Tributes have been paid to Peter Mossman who campaigned tirelessly to get justice for victims of a NHS treatment disaster which led to the deaths of thousands of people.
Mr Mossman, from Baguley, Wythenshawe was one of about 7,500 patients, who had been given blood transfusions infected with contaminated blood products. He died last month, aged 78.
The scandal, in which victims contracted hepatitis and HIV as a result of the contamination, was described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. A public inquiry into the scandal was set up by the government.
Mr Mossman was treated with contaminated blood and infected with hepatitis C in 1985 after discovering bruising on his leg. Immediately afterwards he became desperately ill and later suffered worsening bleeds and severe liver damage.
Manchester begins the roll-out of the new Covid 19 vaccine today at the Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe.
Patients who are registered with a GP practice in Wythenshawe, that are aged 80 or above and are able to travel have been invited to receive the vaccine at the centre in Wythenshawe.
Wythenshawe was identified as the best initial location to roll out community-based vaccination in Manchester, with other sites to be announced in the coming weeks.
A second dose of the vaccination will be given to patients 3-4 weeks after receiving their first injection.
Health bosses have assured those invited to have the vaccine that it is safe. The city’s director of public health, Dave Regan countered claims that it can rewrite DNA. This claim has also been rejected by independent fact checkers, Full Fact.
Patients will be notified they are eligible to get a vaccine by their GP, either by phone or letter.
Arrangements will be made to get the vaccine to people in this age group who may have difficulty travelling or who are housebound.
David Regan said: “From day one our priority has been to protect as many people as possible from Covid-19. The successful development of an effective and safe vaccine will allow us to save thousands of lives over the coming months.
“This is, however, just the first step and we will not see results overnight. Until the vaccine is being widely distributed our first line of defence will still be quick and accurate testing, as well as adhering to social distancing, good hygiene and the wearing of masks.”
Dr Manisha Kumar, Medical Director Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, said: “The launch of our first vaccination site, marks the start of the largest vaccination programme we have ever undertaken in Manchester. Our primary care staff across the city are working together to set up more sites in our communities so we can vaccinate people safely.
“I am so proud my GP colleagues, across the city, who have worked tirelessly to set these sites up – so we can protect our patients against the virus. But we can’t do this without the support of the people of Manchester; and so, I would urge all our patients to book in straight away when they are called up for the vaccine.
“We know that many of our patients are keen to get their vaccinations as soon as possible, but please don’t call your practice to book in unless you have been invited to do so, your practice will contact you as soon as you are eligible to be vaccinated.”
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing for Manchester City Council said: “The coming weeks will be crucial for Manchester as we work to get this vaccine to the people who need it most. This is the first bit of light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel.
“The work we will begin next week is a positive start but we do face a long road ahead. Our priority will be protecting our older residents, medically vulnerable people and our NHS and care workers who have been putting themselves at risk this entire year. “Our roll out depends on the vaccine supply from government, so as the vaccine is rolled out we will still need to be vigilant and take the precautions which have become commonplace since March. Mancunians have shown just how resilient they can be and I have no doubt this resolve will continue.”
Wythenshawe Town Centre is offering free parking to NHS workers until further notice as a small gesture of thanks during the Covid 19 crisis.
Wythenshawe Town Centre is at the heart of the local community and will be running a scheme to assist front line workers during the current COVID-19 crisis. There is currently free parking to all NHS staff in Asda’s multi-story car park. Health workers can park in the car park as normal, but must ensure they have their NHS ID ready to be presented if required. The Centre has also abolished the 3-hour maximum car park stay for the benefit of NHS frontline workers.
The car park can be accessed via the spiral entrance ramp leading from Rowlandsway. The free parking will not apply to our surface car parks where will be continuing to operate the two hour maximum stay restrictions.
In line with Government guidance on 23rd March 2020, Wythenshawe Town Centre is now closed for all retailers except those providing essential goods and services – food stores, grocers, pharmacies, banks and post offices.
The Centre is also running a campaign to encourage social distancing at the Centre in line with advice from Public Health England. Both online and onsite, the Centre is displaying material encouraging shoppers to respect Government advice to adhere to social distancing which is crucial to save lives and protect the NHS. Find more information on this here: https://bit.ly/2y6ghhF
Daniel Davis, Wythenshawe Town Centre’s Centre Manager commented: “We would like to thank our retailers and Centre teams who are all working extremely hard in very challenging and unprecedented circumstances to ensure visitors can access essential goods and services. Wythenshawe Town Centre is at the heart of our local community and as such we are fully committed to supporting local people during the current health crisis. We are thoroughly grateful for the hard work of our frontline workers at this crucial time, that’s why we are offering a free parking permit to NHS workers until further notice.”
For individual store opening times, please visit Wythenshawe Town Centre’s website, social media channels or call individual stores directly. Please note that opening hours are constantly evolving in line with Government advice.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens’ announcement today of a new temporary hospital at Manchester Central Convention Centre, to help cope with the increase demands on the health service during the Covid 19 outbreak.
The temporary field hospital will be fitted with 1,000 beds with the armed forces working with the NHS for its construction.
Sir Simon said:”These are extraordinary steps the NHS is taking, and clinicians, managers and military planners are working day and night to create, equip and staff these hospitals from scratch and prepare for the surge that is likely to be coming.
“While we continue to pull out all the stops, we do need the public to play their part. Every single person in this country can make a difference by following the medical advice to the letter – stay at home, wash your hands, which will help stop the virus letting rip and will therefore save lives.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “As the owners of Manchester Central Convention Complex, we have worked with the Ministry of Defence and health services to make the building urgently available for this vital use. The need to establish this new hospital underlines the serious nature of the Covid-19 pandemic we all face but also shows how seriously it is being responded to and I hope the public are reassured by the swiftness of this action.”
A Wythenshawe family have won their battle for NHS approval of a “miracle drug”, which will massively boost the quality of life of their terminally ill son.
Shakeel Khan and his wife Renata have been fighting for months to have drug Spinraza, funded by the NHS to treat their son Haris who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The drug which is used a number of countries around the world, including Scotland, was not available on NHS in England because of cost.
But this week, following a meeting of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the family finally got the result they had been campaigning tirelessly for and were told the drug, manufactured by Biogen, will now be available to treat their son.
And it means families across the country will also be able to benefit from the drug which has a massive impact on the quality of life of sufferers.
Shakeel said he was delighted with the decision and has praised the local community in Wythenshawe for their support as well as local businesses and sports stars including footballers Jermaine Defoe and Riyad Mahrez, and boxers Tyson Fury and Amir Khan, who helped raise funds for their campaign.
Former England international Defoe, whose Jermaine Defoe Foundation helps children in the UK, bought a carry-cot for the family and delivered a personal message to Shakeel and Renata when news of their victory came through.
Mahrez, whose goal helped secure Manchester City’s fourth Premier League title on the last day of the season, has also supported the family and visited them at their home in Newall Green where he met Haris’ brother, 10-year-old Blues fan Maryus. The club has also donated a signed shirt.
Wythenshawe boxing legend Tyson Fury and Bolton boxer Amir Khan both donated signed gloves.
Shakeel has also thanked Piece of Cake by Neelam Burto, Creations by Rocky and the local One Stop Shop whose Carriers for Causes initiative has raised cash for Haris.
Shakeel told the Reporter: “I can’t thank these people enough. They have been amazing. And I want to thank all my neighbours who have been incredible, especially Angela and Lee.”
The fund raising events are continuing and Shakeel is to buy a specially adapted vehicle for Haris and other disabled children in Wythenshawe with plans for days out for disabled youngsters in the area.
Donations can be made via the Just Giving page.
NICE, Biogen and NHS England say they have agreed to make Spinraza available for children, young people and adults with SMA Types 1, 2 and 3 through a scheme known as a Managed Access Agreement (MAA). This means that patients will be able to get Spinraza while more long-term data on its effectiveness is gathered.
NHS England says the treatment will be made available to the youngest and most severely-affected (SMA Type 1) patients immediately by Biogen, with NHS England offering funding on NICE’s publication of final guidance.
It says that for older babies, children and young adults with SMA Types 2 and 3, the NHS will begin to provide Spinraza shortly after NICE’s guidance is published, once the services to deliver them are established. This is not expected to take more than a few weeks.
The charity, Muscular Dystrophy UK welcomed the news, but said on their website: “Our work here is not done. The lengthy, frustrating delays which we have seen throughout this process must not be allowed to happen again.”
And Doug Henderson, Managing Director of Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK, said: “At last the SMA community has the answer it has been asking for since NICE started its appraisal almost 17 months ago. Our thanks to NICE, NHS England and Biogen for this great news and to all the SMA community who worked so hard on this journey. The clinical evidence was there; our voices were finally heard.
“We are only sorry that it took so long when time matters so much; for the families with infants with SMA Type 1 who have had no access to treatment since November 2018; for families and adults who have desperately wanted to have the opportunity to see what potential this treatment might have for them; for the clinicians who have been so frustrated by their lack of power to offer it.
“We will now do all we can to support the smooth implementation of the Managed Access Agreement. We will also continue to work to advocate for change to the NICE process for appraising access to orphan medicines so that future treatments are more rapidly and appropriately assessed.”