Wirral Borough Council’s constituency committee that covers Wirral South met on Wednesday night and was well attended by residents.
There was a full agenda but the main issue that residents wanted to discuss was the closure of the walk in center in Eastham.
Councillors from all parties and all five electoral wards in Wirral South were present and the committee meeting was chaired by Cllr Chris Carubia.
The councillors discussed the removal of service from Eastham’s Walk in centre, still described as a temporary closure and the committee were very clear that the loss of service affects not just Eastham but the wider community including areas of Cheshire to our south.
The committee then called on Wirral’s Clinical Commissioning Group to re-instate Eastham Clinic’s Walk In service ‘without further delay’. as Members unanimously supported the following resolution put forward by Cllr Phil Gilchrist…
Phil and Chris attended the recent Annual General Meeting of the CCG where Phil submitted this question…
What work is being done to study the impact of the temporary closure of Eastham’s Walk In Centre,
the impact on patients and the pressures increased on the other local services such as GPs?
How temporary is this temporary closure and when can the usual services be restored?
The public present at that meeting were told that there was a dialogue with local surgeries, and no date for the re-opening of Eastham’s Walk In Centre was offered.
We were told that much depended on whether the performance of A & E at Arrowe Park improves and continues to reduce numbers.
Chris commented that ‘as we are now entering into the winter period the numbers will only go up rendering any reduction seen at A&E to date unsustainable.
This means we will be without this facility throughout the winter period which is totally unacceptable ‘
This continued concern led to Phil putting the resolution reported above and I am pleased to report that it was carried by all councillors present and from all political parties representing residents in southern Wirral.
What’s the big deal about railroad tracks?
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.
Why was that gauge used?
Well, because that’s the way they built them in England, and English engineers designed the first US railroads.
Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the wagon tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
So, why did ‘they’ use that gauge then?
Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that same wheel spacing.
Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break more often on some of the old, long distance roads in England . You see, that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads?
Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
And what about the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match or run the risk of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with this?’, you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses’ asses.)
Now, the twist to the story:
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah . The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.
So, a major Space Shuttle design feature, of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system, was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important? Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything and….
CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling everything else.
Work is being carried out on some new things for Torr Park.
We set up a friends group for the park to give the residents a say in how the money, (that we fought for from the Bridle Road Housing Development), would be spent.
There is a snake trail, a big hedgehog, and stepping stones being installed for the smaller children along with some more picnic tables and extra benches for places to sit.
The paths will be getting a makeover and some adjustment around trees, while the large metal container has been removed and some new signs are being erected along with a notice board that we hope will be kept up to date by the Eastham Preservation Society giving the history of Torr Hall.
There is a lot more to be done and the ‘friends of Torr Park’ have some great plans to put into action come spring.
I attended the Clinical Commissioning Groups Annual General Meeting held at Tranmere Rovers along with my fellow Ward Councillor Phil Gilchrist, we sat through the first hour of the usual type of stuff to be found in an AGM regarding finance etc.
It got interesting at the time allocated to questions.
Residents who had registered to attend were given an opportunity to send in a written question and the first question was about the loss of the walk in facility in Eastham. This was quickly dealt with and then they tried to move to a question regarding phlebotomy.
At this point Phil strenuously objected, in a very loud voice, stating that people were here to find out what the intention was for our clinic, and for some answers as to why it had been closed and the manner in which it had happened. Other residents also complained and a long session followed with the CCG telling us that basically it was for the safety of patients in Arrowe Park A&E.
I asked why they had taken all the staff required from Eastham and not from other places enabling us to keep our facility to be told that it was only temporary. Shouts of give us a date rent the room. It was not possible for a date to be given as it depended on the waiting time reducing at A&E which it currently was doing but it had to be consistent over a period of time.
I pointed out that we were coming into the winter period and the numbers would naturally increase meaning that we would not get our facility back anytime soon. The answer came that when the time was right, they would look at what service would be required in Eastham and decide on what, if anything, will be supplied in the future
Phil and I were left fuming at the responses given, along with many others whose questions were not answered as they continually tried to move away from the subject and on to other issues only to be pulled back time and again. But with the same answers continually given eventually the meeting moved on.
My next question that I managed to get asked was regarding being proactive instead of reactive and questioned the reasoning for not continuing to fund the Diabetes outreach program run by Dr Seung at Arrowe Park.
This program funds Diabetic nurses at 3 GP centers in Wirral and has moved us up in the league tables from 35th position to 13th in the short time it has been running. In Wirral we have the highest rate of lower limb amputations in the country along with the highest number of children under ten clinically obese, so surely any work done to highlight this and reduce the onset of type 2 will have an enormous benefit to the NHS in the future.
The answer came that it was funded till the end of the year, which is incorrect as the funding actually ceases at the end of October, and considering the amount of funding required is a mere trifle in the grand scheme of things whatever happened to ‘Prevention is better than a cure’