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  • Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Going to the dentist is something that many would want to avoid - but how about if you also faced a penalty fine? More than 40,000 people a year in England are getting fines of £100 - from an automated system that dentists say is hitting the most vulnerable.

    They warn that people such as dementia sufferers are unfairly getting caught up in a system meant to stop fraudsters from getting free treatment. The NHS accepts there is a problem with errors and is promising changes. The fines, about £4m per year, are being applied by a random screening process that checks on whether people going to the dentist are really eligible for free treatment.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2017

    French scientists say they may have found a potential cause of dyslexia which could be treatable, hidden in tiny cells in the human eye. In a small study they found that most dyslexics had dominant round spots in both eyes - rather than in just one - leading to blurring and confusion.

    UK experts said the research was "very exciting" and highlighted the link between vision and dyslexia. But they said not all dyslexics were likely to have the same problem. People with dyslexia have difficulties learning to read, spell or write despite normal intelligence. Often letters appear to move around and get in the wrong order and dyslexic people can have problems distinguishing left from right. Human beings have a dominant eye in the same way that people have a dominant left or right hand.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Liberal Democrat Scottish spokesperson Christine Jardine MP has today called for a pause in the roll out of Universal Credit. The Edinburgh West MP also called on Scottish Conservative MP's not to push a million children into poverty.

    In the commons debate Ms Jardine said:

    "This poorly thought out policy has created a slow motion car crash. People who are waiting for payments are at risk of losing their home and in risk of being put in serious debt that they will struggle to get out of.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Responding to a new report from the Mental Welfare Commission that calls on the Scottish Government to review the number of mental health beds available for children and young people, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

    "The Scottish Government's recent mental health strategy, a blueprint for next ten years, has already been panned by experts for its lack of ambition and detail. This report highlights

  • Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Stephen Lloyd, the Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson, said of the announcement by the Prime Minister today, that claimants would no longer have to pay 55p minute when phoning the Universal Credit Hotline said

    "I welcome the government's change of heart, but it is no compensation to the those on the breadline who have already been fleeced. Given the mess of Universal Credit, this is likely to become the hotest hotline in Britain.

  • Article: Oct 18, 2017

    Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael last week secured an emergency debate in the Commons over whether the government is abusing the parliamentary process by ignoring opposition day motions.

    Alistair Carmichael MP commented:

    "This is another outrageous attempt to subvert our democracy and undermine Parliament's ability to hold the government to account.

    "The Conservatives should remember that contempt for Parliament is contempt for the people that elect it.

    "To simply ignore today's debate would be an insult to the millions of voters deeply worried about the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit.

    "It is a sign of just how weak and divided this government has become that it is reduced to using every trick in the book to avoid scrutiny and debate."

  • Mental Health Street Stall
    Article: Oct 18, 2017
    By John Castle in Medway Messenger

    In 2013 the Secretary of State for Health closed the Mental Health Unit in Medway Maritime Hospital. This decision was short-sighted and Medway Liberal Democrats are campaigning to reinstate a unit in Medway. We have already gathered over 600 signatures both online and through a series of Street Stalls across Medway.
    For our campaign to succeed we need to take this foundation and move onwards from here. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have come forward already to sign the petition and share their stories of how the closure has affected their lives and those close to them. We would also like to thank health care professionals who have signed the petition, these are people who do fantastic work and are acknowledging that local provision of mental health treatment facilities are very much needed in Medway and it is no longer acceptable to transfer patients out of area.
    We would very much like to hear more stories and collect enough signatures to show the Department of Health that while the Sustainability and Transformation Plan says many things about Mental Health, it comes up short of providing treatment facilities. Prevention is a fine thing, but Medway has a large population and needs local provision of mental health services.

  • Article: Oct 14, 2017
    By Vince Cable

    I am proud to lend my support to National Hate Crime Awareness Week, which serves as an important reminder that the tenets of hate, division and prejudice have no place in 21st century Britain.

    Everyone has the right to be who they are, without fear of abuse, intimidation or violence. Our nation is a rich tapestry of different identities and the mosaic of people that make up our communities is to be praised and celebrated. It is our duty to ensure that every person, regardless of race, religion, sex, sexuality, nationality, age or disability, is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. We must destroy the toxic, far-right rhetoric, which does nothing but divide our communities; such views are entirely incompatible with the core values of our country.

  • Article: Oct 13, 2017

    Prescribing rates for a valium-like drug linked to 111 deaths in a year vary widely across England, BBC analysis suggests. Monthly spending on prescriptions containing pregabalin was 88% higher in the North East and 83% higher in the North West than in London. Experts say there needs to be more research into why the disparities exist.

  • Article: Oct 13, 2017

    I have just appointed my first team of principal spokespeople since becoming leader this summer.

    I am fortunate to lead such a great, gender-balanced team, which is comprised of the most talented and promising politicians in the House of Commons and battle-hardened, experienced campaigners. The team includes notable strength in depth on the economy, foreign affairs and local government at a time when the impact of Brexit, social inequality and lack of investment is fostering tensions in these areas.