This week the Government have announced that community pharmacies will face a 12% cut on current funding levels for the rest of this financial year, and a 7.4% cut on current levels the year after.

The pharmacy sector expect the effect of these cuts to be devastating and the government Minister previously responsible for pharmacy funding estimated earlier this year that up to 3,000, a quarter of all pharmacies, could close because of these cuts.

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham has recently thrown his support behind a new campaign, which seeks to support people in debt crisis that suffer from mental health issues. The campaign has been launched by the Money and mental Health Policy Institute, and has brought cross-party support, as well as the backing of a number of charities such as Mind, Rethink and StepChange.

Monday 10th October (today) is World Mental Health Day, and with rising mental health issues nationally this year more charities and organisations are working together to raise awareness. This year the theme set by the Mental Health Foundation is psychological first aid, and they are encouraging ‘Tea & Talk’ events across the country to help raise awareness about the support that people can provide to those in distress. You can find out more about these events, and how to host your own by clicking HERE

In the London borough of Barking and Dagenham there are over 40 surgeries that operate 5 days a week; alongside the availability of 3 advice surgeries for residents within the borough and in the neighbouring borough of Havering.

However, health care is becoming a growing issue across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge [BHR]. Local Labour MP Jon Cruddas has recently spoken out about the cuts and reduction of services locally, highlighting that it is “becoming ever more difficult for residents to access good quality health care” in the local area.

The Heathway Medical Centre located on Broad Street in Dagenham has unfortunately failed to meet targets following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission. The GP practice has been ranked as ‘inadequate’ failing to meet any targets.

The main areas that are looked at during the CQC inspections are; safety, care quality, effectiveness, whether they are responsive and how well-led the facility is. They also look in-depth at specific areas of service such as elderly care, mental health care, families etc.

The practice has now been placed in special measures.

Over the last year a huge campaign has been run across the borough to get the number 5 bus rerouted so that it stops at Queen’s Hospital in Romford. The number 5 goes straight through the borough and would be of great benefit for people, meaning that residents would only have to take one bus rather than changing – or making the walk from Romford town centre.

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, has demonstrated his support for women with breast cancer by becoming a parliamentary ambassador for leading charity Breast Cancer Now.

Jon joins 200 MPs across the country who are pledging their support to Breast Cancer Now – the UK’s largest breast cancer charity – to remind fellow politicians and constituents alike that breast cancer is not a ‘done deal’ and that immediate action must be taken to stop the disease taking lives. 

Last week was Carers’ Week all around the UK. Carers’ week is a week of recognition dedicated to all the help and support that carers provide for their charges. It doesn’t matter if the carers are professionals, or if they a friends and family looking after a loved one. This week is all about raising awareness of the valuable contribution these people having in the community, alongside promoting the support that carers of all ages might need.

Havering council alongside Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust have suggested that the centralisation of sexual health services for the three boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge at Barking Hospital would be a positive move forward for sexual healthcare, increasing efficiency and quality of service.

On 20th April Jon Cruddas MP attended a parliamentary reception organised by Cancer52, a coalition of more than 80 charities representing rare and less common cancers. The reception was hosted and addressed by Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC), John Baron MP.