Tagged: Seahouses

Fuck off back to Eton – Alnwick ukulele player Robin Grey gives reasons for David Cameron serenade

The ukulele player who shot to stardom this week with a swear-filled serenade for David Cameron has called for political change.

East Londoner Robin Grey, who grew up in Gosforth, spoke out a day after expressing his dissatisfaction for the Prime Minister with an adhoc song in Alnwick, Northumberland.

The 34-year-old folk singer, maths tutor and charity worker was in Alnwick as part of a cycling holiday.

He explained:

“I was cycling down the hill into Alnwick, having spent a while in Northumberland National Park, and I was cut up by a big blue Conservative Party coach – I couldn’t believe it.

“Then a lot of people got off with balloons and David Cameron was among them. It was so strange because it was just them, and no ordinary people.

Robin Grey playing his ukulele 

“I was gobsmacked and took my bike over to the other side of the road. I thought, ‘what can I do?’ I didn’t have any eggs and didn’t want to get arrested. I could have shouted but that is boring.

“So I grabbed my ukulele and played the first thing that came to me.”

He proceeded to tell the Tory leader, who was attempting to drum up support for the party’s Berwick election candidate Anne-Marie Trevelyan with a 15-minute walkabout, to “fuck off back to Eton”.

Robin said:

“I consider myself to be an activist. The more I travel round the country the more I see what people have in common – they want to see change happen.

“I hadn’t rehearsed the song. I am used to picking up by ukulele in primary school and playing, and I have worked at the Edinburgh Festival too so it comes easily.

 

“I am amazed at how popular the video of my song has been. Looking back I probably could have come up with some better lyrics, like addressing him on the NHS, but at the time I knew I wouldn’t get another chance so I just kept going.”

A security guard told me not to swear because there were children around so I did a cleaner second verse.”

He added:

“Change is needed and as more people start to get their information from less obvious routes and media sources, the ruling elites are losing control and cannot keep telling us what to do.

“After Alnwick, I headed up to Seahouses to my nanna. She was supportive of me making mischief and she knows it comes from a good place.”

With the help of his ukulele, Robin’s causes include the closure of tax breaks for corporations and the super rich, the re-nationalisation of the railways and utility companies, the provision of singing and music lessons for all schoolchildren, scrapping of bedroom tax, and a ban on fracking in the UK.

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 14 Apr 2015

Northumberland : Patients can’t access crucial care

A Seahouses patient awaiting an operation has challenged a health boss to get from his village to Hexham Hospital on public transport.

It comes after the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) introduced new national guidelines last month which mean strict criteria has to be met before a patient is eligible for transport.

One of many patients affected in the rural north of the county, Mr Vickers of Seahouses – who has surgery scheduled for a ruptured Achilles tendon – says he cannot physically reach his appointments on time without the service.

Journey times to his appointments at Hexham hospital by bus would take in access of four hours. Even then it is impossible to reach earlier appointments on time; or get back the same day following later appointments.

A taxi would cost him £120, plus £10 an hour waiting time, or £80 for a one-way trip.

In a letter CCG chief Dr Alistair Blair , Mr Vickers wrote:

“I challenge you to get from Seahouses to Hexham hospital and back to Seahouses in one day using pubic transport and keeping appointment times.”

“Your criteria is depriving me my human rights for proper medical treatment in Northumberland.”

Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Julie Pörksen said:

“I was shocked to hear about the impact the changes were having on ordinary people. It is completely unacceptable to expect older people and those who are not in the best of health to make arduous journeys.”

> Surely its unacceptable to expect anyone to have to do those sort of public transport journies ?

Ms Pörksen said she had spoken to one patient who was told to get a taxi to their appointment then reclaim the £100 fare from the hospital.

This is simply ridiculous,” she said. “There is an assumption that the high cost of a taxi fare could be met and that it would be OK to get that money back from the hospital.

“What patients need is to be able to use patient transport if a realistic and sympathetic assessment of their needs shows that it is justified.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Groups said:

From 20 October 2014, we implemented the Department of Health’s national policy where all new patient transport bookings are subject to a short assessment. The assessment includes asking a few questions about how you would normally travel for day-to-day activities and if friends or family normally take you to your appointments.

“The purpose of this assessment is to make sure that the people who require ambulance services are prioritised and that the NHS is making the best use of the funding it has available. This means that we can free up emergency services as these appointments are planned using dedicated patient transport vehicles and means that patients don’t have to wait as long.

“We understand that this can be a frustrating experience and some people who have previously used this service may find that they are no longer entitled to patient transport. If this is the case, then the booking service is offering information and advice on alternative forms of transport.”

She added: “We have introduced a script at the end of the eligibility assessment that allows people to tell us if their journey into hospital is very different from their everyday trips and then affects their health. This will allow us to make sure that we are not disadvantaging those people who have to make long or complex journeys for their healthcare.

“People also now have the opportunity to tell us any other information that they think may influence the decision to get patient transport to their appointments.

“We are committed to ensuring that patients who live in rural areas are not disadvantaged by the implementation of the criteria, however, we still need to ensure that this is applied fairly across the region.”

If patients have any concerns, queries, or you are unhappy with a decision, they can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via Freephone 0800 0320202, by text to 01670 511098 or by emailing northoftynepals@nhct.nhs.uk.

Source –  Berwick Advertiser, 29 Nov 2014

Northumberland : ‘Unfair’ transfer changes leaving patients stuck

A Seahouses man due to have an operation to repair a ruptured Achilles has been left stranded by new transport to healthcare rules.

Health bosses have changed the transport criteria, meaning some patients are expected to spend over five hours a day on public transport to attend hospital appointments.

Mr Vickers from Seahouses was informed of the change when he phoned to book transport to an appointment ahead of his operation on the 28th of this month.

He said:

“I would usually get an ambulance taxi but they told me I couldn’t anymore. The whole thing is ludicrous. Now I’m stuck, I can’t get to Hexham unless I get a private taxi.

“I was even more upset when they said after I have the operation, am in plaster and on crutches, I’m still not entitled to transport to get home.

“We had no idea anything was going to change. They said a new criteria had been brought in and asked all these ridiculous questions like are you blind, are you in a wheel chair, do you get housing benefit. I don’t know how many others have operations booked and don’t yet know about this.”

Berwick’s Liberal Democrat MP Sir Alan Beith described the new rules as “grotesquely unfair”.

He said:

“People have been told to get from Berwick to North Shields and back on a series of buses with no certainty their treatment will be finished in time for the last bus back to Berwick. Another constituent was told to take a two-and-a-half hour bus journey from north Northumberland to the Wansbeck Hospital for regular injections.

“Elderly widows are being told if they can use a local bus for a 10 minute journey into Berwick they should have no difficulty travelling on several buses to get to the Freeman.

“This is simply not acceptable and creates a huge barrier to healthcare for people in north Northumberland.”

Sir Alan said the situation was “even more insulting” to local people when they are being told they cannot go to Borders General Hospital which has a direct bus link from the centre of Berwick to the door of the hospital.

“This chaos all results from decisions of the Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group and the uninformed way the decisions are being implemented in rural areas,” he said.

It’s clear that people sitting behind desks in urban parts of south east Northumberland have no idea how difficult it is for people without a car or someone to drive them to get to distant medical appointments.

“I have raised this issue with the Chief Medical Officer of the Clinical Commissioning Group and I will be raising it in Parliament, where I have already been taking up the restrictions on cross-border access to health services.”

A spokesperson for the Northumberland CCG said:

From 20 October 2014, we implemented the Department of Health’s national policy where all new patient transport bookings are subject to a short assessment. The assessment includes asking a few questions about how you would normally travel for day-to-day activities and if friends or family normally take you to your appointments.

“The purpose of this assessment is to make sure that the people who require ambulance services are prioritised based on their health needs and that the NHS is making the best use of the funding it has available. We understand that this can be a frustrating experience and some people who have previously used this service may find that they are no longer entitled to patient transport.

“If this is the case, then the booking service is offering information and advice on alternative forms of transport.”

They added: “We are in the early stages of implementing this process and we would like to reassure everyone that we are continually reviewing issues and concerns raised to make sure a common sense approach is applied.

“We are committed to ensuring that patients who live in rural areas are not disadvantaged by the implementation of the criteria, however, we still need to ensure that this is applied fairly across the region.”

If patients have any concerns, queries, or you are unhappy with a decision, they can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via Freephone 0800 0320202, by text to 01670 511098 or by emailing northoftynepals@nhct.nhs.uk.

Source –  Berwick Advertiser, 06 November 2014