What are the new restrictions on what you can’t do in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton from the 14th October 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic?

What are the new restrictions on what you can’t do in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton from the 14th October 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic?

What are the new restrictions on what you can’t do in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton from the 14th October 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic?

                                     

A protest outside Wallasey Town Hall in 2016 - protests of this size whilst the regulations are in force will only be allowed if a risk assessment has been carried out and all reasonable measures have been taken
A protest outside Wallasey Town Hall in 2016 – protests of this size whilst these regulations are in force will only be allowed if a risk assessment has been carried out and all reasonable measures have been taken

By John Brace (Editor)
First publication date: 13th October 2020, 12:46 (BST).

Tomorrow (Wednesday 14th October 2020) further public health restrictions come into force in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton. The regulations are called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) Regulations 2020 and are 27 pages long with a 13 page Explanatory Memorandum.
Continue reading “What are the new restrictions on what you can’t do in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton from the 14th October 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic?”

Employment Tribunal hears whistleblowing concerns about patient safety at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Employment Tribunal hears whistleblowing concerns about patient safety at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Employment Tribunal hears whistleblowing concerns about patient safety at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

                                  

Liverpool Civil & Family Court, Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX (the venue for Employment Tribunal case 2420922/2017)
Liverpool Civil & Family Court, Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX (the venue for Employment Tribunal case 2420922/2017)

In the report below on an Employment Tribunal hearing, Dr S McDaid is the Claimant, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is the Respondent. Employment Judge Ryan plus Tribunal Members Barker and Khan were hearing the case. The case involves both allegations about disability discrimination and also about what happened to Dr McDaid after whistleblowing.

Below is a short report on the start of day 7 (20th November 2018) of a 14 day case which started shortly after 10.00 am.


Employment Judge Ryan asked if there was anything parties wanted to mention, and said that he planned to take a break at around 11.00 am to 11.30 am unless someone gave him a signal it was needed sooner.

He briefly talked about a series of events that had previously happened when doors had opened during a fire drill, which also involved an engineer on the air conditioning and how it was no fault on the person’s part that such an extraordinary sequence of events had happened.

One legal professional quipped that it wouldn’t have been believed in the Coroner’s Court.
Continue reading “Employment Tribunal hears whistleblowing concerns about patient safety at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital”

What’s in a ~500 page contract between the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and CRG for a private company to provide detained persons and officers healthcare and medical services?

What’s in a ~500 page contract between the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and CRG for a private company to provide detained persons and officers healthcare and medical services?

What’s in a ~500 page contract between the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and CRG for a private company to provide detained persons and officers healthcare and medical services?

                                

I have a big red box file in my office.

What’s in the box you may ask?

Here’s a sample.

letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 1 of 2
letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 1 of 2
letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 2 of 2
letter Police Crime Commissioner for Merseyside citizen audit 2015-16 page 2 of 2

Well it’s the result of my citizen audit of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside for the financial year 2015-16.

Just to show how long I’ve been a journalist for, you will find on this blog reports of public meetings of the Merseyside Police Authority. A few years ago the coalition government abolished the Merseyside Police Authority and replaced it with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.

In the box are copies of 49 invoices and details of 10 contracts.

The largest contract at ~500 pages is a contract between the Police and Crime Commissioner and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t/a CRG for the “Provision of Forensic Medical and Healthcare Services for the period, 21st January 2015 – 20th January 2017 with an option to extend by a further 2 years.“ which is reference PCCM / PD / 026 – Bluelight ref. 9KBD-BXVLMV .

This is perhaps the most interesting document although like many of the documents is redacted in part.

There’s also a service level agreement with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and a secondment agreement with Liverpool City Council.

Some of the redactions were later challenged by myself and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner agreed with me that they didn’t have a legal basis to do so and released further information.

It is somewhat strange however that myself a journalist seems to have a better knowledge (from a legal perspective) over what can be redacted than the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. However I shouldn’t be too harsh on the OPCC for Merseyside as legal advice is a matter contracted under a SLA out to Knowsley Council (but don’t get me started on Knowsley Council and flawed legal advice!)

However the public sector as a whole has a tendency to for want of an expression take the mickey with me over redactions.

Although thankfully I rarely have to involve the judiciary in such matters.

Anyway going back to the large contract, due to its size from a time element it would take some considerable time to scan in, resize, compress and publish on the blog.

Those of a more political bent, may point out that in the public sector paying a private company for medical and healthcare services, that this falls into the political arguments over whether public services should be provided by the public sector. If provided by the private sector, ultimately less is spent on the service as a proportion ends up in profit (and presumably a different amount in taxes). For example 20% of all the money spent on CRG goes on VAT.

However, from CRG‘s last published accounts for 2015-16, they have a turnover of £34.3 million with a gross profit of 23.1%.

So out of £100 spent by the public sector with CRG, I estimate £16.69 will go on VAT, £23.10 on profit, leaving ~£60 out of every £100 on providing a service.

The contract is signed by Jane Kennedy (the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside) and Laura Hale (a director of Castlerock Recruitment Group Limited).

Moving on to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire it states that it’s for the provision of forensic and healthcare services (excluding SARCS).

SARC refers to Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

It explains that police forces and NHS Local Area Teams are working towards the transfer of commissioning responsibility for healthcare in police custody from the Home Office to the Department of Health and that the work of these Police/NHS Partnerships sits within the National Police Transition Programme.

If this happens during the life of the contract it is anticipated that the commissioning authority changes from Merseyside Police to the NHS England Lancashire Area Team and the contract will be novated.

However police forces and the NHS share contract governance, even after this change. This is done through the Strategic Healthcare Joint Partnership Board, at the time chaired by Chief Superintendant Carl Krueger, with representatives from NHS England Lancashire Area Team and NHS England (Merseyside).

PCC in the contract refers to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside.

The background explains that Merseyside Police was formed in 1974, serves a population of ~1.5 million people, covering an area of 647 sq km and five Metropolitan Borough Areas (Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Wirral).

It then describes the BCUs (Basic Command Units) in operation at the time, which was one for each borough except Liverpool split into two.

The contract refers to the three universities, two premiership football teams (Tranmere Rovers doesn’t get a mention or maybe its fans are better behaved), a rugby league team and two major racecourses. It states that in 2013, Liverpool received 57 million visitors to the region (referring to tourism). At the time of writing Merseyside Police employed over 6,000 people (*although technically police officers aren’t employees but officers of the Crown) ranging from police officers, PCSOs, support staff, Special Constabulary Officers and volunteers).

The custody suites are listed as follows (five in total) with 131 cells. There are also two mothballed custody suites which can be opened for pre-planned events and operations (which is an extra 32 cells).

Here is the list in the following format
location – BCU – Cells – Current operation

St Anne Street – Liverpool – 33 – 24/7
Wavertree – Liverpool – 20 – 24/7
Copy Lane – Sefton – 24 – 24/7
Wirral – 32 – 24/7
St Helens – 22 – 24/7 (Mothballing or reduced opening hours are currently being considered for this suite)
Southport – 12 – Mothballed
Belle Vale – South Liverpool – Mothballed

The contract states that services at the time of the contract award were provided by Medacs Healthcare (contact details Helen Kelly (Director of Managed Healthcare)) and that staff employed by Medacs may need to be TUPEd over to the new provider.

There is a list of how many detainees there are for each month from April 2013-14, how many calls there were for a healthcare professional, along with a percentage of HCP calls vs No of detainees.

The total number of detainees varies from 3,510 in April to 3,927 in July. The number of HCP calls varies from 1,698 in March to 2,217 in July. The percentage varies from 46.3% in March to 56.5% in July.

There is then a table for December 2013 of various categories of call out, split by custody suite location with totals.

For example one of the categories, category 6 is Death (All) of which there were 4 in December 2013. This is 4 out of a total of 2,011 calls for a healthcare professional.

The six major categories (all with totals over 100 call outs in that month across Merseyside) in order of calls were:

Injuries (All) – inc Officer Injury,
Fitness to – Detain, Interview, Release, Court, Travel etc,
Medication Administer / Review,
Drink / Drug Withdrawl,
Reassessment / Mental Health Reassessment,
Detainee’s Request / Complaint against police

There were also 27 listed as Taser Removal / self harm / suicide risk.

Below are the first pages of the contract that I’m referring to. Are people interested in the rest or is police officer healthcare and detained persons’ healthcare an issue you assumed was provided by the NHS?

Just to be clear, these pages are published relating to rights in the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, Data Protection Act 1998 and Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 1
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 1
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 2
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 2
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 3
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 3
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 4
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 4
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 5
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 5
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 6
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 6
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 7
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 7
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 8
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 8
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 9
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 9
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 10
contract Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and Castlerock Recruitment Group LTD t a CRG 10

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£110,000 Community Fund grants scheme now open for expressions of interest from groups for waste prevention, reuse, recycling or carbon benefits projects in Merseyside and/or Halton

£110,000 Community Fund grants scheme now open for expressions of interest from groups for waste prevention, reuse, recycling or carbon benefits projects in Merseyside and/or Halton

                                                              

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Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority public meeting of 5th February 2016 (where councillors agreed to continue the Community Fund for 2016/17)

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority 5th February 2016 agenda item 11 Community Fund 2016 17 L to R Unknown, Mandy Valentine (Assistant Director of Governance and Performance), Cllr Graham Morgan (Chair), Carl Beer (Chief Executive) and Peter Williams (Director of Finance)
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority 5th February 2016 agenda item 11 Community Fund 2016 17 L to R Unknown, Mandy Valentine (Assistant Director of Governance and Performance), Cllr Graham Morgan (Chair), Carl Beer (Chief Executive) and Peter Williams (Director of Finance)

The author of this piece declares an interest as a customer of his business is employed by one of the Wirral organisations that received a grant from Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority in 2014/15 mentioned below.

Last Friday afternoon councillors on the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority agreed to continue the Community Fund for 2016/17 with an allocation of £110,000.

£57,000 has been set aside for regional (Merseyside and Halton) projects with a maximum award of £25,000 per a project in this category.

£48,000 has been set aside for district level projects (districts are Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens, Knowsley and Halton) with a maximum grant award of £8,000 per a project in this category.

Any unspent monies at the regional level will be reallocated to projects at a district level.

Three Wirral based organisations received grant funding last year (2014/15) through this scheme. You can read the full list of organisations that received grant funding for 2014/15 on Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority’s website. There is a detailed report about the projects including photos of some of the 2014/15 projects on Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority’s website (the last photo on the last page of that report includes a photo of former Mayor of Wirral Steve Foulkes and Birkenhead’s MP the Rt Hon Frank Field MP).

Tomorrow’s Women Wirral received £10,000 for their Inspiration Hall project.
Community Action Wirral received £19,982 for their Donate and Create Change project.
Wirral Change received £9,064 for their Too Good To Waste project.

This year the Community Fund is open again for applications from registered charities, not-for-profit organisations (including social enterprises), community, neighbourhood or voluntary groups, faith groups delivering community work, schools, colleges or universities.

It is a two stage grant application process with the first stage being an expressions of interest stage.

Applications are sought for projects that can deliver waste prevention, reuse, recycling and carbon benefits.

A link to the expression of interest form, guidance document and terms and conditions can be found linked from this page on Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority’s website. This page also has contact details for Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority in connection with applications for grants.

The deadline for the first stage (expressions of interest) for this two stage grant process is Wednesday 2nd March 2016.

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