Lynne Featherstone joins the world’s biggest coffee morning!

Lynne Featherstone MP with Barclays’ staff and Macmillan representatives in Barclays, Wood GreenLynne Featherstone MP on Friday visited local businesses as part of cancer charity Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event: the world’s biggest coffee morning.

Macmillan runs the coffee morning event annually. They ask businesses, community groups and individuals to hold a coffee morning, where donations can be made. In 2012 115,000 people signed up to the coffee morning, raising a record £15 million.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green enjoyed coffee and cake at Barclays in Wood Green and then visited Coffee Republic, who had kindly provided Barclays with the food to raise money with.

The Liberal Democrat MP spoke to the shop staff and representatives from Macmillan, including Director of External Affairs Hilary Cross, about Macmillan’s work and aims for the coming year.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“It was a pleasure to participate in such a fantastic event. It was great to see local businesses taking part in the coffee morning – so thank you to Barclays for hosting it and to Coffee Republic for so kindly providing all the food.

“There were plenty of other coffee mornings in and around Haringey, too. I hope Haringey has made a significant contribution to Macmillan’s fundraising efforts.

“Everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer – and it’s comforting to know that charities like Macmillan are working hard to raise money and support those in need.”


"It’s easy to miss the invisible…"

Those words – from the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Disabilities, Shuaib Chalklen – have stuck with me today on my second and final day at the UN General Assembly.

He said them during a meeting at which I was trying to establish what more the UK could do to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the poorest parts of the world.

We are driving disability up the agenda, initially focusing on improving data and evidence with a new commitment on making schools that are directly funded by the Department for International Development inclusive.

But I am keen to learn what others are doing, share lessons and work together on this important issue. That’s why  I also had a very interesting meeting with USAID’s disability coordinator Charlotte McClain- Nhlapo and heard more about what the US Government  are doing to ensure their development work includes people with disabilities.

But those words – “it’s easy to miss the invisible” – apply to so many groups of vulnerable people around the world, including the LGBT community.

Earlier yesterday I attended a meeting of public and private donors supporting LGBT issues hosted by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, USAID and the Ford Foundation.

It was my opportunity to demonstrate my – and the UK’s – commitment to  LGBT  rights and hear what others are doing. But most importantly, I was able to meet others who feel as passionately about the issues of equality as I do and work with them to tackle exclusion and violence against LGBT people around the world.

Lynne Featherstone MP welcomes free school meals announcement

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has announced that every child in infant school in England will receive free school meals.

From September 2014, all infant school pupils (including 9,426 in Haringey) will benefit from a free hot and healthy meal at lunchtime.

This will save families around £400 a year per child, while helping to raise school standards and cut the attainment gap.

The announcement follows an independent review which found that, in pilots where all children had been given a free school dinner, students were academically months ahead of their peers elsewhere.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said

“Free meals did already exist for children from poorer backgrounds – but research showed that many were not claimed because parents were not aware of the option, or unwilling to admit they qualified.

“Making all infant school children eligible will remove this stigma – for parents and children.

“In addition, it will ensure that all children are receiving a nutritious, healthy and filling lunch, which is proven to have a positive impact on performance at school.

“The measure saves parents money, too. During the course of a year, the average family spends £400 on lunch for each child. Now, they will not have to spend this – which means that parents of the 9,426 eligible children in Haringey will collectively be £3.7million better off!

“The Liberal Democrats are committed to creating a fairer society by giving everyone an equal chance to succeed and get on in life – and this policy is a step in the right direction.”

£500 million funding boost set to benefit local hospitals

Lynne Featherstone MP outside the WhittingtonLynne Featherstone MP has today welcomed news that two local hospitals will receive a share of £500 million extra funding from the Coalition Government.

The London North Middlesex and Whittington hospitals are set to receive £3.8 million and £2.96 million respectively, to support their A&E services over the coming winter.

The money could go towards employing more consultants in order to increase A&E capacity; improving community and primary care services to prevent A&E admissions; and integrating health and social care teams to prevent re-admittance to A&E.

The extra money, which has been welcomed by NHS England and the Foundation Trust Network, will also be available next year.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Lynne Featherstone said:

“Some hospitals are having to cope with more and more people in A&E, and admissions are set to increase further as winter draws closer.

“So I’m very glad to see the Coalition Government is acting now to make sure that the extra funding goes to the hospitals which need it most, and to ensure that patients receive a great, safe service even with the added pressures the cold weather brings.

“I will be contacting the two local Hospitals – the Whittington and North Mid – and finding out what they plan to spend the money on.”

Lynne Featherstone MP joins the fight against breast cancer

Lynne Featherstone MP supporting Breast Cancer Campaign's  ‘wear it pink’Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has again joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s biggest fundraiser, ‘wear it pink’ day.

Over the last 10 years, ‘wear it pink’ has raised £23 million, and on Friday 25 October 2013 people will come together in schools, colleges and businesses throughout the country to raise funds for Breast Cancer Campaign’s lifesaving research.

The Breast Cancer Campaign will use the money raised from ‘wear it pink’ for its researchers, so they have the best possible chance to find the cure.

Fundraising packs, information and registration for ‘wear it pink’ are available here.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“Every year in the UK around 50,000 women and around 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer.

“In the past, I have fought hard to ensure all women in Haringey and North London have access to breast cancer screening.

“Sadly though, 12,000 women and 80 men die from this disease. This is why we need to support the Breast Cancer Campaign’s fundraising efforts – so they can continue to fund research which will one day lead to a cure. So join me, wear something pink and donate £2, it’s really as simple as that.

The latest on the Whittington

Here’s my most recent Ham and High column about the Whittington Hospital

Last week, the Whittington Hospital Board released their revised strategy for the Hospital’s future. And it is certainly an improvement on their first attempt!

The Whittington Hospital Board sure did give us a scare in January, when they announced that they would be selling hospital buildings and reducing staff and beds – without any public consultation .

As well as being a local MP, the Whittington is my local hospital, and has been for decades. Like everyone, I was concerned and fearful about the Hospital’s future.

The local Liberal Democrats, residents and I had campaigned hard back in 2010 to save the A&E – as the then Labour Government attempted to close it down. We thankfully saved it then, and I fully intended to do the same this time.

That’s why we launched a petition in January, calling on the Whittington Board to pause, listen to residents and assure us that there would be no loss of services without equal or better replacements in place.

Unlike some – we didn’t go out all guns blazing calling for no change at all. We recognise that the Hospital will have to make some changes to secure its long term future – but community consultation and no loss of hospital services are of paramount importance.

After meeting the Hospital Board regularly, and collecting a whopping 3,600 local resident signatures on our petition, they agreed to our demands. They assured us that there would be no loss of service, and agreed to pause and listen to residents.

Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats celebrate Whittington success

This was a fantastic victory for local people power. The listening exercise gave us all a chance to tell the Whittington what we thought about their plans for our Hospital – and the result was a revised strategy! I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to every resident who signed our petition and made the Board see sense.

As for the strategy now – two buildings that were earmarked for sale have been saved, while two others will be subject to a community consultation. The Hospital’s maternity unit will still see a £10million investment, and plans for an ambulatory day care centre to support the A&E will go ahead. Beds will not be lost unless they are not needed, and there will be no significant reduction in staff.

And in other good news – the Hospital are now in no rush to push through any changes. Thanks to Lib Dem work in Government, the deadline for Hospitals to make changes and become Foundation Trusts – set by the previous Labour Government – has been removed. This means Hospitals like the Whittington can progress under considerably less pressure.

The Haringey Lib Dems and I will of course continue to push hard for high quality health services for our community as the details of these plans are worked out – and keep residents updated on any opportunities that arise for them to have their say.

Lynne Featherstone MP reacts to revised Whittington strategy

Lynne Featherstone MP outside the WhittingtonLynne Featherstone MP has today commented on the Whittington Hospital’s revised estate and clinical strategy. Two buildings earmarked for sale have been saved, while two others will now be subject to a community consultation. The hospital’s maternity unit will still see a £10million investment.

The Board still plan to integrate care into the community – where it is ‘in patients’ best interests based on clinical evidence.’

The Hospital Board first announced their future plans in January without consultation. The estate strategy, which involved sale of buildings and land at the north of the site, caused particular concern among local residents and trust members.

Lynne Featherstone MP launched a petition calling for the Whittington to listen to residents and give assurances that no services will be lost until equal or better are in place.  The Liberal Democrat MP also held a public meeting.

The Board agreed to the Liberal Democrat petition demands – assuring there would be no loss of service, and agreeing to enter into a listening exercise. The results of this listening exercise are reflected in the revised strategy.

Haringey Lib Dem health spokesperson, Cllr David Winskill commented:

“The direction of travel in the revised document is right. Integrated care will produce a better outcome but only with the proper support of social care agencies.

“We still have questions regarding where Haringey is with designating services, and we need to know a bit more regarding health services that the Whittington proposes to place in the community.”

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone commented:

“It is vital that the Board take the necessary steps to secure the long term future of the hospital – but community involvement and consultation is paramount when any change is made.

“Over 3000 local residents signed the Liberal Democrat petition calling on the Whittington Board to pause their plans, listen to residents, and ensure that no services are lost.  I’m glad that the Board heeded these calls by undertaking the listening exercise and giving us assurances that no services will be lost until equal or better are in place.

“As a result of the listening exercise, two buildings have been saved and the sale of the other two is now subject to further community consultation. The revised strategy also incorporates a welcome £10 million investment in maternity to improve the Hospital’s service and increase their capacity.

“My Haringey Lib Dem colleagues and I will continue to monitor the situation closely – particularly in regard to the implementation of integrated community care.”

See the revised strategy here: