Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

Sharon in and around Washington and Sunderland West - some highlights

Sat 9th Sept, 2017

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Caption: Above, Sharon attends public exhibition by Coast Communications for the propsed Rolton Kilbride gasification plant at Washington.

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Caption: Above, Sharon talking to an emissions expert at the exhibition.

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Caption: Above and below, Sharon discussing the exhibition with Washington Councillors Dianne and David Snowdon.

Sharon attends Rolton Kilbride's public exhibition on the proposed gasification plant - at the Washington Leisure Centre, Sat 9th Sep 2017

Sat 9th Sept, 2017 Caption: Above, Sharon attends public exhibition by Coast Communications for the propsed Rolton Kilbride gasification plant at Washington. Caption: Above, Sharon talking to an emissions expert... Read more

As part of the First Phase of the Path to Excellence consultation, Sharon was invited to attend a meeting of the Sunderland and South Tyneside Joint Health Scrutiny Committee to give her views on the consultation and the proposed plans.

Sharon's comments from the meeting can be read below. 

If any constituent wishes to include their views in this consultation, they can visit the Path to Excellence website and fill out the survey there: https://pathtoexcellence.org.uk/take-part-survey/ 

Further details about the proposed plans can be read on the Path to Excellence website. 

PLEASE NOTE THE CONSULTATION CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT ON THE 15TH OCTOBER 2017. 

 

** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY **

Thank you, Chair.

Thank you for inviting me to speak to your committee this afternoon.

I don’t want to speak for too long, as I know there is a packed agenda of other stakeholders to hear from.

In my contribution, I just want to raise some points about the consultation along with seeking reassurances that as many people as possible are being consulted with, especially those from disadvantaged groups.

As we know, these proposed plans come at a time when the NHS is facing serious reductions in its resources form central government with every growing demand by patients.

The work of our NHS staff is commendable and we should never stop praising them for their hard work and dedication – something I know every one of us in the room here today can agree upon.

However, I want to seek assurances from those here today that the plans being put forward will not put further strains on our already overly stretched NHS staff and guarantee that patients will not see a diminished quality or access to services?

Capacity has already been mentioned with regard to Sunderland Royal Hospital and I’m sure will be mentioned again by others. But also the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Queen Elizabeth Hospital could be effected.

We cannot escape the fact that these plans are about cuts. Cuts which are passed off as efficiencies but nevertheless, are being inflicted upon our NHS from a national position which is ideologically driven.

We know efficiencies can always be made when it comes to our public services, but the drive to make our NHS more efficient should never be done in a way that impedes on the experiences of staff and patients alike.

I’m aware some centralising of services make sense and can greatly improve the services offered so this is about taking the public, staff and patients on this journey with a full and transparent consultation, which is why we are all here today.

Service users and staff should be at the centre of every decision made. I know that my constituents want to see quality NHS services in their local area that they can access with ease by staff who are confident in the structures designed.

That is why I welcome that this consultation is happening, whilst recognising there are concerns about how it is being done. For example, am I correct in thinking that people are not allowed or encouraged just to turn up at the public hearings – but have to register first to be allowed to attend?

People should have their voices heard on these proposals, as we know that people value our NHS so dearly. The consultation events being held are important, but as we know people may not have the chance to attend these sessions and will instead take part in the survey on the Path to Excellence website.

Though, from recent information released to the public, there have only been 414 survey responses to date. Is that correct? It may be a little higher since that figure was released. Now I don’t have the population figure to hand that this consultation covers but it’s many hundreds of thousands, possibly not much short of ½ million. So that does seem a little low to me?

So I have genuine concerns that these responses will not fully reflect the thoughts of local people, and as a crucial way for people to engage with this consultation, I hope that the two remaining sessions planned will be opened up to as many people as possible to allow people with as many opportunities as possible to engage with the future of local provision.

Decisions as great as these should have the fullest engagement from local people so that services reflect what they wish and expect.

It is also important that groups who are harder to engage with, through many complex reasons, have their say including young people and older people, disabled people, BME communities and LGBT people.

Some of these groups access services on a regular basis and it is crucial that they are listened to, just as all of us should be.

I understand that support is out there for charities and organisations to provide routes in for these groups to engage with the consultation – and I would welcome an update from the committee on this and what they hope to do further to ensure everyone is listened to.

These plans will change the very nature of our local NHS services. Consultation is important so that people are not caught unaware when a service may close and they then struggle to access it.

I hope the committee can give me the reassurances that this consultation is being done in a way that everyone can have their say, and we can ensure our NHS reflects the wishes of local people. 

Sharon attends Path to Excellence Consultation Meeting

As part of the First Phase of the Path to Excellence consultation, Sharon was invited to attend a meeting of the Sunderland and South Tyneside Joint Health Scrutiny Committee to...

Information for my constituents regarding Rolton Kilbride's proposed renewable energy centre Hillthorn Park in Washington

Rolton Kilbride proposed renewable energy centre Hillthorn Park in Washington

Information for my constituents regarding Rolton Kilbride's proposed renewable energy centre Hillthorn Park in Washington Read more

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jul-Sep 2017 number 96

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Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jul-Sep 2017 number 96

Sharon Hodgson MPs report Jul-Sep 2017 number 96

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jul-Sep 2017 number 96 Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jul-Sep 2017 number 96 Read more

 

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jun-Jul 2017 number 95

Sharon Hodgson MP report number 95 

 Click on picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jun-Jul 2017 number 95

Sharon Hodgson MPs report Jun-Jul 2017 number 95

  Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jun-Jul 2017 number 95   Click on picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jun-Jul 2017 number 95 Read more

Sharon has again backed the Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign in a bid to prevent summer tragedies.

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Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children in the UK, with the latest stats showing that in the last five years, 48 children aged nine and under had drowned, with 147 young people aged 10 – 19 having lost their life due to drowning.

Annually, around 400 people accidentally drown and summer months pose a particularly high-risk as people escape the warmer weather to cool off. Last year, 85 people drowned in July and August alone.

Drowning Prevention Week, run by the Royal Life Saving Society, aims to ensure everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near water. This year’s campaign runs from 16 – 26 June and will see leisure centres, schools, businesses and youth groups utilising RLSS’s UK’s water safety resources in their communities.

To find out how to stay safe around water this summer, contact your local leisure centre to see if they are running an event, or visit the RLSS UK’s website www.rlss.org.uk to access their water safety advice.

Sharon said:

“Here in our local area, we have all too often heard about young people drowning, especially during the summer months. That’s why it is important to back national campaigns like the RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week and encourage activity in our local area.

“Raising awareness of the dangers of drowning is crucial to reducing the numbers of deaths we see every year, but also it is just as important to be pushing for an improvement in life-saving skills for everyone, especially children and young people during their school years.

“I hope as many people as possible will get involved in RLSS UK’s campaign this year and get involved locally at events across our area, and remember to stay safe as the weather heats up.”

Drowning Prevention Week also aims to raise money for the RLSS UK’s wider drowning prevention work, which includes providing support for families affected by drowning or near drowning. Donate now by texting DPRW17 and an amount to 70070.

Sharon supports RLSS UK's Drowning Prevention Week campaign

Sharon has again backed the Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign in a bid to prevent summer tragedies. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children...

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2017 number 94

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Click on picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Mar-Apr 2017 number 94

Sharon Hodgson MP's report Mar Apr 2017 number 94

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Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2017 number 93

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Read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Feb-Mar 2017 number 93

Sharon Hodgson MPs report Feb-Mar 2017 number 93

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2017 number 93 Read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Feb-Mar 2017 number 93 Read more

Sharon is backing the Royal Mail Children’s Stamp Competition which will see children across the country showcase their creative designs featured on the official Christmas stamp for 2017.

This will be the fourth time in Royal Mail’s history that the official Christmas stamp has been designed by children – previous years included 1966, 1981 and 2013, and this year’s stamp could be designed by a child from Washington and Sunderland West.

The theme of the competition this year is: “What does the Christmas season mean to you?”. Out of the submissions, two designs will be selected by a panel of judges and these two winning designs will feature on the 1st Class and 2nd Class stamps this Christmas.

The stamps will also be approved by the Queen herself, who approves all special stamps that go out via Royal Mail. This means the winning designs will appear on millions of letters and parcels that are sent over the Christmas period.

All entries must be received by the closing date of Friday 17th March 2017, and details about getting one of the 8,000 available resource packs can be found by visiting: www.royalmail.com/stampcompetition

Sharon said:

“Creativity is something we should always aim to nurture and support, that is why I am backing Royal Mail’s Children’s Stamp Collection so the next generation of artists and designers can have their creative visions featured up and down the country during the Christmas period this year.

“I hope that parents and primary schools in my constituency will get involved with this competition and help light the spark of creativity within our children so they can inspire to become the next top designer or famous artist, and celebrate all that the UK talent has to offer when it comes to creativity.”

 

Sharon backs Royal Mail Children's Stamp Competition

Sharon is backing the Royal Mail Children’s Stamp Competition which will see children across the country showcase their creative designs featured on the official Christmas stamp for 2017. This will...

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jan-Feb 2017 number 92

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Read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jan-Feb 2017 number 92

Sharon Hodgson MPs report Jan-Feb 2017 number 92

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jan-Feb 2017 number 92 Read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jan-Feb 2017 number 92 Read more

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