The crisis in Northern Ireland's health service is "unacceptable", NI Secretary Julian Smith has said, as industrial action by healthcare workers continues.Mr Smith was speaking during a visit to Belfast where he met members of the NI Civil Service and trade unions.He said he was "extremely sorry" that the strike was affecting patients, families and workers.Health workers are protesting at pay and staffing levels which they claim are "unsafe".The union, Unison, that represents more than 6,500 registered nurses and 3,500 health care assistants, has called for "compromise and money on the table".'It feels like someone sawing into my hip'Northern Ireland has been without a devolved government since January 2017 when the power-sharing parties - the DUP and Sinn Féin - split after a bitter row.Mr Smith said he would have more conversations both with the NI Civil Service and the unions over the coming days."This area of health is a devolved matter so the decisions have to be taken by … [Read more...] about Health strike: NI Secretary Julian Smith says health service crisis is unacceptable
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Health chiefs today urged parents to immediately get their children vaccinated against flu after an early start to the season. Statistics show the number of intensive care admissions for flu in NHS hospitals are three times higher than at the same point last winter. Some 212 people across the country have been rushed into ICU with influenza so far this year - up from 75 in 2018 and 63 the year before. The alarming figures, released by Public Health England, indicate the flu season has struck the country weeks earlier than normal. It has prompted panicked health officials to tell families with young children to 'get them vaccinated now'. Experts fear the early arrival of flu is a sign that this winter's outbreak will be severe and protracted, causing chaos for the NHS. Rates of norovirus have also spiked - fuelling fears the bugs will put unprecedented pressure on the already-stretched health service. Data released today revealed there had been triple the … [Read more...] about Flu hits England early: Health chiefs call for parents to get children vaccinated NOW as intensive care admissions are three times higher than last two winters
A DECEMBER general election is now a reality, but not everyone who lives in the UK can vote. Only those with British, Irish, Cypriot or Maltese citizenship will be able to mark a ballot paper in the Christmas election. Can EU citizens vote in a UK general election? To put it simply - no. EU citizens can vote in other elections in the UK, such as European Parliament or local councils. They can also join the electoral register. They can also vote in police and crime commissioners, London mayoral and Assembly, Northern Ireland, Welsh and Scottish Parliament. MPs desperately tried to change the rules on who could vote to allow them to take part in a pre-Christmas snap poll, but it failed to get the vote in the commons.The only people who can vote in general elections have citizenship in Britain, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta. Why did Boris Johnson say no to votes for EU citizens? He said that votes for EU citizens or 16-year-olds (something the Lib Dems especially fought for) would cause … [Read more...] about Can EU citizens vote in UK general elections?
A primary school has closed after 110 pupils were hit with a vomiting bug. Around a third of pupils from Rowlatts Mead Primary Academy in Leicester, are suffering with sickness and vomiting after an outbreak of the 'flu-like virus' at the school. The academy will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the trust which runs the school refused to name the virus saying she was taking advice issued by Public Health England. Pupils will be allowed back to classes on Thursday as the school, which has around 350 children enrolled, plans to reopen at 8.35am. During the two-day closure, staff will complete a "full and deep clean of the entire building" in a bid to eliminate the virus. The academy, owned by The Mead Academy Educational Trust, said: "Due to the outbreak of a virus across the academy with over a third of pupils off with sickness and vomiting, we have been forced to close the academy for two days to do a full and deep clean of the entire building. "We will reopen … [Read more...] about Vomiting bug outbreak closes primary school after 110 pupils fall ill
Electric scooters and other new modes of transport could be allowed on Britain's roads under a wide-ranging review.It is currently illegal to ride powered scooters - which can travel up to 30mph - on public roads or pavements, but the government has said the traffic laws are "a barrier to innovation" and is considering changing them.That's the headline anyway. The Department for Transport has subsequently played down the possibility of reform in the short term.Meet the 'juicers' charging scooters - BBC NewsNevertheless, the sustainable transport charity Sustrans says there is a "huge untapped demand for people to get around without a car".So what are some of the new personal technologies that could transform the ways we travel? Electric scootersScooters with electric motors are already commonly used in several European countries and the US.But under the UK's Highways Act 1835, footpaths can only be used by pedestrians - the driving of any "horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or … [Read more...] about E-scooters, hoverboards – the tech transforming travel