Rosie Cooper MP

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Rosie_Cooper_MP_with_SSAFA_poster.JPGWest Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has backed the work of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the Armed Forces charity in providing support and advice for veterans and their families.

Over the last 12 months the SSAFA helped over 36,000 veterans and family members, an increasing number of whom are of working age. The proportion of veterans under the age of 65 has risen from 25% to 40% in just ten years.

MP Rosie is encouraging local veterans who need support to contact Forcesline - the SSAFA’s free, confidential helpline. The Forcesline team is trained to assess an individual’s needs and refer them to the SSAFA’s local services and specialised programmes or to signpost them to another appropriate organisation.

Forcesline can be contacted by calling 0800 731 4880 or through their website at:

https://www.ssafa.org.uk/help-you/forcesline/forcesline-email-enquiry

Rosie Cooper MP said:

“I applaud the excellent work done by the SSAFA in supporting our veterans, Armed Forces personnel and their families. These are people who put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect our country, and they deserve all the help and support we can give.

“The SSAFA can give advice on issues such as housing, finance and health problems. If a veteran or a family member are struggling with any of these types of issues I would urge them to call Forcesline for advice and support.”

Rosie Cooper MP backs support service for veterans

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has backed the work of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the Armed Forces charity in providing support and advice for veterans and...

IMG_6225.JPGThe Department of Health and the National Audit Office are scrutinising the actions of West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in responding to queries over its management of the procurement process for local community and urgent care services.

In recent months, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has raised serious concerns over the CCG’s decision to tender community and some urgent care services to two private companies and two out of area NHS trusts.  In doing so they have rejected Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, the current service provider.

One of Rosie’s major concerns is the lack of openness and transparency in the process.  Even using Freedom of Information requests, West Lancashire CCG have sought to hide behind ‘commercial confidentiality’ to avoid answering questions.

MP Rosie raised her concerns with the Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee and with the Department of Health. 

In response the Public Accounts Committee have requested the National Audit Office investigate the use of ‘commercial confidentiality’ by West Lancashire to refuse publishing any meaningful information.

The committee chair stated in further correspondence ‘the concerns you raise have similarities with the issues identified in the National Audit Office’s recent investigation into the collapse of UnitingCare Partnership contract’

Whilst the health minister replied saying he considered a response by West Lancashire CCG to the MP to be ‘unintentionally discourteous.’

The minister also wrote that for the general public trying access information on primary care, such as an up to date list of GPs in the local area, was ‘mind-bogglingly opaque’.  He continued that the Department of Health will take the issues up directly with the bodies responsible.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:

“Clearly, it is not just me and the residents of West Lancashire who believe the CCG has been vague in their responses to legitimate questions about the decisions they are taking on the future of vital local health services.

“Ultimately these are public services funded with taxpayers’ money and they should be open to meaningful scrutiny.

“Hiding behind ‘commercial confidentiality’ isn’t acceptable.  This just protects the bidders for the contracts.  It is the CCG’s duty to protect health service users first and foremost.  And if they won’t, I will.”

West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group under increasing scrutiny over procurement process answers

The Department of Health and the National Audit Office are scrutinising the actions of West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in responding to queries over its management of the procurement...

Rosie_Cooper_MP_and_Ashurst_resident_Iain_Bibby.JPGWest Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has visited local residents in Ashurst, Skelmersdale, to see first-hand the damage and destruction caused by the floods in June. Floods that left one resident living in a caravan, and an 81-year-old resident having to dispose of his belongings.

A combination of excess water from a culvert running down from Ashurst Beacon and blocked grids forced the water on to a former children’s playground, which then overflowed down on to the residential estate.

Residents described to Rosie how the play area was filled with six feet of foul water containing raw sewage.

In trying to stop the flooding residents built a makeshift dam out of scrap wood - the only line of defence between the residents of Long Hey and the pool of filthy water building up behind their properties.

Neighbours had to help an 81-year-old council tenant whose home was flooded load his damaged belongings into a skip.

Following the visit MP Rosie said:

“It was absolutely dreadful to see first-hand how residents’ homes had been utterly devastated by the flood waters.

“Forced out of their homes. Possessions, some of sentimental value and irreplaceable, being thrown in a skip.

“It is simply appalling what these residents have had to endure through no fault of their own. Still when they turn to the responsible authorities there is little help tackling the problem or support in the clean-up.

“Every time there is a flooding incident it only highlights the lack of meaningful leadership in responding and supporting local residents in their time of need.

“I have raised my concerns following the visit with each of the relevant authorities. We have to find a way to really help residents.”

Rosie Cooper MP visits Ashurst to see devastation caused by flooding

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has visited local residents in Ashurst, Skelmersdale, to see first-hand the damage and destruction caused by the floods in June. Floods that left one resident...

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