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 The Community Blog

Agnelo Fernandes - Chairman of NHS Clinical Commissioning & The Team
03/12/2018 10:46:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Many Congratulations to Agnelo Fernandes, Head of the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and his team in winning awards:


1. General Practice Awards 30th Nov 2018 – Parchmore Medical Centre “Managing Workload & Improving Access Award” (NHS England) “Successful GP Practice Transformation – “Revolution for sustainability” WINNER

 2. General Practice Awards 30th Nov 2018 - Teresa Chapman “Practice Manager of the Year Award” “Leading Successful GP Practice Transformation” WINNER

 3. HSJ Awards 21st Nov 2018 – Parchmore Medical Centre “Primary Care Innovation Award” HIGHLY COMMENDED “Transformation to Reduce Emergency Admissions and Hospital Outpatient referrals appropriately, and rapid Social Prescribing implementation”

 4. NHS70 Parliamentary Award-London Region, 4th July 2018 Excellence in Primary Care - Brian Dickens WINNER

 5. Thornton Heath GP Network Award, Croydon 26th June 2018, - Brian Dickens WINNER

Cllr Margaret Bird and I work closely with Agnelo and the team and are currently working with the Purley new Social Prescribing Board.  This work has been a great success in the North of the Borough which we hope will have the same results in the south

 Other Blog Posts

South East Cancer Help Centre - Paint Purley Purple Campaign
19/10/2018 15:32:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


It was great to launch Paint Purley Purple today with Chris Philp MP and local councillors Helen Redfern and Margaret Bird.  Many residents and local businesses are helping with fund raising for those affected by cancer.  We are grateful to everyone supporting our campaign.  Donatons can be made at or by texting HPPP to 70070.  



What is a Vegetarian? - Some Helpful Notes
07/09/2018 19:44:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

A good friend of mine, Ajay Jobanputra Chairman of the Lohana Community Centre has very kindly written these few notes, which demystifies the question - What is a Vegetarian?  I hope you find it helpful.  As a person who is often preparing dishes for a number of friends from different religions I am particularly appreciative of his notes.

Vegetarian – Definition & Types                                               

A vegetarian is someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, fungi, algae, yeast and/or some other non-animal-based foods with, or without, dairy products, honey and/or eggs. A vegetarian does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, all sea food like fish, shellfish, etc. Using alcohol in any food preparation is also prohibited.

All by-products of slaughter are excluded from a certain vegetarian diets. By-products of slaughter include gelatine (flavourless food ingredient that is derived from collagen obtained from various animal body parts), isinglass (a kind of gelatine obtained from fish, especially sturgeon, and used in making jellies) and animal rennet (curdled milk from the stomach of an un-weaned calf, containing rennin and used in curdling milk for cheese).

Types of vegetarian:

·         Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat both dairy products and eggs; this is the most common type of vegetarian diet.

·         Lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products and no eggs.

·         Ovo-vegetarian. Eats eggs but not dairy products.

·         Vegans do not eat any dairy products, eggs, or any other products which are derived from animals. These include food like honey from bees or yogurt produced from cow’s milk.

Variations on above based on Hindu Religious groups

Various Hindu sects have variations on the definitions above, based on their religion.

Jain’s have a diet similar to lacto vegetarian, but in addition to not eating meat and eggs, Jain’s do not eat anything that grows underground. This includes vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. Bread contains yeast which is a living organism; hence bread is not eaten by a Jain. Many young Jain’s do eat vegetarian bread if available.

Swaminarayan’s have a diet similar to lacto vegetarian, however, consumption and usage of onion, garlic or asafoetida is not allowed in any form.

Restrictions on food preparation / serving

Utensils used for cooking or serving vegetarian food should have never been touched by meat or alcohol in any form. Items like chips should not be fried in the same oil used for frying fish or any other non-vegetarian items. Vegetable oils (corn, peanut, olive, etc) must be used for all vegetarian food cooking.

People preparing / serving non vegetarian food alongside vegetarian food, like fresh sandwiches, must wear separate gloves as currently practiced at various restaurants or takeaways like Subway.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is responsible for food safety and food hygiene across the UK. It works with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations. All caterers of vegetarian food must work in line with the FSA requirements and bearing in mind the above restrictions.




Carers Week - My Visit to the Centre in Croydon
15/06/2018 15:16:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


No one should have to care alone.  That’s the view of the Carers Information Service which runs the Centre in Croydon.  I am pleased that the centre want to see an end to carer loneliness and their recently launched report highlights a number of key findings.  Some of the comments from carers show just how difficult the task can be.  Comments like: “the world’s going on around me and I’m not able to tap into it”, “you adapt, you get used to it”, “work keeps you sane”.  All quite worrying and detrimental to health.

The centre has meant that those it supports make comments such as: “the centre and its staff has given me a valuable information and advice on the help that’s available which I never knew existed”, “it’s reassuring to know that there are people who understand and have answers to my questions”.

The Carers Support Centre is located at 24 George Street, tel: 020 8649 9339 or  It’s such a valuable organisation serving all of the borough



Dementia Awareness Week - Tea Dance
11/05/2018 12:09:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Do apply for tickets for the tea dance on 23rd May 2018 1pm – 4pm, Braithwaite Hall, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street Croydon CR9 1ET 

Admission Free, Donations to Alzheimer’s Society welcome. Come along for: music and dancing,decorating zimmer frames, free hand massages, free refreshments.  Ticket Admits Two.  Apply to: Chris Jeffree,Carers Commissioning Support Apprentice,Croydon Council, Phone: 020 8726 7000 ext: 62491 to advise of your attendance.




Dementia Awareness Week - Tea Dance
11/05/2018 12:09:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Do apply for tickets for the tea dance on 23rd May 2018 1pm – 4pm, Braithwaite Hall, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street Croydon CR9 1ET 

Admission Free, Donations to Alzheimer’s Society welcome. Come along for: music and dancing,decorating zimmer frames, free hand massages, free refreshments.  Ticket Admits Two.  Apply to: Chris Jeffree,Carers Commissioning Support Apprentice,Croydon Council, Phone: 020 8726 7000 ext: 62491 to advise of your attendance.




Changes to the Delivery of Adult Social Care and Health
06/02/2018 07:53:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Many residents will know that Adult Social Care and Health services are undergoing a significant change. The total population registered across Croydon’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) is currently 377,570. The over 65’s represent 13% of this population, some 47,390 people, and is expected to grow by a fifth in the next ten years. In 2014, it was noted that there was a strong case for paying special attention to people who are aged 65 and over as the ageing population place an increased pressure on the health and care system. This was acknowledged in the work undertaken by the Conservative administration which approved the progression to Outcomes Based Commissioning for the over 65s.

Over the past few years the CCG, the council and its partners have been working to achieve integration between health and social care both in commissioning and at the point of service delivery. Recently this has been exemplified in the Better Care Fund (BCF) programme and through the establishment of multi-disciplinary health and social care teams.

Commissioning for outcomes rather than activity allows services to be delivered in a personalised way and is designed to focus on wellbeing. It enables providers to truly transform care: I and my colleagues are entirely supportive of this model of care, not least because we were the pioneers.

The most recent cabinet paper has taken this work a further step forward under the heading of the One Croydon Alliance, which includes an integrated Health and Social Care system consisting of the following partners: Croydon Council, the CCG, Age UK, GPs, The NHS and South London and Maudsley Mental Health Foundation Trust. It extends the original one year contract for a further nine years.

Part of this integrated model of care includes the LIFE services – Living Independently For Everyone and the Integrated Community Networks (ICN). As a result of the implementation of this service in the north of the borough the results have shown that 80% of regaining independence packages ceased within six weeks compared to 18% prior to the changes. This allowed the closure of 56 beds at Croydon University Hospital (CUH) – thus easing pressure on hospital beds. Intervention at an early stage with 180 people through multi-disciplinary working has prevented further pressure at CUH but more importantly allowed people to stay in the comfort of their own home. This work needs to take place in the south of the borough as not all residents access CUH. Many go to East Surrey, St Helier, Kings and St Georges Hospitals. 

Whilst I am fully supportive of the model of care, my concern is that this system is not yet operational in the south of the borough. I have put forward a strong case for the residents of Sanderstead and those in neighbouring wards where the demographics are quite different.  I am assured that the multi-disciplinary teams and huddles (proactive weekly case management teams working from GP practices) will be in place in the south soon. Currently only 30 out of the 57 practices have been implemented. The Personal Independence Co-ordinators are also not operational in our area. They will be employed by the voluntary sector independent of social services and the NHS. They will work intensively with people with long term conditions, if necessary on a one to one basis, and hopefully will reduce the number of people in hospital and facilitate discharge from hospital thus enabling more residents to remain independent in their own home.

I will continue to lobby the case for a model of care that is fit for purpose in the south, a place where I serve residents in a ward that has the highest percentage of elderly with the most complex health needs. I believe it would have been sensible to implement this model of care in the south first given the high percentage of residents that fall into the bracket of “over 65’s”.



Blue Badge Consultation
26/01/2018 18:09:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

In a move designed to ensure equal consideration is given to mental and physical health conditions when people apply for a blue disabled parking badge, the government is reviewing how the scheme works for those with hidden disabilities.

Concerned that there are variations on how the rules and guidance notes are interpreted across the country, the Department for Transport (DfT) is determined that those with the greatest need have access to a blue badge.

To achieve this, the DfT is asking that people take part in a consultation that is running until 18 March. Details can be found at

Introduced in 1970, the blue-badge scheme enables 2.4 million disabled people to retain their independence by enabling them to park close to where they need to go without charge and, in most cases, without time limit in the on-street parking environment. The scheme does not apply to off-street car parks, although car park operators tend to recognise the badge as a passport to their disabled parking facilities.

Eligibility for a blue badge is not based on the type of disability. People with physical, mental or cognitive conditions can receive a badge if they meet the qualifying criteria.

Do take part in the consultation and help shape this important scheme.



South East Cancer Help Centre - AGM & Member's Meeting
23/11/2017 21:35:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I was delighted to Chair the Annual General Meeting of the South East Cancer Help Centre along with the Members' Meeting.  It has been another successful year with not only an increase in membership but funding as well.  Paint Purley Purple was a great success with Chris Philp MP cutting the ribbon to start the week-long fundraising and awareness campaign.

Our guest speaker was Gary Das, who retired in 2016 from CUH.  Gary was a consultant urological surgeon in Croydon and also a pelvic cancer surgeon at St George's Hospital in London.  Gary gave a fascinating talk on his transition to becoming a surgeon at CUH and his book "Tender is the Scalpel's Edge".

The centre goes from strength to strength and is always looking for new volunteers.  If you feel you could spare a few hours do get in touch with Linda Kenison on 020 8668 0974.  The centre offers a wide range of activities and therapies and counselling can be booked through Linda.



Dementia Friends
23/11/2017 16:22:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I was pleased to see so many Conservative councillors and selected candidates take part in the Dementia Awareness session given by Rachel Carse, the new officer appointed to take forward work on Dementia and Social Incusion.  I have been working with the Dementia Alliance group for almost a year helping to raise awareness about people with Dementia.  We all have lapses in memory and sometimes get a little confused but Rachel helped us all understand how we can help identify residents/family or indeed friends who are showing signs of the onset of dementia and explained how we can manage some of the challenges presented by people with Dementia.  We have all signed up to undertake a small challenge and support Croydon becoming a Dementia Friendly Borough.

Anna D'Agostino from the Croydon BME Forum also visited the Sanderstead Residents' Association to talk about how to keep your memory strong and stay mentally active.  The SRA will include an article in the spring magazine.

As community leaders it is important that we are able to support all our community, young and old and fully understand some of the more complex issues impacting our residents.  I was pleased to see that the Borough Commander of Croydon Fire Brigade and Croydon's Metropolitan Police are also happy to take forward this agenda.

If you want to know more about the Dementia Alliance Group or would like to talk to me about the work I progressing do get in touch.



Parks meeting
13/11/2017 22:15:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard


This evening I held a meeting for people who are in 'friends of parks' groups.  The objective was to find out how they think things are going in terms of the council services for parks.  I also wanted to find out what they think needs to be done to improve parks and what their vision is for the future of the green spaces in Croydon.  

It was a very good meeting and refreshing to hear from such committed people who work so hard to make out parks a great place to visit.   



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 Older Blog Posts
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Parks Consultation
Childhood Obesity - Can we do More?
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South East Cancer Help Centre - Vice Chairman
Dementia Awareness Week is 14 May to 20 May
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