappointment, pre-booking is essential. Call 01634 823845 / 823852 or email ghostwalks@chdt.org.uk

Minimum age is 16 years if accompanied by a full paying adult over the age of 21.

Two Hoo Peninsula firms are among the first in Kent to successfully apply for a Tiger loan in Kent – receiving a combined total of nearly £250,000 to help grow their business.

TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is a regional growth fund offering low-cost loans allowing businesses to invest in new products and services. Read More

splashesThe swimming pool at Splashes Leisure Centre will be closed for four days next month (Nov 4-7 inclusive) to allow routine maintenance checks to take place.
The fitness centre will not be affected.

The council is carrying out routine maintenance checks to ensure Splashes provides the best possible experience for swimmers and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Should further work be required this will need to be carried out at a later date.
Medway Council’s three other swimming pools will be open as usual. The nearest alternative swimming pool is at Medway Park – details of opening times can be found at http://www.medwaypark.org.uk or by phoning 336655.

Picture1Kent Wildlife Trust, Half Term Fun – Rock and Fossil Day Leaders: Ray and Wendy Cooper and Diana Franks from Kent Geodiversity with assistance from Victoria Golding. An introduction to looking at rocks and fossils including a touch table, rock and fossil identification and a chance to work with microscopes to make up a collection of microfossils. Also put in your postcode to discover the rock type under your house.

Thursday 31st October 2013, 11.00am – 1.00pm and 1.30pm – 3.30pm, Tyland Barn, Maidstone, ME14 3BD. Suitable for ages 4 – 14 year olds. Contact: Dot Hughes Cost: Suggested donation of £3.00, Booking essential by telephoning 01622 662012 or emailing dot.hughes@kentwildlife.org.uk

Contact us
Kent Wildlife Trust
Tyland Barn
Sandling
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 3BD

Phone 01622 662012 Fax 01622 671390 or info@kentwildlife.org.uk

false_false_widowsNews stories about false widow spiders are an annual occurrence, but this year the coverage has been far more persistent, with more sensationalised, unsubstantiated and downright nonsense stories than usual. With over 650 species of spider in the country but very limited public awareness there is little appreciation of the diversity of spiders, and any spiders vaguely resembling false widows (and some spiders looking nothing like false widows), are being identified as such by the press and subsequently members of the public, and vice versa since it seems fact-checking by journalists is rare. Having said that, false widows are fairly common and widespread in the South, and have been around for some time. Read More

Young Epilepsy has honoured a former war-time student, who left £100,000 to the charity in her Will, by unveiling a commemorative plaque telling her story.

Former student, Mabel White from Sussex, lived on the Young Epilepsy campus between 1940 and 1943, during the Second World War. Mabel had epilepsy due to a childhood head injury and bequeathed the legacy because she felt that the care and education provided by Young Epilepsy St Piers had transformed her life. Read More

NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is holding it’s next governing body meeting on Wednesday 23 October. The meeting is at the CCG offices at 50 Pembroke Court, Chatham Maritime between 1pm and 5pm and is open to the public.

The agenda and papers will be available on the CCG website (www.medwayccg.nhs.uk) this Friday (18 October) and any questions should be tabled in advance where possible although they will also be taken on the day.

Visitors’ parking is available in the CCG overflow car park at Dickens World. Permits should be obtained in advance. To table a question or request a parking permit, contact Sharon Davies by email sharon.davies6@nhs.net, by phone 01634 335177 or in writing to Executive Support and Governance Assistant, NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, 50 Pembroke Court, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4EL.

Medway has 25,000 carers according to the last census and Medway Council and NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) believes many more people are caring for friends or family but not recognising the extent of their role. More

Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, is delighted to announce that recruitment for her Youth Commissioner post is now open.

Applications can be submitted by visiting http://www.kent-pcc.gov.uk, where a full job description and a statement from the Commissioner are available. Recruitment will close at midnight on 3rd November 2013.

Death is a certainty that we all face and can be a time of distress for not only the person whose life is ending, but the loved ones they are leaving behind. When asked, most people express preferences about their end of life such as wanting to die at home. But few people currently have conversations about this. A short film hopes to change that, and encourage people to let loved ones and health professionals know their wishes. Read More

Welcome to another exciting installment in this season’s Peninsula Darts action. With the expanding of the league’s ‘premises’ and promotion of two very good teams into the first division, it is anyone’s guess how things will unfold. Well, so far, so topsy-turvy! Newly promoted Hoo have made a bold start by beating neighbours Five Bells (9-3), the Evening Star (10-2) and then the champions at The Labour Club in Twydall (8-4). The Labour Club’s A team are sitting close by in second place after another cracking start. Wins over The Labour Club B, The Palmerston Club and at The Hogarth in Grain. Also in joint second place in the table are ‘old’ league members The Sportsman A, who have also triumphed in Grain, beaten The Cecil Arms and put paid to the hard to beat White Horse. Again, another place affected by legs won and lost. Much fancied Walnut Tree, from Gillingham, have lost just one game so far, against fellow cross-river team, Palmerston Club, enough to keep them back in seventh place behind The White Horse in Upper Stoke. The lower reaches of the first division are more interesting. Read More

Patients and carers from Medway and Swale took the opportunity to receive one-to-one welfare benefits advice and support at an information event at the Wisdom Hospice, Rochester on Thursday 10 October 2013.

The event was held in support of Hospice Care Week 7-13 October 2013, a national week to raise awareness of the range of support available to people with life-limiting conditions and their families. Read More

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Registration has opened for Medway’s newest mass participation event – the Medway Big Splash.

The weekend-long event will showcase watersports, aquatics and water-based activity sessions, all culminating in the main event – a mass community swim challenge.

It takes place at Medway Park and Strood Sports Centres on 18 and 19 January 2014.

The swimming event builds on the success of the annual Medway Mile, which now attracts thousands of people of every age for a one-mile walk or run around Rochester. Read More

Ann Barnes, Kent Police & Crime Commissioner, has announced that Ian Learmonth, Chief Constable of Kent Police, has informed her of his intention to retire in January 2014 having served for 40 years in the Police service. Read More

Statue of General Gordon (Ron Strutt) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Statue of General Gordon (Ron Strutt) / CC BY-SA 2.0

24th October, 7pm, Royal Engineers Museum

General ‘Chinese’ Gordon was one of the most famous figures of Victorian society and has been immortalised books, paintings and most notably the 1966 film ‘Khartoum’ where he was played by Charlton Heston. Read More

If, like me, you have recently discovered or rediscovered the beauty of the Grain coastal area you may be interested in reading the article written by Michael Dale about the area and beyond. An article he contributed to the Thames Estuary Partnership Magazine for 2012 and reasserts the value or should I say several of the different values of this most remote part of our Peninsula. The full article can be found here TOTT_Winter_2012_36-37 (1)

Michael also runs regular guided walks around the park, stopping on occasions to impart to you the fascinating history of parts of the park. Join one of these if you can, there are two remaining for this season and they take place on the 27th October and the 24th November, you can get more details by emailing michael.dale@virgin.net or calling 01634 270314

This week an email flooded in to our office with a couple of photographs attached. The email was from a lady that lives in Australia, now that’s a big place so to narrow it down a bit, Perth. The lady that sent the email and the photographs is Jean Williams (nee Wall) and she is looking to catch up with class mates from her school days before she and her family emigrated to Australia in 1978. Please have a look at the images and see if you are in them and contact the office on 01634 780041 or email us using office@peninsulatimes.co.uk if you would like to get back in contact with Jean. Click on the image to see a larger version

1946/47 class at the Primary School now the library

1946/47 class at the Primary School now the library


Wainscott school calss of 1952/1953

Wainscott school class of 1952/1953

tuba Saturday 19th October the Kent Police Brass Band will be playing at Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Church and there are still a few tickets available if you would like to go you can get tickets from Stuart Coombs on 01634 251705

Fagin

Fagin

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 17th of October 7.00 for a 7.15 start. An extraordinary AGM followed by a talk by Dean Caston titled “The Victoria Palace Theatre” The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens World in Chatham. Non Members are welcome for a small fee. For details of the R&CDF or for non-members to attend contact the Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin on 01474 834164. For Dickens World – http://www.dickensworld.co.uk

Dean Caston – The Victoria Palace Theatre

The current Victoria Palace theater opened in 1911 so most of the talk covers the period 1911 to date. However, Dean will also talk about the history of the theater from 1832 – 1866 when it was a Music Hall.

Dean Caston has been involved with the theater for over 35 years and serves on the committee for the Rainham Theatrical Society and the British Musical Society. He is currently appearing at the Criterion Music Hall in Sheerness and will be appearing soon in ‘Dick Whittington’ at the Hazlitt Theater, Maidstone. Dean is also a tour guide at Dickens World.

If you live within the distribution area of the Peninsula Times printed version, you will doubtless be aware of Anim-Mates charity and the good work that they do. If you have some time to attend one or both of these events you would be providing tremendous help to them. Plus you get to eat CAKE at one of the events and everyone likes cake!

Just to illustrate the kind of people they are. We found a cat hiding under our car at home, clearly injured and clearly in distress. We tried in vain to contact other animal charities for help without success. We called Anim-Mates and hoped, someone answered, not only did they answer but they gave us the address of a vet that could help and even called ahead to say that we were coming and any charge should be referred to them. Unfortunately the poor little cat died as a result of her injuries within a day or so and although it was a short period of time Anim-Mates were there and available to help when bigger and better known charities were not. Please help them if you can by going along to have some fun at these events.

If you can’t quite read the detail click on the image to make it huge!

fun auction 2013

Afternoon Tea 2013

DSC_0176Having successfully won funding of £14m in a joint effort with Veolia Environmental Services, our recycling collections will change to weekly on the 28th October. Almost all of us by now will have received our grey food recycling box which can be kept inside the house and its compostable liner can then be placed in the brown bin or its equivalent.

The increase in frequency should make it easier for most households to make the most of their recycling opportunities for all the items that the council currently process. I for one will be glad to know that Friday is recycle day, full stop, rather than having to peer up and down the road to see what everyone else has put out. Read More

hrhprincemichaelHis Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO visited The Historic Dockyard Chatham on Friday 4th October.

This private visit was made primarily to meet members of Chatham Historic Dockyard Volunteer Service (CHDVS) of which HRH Prince Michael has been patron for the past 15 years. His last visit to the dockyard was in 2008 when he opened the newly refurbished Victorian Ropery gallery. Read More

trainThe rail industry’s powers to increase fares are being curbed as part of the Government’s drive to cut the cost of living and overhaul the existing rail fare system.

The ability of train operators to add an additional five per cent to some individual fares, as long as the average rise of regulated fares is maintained at one per cent above inflation, is being limited to just two per cent as part of the Government’s Fares and Ticketing review published today by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

As well curbing the rise in fares, the review opens the door for future innovations such as the end of paper tickets, a code of conduct for train companies to give passengers the confidence that they are getting the best deal for their journey, and a flexible approach to season tickets which could benefit part-time workers.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “By capping fares we are protecting passengers from large rises at a time when family incomes are already being squeezed. We will need to wait for the rail industry to calculate individual ticket prices for next year, but this cap could save some commuters as much as £200 a year.

“Alongside this, the Government is investing over £16bn to transform our rail network, which will make sure we can respond to increasing passenger demand and drive forward economic growth that will help strengthen our economy.”

The Fares and Ticketing Review sets out the Government’s vision for a modern, customer-focused fares and ticketing system aimed at encouraging even more people to travel by rail and ensuring they have a better experience.

In addition to the limit on the maximum increase in regulated fares, the review includes a range of further measures:

• A Ticketing Code of Practice. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) will oversee the code to ensure that passengers are provided with the information they need to choose the best ticket for their journey and that this information is clear and not misleading.

• Ticket Offices. A strengthening of the rules around how train companies alter opening times at station ticket offices. The Government’s intention is that passenger representative bodies can play a greater role in shaping any changes and ensure that appropriate passenger safeguards are also put in place.

• Flexible Ticketing. The Government is committed to introducing more ’touch in – touch out’ rail tickets across the network which could mean part-time workers receive a discount on season tickets for travelling 3 days rather than 5 or for travelling earlier or later. The Department for Transport’s £45 million South East Flexible Ticketing programme will pilot many of these innovations next year.

• Market Review. The ORR will look into the sale of tickets and consider whether current markets are operating efficiently, effectively, and in the best interests of passengers and taxpayers. The Department has committed to consider any cost-effective recommendations that come out of the review.

• Annual Surveys. ATOC has agreed to release information to customers from next year on how well ticket office staff, ticket machines, and websites perform in regards to selling passengers the best ticket for their journey.

• Single Leg Pricing. The DfT is planning a pilot scheme which will allow passengers to more easily ‘mix and match’ each ticket type when planning a return journey, giving passengers extra confidence that they are getting the best deal on their journeys.

The Fares and Ticketing review can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/rail-fares-and-ticketing-review

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin’s Written Ministerial Statement on the Fares and Ticketing Review: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/fares-and-ticketing-review

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin’s speech to the Rail Industry following the Fares and Ticketing Review: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/fares-and-ticketing-review–2

harlequin CD coverThe Rude Mechanical Theatre Company this week release the long-awaited soundtrack album from their 2013 summer production ‘Harlequin Goes to the Moon’. Recorded live by the cast at the company’s Peppe Nappa Studio in Eastbourne during the tour which featured over forty shows covering East and West Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and Devon, “I Want, I Want!” provides a permanent reminder of one of their most successful tours since they started to produce original plays in 2002. Read More

Teenagers can sign up to the new, online UCAS e-card scheme to receive valuable advice about applying to university and college.

For the first time, the free service will also provide information on graduate employment opportunities as well as tailored details on courses and open days plus fantastic big brand discounts. Read More

A six month search to find the most innovative property and construction schemes in the South East is now on, following the launch of the 2014 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) South East Awards on Friday, 4th October 2013.

Considered the region’s property ‘Oscars’, the annual awards celebrate the region’s most inspirational development initiatives and conservation and community benefit schemes. The launch is the starting point for a six month long high profile campaign to find the South East’s leading examples of best practice, culminating in the Awards Dinners in spring 2014. Read More

Entries are flooding in to a competition to come up with innovative technology-based ideas to improve local communities.

Kent Connects, a public sector technology partnership which links all of the county’s councils with the emergency services and NHS, is offering £9,000 in prizes for the best ideas and prototypes to a range of challenges. Read More

Householders in Gravesham will get a new and easy way to increase recycling as part of a major reorganisation of refuse and recycling collections in the borough next summer. The proposals will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet on 7 October.

Under the preferred scheme food waste will be collected weekly in separate new food caddies along with residual waste in black sacks every week. Once a fortnight recycling will be collected in wheeled bins. This has been proved to increase recycling and reduce residual waste as well as limiting the mess caused by food waste. Read more

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