BULLETIN by jolinmilioncherie


                TEAM (DAST)
            DAST, 34 Glumangate, Chesterfield, S40 1TX.
                     Telephone 01246 380415
    Newsletter   Edited by Joanne Gordon       September 2011
        Campaigning update                  training.       Brian   Brough    from
                                            Chesterfield who has been diagnosed
Hidden Killer campaign                      with Mesothelioma agreed to give his
                                            story to the HSE to help publicise the
As part of the Action Mesothelioma Day      free training and raise awareness that
campaign we asked you to sign a             organisations need to take up on this
petition asking the Government to           training. A big thank you to Brian for
reinstate the successful ‘Hidden Killer’    agreeing to allow his story into the
campaign       warning      maintenance     media.
workers of the dangers of exposure to
asbestos. We had a huge response            The Legal Aid, Sentencing             and
and the petition was sent to Nick Clegg     Punishment of Offenders Bill
MP. We had a response from Rt Hon
Chris Grayling MP, Minister for             We reported in our last newsletter
Employment. According to the MP, the        about this Bill which aims to cost shift
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will      and place some of the burdens of
make the “budget reductions in ways         bringing civil compensation on to
which allow it to maintain its frontline    victims.         DAST sent out a
activities of inspection and incident       questionnaire asking Mesothelioma
investigation at those businesses and       victims who were pursuing a claim, if
in those sectors which represent the        they would have done so if there was a
highest risks to the safety and health of   risk of paying legal costs. Thank you to
workers and the public.”             The    everyone who responded. We received
Government needs to recognise that          124 replies. In the majority of cases
the HSE cannot do its job without           opposing the proposals and stating that
proper funding.                             the proposals would make a difficult
                                            situation worse. This was as expected
There is some good news relating to         however, what was unexpected was
the ‘Hidden Killer campaign’. Although      the number of people who wrote heart
there does not seem to be any plans to      wrenching comments on the form.
spend money building on the                 Your comments have been typed up
campaign. The HSE has called upon           and have been included in documents
asbestos training organisations to          which have been sent to MPs.
pledge 4000 hours free training to
organisations. 4000 hours matches the       Visiting MPs
number of asbestos related deaths in a      DAST and our members have also
year.                                       been visiting local MPs on this issue.
                                            Both Toby Perkins MP and Natascha
The HSE has been doing tremendous           Engel MP have asked questions in
work in sending out press releases to       Parliament. Many more of you have
make organisations aware of the free        also written to your local MP. Please

keep the momentum going. If you live
in the Constituency of Kenneth Clarke
MP please make an appointment (I
know a number of you have been to
visit him) but we need to keep the
pressure on.

   Sutton-in-Ashfield – Industrial
Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre

We wrote out to a number of people          Consultant Thoracic Surgeon John Edwards
informing them that the Industrial          presenting at the Conference
Injuries Disablement Benefit Centre
which deals with Industrial Injuries        In 2007 the Department of Health
Disablement Benefit claims across the       published        the       Mesothelioma
Midlands was being closed and work          Framework, a piece of work that sought
moved to Barnsley originally we were        to advise the NHS on how to organise
told    Barrow-in-Furness.     Sutton-in-   services for mesothelioma patients and
Ashfield is a very efficient centre and     improve the quality of care. The
deals      with     Industrial   Injuries   conference        aimed       to    give
Disablement Benefit claims speedily.        Mesothelioma, patients and carers an
Barnsley is a new centre for Industrial     opportunity to       asses how the
Injuries Disablement Benefit which          Framework wass operating across the
means all staff have to be trained as       midlands and propose ways in which
they do not have prior expertise and        the quality of care could be improved.
knowledge of the benefit. We are
concerned about this and the fact that      In advance of the event a summary of
there could be delays whilst the staff      the Mesothelioma Framework and a
are learning to deal with the claims.       questionnaire was distributed.
Working with the Department of Works
and Pensions Trade Union PCS we             148 Patients and Carers returned the
wrote a press release and collected         questionnaire making this as far as we
over 400 signatures on our petition.        can tell the largest survey ever
This has been sent to Iain Duncan           undertaken of mesothelioma patients
Smith MP and we are waiting a               and carers in the midlands.
response. Unfortunately, we still hear      From those 148 responses:
that plans to shut the centre will be           81 were from Patients and 66
effective from April 2012. Thank you to            from Carers, one person did not
everyone who signed the petition.                  answer this question
                                                8 patients were women and 73
Mesothelioma in the Midlands                       men
Conference                                      60 Carers were women, 6 men
                                                133 out of the 148 had been
April seems along time ago now, but                exposed to asbestos at work, 14
we promised to bring you outcomes of               were unsure and 1 did not
the Mesothelioma in the Midlands                   respond
                                            The results of the questionnaire did not
                                            show a regional variation in people’s

experiences of treatment, as had been           Action Mesothelioma Day
expected. By and large people seemed                    update
happy with the way in which they were
treated and in how the Mesothelioma         We informed you in the last bulletin that
Framework was working.                      Action Mesothelioma Day had raised a
                                            tremendous £2447.42 which has been
However two very clear issues were          split between Mesothelioma UK and the
identified by the answers:                  Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research
                                            Fund. A cheque was presented to Liz
      The anger and isolation felt by      Darlison and Jill Lemon at Liz’s support
       carers                               group meeting in July.
      The lack of information people
       receive, in particular information
       on possible treatments

Of the 68 patients who responded to
the question: “how do you feel” only 5
replied “angry most of the time”. Out of
the 52 carers who replied 29 said
“angry most of the time”.
                                             DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
                                                      DAST Meetings
When asked if people felt isolated, only    Friday 11 November 2011 at the Spot
4 patients said yes compared to 22          Centre,    Derby       commencing    at
carers.                                     11.00am. We hope the meeting will be
                                            a social event where you can relax and
In response to the question “did you        speak to others and share your
receive healthcare or other professional    experiences.      Please see enclosed
support in relation to information about    information for further details.
any possible treatment options?” 119
out of 148 said yes and 14 described it         Raising Funds for DAST
as poor. Whilst this is a good result the
number of people answering poor is          Thank you to EON in Nottingham who
double that of any other question about     undertook a raffle and sold purple
treatment.                                  ribbons to support DAST.

These are clearly issues that need to       Thank you to Martin Sutton who raised
be addressed.                               funds for DAST in lieu of Birthday
                                            presents for his 40th Birthday.
A full breakdown of the questionnaire
responses is to be published along with
recommendations on improving patient
information and the treatment of carers.
This will be circulated amongst health
service professionals in the Midlands
and sent to policy makers in Whitehall.

Remember we are here to help
If you have any questions about
your benefit entitlements please
do not hesitate to contact us.

34 Glumangate
S40 1TX
Tel: 01246 380415

If you would prefer to receive an e-mail
version of the newsletter please contact
me on 01246 380415.

Keep up to date with what we are doing
by joining the DAST (Derbyshire
Asbestos Support Team) facebook
group.       To find us go to your
facebook home page and search for
the DAST.

Alternatively you can follow        our
campaign progress on Twitter.

The newsletter is sponsored by UNITE
the UNION.


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