Monday, 26 January 2009

Teenager killed in Plaistow charity event

Steven Lewis (15) was killed in Plaistow this weekend. This is the area where teenager Adam Regis was murdered.

Last year 28 teenagers were killed in violent deaths in London. The Met say Steven was the first violent teenage death this year. We hope it will be the last.

BBC London says a 15-year-old girl, who did not want to be named, said the stabbing followed a row at a fund-raising event at the church hall attended by about 100 people.

Apparently the party was brought to an end at 22:30 pm after a fight broke out. She said: "I saw pushing and arms swinging around. Then the bouncers came in and said the party has been knocked off.

"I was expecting a fight but I wasn't expecting anyone to get stabbed. There is always a fight, that is why I left early."

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Patience is needed as we await Crossrail’s arrival

The reality of travelling on less crowded trains may be far off, but TFL seems to be working on it however slowly it might appear.

We are told that preparatory work on the new Crossrail starts this month. When it opens in 2017 it will run from Heathrow to Stratford, Shenfield and also Abbey Wood. It’s expected to increase London’s public transport network capacity by 10 per cent.

So rest assured that, although you might have to wait until 2017 to get a seat on your way to work during peak times, something is being done about it.

For those who fly more often, it may not come as a surprise that Heathrow and Gatwick reported a drop in the number of passengers over the year. One passenger said the long queues and poor customer services explain why. This news comes as our Docklands-based London City Airport came out smiling with its figures.

It says it saw a 12 per cent rise in passenger numbers in 2008 with over 3 million people travelling through. In spite of the current economic and financial challenges, December still showed a 10 per cent growth in passengers on the previous year.

But it’s boss Richard Gooding is trying not to appear over-exited about its performance. He said: “We remain cautious about 2009’s prospects until stability returns to the financial services industry and the wider economy.”

Monday, 5 January 2009

Hospital warned over hygiene flaws

It’s been a tricky start to 2009 for staff at Homerton University Hospital – they’ve just been slapped with a serious warning to improve their hygiene standards.

This week the Hackney-based hospital admitted that the Healthcare Commission dropped by unannounced and were not impressed.

As a result of the flaws the visit exposed, the hospital says it has created a new team whose priority is to have the improvement notice lifted by the end of this month.

One of the concerns raised was that dirty bed pans were found in a ward and commodes had not been fully cleaned.

While this sloppiness in this ward might disappear within a month, the core issue, surely, is whether the staff are fully trained and being properly supervised?

Not so. The hospital has also had to explain that it does not have good records to show that people have had training; a number of planned audits were not completed.

On the positive side, the cleaners probably have the fateful HC visit to thank because there will now be a new electronic system for recording training.