Category Archives: Press Releases

EASINGTON MP WELCOMES LATEST ONE-YEAR CANCER SURVIVAL STATISTICS AT APPGC RECEPTION

MP says earlier diagnosis is key to improvement.

APPG on CancerBy 2020, almost half of the UK population will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. Cancer survival rates in the UK are among the worst in Europe, not least because many people are diagnosed too late when their cancer is advanced. Grahame Morris MP and the APPG on Cancer believe that this must change.

Over the past year the percentage of people in England surviving at least one year from their initial cancer diagnosis has risen from 69.3% to 70.2%. However, this is still well behind comparable international rates – in Sweden, for example, one-year cancer survival is around 82%.

At the event, Grahame Morris MP was presented with the cancer survival rates in Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group that showed that 60% of local people with cancer will live for a year after diagnosis. This is lower than the national one-year survival rate for England of 70%.

Speaking at the event Grahame Morris MP said:

“As the MP for Easington, I will be engaging with the CCG leadership to discuss how we can ensure more local people survive cancer. Being diagnosed early is of utmost importance because it leads to a lower chance of dying from the disease. Every cancer patient deserves to be diagnosed as soon as possible and then receive support throughout their treatment and after it has finished to help them deal with the consequences of their illness.”

Easington MP Grahame Morris marks Srebrenica Memorial Day

Srebrenica Memorial DayTo mark Srebrenica Memorial Day, Grahame Morris MP honoured those who were murdered during the genocide 21 years ago.

Mr Morris signed the Remembering Srebrenica Book of Pledges, promising to play his part in ensuring that the lessons from the genocide are learnt and community cohesion is strengthened in East Durham.

Today marks the 21st anniversary of the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two when over 8,000 men and boys were murdered just because of their faith. The Charity Remembering Srebrenica, which organises memorial events across the UK, says that this year it is time to act to counter the rising threat of Hate Crime in the UK.

Grahame Morris MP said: “Srebrenica Memorial Day reminds us all that a shocking genocide took place only 21 years ago and this should never be forgotten. I strongly encourage everyone to take this day as an opportunity to remember the victims and survivors of Srebrenica, but also to work together to make our own community a place of safety that welcomes and cherishes diversity.”

Srebrenica Memorial Week takes places from 10th – 17th July, with hundreds of local commemorative events taking place across the country arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations, as well as UK and national events taking place in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast remembering the victims of the genocide.

 

 

Easington MP joins call for tougher penalties for dog fighting

Reception at The Churchill Room, House of Lords.

Reception at The Churchill Room, House of Lords.

On Tuesday, Grahame Morris MP attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament held by animal welfare campaigners League Against Cruel Sports, highlighting the horrific reality of dog fighting.

He heard about Cupcake, a Staffordshire bull terrier, who has become the ‘poster dog’ for a campaign which is calling for tougher sentencing and a national register to tackle the scourge of dog fighting across the UK.

Before she was rescued, Cupcake was subjected to horrific abuse by her dog fighting owners. Used as bait to train other dogs to fight, her teeth were broken with pliers to remove her only defence. She had sustained multiple injuries and scars including a head trauma from being slammed against walls or punched, which may lead to her losing an eye. She was also overbred to provide puppies which would either be trained to fight or used as bait themselves.

A dog fight takes place every day somewhere in the UK. Dog fighting is not purely a matter of animal welfare. Evidence from the UK and abroad points to the activity being a ‘gateway’ crime to serious and organised offences, such as drug and gun crime. In the United States dog fighting is recognised as a Grade A felony by the FBI and the practice of tackling dog fighting to prevent other crimes is well established.

Grahame Morris MP said:

“There are thousands of dog owners in my constituency and they will be shocked to hear how animals in the dog fighting world are abused.

“We are a nation of animal lovers, so we need to treat our pets with the respect they deserve. Further action is needed to tackle this sadistic bloodsport – including stiffer sentences as a deterrent to those who force dogs to fight one another.”

The event brought together celebrities, animal welfare groups, and MPs from across Party lines to condemn dog fighting and call on the Government to act.

The League Against Cruel Sports has started a petition calling for the Government to more effectively tackle dog fighting, including increasing sentences for convicted dog fighters. The petition can be signed at www.league.org.uk/dogfighting

Easington MP backs calls to save the NHS bursary

Easington MP Grahame Morris has today backed calls for the Tories to ditch their plans to scrap NHS bursaries for student nurses, midwives and other allied health professionals.

Under plans announced by the Chancellor in November, bursaries for student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals will be scrapped from 2017. The move, which has been criticised by UNISON and the Royal College of Nursing, risks leaving the next generation of frontline NHS staff with thousands of pounds worth of debt after they graduate, and could lead to even greater staff shortages in the NHS.

On Wednesday 4 May, Labour held an Opposition Day debate calling on the Government to “drop its plans to remove NHS bursaries” and consult on how best to fund and support the future healthcare workforce. The debate was based on a cross-party motion signed by 139 MPs, including the Tory MP and former nurse Maria Caulfield.

The Royal College of Nursing has supported calls for the Government to rethink its plan for student nurse funding and go “back to the drawing board.”

The debate comes as new analysis from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Labour Party, shows that the number of nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff working in the NHS has fallen from 6,786 per million people in November 2009 to 6,645 in November 2015.

Grahame Morris MP said:

“NHS staff are the lifeblood of our national health service. However, this Tory government is letting them down.

“The decision of Ministers to cut nurse training places during the last Parliament has left hospital wards dangerously understaffed and patient care at risk, with important tasks being left undone.

“This situation is only going to get worse if Ministers press ahead with their misguided plan to scrap student NHS bursaries and discourage the next generation of frontline NHS staff.

“It’s time Ministers stood up for the NHS, rather than standing by and allowing the staffing crisis to get worse.”

Local MP calls for a public awareness campaign on sepsis

Grahame Morris UK Sepsis TrustGrahame Morris MP for Easington attended a Parliamentary event to raise awareness of Sepsis. A life threatening and relatively unknown condition, which claims the lives of 44,000 people – including 1,000 children – every year in the UK. The event hosted by the APPG on Sepsis and the UK Sepsis Trust was attend by over 40 MPs and Peers, along with a number of patients and their families who have been personally affected by sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that can affect anyone. Young and old, fit and healthy. It arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if it is not recognised early and treated promptly.

In a bid to reduce deaths like these, the UK Sepsis Trust (UKST) and the Sepsis APPG are calling for both the public and healthcare professionals to be more aware of this ‘silent killer’. They are calling for the Department of Health to commit to a public awareness campaign, aimed at both adults and children solely on sepsis.

The UK Sepsis Trust, founded in 2010, brings together leading experts, grass roots health professionals, survivors and persons bereaved; to raise public and professional awareness of sepsis, and provide support for those affected by this terrible condition.

Dr Ron Daniels, Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said:

“We hope that the event will allow MPs to learn more about sepsis and take the message back to their colleagues and constituents.”

“An awareness campaign is something we’ve been calling for a long time. It is an absolute necessity that this campaign is dedicated on sepsis and aimed at a both adults and children. A campaign of course is only a part of what is needed. We need to make sure that healthcare professional education is robust and is mandated. We need to have a better measure of outcomes and we have to have some resources available that reward excellent care.”

Grahame Morris MP stated:

“While sepsis is a condition which may not hit the headlines, it is deadly. It is a little known life threatening illness that claims the lives of 44,000 people in the UK every year, including 1,000 children. If timely interventions proposed by the UK Sepsis Trust were adopted across the NHS it could save up to 12,500 lives a year and the NHS money.”

“I was keen to show my support for efforts to tackle the disease and save lives. I want to see sepsis viewed as a medical emergency and have a higher profile among medical professionals and the public. The easiest and most of effective way of doing this is the government committing to a dedicated public awareness campaign for the general population.”

Too Much Information launches in Parliament

Alex Marshal, Grahame Morris MP and National Autistic Society Ambassador, Robyn StewardEasington MP Grahame Morris attended an event organised by The National Autistic Society who recently launched their Too Much Information campaign. Grahame is backing the charity’s new campaign to improve public understanding of autism.

As part of the campaign, the charity has released a report (Too Much Information: why the public needs to understand autism better) which revealed how poor public understanding of autism is pushing autistic people and their families into isolation.

According to a survey of over 7,000 autistic people, their families and friends, and professionals:

  • 87% of families say people stare and 74% say people tut or make disapproving noises about behaviour associated with their child’s autism
  • 84% of autistic people say people judge them as strange
  • 79% of autistic people and 70% of family members feel socially isolated
  • 50% of both autistic people and family members sometimes or often don’t go out because they’re worried about how people will react to their autism

This is why the National Autistic Society is calling on the public to find out more about autism so they can respond to autistic people with more understanding.

More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum. This means that someone sees, hears and feels the world in a different, often more intense, way to other people. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which means they feel overwhelmed by ‘too much information’ when out in public.

In 2015, a YouGov poll found that over 99.5% of the people in the UK had heard of autism. However, just 16% of autistic people and their families said that the public had a meaningful understanding of autism. This means that while lots of people have heard of the word autism, very few actually understand what it means to be autistic.

The charity has also released a short film, shot from the point of view of a child on the autism spectrum experiencing ‘too much information’ as he walks through a shopping centre. It shows how painful and overwhelming it is for the boy – and how much more difficult it is when people make nasty remarks or throw judgmental glares at him and his mother. The film concludes with the words: ‘I’m not naughty: I’m autistic’.

The Marshall family, whose son Alex plays the little boy in the campaign film, also attended the event in Parliament on Monday. Alex is a ten-year-old autistic boy, and he and his parents share the National Autistic Society’s passion to improve public understanding of autism.

Alex’s mum and dad, Ben and Kathryn Marshall, said: “When Alex was filming, we were watching him from the balcony and there was a woman who gave this look, a little glance. Everybody watching with us said, ‘That’s the look!’ We all knew it. It was that split second of contempt which says, ‘why can’t you control your child?’

“That’s why we’re so thrilled to be involved in the Too Much Information campaign and get the chance to help people realise how big a difference they can make to families like ours, by simply showing a little understanding rather than throwing us a judgmental look.”

Easington MP Grahame Morris, said: “The National Autistic Society’s important report shows why we must work harder to improve public understanding of autism. No-one should ever feel so misunderstood that they sometimes can’t leave their home.

“That’s why I’m pleased to support the Too Much Information campaign and am encouraging my constituents to learn a little bit more about autism.

“A basic understanding of autism could help open up the world for autistic people and their families in our community and across the UK.

 

Grahame Morris MP pledges to help charity raise awareness of screening in East Durham during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

Bowel Cancer ScreeningAs April marks Bowel Cancer Awareness Month Easington MP Grahame Morris is supporting a call by leading research charity Bowel Cancer UK, urging more people to take part in bowel cancer screening and help save lives.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, affecting both men and women. Every year over 41,000 people (one every 15 minutes) are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 16,200 people die of the disease.

Bowel cancer screening can save lives but at the moment in some areas of the UK only a third of those who receive a test complete it. Thousands of people are missing out on the chance to detect bowel cancer early when it is easier to treat.

Grahame Morris MP said, “As the local MP, I am totally committed to improving uptake rates for bowel cancer screening, both locally and nationally.”

I would urge my constituents who are sent a bowel screening test to use it. Taking part in bowel cancer screening is the best way to get diagnosed early. If you are over 60, take the test when you receive it in the post. If you are younger, tell the people over 60 in your life to take the test. Early diagnosis really can save lives.”

Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said, “I’d like to thank Grahame for supporting our campaign during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month to raise participation levels for bowel cancer screening.

One in 14 men and one in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime but it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.”

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme can detect bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptoms when it is easier to treat. Since its launch 10 years ago, it has been proven to save lives. If you’re registered with a GP and aged 60-74, you will receive a test in the post every two years. You carry out the simple test at home in private and it comes with step by step instructions. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer.

Visit Bowel Cancer UK’s website to find out how you can get involved in their campaign for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, bowelcanceruk.org.uk.

Local MP makes Earth Hour pledge for the planet

Grahame_Morris Earth Hour 02Easington MP, Grahame Morris has signed up to support this year’s Earth Hour by making a special pledge to help protect the planet. Grahame Morris joined WWF campaigners ahead of the global lights out event, due to take place on Saturday 19 March at 8:30pm.

MPs are celebrating Earth Hour to send a message that they care about the natural world and help inspire their constituents to go beyond the hour to build a sustainable future for both people and the planet.

Grahame Morris MP said: “Our natural world is precious to all life that inhabits it, but we need to do more to protect it. WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us that there are simple things we can all do for the planet, not for just one hour, but every day. It’s a great opportunity to bring together millions of people from across the world with one united goal – to help protect our planet. That’s why this Earth Hour I’m showing I care about the future of our planet by making a special pledge for a low carbon future.”

Every year Earth Hour inspires millions of people around the world to come together and switch off their lights for one hour in a symbolic act to show they care about our brilliant planet. WWF already works to tackle a lot of environmental challenges – like deforestation, threats to endangered species, and the impacts of climate change – but Earth Hour is a chance for everyone to say they’ll do their bit to help create a sustainable future. It reminds us that together we have the power to make change happen.

Last year a record-breaking 172 countries and some of the world’s most famous buildings including Big Ben, Hong Kong’s skyline and the Sydney Harbour Bridge joined the global celebration. In the UK alone, over 10 million people took part, along with over 4,800 schools, 200 landmarks and thousands of businesses and organisations.

Jennifer Clements, spokesperson for WWF’s Earth Hour, said: “We’re thrilled that MPs have given their support to this year’s Earth Hour and we hope they will inspire many others to get involved. By taking one simple step to switch off your lights at 8.30pm on 19 March, Earth Hour is a chance for all of us to come together and send out a global message about protecting our planet.”

Everyone can join the celebration for WWF’s Earth Hour on Saturday 19 March 2016. For more information and to sign up please visit wwf.org.uk/earthhour

Join in the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #EarthHourUK and @wwf_uk.

About Earth Hour
Earth Hour, organised by WWF, is the world’s biggest celebration for our amazing planet. In the UK last year, over 10 million people took part, along with over 4,800 schools, 200 landmarks and thousands of businesses and organisations. Iconic landmarks including Big Ben and Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Blackpool Tower, The Kelpies, Caerphilly Castle and many more joined the global lights out.

Globally, from Samoa to Tahiti, a record 172 countries and territories took part in the world’s biggest Earth Hour yet. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, South Africa’s Table Mountain, The Acropolis in Athens, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, and the Las Vegas Strip were just a few of the world-famous landmarks that joined in.

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.

Grahame Morris MP supports Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign

Kevin Whatley and Grahame Morris MPEasington MP Grahame Morris joined over 160 other MPs at the launch of Alzheimer’s Society’s new campaign Fix Dementia Care which calls for improvements in hospital care for people living with dementia.

MPs gathered in Westminster to call for greater transparency across the NHS following an Alzheimer’s Society investigation which found too many people with dementia are falling while in hospital, being discharged at night or being marooned in hospital despite their medical treatment having finished. Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) carried out by the charity found that in 2014-15:

  • 28% of people over the age of 65 who fell in hospital had dementia – but this was as high as 71% in the worst performing hospital trust
  • In 68 trusts that responded to this FOI (41%), 4,926 people with dementia were discharged between the hours of 11pm and 6am
  • In the worst performing hospitals, people with dementia were found to be staying five to seven times longer than other patients over the age of 65

Grahame Morris MP said: “Good hospital care for people with dementia should never be a throw of the dice – yet in some hospitals people are routinely experiencing the consequences of poor care.

“Alzheimer’s Society were in Westminster to urge MPs to back their new Fix Dementia Care campaign to end the postcode lottery on the quality of hospital care people with dementia face. The first step to improving the issue across the country is greater transparency – once we know where the shortcomings are we can take steps to tackle them.”

George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We must put a stop to the culture where it’s easier to find out about your local hospital finances than the quality of care you’ll receive if you have dementia. We are encouraging everyone to get behind our campaign to improve transparency and raise the bar on quality.”

“Poor care can have devastating, life-changing consequences. Becoming malnourished because you can’t communicate to hospital staff that you are hungry, or falling and breaking a hip because you’re confused and no-one’s around to help, can affect whether you stand any chance of returning to your own home or not.

“We are delighted to have been able to engage over 160 MPs in one day. Grahame Morris MP has a huge influence in Easington and we hope he will use this opportunity to take action and improve the care for people living with dementia.”

The campaign is making the following recommendations to fix dementia care:

  • All hospitals to publish an annual statement of dementia care, which includes feedback from patients with dementia, helping to raise standards of care across the country
  • The regulators, Monitor and the Care Quality Commission to include standards of dementia care in their assessments

Alzheimer’s Society is calling on people to back the Fix Dementia Care campaign by signing up at www.alzheimers.org.uk/fixhospitalcare

Tories hand millions to wealthiest councils – but there’s only cuts for Durham County Council

cropped-attachment-21.jpgLabour MP Grahame Morris has accused the Government of a stitch-up after the Chancellor handed hundreds of millions of pounds to the wealthiest Tory councils to ease the pain of spending cuts – but offered nothing to Durham County Council.

Durham County Council has suffered some of the highest spending cuts since 2010, but has received nothing at all in today’s announcement.  Meanwhile, leafy Surrey – one of England’s wealthiest shires – today gets a hand-out of £24m despite suffering far fewer cuts in recent years.

Tory MPs became alarmed when they realised their areas might soon see cuts similar to those imposed on the rest of the country.  They threatened to vote down the Government’s planned cuts until Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced a £300 million ‘transitional grant’.  The Government have refused to say where the extra money comes from.

Labour analysis shows that £255 million of the grant – 85% – goes to Tory councils. Areas where Labour runs the council receive just £17 million, despite suffering the harshest cuts since 2010 and having higher levels of deprivation.

Easington Grahame Morris MP said:

“There is no fairness in local government finance.

The Government are using public money to avoid a rebellion from Tory back benchers appalled at spending cuts, which are only a fraction of those we have already seen in County Durham.

Local Authorities in areas of high deprivation and in the greatest need are being starved of vital resources in order to cushion the blow for those in the Tory heartlands.”