?1 million health centre
will give patients
equal access for therapy
by staff reporter
PATIENTS who use town centre health services at Warrington are to get equal access to therapy services for the first time.
This is because services like physiotherapy, podiatry (foot health) and speech and language therapy are to be held all day every weekday at a new ?1.3 million state-of-the-art health centre opening in April at Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones stadium.
Until now, these services have been held at varying times in 13 GP practices and two clinics across the town centre.
Some sites have had just a few sessions a week, severely limiting patient choice. Moreover, two practices do not have any on-site therapy services so patients have had to travel to the Warrington Hospital.
When the new facility opens, all therapy services previously held at a town centre GP practice or clinic will be held there. This does not mean a reduction in the number of healthcare staff providing these services. It does, however, mean that the range of appointment times will increase, and some waiting times will be reduced.
Warrington Primary Care Trust’s acting chief executive Allison Cooke said: “At the moment not everyone has the same access to community healthcare services like podiatry and physiotherapy. The extent and quality of some services is often hampered by the poor quality of the buildings they are provided from, which are becoming increasingly out-dated and unfit for delivering modern healthcare.
“This is not good enough. Moving therapy services into one location will make it easier for patients to use services as well as reduce some waiting times.
“If patients have been receiving a therapy service at their GP practice they will still be registered with that practice and will still receive the same high level of quality clinical care there.”
This is the first stage of Warrington PCT’s vision for improving healthcare in the town for the 21st Century.
The PCT is looking at further developments across Warrington to ensure equal access for everyone and more choice of treatment and appointment times. Building fit-for-purpose accommodation to replace the current out-dated facilities is key to being able to deliver more services in people’s communities.
All PCT staff affected by the change have been consulted – and all were supportive of the move.
A pilot study in the Stockton Heath/Latchford area has already shown that waiting times for physiotherapy can be reduced.
Relocating therapy services will also mean that GP practices have more room to expand if they wish.
Wartime memories will
keep history alive
by David Skentelbery
MEMORIES of World War 2 are to be used by young people from Warrington to keep history alive – with the help of money from the Big Lottery Fund.
Youngsters from St Gregory’s RC High School, Great Sankey are among thousands of North West children who will be learning about the past to make sure it isn’t forgotten in the future.
They will be talking to military and home-front veterans to learn just what impact the war had on ordinary people.
Warrington Borough Council will receive ?7,630 to fund a commemorative event staged by the school in the week beginning May 9. Grandparents are being invited to contribute memories and memorabilia for an exhibition Coun Maureen Banner (pictured), the borough’s education chief said: “It is very important that today’s young people are given the opportunity to see for themselves how the Second World War has affected our world and our lives.
“Thanks to this funding, we can work with schools and partners across our community to offer young people a chance to reflect on the importance and impact this war has had on the country through the years – and continues to have today.”
Big Lottery Fund regional manager Michelle McNamee said: “Knowledge of our history enables us to understand our nation’s traditions and its conflicts and teaches children respect and appreciation.
“The Big Lottery Fund is very proud that its funding is helping young people to remember and commemorate the wartime legacy bequeathed to our nation.”
its 40th birthday
by staff reporter
THE library at Culcheth, near Warrington celebrates 40 years of service to the public next month with five days packed full of fun and fond memories for all ages.
Since its opening on March 24 1965, Culcheth Library has been a vital feature of the village, both as a learning and information resource and fir books to enjoy for residents.
Staff at the library have worked together to help promote the library and its celebrations with the following programme of activities.
Friday March 18: 40 years of books – Discussions about favourite titles or authors from the past 40 years. Displays of books to look at and borrow all day.
Saturday March 19: Children’s Craft Activity – T-shirt painting for 7-12 year olds.
Monday March 21: Remember the 60’s – Re-live life in the 60’s with displays and a quiz.
Tuesday March 22: Culcheth Memories: How to trace the history of a house. View photographs of Old Culcheth and share fond memories of the village over a cuppa.
Thursday March 24. Birthday Party! – Official ceremony refreshments and prizes for anyone who shares the same birthday as Culcheth Library.
All events are free of charge.
Booking in required for some activities. For further information contact Culcheth Library (01925) 763293.
Minister in town
by John Hendon
MINISTER of State for School Standards Stephen Twigg is visiting Warrington today (Tuesday) and dropping in at two schools.
Mr Twigg, who has been invited to the town by Helen Southworth, the Warrington South MP, will be speaking with staff and pupils.
He will be taking a look at the progress being made at Cardinal Newman RC High School, Latchford, towards making its services accessible to the community outside school hours and improvements made to its existing facilities.
He will also be visiting Great Sankey High School, one of only a few schools in the country to achieve specialist status in engineering, to see how it is developing and also talking to some engineering apprentices.
Headteachers of a number of schools will be meeting with Mr Twigg later in the day at the school to discuss and promote the continuing success of education in Warrington.
Lib Dems warn on
rising debt levels
by staff reporter
LIBERAL Democrat activists in Warrington are worried about high levels of personal debt in the town.
They point to rising debt across the country and increasing numbers of people seeking help or advice – and claim that Warrington is no exception to the national position.
Coun Ian Marks, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Warrington South, said: “Personal debt broke through the ?1,000 billion barrier last July. Household debt now stands at around 130 per cent of income compared with 87 per cent in 1995 and only 37 per cent 30 years ago. These are big increases and the government has been complacent in not dealing properly with this issue.
“Evidence of the problem comes from the Citizens Advice Bureau. Last year they received over 700,000 requests for advice compared to 400,000 in 1996/7. Warrington is no exception to the national position.
“So far the problems of personal debt have seemed manageable because interest rates have been low. But this could change rapidly. It is deeply worrying that the relationship between debt and income is at all time high and problems of debt servicing and extreme debt are growing. We hear a number of distressing stories about families unable to deal with huge levels of debt.
“We need a network of independent financial advice centres set up by the government working with the financial services industry. There
must be better ways of making it clear to borrowers how much they have borrowed and what it is costing them. We need more control over the irresponsible offers of credit to consumers and the upping of credit card limits. The consumer credit bill going through Parliament must be rapidly implemented to deal with extreme problems such as loan-sharking.”
by staff reporter
FIRE crews were called to Lodge Lane, Bewsey, Warrington early today when a car, believed to have been stolen, was set alight.
The vehicle was completed burned out before firefighters could extinguish the blaze. Police are investigating.
In a separate incident, fire crews were called to Lingley Green Avenue, Great Sankey, after receiving a call that a Post Office wagon was on fire. Smoke was pouring from beneath the vehicle but it turned out it was due to overheated brake linings. Only minor damage was caused.