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 The Communities Blog Blog

Croydon Hospital Blue Badge Parking
14/01/2019 14:49:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley

A number of residents are concerned about the change in policy for blue badge holders at Purley and CUH Hospital.  I contacted the CEO Matthew Kershaw and have received the following response:

Dear Yvette,

Further to our earlier emails, I have now received a response regarding your constituent’s concerns about the parking arrangements at Purley War Memorial Hospital.

I acknowledge that charging staff, patients and visitors to park on site is a contentious issue and we try hard to make our parking fair for all.

We do not charge Blue Badge holders who park in the reserved disabled bays at our hospitals. Hourly charges do though apply if they park elsewhere on site. We do this in part to avoid losing bays to members of the public wanting the convenience of parking close to the High Street shops.   

A recent change to our car park management policy means that all visitor spaces now have a 10 minute grace period allowing drivers to drop off and collect friends and family. This means that the two bays currently set aside for this purpose will be converted to disabled spaces along with one other making a total of five at PWMH. We aim to complete this work in early February.

We are proud to hold the Disabled Parking Accreditation (DPA). Managed by the British Parking Association, the DPA asks organisations to 'demonstrate to their customers that they are committed to creating high quality parking facilities for disabled people’.

I hope this is useful.

With best wishes.

Regards, Matthew

Matthew Kershaw

Interim Chief Executive


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Coronavirus - A Message from Rachel Flowers - Director of Public Health at Croydon Council
28/02/2020 15:52:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I thought it worth sharing the Director of Public Health's Message with you on the Coronavirus.

"This correspondence is to provide you with an update on the coronavirus and our recent communications to residents, partner organisations and council staff.

The Government regularly updates local authorities about the evolving situation with the coronavirus. Their public websites have current information about the coronavirus, symptoms and advice for returning travellers from China and the other countries listed on their website

Coronavirus latest information

The latest Government update has recorded that a total of 4,501 people have been tested, of which 4,492 were confirmed negative and nine patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. Eight of these have been discharged and one person remains in hospital.

The patients receive specialist NHS care, and are being treated using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. Experts at PHE continue to work hard tracing patient contacts from the UK cases.

The World Health Organisation has declared that this is a public health emergency of international concern, and the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals remains low.

Croydon Council’s resilience and business continuity plans will be actioned to deal with any local related incidents, if needed.

Communicating information to residents, partner organisations and council staff

To date, the Government and Public Health England have asked local authorities to share the key messages from their public information campaign to inform people about the virus and steps we can take to protect ourselves and others.

We are also promoting the PHE /NHS general hygiene campaign in Croydon - Catch It. Bin It. Kill It, which they have reinstated to remind the public to regularly wash their hands, and always sneeze into a tissue, to help slow the spread of almost any germs, including coronavirus.

We have shared the communications above as follows:

·         Community groups - An email letter has been sent to community groups in the borough, with the Catch It. Bin It. Kill It. poster for them to display.

·         Schools - Information has been sent to local schools and the Government is also updating all schools in the country.

·         Council newsletter - Information on the council’s online newsroom is referenced in the council’s weekly newsletter - Your Croydon. This is emailed to residents and stakeholders who have signed up to receive it

·         Council staff - Information posted on the staff intranet. The Catch It. Bin It. Kill It. poster will be placed in staff toilets and kitchen areas.

·         Social media - We are sharing the Government’s messages about the coronavirus on the council’s Twitter feed @yourcroydon

Next steps

During the next week, we will continue to work with council services to disseminate the key messages from the Government’s public information campaign, and the Catch It. Bin It. Kill it. poster, to care homes, libraries, leisure centres, businesses and other public settings.

We will update the communications to all those above as and when needed.

Please do contact me if you require any further information.

With best wishes

Rachel Flowers

Director of Public Health



Flu Jab Should Ease Pressure on A&E
15/11/2019 18:33:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Croydon’s health chiefs are urging pregnant women, parents of toddlers, older people and those with long-term health conditions to get their flu jab and prevent winter illness.

The council and local NHS services are sharing winter health advice across the borough to help ease pressures on Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments by encouraging residents, particularly those most at risk, to get the flu vaccination, as the virus’ symptoms can be severe and life threatening if contracted.

The flu jab is free for people who need it most as it protects those who have it, their family and friends, and vulnerable people in the community.

Frontline health and social care workers are entitled to a free flu vaccine and can find out how to claim this on the NHS website.

As the weather gets colder, all residents are advised to take preventive action such as ensuring their homes are adequately heated, wearing warm clothing and seeking a quick remedy for symptoms such as coughs, colds and sore throats.

People in need of help and support for health concerns should contact their GP, local pharmacy or by calling NHS 111 in the first instance.

Croydon’s health chiefs are also asking everyone to be community minded and check on frail, elderly people as they are more susceptible to ill-health in the cold, like ensuring they are warm, and have enough medication and food.

Anyone concerned about winter fuel bills can seek advice from the council or a local Citizens Advice.

Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health said: “The flu virus is highly contagious, and the more people who are protected means greater numbers are kept safe from infections. Apart from immunisation, I am also encouraging people to curb the spread of germs with good respiratory and hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing their hands afterwards.”

Dr Agnelo Fernandes, Clinical Chair at Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, said: “Even if you have no symptoms, you can still carry the flu virus, so getting the flu jab is the best way to protect your loved ones, as well as yourself, this winter time. That’s why it’s free for those who need it most. Children aged 2-3 can get a free nasal spray from their doctor; everyone else can get a vaccination from their GP or their local pharmacist.”

More winter wellness advice is available at

Find out more about free NHS vaccines routinely offered to everyone and the ages at which they should ideally be given



HIV Testing
15/11/2019 18:29:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

A host of community venues have been set up specially to carry out rapid HIV tests in Croydon during the national HIV Testing Week campaign, which starts this Saturday, 16 November.

A hair and beauty salon, Croydon Voluntary Action, pharmacies, and the main atrium in Croydon University Hospital are among the venues organised by Croydon Council to offer residents more opportunities to take a test.

Trained volunteers, many from Croydon College’s health and social care courses, will be out on the streets encouraging people to have a quick and painless finger-prick HIV test nearby in the community, which they can do in the borough until World Aids Day on 1st December.

The venue locations and times they are carrying out HIV testing can be found at

HIV testing is available all year at Croydon University Hospital, GP surgeries, other clinical venues and via online and postal test kits. Anyone diagnosed with HIV will get free treatment and support.

This year’s national HIV Testing Week campaign is supported by influencers and celebrities, including TV’s Dr Ranj Singh from This Morning and E4’s The Sex Clinic nurse Sarah Mulindwa who are also on posters around Croydon.

The campaign aims to get more people to take a test and reduce the numbers who are diagnosed late so that they can receive early or effective treatment, live a longer, healthier life and reduce the risk of passing on the virus to others.



World Mental Health Day - MIND
17/10/2019 20:18:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


A number of councillors were pleased to support World Mental Health Day with MIND in the foyer of Fairfield Halls.  There were lots of stalls and information available and a comedy event was held in the evening.  MIND provide excellent support in the community along with a number of key health partners and organisations.



South East Cancer Help Centre - Lunch for Volunteers
10/08/2019 08:28:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


Every year the SECHC puts on a lunch to thank the many volunteers that help support the centre.  Some 80 volunteers assist with a range of activities without whom we would find it extremely difficult to exist.  The centre over the last year has been able to increase both the number of group and individual sessions provided to our members and continues to move forward with creative ideas to increase the range of in-house activities to around 40 different services on offier.  This includes our complementary outreach service provided to Croydon University Hospital to support those in the North of the borough.  To contact the centre call Lizzie our new centre manager on 0208668 0974 or email:



Legacy Onside Youth Zone - 125 Whitehorse Road
09/08/2019 20:04:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I met with Barnabas and Angela at the new Youth Zone to look at the facilities for young people.  For £5 annual membership and 50p per visit you have access to many activities such as indoor climbing, boxing, music studio, arts and crafts and many other sports.  The centre will be open seven days a week and will officially open on 7 September 2019.  Contact or call 020 3976 9990.

My only concern raised was access from South of the borough which will mean a couple of bus rides at least.

I hope everyone has fun.



Alan Brookes - Chairman Selsdon Centre for the Retired
09/08/2019 19:58:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I attended an open day event at Selsdon Centre for the Retired to meet residents and enjoy a cup of tea.  Alan Brookes, Chairman showed me around the facilities and the new freezers, two of which were purchased with the community ward budget funds by the Sanderstead Ward Councillors.  These freezers are important to the centre who stock food for many of the elderly, who rely on this service for a hot meal.  It is good that they can socialise and enjoy time together.



Caroline Walker - Lead Dementia Nurse at CUH
02/05/2019 14:35:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I have been working with Caroline Walker, Lead Dementia Nurse at Croydon University Hospital on the Dementia Action Alliance Group.  I am so pleased that she has won a landmark leadership award for her role in developing the Enhanced Care team, supporting colleagues and demonstrating her huge commitment to raising the awareness of dementia and mental illness in CUH and Croydon.  Pictured here with her award.



Croydon Dementia Action Alliance
13/02/2019 14:43:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley


In 2016 Hakeem Anjorin, of Right at Home, contacted me with a view to starting up Croydon Dementia Action Alliance. Together with Bhavin Patel from Homeinstead and the late Cllr Maggie Mansell we started the work which has grown and led to a special recognition award from Alzheimer's Society, the UK's leading dementia charity, for the borough's efforts to support people living with dementia, which was presented by the Mayor of Croydon.

The awards ceremony in January followed the announcement in the autumn that the charity granted Croydon its highest accolade – Working towards dementia-friendly status.

Thousands of people have attended Dementia Friends Information Sessions organised by the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance (CDAA). At each session, people learn more about dementia and the small ways they can help someone living with the condition.

Local police and fire officers, nurses and staff at Croydon University Hospital, care home staff, secondary school pupils and relatives of people living with dementia are among those who have already attended the sessions.

Croydon Council has also introduced a mandatory policy for all staff to attend a Dementia Friends Information Session.

The CDAA’s work has significantly contributed to Alzheimer’s Society’s reaching 2.5 million Dementia Friends in the UK, with 150,000 in London. A dementia-friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life.

All CDAA organisations were presented with a certificate at the ceremony for their efforts.

There are more than 3,600 people living with dementia in Croydon. It is a progressive condition that can lead to memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or communication. It is estimated that one person develops dementia every three minutes.

I know that Cllr Maggie Mansell would be extremely proud of what has been achieved and all the hard work we all put in to help those living with dementia in our borough.  I am extremely sad that she was not able to be with us on this special day.





Assisted Living
08/02/2019 16:38:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I thught you might be interested in what I said at the recent appeal for a McCarthy & Stone development in Purley.  Such is my concern that enough properties are not being provided in Croydon I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak.  This is what I said: "I am here today in my capacity as Shadow Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health and as a member of Croydon’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

As a resident in the ward with the highest longevity I know the importance of housing that suits the needs of the elderly and most vulnerable in the borough.  With every year that passes we are living longer and hopefully healthier lives.  Most residents want to live in the same place, in their family home, but it is often the case that they have to move because they need assistance with everyday life because they have become either frail, disabled or confused in later years.

Housing such as that provided by McCarthy and Stone and other such providers gives them that choice and there is certainly a lack of supply in the borough, particularly for assisted living.  It also keeps the residents safe and secure whilst being able to maintain independence with that support.  All the residents I know in the McCarthy & Stone development in Sanderstead are very happy and pleased with what is 5 start accommodation.

I am only aware of two maybe three types of this accommodation under construction in Croydon, the one on the Addington Road by McCarthy & Stone, The Churchill site opposite Sainsbury’s in Selsdon and the one in Upper Norwood.  All good quality schemes which would be occupied probably before built because of the great need.  It is vital that older persons’ accommodation is provided to cope with the growing demand.  I am not aware that the council provided any accommodation for older people last year which is a worry.  Whilst hundreds of flats seem to be provided they are not sufficient to support residents and keep them out of care homes which is obviously quite expensive.

And if you look at the speech I made at Full Council last week you will see the problems that arise when poor quality accommodation and care leaves elderly and vulnerable residents in a poor state of affairs.

I know that the local councillors in Purley are very supportive of the scheme and were happy with the design and character in keeping with Purley.

With 290 affordable houses completed in the borough last year it is time to turn our efforts to those who will happily leave their homes for smaller supported accommodation thus relinquishing properties to younger families who are often starting their lives.

I would urge you to support applications for supported living in the borough.  It is what the local communities need and want"



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 Older Blog Posts
Croydon Hospital Blue Badge Parking
Agnelo Fernandes - Chairman of NHS Clinical Commissioning & The Team
South East Cancer Help Centre - Paint Purley Purple Campaign
What is a Vegetarian? - Some Helpful Notes
Carers Week - My Visit to the Centre in Croydon
Dementia Awareness Week - Tea Dance
Changes to the Delivery of Adult Social Care and Health
Blue Badge Consultation
South East Cancer Help Centre - AGM & Member's Meeting
Dementia Friends
Parks meeting
Public Meeting
Parks Meeting
Croydon Disability Forum/Dementia Action Alliance Meeting
Parks Master Planning
Can you help Neighbourhood Watch
Dementia Alliance Action Group - Helpful Links
Roadwatch volunteers needed
Parks Consultation
Childhood Obesity - Can we do More?
London Youth Games
Armed Forces Day - Flag Raising - Grenfell Tower Minutes Silence
South East Cancer Help Centre - Vice Chairman
Dementia Awareness Week is 14 May to 20 May
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