Friday, 20 July 2012

Regional health watchdog meet in Leeds to discuss children’s heart surgery unit closure

A health watchdog representing 15 councils across the Yorkshire and Humber region is meeting at Leeds Civic Hall next week to review the decision of the Joint Committee for Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) to close the Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Unit. The event is open to all members of the public and doors will be open from 10:00am on Tuesday 24 July. The meeting is due to end at approximately 4:30pm.

The Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Yorkshire and the Humber) will be carrying out a full review of the decision to close the unit at Leeds General Infirmary, which was announced in London on 4 July. The Scrutiny Committee will consider a range of evidence to help it determine whether or not the decision is in the interest of health services across the region . If not, the Scrutiny Committee can refer the matter to the Secretary of State for Health who would then make a final decision.

Sir Neil McKay, who chaired the JCPCT, will be attending the meeting and answering questions from the Scrutiny Committee members about the JCPCT decision. Other contributions will come from patient representatives, clinicians, elected members and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust officials.

Councillor John Illingworth, chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Yorkshire and the Humber) said:

“This a hugely important decision which needs to be discussed fully, so I would encourage as many people as possible to attend this public meeting to help ensure that local feelings are expressed and understood.”

The report of the JCPCT can be found at this link


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Loft clearance offer to help vulnerable people save on fuel bills

Wrap Up Leeds is offering to clear lofts to make sure disabled or visually impaired people don’t miss out on free insulation.

A number of Leeds’ homes are technically suitable for the free fuzzy stuff, but the Wrap Up Leeds team don’t want residents to miss out because they struggle to move old memorabilia or Christmas decorations.

Many people in Leeds may qualify for the free loft clearance service provided by Leeds City Council that would allow the Wrap Up Leeds team to install free loft insulation.

The loft clearance offer has been set up to help residents in Leeds who experience physical infirmity, long term illness (where mobility is impaired), a registered disability or visual impairment and who currently have no family and friends available to help move the items in question.

Once the Wrap Up Leeds team have confirmed a loft is suitable for free insulation or an insulation ‘top-up’, the surveyor will arrange for the council’s clearance team to empty the loft in preparation for installation. The free insulation could save people £175 a year on their fuel bills.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

"If you’re disabled or unable to get up and around your loft yourself, there’s no reason you should miss out on the free insulation on offer.

“People who fit the criteria for loft clearance tend to fit the profile of those who stand to gain the most from free insulation, so it’s vital that they get in touch with the team.”

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group said:

“It’s all about removing barriers that could potentially stop people missing out on up to savings of £175 a year.

“By going the extra mile and helping to clear lofts of those who can’t themselves, then we should be able to help even more of our most vulnerable residents.”

As well as insulating lofts with no insulation at all, Wrap Up Leeds also offers free loft ‘top up’s’ where less than 160mm (6.5 inches) of insulation currently exists. Cavity wall insulation is also available for every suitable owner-occupied and privately rented home in Leeds free of charge. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a fully insulated home can save over £300 a year on rising energy bills.

If you want to benefit from Wrap Up Leeds you must act quickly as you only have until the end of September to sign up to the scheme. After this, government funding will change and the Energy Saving Trust advise you can expect to pay up to £700 for loft and cavity wall insulation.

Call 0800 052 0071 to find out if you qualify for the loft clearance service or for more information on how to get your free insulation.

The 0800 number is free from most landline providers, but may not be free from mobile networks. If you would prefer, please call Wrap Up Leeds on 01484 351 779.

You can also contact Wrap Up Leeds or or apply online at

About Wrap Up Leeds
• Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners and privately rented tenants (where landlord’s permission has been granted) in the Leeds City Council area only.
• Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (where less than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (where more than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) are available under the scheme.
• A free, technical survey of the property will confirm that the work will definitely be free and much larger properties or those that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contribution towards the work.
• Savings of £1,653,750 on energy bills is estimated to be saved from Wrap Up Leeds which is based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.
• The ‘refer a friend’ offer applies to anyone. Anyone can refer a friend regardless of whether they have had insulation installed themselves. £20 high street shopping vouchers will be given to the referrer. The vouchers will only be honoured if the friend’s property is insulated with at least one measure under the Wrap up Leeds scheme. The referral must be made before the application is processed. The referrer’s name, address and telephone number, must be provided with the referral. The referral must be made by returning the card or giving details over the phone.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 5704


Ellie Lyon, Yorkshire Energy Services Marketing Executive on 01484 352010