At 10pm on Monday evening, I joined thousands of people across the country in turning the ‘lights out’ in our home - lighting a single candle to commemorate the beginning of the First World War exactly one hundred years ago. This was an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by the generations before us in the name of our country, especially the local Wandsworth soldiers who lost their lives. I look forward to continuing to support the many local initiatives to commemorate the centenary over the coming months – please do let me know of any that you are involved in.
Mental health services reach breaking point
Last week it emerged that St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) has proposed closing services at Queen Mary’s Hospital, which treats 500 patients a year, and reduce inpatient beds across south-west London by 10 per cent. As Wandsworth residents make up half of all those admitted to Queen Mary’s Hospital, these proposals mean they may have to travel to Kingston to receive treatment.
I continue to be extremely proud of the work Springfield Hospital does, operating at the heart of our community, but mental health services are already reaching a breaking point. Not only will this proposed move cost more in the long run, with more local residents reaching crisis point and being admitted to A&E, and some unwilling to travel to Kingston, but it sends out the wrong message about the importance of services for people with mental illness. I’ve raised these concerns with David Bradley, the CEO of the Trust and you can read more about this here.
Government position on #Gaza ‘indefensible’
As we remember the First World War, sadly the violence in Gaza has continued. Since the start of the fighting, one month today, it is a source of shame that the Prime Minister has so far failed to condemn the scale of Palestinian suffering as a result of the Israeli military incursion over recent weeks. This week Lady Sayeeda Warsi, a Foreign Office minister and senior Conservative politician, resigned her position in Government citing its response to Gaza as ‘indefensible’. Whilst I have not always agreed with Lady Warsi, I think her decision to make a stand on this issue is genuinely courageous. You can read my piece on her resignation in the Guardian here, and more about the crisis in Gaza here.
Until next time.
p.s. Can you believe we are already three weeks into the school holidays? If you’re starting to run out of ideas of activities to do with the family, don’t panic - just check out my summer planner here.