Archive: 2019

Old items from the News and Campaigns pages

The most recent items are towards the top of the page

Fancy a Kick-Around?

8 August 2019

Free football training sessions, from 16th September to 18th December 2019, From 10 to 11.30, at Coventry University Sports Ground, Westwood Heath Road, Coventry CV4 8GP. Contact

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A Message from Disability Rights UK

4 April 2019

“Help shape the future of the NHS and care

Disabled people, those living with a long-term health condition and their families, now have the opportunity to help shape the future of services in England by sharing their experiences of the NHS and the care system with the regulator for the NHS in England – The Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Care Quality Commission logo

The CQC acknowledge that they have not previously planned the future of NHS and care services with input from disabled people and their families, so they are asking that we invite you to share with them, in confidence, your experiences through their Tell Us About Your Care programme. It allows you to provide the CQC first-hand with your experiences – during hospital stays, GP visits, accessing care services, etc. You can also do so anonymously. The simple to complete questionnaire will ask you for details of the location of the establishment and to describe your experiences as a user of their services.

The Tell Us About Your Care page can be located this link. Once you have completed the questionnaire, we ask that you share this message with your family and friends so that they too can offer their own experience.

If you are unable to complete the survey online, please call us Monday – Friday on 0330 995 0400 and choose Option 1 (afternoons are quietest) and we can complete the survey for you and send your response to the CQC on your behalf.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be a key provider of evidence to help shape the future of your care.

Kind regards.

Michael White
Information Officer, Disability Rights UK
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The NHS Long Term Plan

02 April 2019

Louise Stratton, Healthwatch Engagement Officer, who spoke at our recent meeting at Coventry Foyer, has sent us the following letter and invitation:

Healthwatch Logo

The NHS Long Term Plan

Firstly, I would like to thank you all for the warm welcome at your recent meeting. Healthwatch Coventry would also like to thank COV members who took time to complete the questionnaire about what you thought were important factors for the NHS to prioritise when planning local services.

We will be shortly moving on to the next phase of this project which will be to hold some focus groups to help inform the project in more detail. We would like to explore what people need from the NHS to ‘be able to age as healthily as possible’. It is proposed that this session will explore various topics including:

  • what currently works for people to remain as well as possible
  • what else needs to happen and how, including what the role of technology will be (the pros and cons and what challenge this will present)
It is likely that this session will be held on one of:
  • Tuesday 7th May
  • Wednesday 8th May
  • Thursday 9th May

Only one focus group will be held, this will be decided by people’s availability.

The session will run from 10.00 – 12.30, and the venue is likely to be Queens Road Baptist Church. Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided.

People coming along to the focus group will be able to claim reasonable travel expenses; we can reimburse a mileage rate and car parking or bus fares.

Please express your interest by emailing your contact details here and saying whether you would be available on any of 6th, 7th and 8th May 2019, between 10 am and 12.30 am. I or another Healthwatch team member will then get back to you. Please note that only one focus group will take place on one of the days. The information that you send will be shared with Healthwatch, and will be used only to contact you about the Focus Group.


Louise Stratton, Healthwatch Engagement Officer
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A Report on the COV Meeting on 5th March, 2019

12 March 2019
Photograph of the audience at the meeting
David Spurgeon opens the meeting
The meeting was opened by Committee member David Spurgeon, who summarized COV’s activities over the past year.

Bridget Harper (Acting Chair) then spoke about funding issues, including Age UK’s decision to stop providing COV with administrative and financial support. She told us that this meeting, and the recent COV Newsletter, had been funded by the West Midlands Police Active Citizens Fund.

Bridget then introduced Richard Plumb, of West Midlands Police, who had kindly agreed to speak to the meeting about how to avoid becoming a victim of cyber-crime.

Photograph of Richard Plumb
Richard Plumb
Richard, a self-confessed "computer geek” and ex-professional gamer, said that people in COV’s age group, while not the most vulnerable to computer hacking, were more susceptible to various types of fraud than other age groups. He also pointed out that online banking, often considered to be risky, was in fact more secure than other methods. This was because transactions over the Internet were easier to track than cash transactions, which were often completely untraceable.

Richard then spoke about passwords, including the need for strong passwords, how to generate them, and how to remember them. He also gave some advice on not following links in emails, “phishing”, and telephone fraud. We all agreed that Richard was an excellent speaker, and his advice was well received.

Richard has provided us with two documents on cyber-crime, which you can read or download here:

  1. How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Cybercrime

  2. Cybercrime Crib Sheet.pdf

The meeting then moved on to consider the official AGM business. Reports from the Treasurer and Membership Secretary were approved, as were changes to the Constitution made necessary by Age UK Coventry’s withdrawal of support. You can read a copy of the updated constitution here.

Next, Bridget spoke about some of the “areas of engagement” with which COV had been involved over the past year.

Louise Stratton then gave a short talk on Healthwatch Coventry. She told us that the NHS had a ten-year plan to improve local services, which included encouraging healthier lifestyles, and benefitting from improved use of technology. Healthwatch Coventry are carrying out a survey on behalf of Healthwatch England, to gather the public’s views on these matters, and she distributed copies of a questionnaire to COV members attending the meeting.

Photograph of Richard Plumb
Bridget Harper, Richard Plumb and David Spurgeon

The meeting concluded with a discussion on several topics that had been identified as important to COV members, including the Shopmobility scheme (especially the location of the new premises), and the obstruction of pavements by cars, cyclists and advertising boards. Other issues included the apparent lack of a Councillor devoted to older people’s concerns, and the Friends of Longford Park and their activities.

In her closing remarks, Bridget Harper said that there were vacancies on the Management Committee, and asked anyone who was interested in becoming a member to contact her using the Contact Us page of this website.

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Consultation on a Public Spaces Protection Order

01 March 2019

Coventry City Council are proposing to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in St Michaels ward, to combat drug use and associated anti-social behaviour.

If the order is approved, it will affect the City centre and surrounding areas.

The main effect would be to give the police “the power to request that groups of two or more that are behaving in an anti-social manner or in a manner deemed to be detrimental to those that would otherwise be enjoying an area will be asked to move on”. To refuse to do so would constitute an offence, and could result in the issue of a breach notice and a fine.

The Council are seeking the views of the public, and have created an on-line survey. You can read more about the PSPO, and complete the survey on their website, here. [link no longer available - ed.]

You will need to do so by the end of the consultation period, which is 15th March.

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Age UK Campaign to Keep Free TV Licences for the over 75s

28 February 2019 Photograph of TV Licence

Free TV licences for the over 75s are currently paid for by the Government, but this responsibility is shortly to be transferred to the BBC.

The BBC has to decide what to do, and could simply end the free licence scheme. Please note that at the moment they have not made any decision.

Age UK say that “removing older people's access to TV would be an unthinkably cruel blow when many are already facing huge challenges”, and they are campaigning for the Government to continue to provide the funding.

Full details of the changes, and a link to an online version of the petition, can be found on the Age UK site, here.

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