Arguing the Case for Excellent Care at Cavendish Hospital

Ruth George MP during her visit to Fenton ward, Cavendish Hospital, Buxton

Following the positive response to my question as part of the Better Care Closer to Home consultation meeting, I have met with Steve Allinson, Chief Officer of North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and we were shown round both Spencer and Fenton wards to see the wonderful and effective care they offer to the residents of High Peak. Thank you very much to the staff who spoke with us and I know that Steve was impressed.

I appreciate that this is a very difficult time for staff and families, especially as it has just been announced that Riverside Ward at Newholme Hospital in Bakewell will be closing next week on 23rd August. Riverside Ward had few patients, and was struggling to recruit staff, so it is a very different situation from the wards at The Cavendish which are fully utilised.

The Trust which runs the hospitals has announced that a pilot Dementia Rapid Response Team (DRRT) will be set up in the next few weeks.  I have asked for clarification as to where this pilot group will operate, which staff roles will be involved, and how its effectiveness will be measured. I have also asked for the difficult position of staff to be recognised and as much support as possible to be given to them.  Their skills, experience and commitment are vital to both current and future patients, and all the NHS bodies must strive to ensure that staff are informed, involved and supported.

The CCG has committed to run a Rapid Response Team alongside the provision at Spencer Ward to see whether it will be effective at reducing the need for the dementia assessment and support role provided by the Ward.

Whilst I would be very pleased to see support offered to more families who are struggling to care for a loved one suffering from dementia at home, I am concerned that the new provision for more seriously ill patients to be cared for at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield has not taken into account the impact of long travel distances for family and friends of patients.  This will not only cause huge distress for patients and their families, but will mean that patients cannot be supported to gradually return home for their ongoing care, which helps families stay together wherever possible and reduces the costs of care.  I am therefore supporting the complaint submitted by High Peak residents challenging the decision making process by the CCGs involved.

Whilst we have been assured that cost is not a factor in the decisions on Spencer and Fenton wards, they must be put into the context that the CCG is in a very difficult financial position, having to find £27.3m savings – over 6% of their total budget.

I appreciate the work that is being done by the CCG to try and achieve the level of cuts demanded by NHS England with the least impact on patient care. I have offered my support to persuade the Department of Health to seek fewer cuts to be required immediately.

Through all the uncertainty, one thing is certain – our need for health care is increasing rather than reducing. I hope that as our health service changes through the new Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which seek to integrate health and social care, that the need for continuing local care for elderly people in High Peak will be recognised.

I can make no promises and I will not give any assurances that I cannot fulfil, but I will continue to argue the case for the excellent care provided at Spencer and Fenton wards.

Thank you very much to all the staff who continue to give such high-quality care and who go above and beyond for your patients, even in such uncertain times.

Ruth will continue to fight for Cavendish Hospital

I understand staff were informed yesterday that the North Derbyshire and Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be recommending to their board members on Monday evening (24th July) that more funding should be put into support at home for patients who are recuperating after Hospital and those suffering with dementia. They propose that the funding should be obtained by closing Spencer ward and halving the beds on Fenton ward from 18 to 8.  With Newholme Hospital in Bakewell also closing, the only specialist dementia beds would be at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield.

I have visited Spencer and Fenton wards and saw for myself the outstanding care they give.  I have met with the CCG Chief Executive to press him very hard about this decision.  I agree that there needs to be more support for the many carers who struggle with caring for loved ones with dementia at home, but I have made clear that it is not acceptable that patients who do need hospital care are transferred to Chesterfield, far away from familiar surroundings, where their loved ones will be unable to visit as often as they wish, and in some cases not at all.

The CCG have assured me that no care beds at The Cavendish will be reduced until satisfactory alternative arrangements are in place.  That means Dementia Rapid Response Teams (DRRTs) who support patients with dementia at home would be running alongside all the beds at Spencer ward for a while.

At that stage, the CCG will need to assess whether their strategy is working to support more people to remain at home for longer, thus reducing the need for hospital beds.

Even if this is happens, I believe the best solution for both cost and for patient care is that those beds still needed for patients with severe dementia are kept in Buxton with the expertise of Spencer ward staff to care for those in-patients and provide support for carers at home.  I will attend the public meeting on Monday, 24th July.

This is the solution I will fight for.

Ruth George,

Member of Parliament for High Peak

 

Staff Advert: Caseworker (part-time: 22.5 hours per week), for High Peak Constituency Office

Job Title: Caseworker (part-time: 22.5 hours per week)

Working For: Ruth George MP

Location: High Peak

Salary: £19,000 – £22,000 per year pro-rata FTE (dependent on experience) + benefits + pension

Job Details

Ruth George MP is recruiting a part-time Caseworker to join her constituency office team in the High Peak.

The post-holder will provide advice and support to constituents on a range of issues and to the Member of Parliament and community on broader community campaigns.

Applicants should be effective and professional at all times, with a desire to be part of a busy, high performing constituency team dedicated to providing the best service to constituents in High Peak. You will play a key role in delivering the highest quality service to the constituents of High Peak.

Key Tasks

  1. Provide advice and support to constituents on a variety of issues through liaison with Government agencies, the voluntary sector and others to resolve matters.
  2. Maintain the highest standards of constituent care through the lifecycle of every matter – including quick responses, continued updating and swift resolution.
  3. Ensure the effective use of document and case management systems to methodically and accurately record, categorise and close matters from constituents and others within the constituency.
  4. To act in line with data protection laws, the principles of public life and other relevant compliance and policy requirements including constituent care service levels and branding guidelines.
  5. Deputise for the Senior Caseworker as appropriate (for example, attending surgeries as required with the Member of Parliament).
  6. Contribute to a weekly briefing of new, continuing and closing matters for the Member of Parliament.
  7. Liaise with the Parliamentary Office to ensure the effective communication of constituency related issues.
  8. Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation, guidance and procedures in order to assist constituents, through ongoing training and development.
  9. Provide secretarial services as and when required by the Member of Parliament.
  10. Supervise other staff members, including volunteers and interns, in the constituency office where appropriate.

 

The successful candidate will possess the following:

  1. Demonstrable experience of casework or a similar role.
  2. Good knowledge of key policy issues: housing, immigration and finance matters.
  3. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  4. People skills.
  5. A commitment to equal opportunities.
  6. Understanding of the need for strict confidentiality.
  7. Excellent organisational skills and a methodical approach to record keeping.
  8. Strong IT skills including Microsoft Office (caseworker.mp experience desirable).
  9. Interest in current affairs and sympathy with Labour Party values.

Other Information

  1. References required.
  2. Closing date will be Monday 17th July with interviews on Wednesday 26th
  3. To start as soon as possible.
  4. The role is 0.6FTE (22.5 hours per week).
  5. The contract of employment will be subject to a 6 month probationary period and will initially be a 12 month contract.
  6. The Member of Parliament may be able amend this or offer flexibility and/or job sharing for the right candidate(s).
  7. Please note this role may include evening and/or weekend work as agreed with the Member of Parliament.
  8. Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.

Application Details

Applicants should apply by emailing their CV (maximum two pages) and a covering letter (maximum 500 words) setting out why they are the right person for the job and to join Ruth’s team to ruth.george.mp@parliament.uk.

Please note that applications made not following the above process will not be considered.

All shortlisted candidates will receive feedback. If you do not hear from Ruth’s office please assume that you have not reached the shortlisting stage.

Staff Advert: Office Manager, for High Peak Constituency Office

Job Title: Office Manager

Working For: Ruth George MP

Location: High Peak

Salary: £25,000 – £30,000 per year (dependent on experience) + benefits + pension

Job Details:

Ruth George MP is recruiting for the role of Office Manager for her constituency office in the High Peak Constituency.

This senior role will act as the lead staff member in the constituency office, ensuring the effective management of the office, supervising responses to constituents, managing budgets, dealing with reporting requirements and supervising junior staff and volunteers. Assistance with Casework will be necessary for all staff. Applicants will have previous experience in office management in addition to managing people and budgets.

Applicants should be effective and professional at all times, with a desire to be part of a busy, high performing constituency team dedicated to providing the best service to constituents in High Peak and understanding of the need for strict confidentiality. This role will ensure the effective running of the High Peak constituency office and will be responsible for delivering the highest quality service from all team members.

Key Tasks

  1. General management of the constituency office.
  2. Ensure a range of efficient secretarial and administrative support.
  3. Management of Parliamentary budgets, ensuring the office is fully equipped and keeping the Member of Parliament informed of all relevant financial matters.
  4. Ensuring compliance with all financial reporting requirements.
  5. To act as lead staff member for ensuring auditable compliance with data protection laws, the principles of public life and other relevant compliance and policy requirements including constituent care service levels and branding guidelines.
  6. Liaise with groups/personnel at Westminster, within the constituency and the general public on the Member’s behalf as necessary.
  7. Manage the office team, ensuring accurate personnel records are kept and notifying IPSA of contractual changes as necessary.
  8. Overall management of the Member’s diary commitments, delegating tasks to others as appropriate.
  9. Liaise with the Parliamentary Office to ensure the effective communication of constituency related issues.
  10. Ensure an effective response to all constituents who engage with the Member of Parliament.
  11. Work with the Constituency Office Team to provide advice and support to constituents on a variety of significant and/or complex issues through liaison with Government agencies, the voluntary sector and others to resolve matters.
  12. Maintain the highest standards of constituent care through the lifecycle of every matter – including quick responses, continued updating and swift resolution.
  13. Ensure the effective use of document and case management systems to methodically and accurately record, categorise and close matters from constituents and others within the constituency.
  14. Attend surgeries as appropriate with the Member of Parliament.
  15. Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation, guidance and procedures in order to assist constituents, ensuring that ongoing training and development is received by both the applicant and other team members.
  16. Supervise other staff members, including volunteers and interns, in the constituency office where appropriate.

 

The successful candidate will have the following:

  1. Excellent organisational skills and a methodical approach to record keeping.
  2. Experience of managing budgets and financial reporting.
  3. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  4. People and line management skills.
  5. A commitment to equal opportunities.
  6. Understanding of the need for strict confidentiality.
  7. Strong IT skills including Microsoft Office (caseworker.mp experience desirable).
  8. Interest in current affairs and sympathy with Labour Party values.

 

Other Information

  1. References required.
  2. Closing date will be 12pm on Monday 17th July with interviews on Tuesday 25th
  3. To start as soon as possible.
  4. The contract of employment will be subject to a 6-month probationary period and will initially be a 12-month contract.
  5. The Member of Parliament currently envisages this role being full time, but may be able to offer flexibility and/or job sharing for the right candidate(s).
  6. Please note this role may include evening and/or weekend work as agreed with the Member of Parliament.
  7. Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.

Application Details

Applicants should apply by emailing their CV (maximum two pages) and a covering letter (maximum 600 words) setting out why they are the right person for the job and to join Ruth’s team to ruth.george.mp@parliament.uk.

Please note that any applications made not following the above process will not be considered.

All shortlisted candidates will receive feedback. If you do not hear from Ruth’s office please assume that you have not reached the shortlisting stage.

Ruth responds to the Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s Speech was more notable for what was not included, than the legislation set out.

 

As the Conservatives no longer have a majority in Parliament following the general election and are not even able to put together a coalition as yet, they are not able to go ahead with many of the most damaging policies from their manifesto.

 

I am very pleased that the following manifesto policies were not included in the Queen’s Speech:

 

  • Means testing of the Winter Fuel Allowance for pensioners
  • Ending the Triple Lock on pensions
  • The ‘Dementia Tax’ on social care
  • A Grammar School system
  • Ending free school meals for 5, 6 and 7 year olds
  • Fox hunting

 

By replacing a Conservative MP with a Labour MP, people in High Peak have already made a real difference to the future of our country and a significant contribution to preventing these harmful policies, which so many people told me concerned them.

 

It is good to see that the Conservatives’ manifesto proposals for a very hard Brexit have been softened by adopting the Labour Party’s priorities of supporting businesses and jobs, and I look forward to working with MPs from all parties to try to retain as many of the economic benefits of the European Union during the negotiations on Brexit.

 

I am also pleased that the government have committed to legislation on two areas which I and the Labour Party have been advocating for several years:

 

  • Ending letting agents’ fees
  • A price cap on excessive energy bills

 

However, I am most concerned at the lack of action in the Queen’s Speech on the most pressing issues which we face:

 

  • Huge cuts faced by our schools
  • Long waits for health services
  • Existing and impending Cuts to support for people who need it, particularly People with disabilities and families on low incomes
  • An increase in affordable homes
  • A huge skills shortage which contributes to low productivity across the UK
  • Government investment in our much-needed transport infrastructure

 

The Queen’s Speech represents a continuation of austerity and further cuts to our struggling public services  – a policy which is not only cruel to those who need support, but also holds back our economy and has seen our deficit more than double over the past 7 years.

 

I and others in the Labour Party will be fighting to ensure that public funding is increased where it is needed, but also against the waste of public funds, particularly on unneeded Free Schools, and on contracting out our health services to the private sector.

 

I will also be fighting against cuts to our local services in High Peak and to make sure that our corner of Derbyshire is not overlooked when it comes to the fair distribution of reducing resources.

 

This very sparse Queen’s Speech makes clear that there is a lot to do both in High Peak and across the country.

Ruth in the House of Commons

Ruth George, the first woman to represent the High Peak in the House of Commons, took the oath today. Ruth has been in London at the House of Commons for the last few days, being shown around, how to set up her office, how to employ staff and setting up a constituency office and participating in Prime Minster’s questions.

Ruth has posted regular video updates which you can view on Facebook giving more details.

Ruth says:

I’m looking forward to being able to start taking part in debates and representing the people of the High Peak in Parliament.

Thank you for all of your messages and questions, we appreciate your submissions and will reply as soon as possible.

Ruth George Elected to Represent High Peak as Member of Parliament

I am immensely honoured to have been elected as MP for High Peak with a majority of 2,322. Thank you to all those who have worked so hard for me and to all the people of High Peak who have put your trust in me. I will do my very best to fulfil those expectations.

Click here for details of the victory as it happened from the BBC.

Thank you for all of your messages of support and gratitude. We will try our best to reply to you as quickly as possible.

Watch our Campaign Video

We’ve created this video with the help of Medio Productions to help undecided constituents of the High Peak how to vote this Thursday 8th June. This snap election has had a very limited campaign period and although Ruth and her team have been active all over the High Peak in the last few weeks, it would be impossible to meet everyone in such a short time frame.

Please watch this short video and use the form on our contact page to submit any questions you might have. Thank you.

Tragedy in London

I am shocked and upset at yesterday’s violence in London and our hearts go out to all those who have been affected, and their families.

Both parties have suspended national campaigning today but the Labour Party are determined that those who wish to bring terror to our streets should not succeed in undermining our democracy and have therefore asked us to continue with our local campaigning on this important final weekend before the election.

The Labour Party’s campaigning is done by volunteers who give up their valuable weekends because they share our vision of a Britain that is fairer and where everyone can prosper, not just the few. Although we all feel great sadness, we must not let last night’s terrible events prevent us from looking forward with hope.

Ruth George Statement on the Tragedy in Manchester

We have suspended our General Election campaigning due to the tragedy in Manchester.

My heart goes out to all who are affected, and as a mum who has taken my older children to concerts at the MEN Arena, I cannot imagine the trauma that families must be suffering.

Thank you to all those, in the whole Manchester area, including High Peak, who have come together to give such an amazing response of support for everyone involved. Many of the emergency and medical staff from Manchester’s hospitals live in High Peak, and thank you especially for your rapid and effective response.

We are all affected by the scenes and trauma of Monday night, and will be for a long time to come. Our children are especially concerned – many had friends, or friends of friends who were at the concert, and they feel for them.

Whilst we must always be vigilant, we must not let the tiny minority who seek terror and destruction achieve their goal of making us live in fear, and prevent us from living our lives to the full.

It is only by reaching out to others that we can help to create a world that is filled with love rather than with hatred. Hatred breeds hatred, and those who seek to perpetrate terror thrive on hatred.

Manchester has set a wonderful example of uniting in compassion and in strength. I hope we can all do likewise to turn our righteous anger to a constructive purpose of working together towards even stronger communities, where no one needs to feel left out or alone.

Because we all have more in common than that which divides us.