Quote of the week

Life isn't about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself'

George Bernard Shaw
If you cannot mould yourself entirely as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking?
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/wish.html

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Care at Home

My mother in law, Pauline, who is over 80, had a fall this week, and was obliged to visit the Accident and Emergency Department at the West Suffolk Hospital.  The outcome was not too bad, but she has cracked a bone in her arm and will have to wear a sling for a few weeks.  In the old days Pauline would probably have been taken in to hospital, at least for a few days.  It is a sign of the times that she was in fact home again within a few hours and now has carers, arranged by the hospital, coming in morning and evening to help her out.  (I am happy to say that she was very pleased with the service that she received at the hospital.)

My mother in law’s experience is not unusual.  Hospital beds are at a premium and funding for public services generally is limited to say the least.  Councils and the NHS have realised that it is much better to look after people in their own homes as far as possible.  Patients generally prefer it, and in general it is a more cost effective solution for the organisations involved.

The same applies to those who need longer term care; better to support them in their own homes than to assume that a care home is the short term rather than a possible long term solution.

Caring for people at home is a huge topic and means a totally different way of working for both the County Council and for the National Health Service.  Importantly it is a function that neither organisation can fulfil alone, and therefore co-operation between the health and care services is vital.   
In my Mother in Law’s case the system worked well.   This is not always the case however, and getting it right in all circumstances is a challenge.

The Health and Adult Care Policy Group that I chair at the County Council will be looking at the whole subject of ‘Care at Home’ over the next few months.  At the end of last year the council undertook a wide consultation on the issues involved among care users, carers and care providers. The panel will be looking at the results of this to see how services can be better designed.  We will also be looking at how the community at large can be encouraged to help those at home, how housing might be adapted, and how those who need care can fund it.  I am sure that other topics will also arise in the course of discussion.

Any feedback from readers of this site will be much appreciated!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Warning from Suffolk Police about computer scams

Following an increased number of calls to Suffolk Police in the past few days from residents who have fallen victim to telephone scams Suffolk Constabulary is reminding all residents to seek professional advice if you’re not sure about a cold call.
Currently the most common scam is when you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a company such as “Microsoft”. In this situation, the caller may claim there’s an issue with your computer and will ask you to go to a website and download some virus protection software.
Companies like Microsoft would not contact you in this way and if you receive a call similar to this hang up. If you have an issue, call the company directly.
Seek out reviews and references for companies that you haven’t used before, either via the internet or when looking for a trader you can use Suffolk Trusted Trader.
Suffolk Trusted Trader is a directory of local tradesmen who have been checked by Suffolk County Council Trading Standards and made a commitment to treat their customers fairly.
Consumers give feedback on the traders they have used and details of the traders can be found here.

I am sorry that the previous link (copied from the Suffolk Police press release I am afraid) led to a page in Japanese!  Thanks to the correspondent who pointed this out to me in the comment below.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cable theft may mean road closure

I understand from Highways that the road between Acton and Sudbury, which goes past Newmans Green, is likely to be closed at some stage over the next few days.

This is so that British Telecom can replace cabling which apparently has been taken by thieves,  leaving parts of Acton without telephony.

The timing of this closure is uncertain at this stage but I will post again if I receive more information.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A theatrical opportunity this week

Eve Ponsonby in rehersal for the part of Annabella

 We went to a really exciting production of John Ford’s Tis Pity She’s a Whore (written in around 1626) at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester yesterday evening.

A terrific play at the best of times, this production by the renowned Cheek by Jowl company is truly gripping .

There are three more performances in Colchester this week before the play tours to China, the Barbican in London, Cambridge, Oxford and the Netherlands.

If you can find time to go we would really recommend it!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February fill-dike, be it black or be it white.....

February ‘fill dike’ has certainly lived up to its ancient name this year!  My son has sent these photos from the Thames Valley, where he lives (fortunately up a hill!)

Compared with other parts of the United Kingdom we have remained relatively flood free in Suffolk  However, the council’s highways officers have been busy dealing with numerous local problems involving blocked drains and overflow from streams and small rivers.

This aside, the County Council, in common with local authorities from other more or less unaffected areas, has been able to offer help to other counties; water rescue teams and firemen from Suffolk have been sent to assist with emergency conditions in the Thames Valley and also on the Somerset levels.   I am assured that this didn’t compromise safety here in Suffolk.

In difficult times it is good to show mutual support.  This applies at the community as well as the official level.   According to Sue Herne, the Emergency Planning Office at Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils, recent ‘extreme weather events’, including the St Jude’s Storm and the coastal surge in December, have led to an exponential rise in interest from parishes looking to  develop their own Community Emergency Plan.  The process is generally led by the Parish Council.

In my areas, Monks Eleigh and Cockfield already have fully developed Plans in place, and a number of others are working on them.  Not all villages have signed up however.  Watching the work in progress from a distance I have been struck by how, in addition to being a good thing in itself,   the creation of a Plan brings a community together.  People with all sorts of skills, whether they are professionals such as nurses, or are just good tea makers who can offer ‘psychological first aid’, can volunteer to get involved and get to know one another better in the process.

If you want to know more about developing a Community Emergency Plan, Sue Herne  (01449 724851) will be pleased to hear from you.  More details are also available on the county wide website: www.getpreparednow.co.uk.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Half Term fun this week at Gainsborough's House

Cornelius Brewer's 1714 map of Sudbury
Gainsborough’s House is running drop in workshops for children on Monday and Tuesday of this week between 10.30 a.m. and 3.30p.m.  

There will be the opportunity to participate in hands on projects focussing on what Sudbury looked like 300 years ago and how it has changed today, and the opportunity to walk in Gainsborough’s footsteps on an activity trail around Sudbury.

There will also be a chance to take a close look at a recently restored map of the town. pictured above, created by Cornelius Brewer some 300 years ago in 1714.

The map is the property of Sudbury Town Council, but it is usually held in the Suffolk Record Office. 

If you haven’t visited the museum for a while you will find that there is much more of the permanent collection to see these days!

The cost for a child is £2 and an accompanying adult £3, which includes admission to the museum.

Back from holiday

The blog will be active once again from today.

We had a great holiday and are now refreshed and ready to go!