Purdue’s secret OxyContin papers should be released, appeals court rules

first_img Please enter a valid email address. Andrew Joseph Privacy Policy Leave this field empty if you’re human: The decision comes as Purdue and other prescription opioid makers face an investigation of their marketing practices by a coalition of attorneys general from more than 40 states. In addition, hundreds of cities, counties, tribes, and states have in recent months filed a fresh round of lawsuits against Purdue alleging OxyContin was deceptively marketed; the suit brought by Massachusetts also named the Sackler family as defendants.The documents in Kentucky could shed new light on the allegations made in those cases. In 2007, Purdue paid more than $600 million in fines and three executives pleaded guilty to a criminal charge to resolve a federal investigation that the company falsely claimed OxyContin was less addictive than other narcotics.The three-judge panel in Kentucky heard oral arguments in the case in June 2017. In their ruling Friday, the judges rejected Purdue’s arguments to deny the public access to the records based on Kentucky law.“We have exhaustively examined legal principles underpinning Kentucky’s common law right of access to court records,” they said in the ruling. “We conclude that the Pike Circuit Court’s … order to unseal records is consistent with our analysis and well within the trial court’s discretion.” The ruling stems from a motion filed by STAT in March 2016 to unseal records filed as part of a lawsuit the state of Kentucky brought against Purdue, alleging the company illegally promoted OxyContin. The case was settled in December 2015 when Purdue agreed to pay the state $24 million.As part of the settlement, the Kentucky attorney general agreed to destroy its copies of 17 million pages of documents produced during the eight-year legal battle.But some of the same documents remained in a sealed file in a rural Eastern Kentucky courthouse. At the request of STAT, the judge in that case ordered the unsealing of the marketing documents filed with the court, as well as the deposition of Sackler.“The court sees no higher value than the public (via the media) having access to these discovery materials so that the public can see the facts for themselves,” Pike Circuit Court Judge Steven Combs wrote in a May 2016 ruling. General Assignment Reporter Andrew covers a range of topics, from addiction to public health to genetics. About the Authors Reprints Related: STAT goes to court to unseal records of OxyContin maker Purdue lawyers urged the appeals court during a June 2017 hearing to overturn the decision by Combs, arguing the judge did not have the discretion to order the release of the records. The company’s lawyers also contended that the documents sought by STAT were not relied upon by the court in approving the settlement of the lawsuit brought by Kentucky and were therefore not “judicial documents” subject to public release.STAT’s lawyers argued that Combs’ decision was based on “well-settled law” and that judges in the state are given “tremendous deference” when it comes to decisions regarding public access to court records. STAT was represented by Jon Fleischaker of Kaplan & Partners and Jeremy Rogers of Dinsmore & Shohl, both in Louisville, Ky.“Really what the court is saying is these are public records,” Fleischaker said Friday. “The public has an interest in them, and the public has a right to them.”He added that he’s received calls about the case from other private attorneys, as well as officials from government agencies. Related: The appeals court supported that reasoning. The opinion by Judge Glenn Acree noted that the attorney general reached the settlement and agreed with Purdue to seal the court records. Acree wrote: “Without access to court records, how can the public assess whether a government employee’s decision to compromise a valuable claim of the people adequately protected their interest or maximized the claim’s value?”The deposition of Sackler, taken in 2015 in Kentucky, is believed to be the only time a member of the Sackler family has been questioned under oath about the marketing of OxyContin and the addictive properties of the pain reliever. Richard Sackler played a key role at the company over three decades, serving as president and co-chairman of the board.His father, Raymond, founded Purdue with his two brothers in 1952. Several members of the family continue to serve on the board of directors. All of the company’s profits, including the billions of dollars from the sale of OxyContin, go to Sackler family trusts and related entities.The family is well-known for its philanthropy, and the Sackler name is affixed to hospitals, universities, and museums across the world.Timeline of the caseMarch 15, 2016: STAT files a legal motion in Kentucky, asking a judge to unseal documents that could provide new information on how Purdue marketed OxyContin. STAT’s lawyers argued that the public had a constitutional right to the records.May 11, 2016: Pike County Circuit Judge Steven Combs orders the records to be made public. Purdue files an appeal a few days later, putting a hold on the release of the documents.June 26, 2017: The Kentucky Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in the case. STAT argues that trial courts in Kentucky have great discretion to open their files and that this is a matter of enormous public interest. Purdue’s lawyer argues there is no common right of law “to pry into affairs of individual litigants.”Dec. 14, 2018: Kentucky Court of Appeals rules in favor of STAT.As Purdue has come under more scrutiny, it has sought to repair its image. Earlier this year, the company famous for its once aggressive courtship of doctors announced it would cease actively marketing opioid products. A Purdue advertising campaign launched last year highlighted the steps it was taking to help stem the opioid crisis.Purdue has maintained it did not know the risk of addiction OxyContin posed until well after it was approved in 1996, but federal prosecutors discovered in 2006 that company officials had received concerning evidence about the drug soon after it landed on the market, according to the book “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic,” which was excerpted in the New York Times. “We’re tremendously encouraged by this ruling,” said Rick Berke, the executive editor of STAT. “More than two years after we filed this suit, the scourge of opioid addiction has grown worse, and the questions have grown about Purdue’s practices in marketing OxyContin. It is vital that that we all learn as much as possible about the culpability of Purdue, and the consequences of the company’s decisions on the health of Americans.”Click here to read the ruling from the Kentucky Court of AppealsDespite Friday’s ruling, the company records will not be made public immediately. Purdue has the opportunity to decide whether it wants to request another hearing before the appeals court or ask the Supreme Court of Kentucky to overturn the decision. The company has 30 days to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.advertisement Secret trove reveals bold ‘crusade’ to make OxyContin a blockbuster Drug maker thwarted plan to limit OxyContin prescriptions at dawn of opioid epidemic [email protected] @DrewQJoseph A Kentucky appeals court on Friday upheld a judge’s ruling ordering the release of secret records about Purdue Pharma’s marketing of the powerful prescription opioid OxyContin, which has been blamed for helping to seed today’s opioid addiction epidemic.The records under seal include a deposition of Richard Sackler, a former president of Purdue and a member of the family that founded and controls the privately held Connecticut company. Other records include marketing strategies and internal emails about them; documents concerning internal analyses of clinical trials; settlement communications from an earlier criminal case regarding the marketing of OxyContin; and information regarding how sales representatives marketed the drug.The unanimous opinion by a three-judge panel is a victory for STAT, which filed a motion more than two years ago to unseal the records — which were stored in a courthouse in a rural county hit hard by overdose deaths. STAT won a lower-court order in May 2016 to release the documents, but after Purdue appealed, the judge stayed that order.advertisement “We’re disappointed with the Court of Appeals’ decision today,” Purdue said in a statement. “The documents in question were never entered into evidence and did not play a role in any judicial decision. Under Kentucky law, such documents should remain private as outlined in the Protective Order with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.“This decision raises important issues under Kentucky law, and we intend to pursue our rights to seek judicial review of the decision.” Douglas Healey/AP By David Armstrong and Andrew Joseph Dec. 14, 2018 Reprints Related: HealthPurdue’s secret OxyContin papers should be released, appeals court rules Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. Tags addictionlegalopioidslast_img read more

We wish we’d written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2018

first_imgDon’t MissWe wish we’d written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2018 Newsletters Sign up for Weekend Reads Our top picks for great reads, delivered to your inbox each weekend. Top Cancer Researcher Fails to Disclose Corporate Financial Ties in Major Research JournalsWhat These Medical Journals Don’t Reveal: Top Doctors’ Ties to IndustryBy Charles Ornstein and Katie Thomas, ProPublica and The New York TimesFinancial conflicts are seldom called out in medicine. And that stems from something even more insidious: the failure of researchers to fully disclose their financial relationships with pharmaceutical and health care companies when their work is published in medical journals. The New York Times and ProPublica did a masterful job of using publicly available data to spotlight inadequate disclosures by leading clinicians and researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Yale Medical School, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, among others. The reporting also exposed serious lapses by medical journals in vetting these disclosures. Many of the relationships could have been easily detected on a federal database, but no one was looking. They are looking now.— Contributed by Casey RossCrossFit’s “Holy War”: The Rise And Fall Of Its Science CrusaderBy Stephanie M. Lee, BuzzFeed NewsLike so many news events this year, I saw the tweets about the tweets first. Stephanie M. Lee’s thorough profile of CrossFit’s spokesperson seemed to follow them impossibly quickly and is a wonderful example of how to profile a controversial figure.Russell Berger’s comments — which, among other things, called celebrating LGBTQ pride a “sin” — weren’t directly related to the main chunk of the story about the hunt for data discrepancies in a study about CrossFit. But glossing over them would have been a huge omission, particularly because Berger was fired from his position as a result of them.Instead, Lee used the controversial tweets and the fallout as a clear structure for her story; as she writes, with these tweets “[Berger] went from being CrossFit’s greatest defender to its most urgent threat.”Lee’s reporting on industry funding in food and exercise science has been remarkable all year, as have her follow-ups on Brian Wansink and research from his Food and Brand Lab at Cornell. This story was no exception.— Contributed by Kate SheridanThe Comforting Fictions of Dementia CareBy Larissa MacFarquhar, The New YorkerThis gripping narrative lays out the emotional challenges inherent in caring for individuals who have dementia. The beautifully structured piece takes you inside the lives of patients and caregivers as they struggle with the existential question — what actually makes people happy? The story made me question the beliefs I held about how to treat people, and left me with plenty of things to think about.— Contributed by Ike SwetlitzIt’s 4 A.M. The Baby’s Coming. But the Hospital Is 100 Miles Away.By Jack Healy, The New York TimesThis story grabs you right from the first sentence: “A few hours after the only hospital in town shut its doors forever, Kela Abernathy bolted awake at 4:30 a.m., screaming in pain.” Dozens of rural hospitals across the country have shuttered since 2010, and experts estimate that fewer than half of rural counties in the U.S. are home to a hospital that provides obstetric care. This story gives a compelling, critical look at what that means for pregnant women and newborns.— Contributed by Megan Thielking [email protected] 13 Suicide Attempts, 18 Hospitalizations, Few Options: Lost in Tennessee’s Mental Care SystemBy Jessica Bliss and Anita Wadhwani, The TennesseanAn assertion like “Tennessee is 46th among states in access to mental health care” doesn’t exactly rope you in, so The Tennessean brought that statistic to life. This fine-grained portrait of a young woman who has attempted suicide 13 times and been admitted to psychiatric hospitals 18 times for short-term care examines the human toll of a failed and failing system, in particular the revolving-door readmissions due to the lack of follow-up care when someone is discharged after a psychiatric hospitalization.— Contributed by Sharon Begley Privacy Policy It’s been a busy 2018 here at STAT, reporting on the latest on “CRISPR babies,” drug pricing squabbles, IBM Watson, and the ongoing Ebola outbreak, just to name a few. But we, of course, still find the time to see what other journalists are writing — and get jealous we didn’t do it ourselves.So as we take a little breather before 2019 ramps up, we present another year of the stories we wish we would have written.Speaking of jealousy, we must admit we got the idea for this list from Bloomberg Businessweek — so head over there for more great reporting from the year that was.advertisement Exclusive analysis of biopharma, health policy, and the life sciences. 1 Son, 4 Overdoses, 6 HoursBy Katharine Q. Seeyle, The New York TimesGiven that so much has been written about the opioid crisis, the bar is high for journalism that truly captures how addiction has destroyed families across America. Katharine Q. Seelye of The New York Times surpassed that high bar. For nearly a year, Seelye and photographer Todd Heisler shadowed Patrick Griffin and his family in Pembroke, N.H., as he tried to stay alive despite his addiction to heroin and fentanyl. In one day alone, Patrick overdosed four times over six hours. Seelye and Heisler were there to witness so many horrible moments, including an intervention in Patrick’s mother’s living room captured by stunning photographs.As Seelye put it, “Most drug users do not die. Far more, like Patrick, are snared for years in a consuming, grinding, unending cycle of addiction.”— Contributed by Rick BerkeOn a Bat’s Wing and a PrayerBy Lena Sun, The Washington PostI was jealous from the get-go. When do you get to placeline an article Bat Cave?Sun and photographer Bonnie Jo Mount travelled to western Uganda with scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who are trying to track the movements of a species of fruit bats — Rousettus aegyptiacus — that carry the Marburg virus. Marburg is a cousin of Ebola and as deadly, though Marburg outbreaks are less common, perhaps because the bats that are its source are cave dwellers.The CDC scientists were catching male bats and kitting them up with tracking devices; Sun and Mount went along for the adventure. She takes you into caves pungent with the nostril-burning ammonia of bat guano, which colonies of tens of thousands of bats share with pythons and cobras.Come to think of it, maybe it was better that it was Lena, not me.— Contributed by Helen BranswellThese New Pharma Bros Are Wreaking Havoc on Prescription Drug PricesBy Jared Hopkins and Andrew Martin, BloombergThis story did as much as any other to demonstrate our country’s often absurd system of pricing drugs and the reasons lifesaving prescription medicines sometimes see list price increases as high as 4,116 percent. That was the case with a skin gel manufactured by Novum Pharma, Bloomberg revealed, after a pair of Chicago-based consultants swooped in to revamp the company’s pricing model. Such price hikes became a pattern.Reporters Andrew Martin and Jared Hopkins retraced the consultants’ steps across the country, where they often left behind a trail of sky-high list prices, suspiciously low patient copays, and higher insurance premiums as a result. It’s not just the deeply reported business and policy insight in this piece that stands out. It’s the fact that two Chicago men were able to impact so many businesses and, more importantly, so many patients’ lives — and then simply walk away.— Contributed by Lev FacherThe Promise of Vaping and the Rise of JuulBy Jia Tolentino, The New YorkerYou can’t be a health reporter on Capitol Hill without at some point hearing about the growing epidemic of youth e-cigarette youth. Jia Tolentino’s New Yorker article explains in illuminating — and sometimes horrifying — detail how one e-cigarette company, Juul, has become a part of youth subculture and what that means for the future of public health.Tolentino’s ability to energetically explore the brains of teens is a feat in and of itself, but that isn’t the only reason why I wish I wrote this story: It also effortlessly explains the more benevolent reason why companies like Juul were created in the first place, and the difficult choices that now face federal regulators, who want to combat rising youth use of e-cigarettes while also encouraging the use of these products to wean smokers off combustible nicotine. The 8,000 words fly by, I promise.— Contributed by Nicholas Florko Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson STAT+: Trending Now: Leave this field empty if you’re human: How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 MillionBy Taffy Brodesser-Akner, The New York Times MagazineAs a science reporter, I probably don’t pay as much attention to what wellness gurus are touting as I should — much of which is ripe for a rigorous gut check. I’m not the target audience, but none of that stuff has ever made sense to me as a consumer, either, with its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-evidence mumbo jumbo. Which explains why this behind-the-curtain look at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has stuck with me for so long. First, it’s hilarious. Second, I have never related to a person more than when Brodesser-Akner describes being trapped in traffic on an airport bus while desperately needing to urinate. But most important — and definitely important for scientists and clinicians to absorb — the piece provides a glimpse at why people are willing to turn to someone like Paltrow (or Dr. Oz, or Andrew Wakefield, or …) for health advice as they turn away from mainstream medicine. The scientific community — including us science journalists — needs to figure this out. The only way to bring people back is to understand why they left in the first place.— Contributed by Andrew JosephPatients’ Drug Options Under Medicaid Heavily Influenced By DrugmakersBy Liz Essley Whyte, Joe Yerardi, and Alison Kodjak, The Center for Public Integrity and NPRMedicaid is notoriously hard to dig into, as health policy subject matter goes — every state’s program has different (and complicated) rules, different disclosure policies, different relationships with transparency. It’s a massive program (so much bigger than Medicare!) but the sheer intricacy of it stops so many reporters from digging in.But, man, look what The Center for Public Integrity and NPR found when they did! This investigation looked at the way the pharmaceutical industry — infamous for its lobbying prowess in Washington — was doing to influence and, in some ways, outright buy votes on the key committees that decide which drugs get preferential treatment by state Medicaid programs. Their reporting yielded eyebrow-raising anecdotes and mind-boggling figures in state after state, again and again — it’s worth your time.— Contributed by Erin MershonHalf-LifeBy Rebecca Moss, The Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublicaThis maddening story chronicles the life and death of Chad Walde, a worker at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, one of the nation’s most important nuclear weapons labs. Walde died last year at age 44 of a brain cancer linked to radiation of the kind he was exposed to for years at his workplace. Before he died, Walde filed a claim for federal benefits — but the government denied responsibility, and Walde and his family were denied compensation. How did that happen? Through her meticulous reporting, Moss paints a damning portrait of Los Alamos as a place besieged with safety problems and shoddy record-keeping. The story is an important piece of accountability journalism — and you won’t soon forget the haunting, heartbreaking scene from Walde’s funeral.— Contributed by Rebecca Robbins STAT staff Bernice Abbott/New York Public Library By STAT staff Dec. 21, 2018 Reprints Please enter a valid email address. About the Author Reprints Story of a Face: How a Transplanted Face Transformed Katie Stubblefield’s LifeBy Joanna Connors, Photos by Lynn Johnson and Maggie Steber, National GeographicAt age 21, Katie Stubblefield was the youngest person in the United States to receive a face transplant. Photographers Lynn Johnson and Maggie Steber documented this process before, during, and after surgery. Steber photographed tender, quiet moments of Stubblefield and her family in the months leading up to surgery while Johnson captured the surreality of the operating room. This long-term project is a remarkable story spanning science, medicine, and personal narrative.— Contributed by Alissa Ambroseadvertisementlast_img read more

5 minutes with… Laois Ladies football captain Mags McEvoy

first_img Pinterest Facebook Twitter Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad 5 minutes with… Laois Ladies football captain Mags McEvoy WhatsApp WhatsApp By Siun Lennon – 1st June 2018 Community TAGSLaois Ladies FootballMags McEvoy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleLaois athletes go for All Ireland glory at schools track and field finalsNext articleDeaths in Laois – Friday, June 1, 2018 Siun Lennonhttp://heresosiun.blogspot.ie/2016/09/the-lekkie-piccie-experience.htmlSiún Lennon joined LaoisToday in a full-time capacity after studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick. She hails from Rosenallis and her interests vary from news, sports and politics. Community Rugby Home We Are Laois 5 Minutes With 5 minutes with… Laois Ladies football captain Mags McEvoy We Are Laois5 Minutes With Facebook Pinterest Twitter Five Laois monuments to receive almost €200,000 in government funding Laois ladies football captain Mags McEvoy in action against Tyrone When Laura-Marie Maher suffered a second cruciate injury which forced her to step down from her role as captain of the intermediate Laois Ladies team, Mags McEvoy seemed like a natural successor.Mags played a starring role in Sarsfields claiming their fifth county title in a row and received Laois Player of the Year award for her efforts.While Mags is honoured to take up the role of captaining her county, she is also saddened by predecessor and friend’s second cruciate injury within three years.“Although I am honored and privileged to be asked to take on the captaincy this year for the squad, I am only stepping in to try and carry on the mantle that Laura-Marie Maher had set out from December.”As a teammate and also a close friend, the circumstances in which I was asked to take on this role was heart breaking. Even though Laura-Marie is unfortunately ruled out for the year with an injury, she still remains a integral and vital member of squad for the 2018 campaign,” she said.However the Rosenallis woman is looking forward to step out as Laois captain with this particular group of players.“To be asked to lead any Laois team out into a championship campaign is one that I have dreamt about. I know that with this particular Laois squad I will have another 25 leaders standing alongside me and that’s what makes it all the better,” said Mags.The Laois midfielder has shown huge commitment on and off the pitch, making trips down from Dublin where she lives and works to attend trainings three or four nights a week.As Laois begin their championship campaign against Offaly this weekend, we sat down with Mags to hear more about herself and her teamates for our latest ‘5 minutes with’ interview.Name: Mags McEvoyAge: 31Occupation: AccountantTeams played for: Sarsfields & Laois LadiesIf you were throwing a party and you could invite anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you ask around?Michelle ObamaConor McGregorEllen DegeneresRobin WilliamsWhere do you like to go out to celebrate after a big victory?We celebrate as a group so wherever will take us in Portlaoise!If you weren’t playing sport what would you spend that time at instead?Finishing my professional accounting exams.What’s the worst pitch you’ve ever played on?You’d probably have to ask Emma McEvoy that question – she remembers every pitch I’ve ever played on!Which character in any film are you most like?Probably Dorey from Finding Nemo because I always forget stuff!Any odd items in your gear bag?Toilet roll. The dressing rooms never have any! Always come prepared.What’s your preferred brand of gear?As a lady footballer we’re always very lucky to get sponsored gear so I’m not fussy.Who is the biggest joker on the teams you played for?Hands down Clare Conlon.Which team-mate has the best looking other half?No comment!Who is the worst trainer?Oh I couldn’t just pick one.Who spends most time in front of the mirror in the dressing room?Mary Cotter (sorry Mary)Who’s the best/worst person to share a room with on away trips?Best – Clare Conlon (because she is extremely tidy)Worst – Ciara Burke (Because she is a bit of a night owl, you wouldn’t get a wink of sleep with her shenanigans)Who’s the best/worst person to sit beside on the team bus?Best – Aimee Kelly (Because she sleeps all the time)Worst – Maggie Murphy (Because she hates buses)Who has the best and who has the worst diet on the team, and what does it include?Best – Meaghan DunneWorst – Emma Lawlor (is fond of a large 99 after matches)Toughest opponent you have faced?The most recent would have to be Noelle Healy from Dublin – she received Player of the Year last year and in the last couple of years she has really developed into a really talented player.Best or worst quote you’ve heard, either from a manager, player, opponent?Best – You’ve got what it takes, but it will take everything you’ve gotWorst – It’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that countsBest manager you’ve ever played under?I’ve been lucky enough to have some really good GAA managers.But the best was probably Pat Critchley. He is an incredibly intelligent man with a wealth of knowledge, but above all else has a huge passion and desire for Laois GAA, which is infectious.Best ever performance?The most recent one that sticks out in a Laois jersey was a Division 1 league game against Cork in Stradbally in 2013.It was one of those days late on in the league on March 30 when we needed a win to really push for a semi-final spot and the All Ireland Champions were coming down to us – it was daunting. It was a really intense game, very fast ball as it was a lovely day and the ball travelled well.We ended up winning that game by one point on a scoreline of 1-9 to 11 points. Cork were not beaten in any level for three years and it felt great to break that run. It was like we had won the All-Ireland that day.One to forget?Losing to Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final in Dr Cullen Park in 2004. After the All-Ireland in 2001 that was the closest we were to getting back to Croke Park and looking back now there was a lot of regrets from that game.What has been the favourite moment of your career so far?I am very lucky to have had some great days out with my club. But as regards my career with Laois and my favourite moment so far would still have to be that elusive All-Ireland in 2001.As I was so young I took it for granted a little at the time as it was my first year in with Laois and I thought this would probably  happen all the time. That day and the days immediately after it, like coming back to Portlaoise for the homecoming, are days I will never forget!And the worst moment?Last year loosing to Cavan knowing we were going to get relegated to Intermediate in 2018. That one was a tough one to take.When you were playing in the back garden, who did you pretend to be?My brothers.If there was a transfer market who’d be in and who’d be out of the team?I would definitely take in Sinead Ahern from Dublin – she is on top form at the moment and a real Leader for Dublin.I would get rid of myself – make room for the next young generation of Laois Ladies footballers.SEE ALSO – 5 minutes with … Laois hurling captain Ross King Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’last_img read more

We must all keep following steps that make a real difference

first_imgWe must all keep following steps that make a real difference Madam Deputy Speaker, with permission, I’d like to make a statement on coronavirus. Before I do that I would like to wish my shadow opposite a happy birthday today.Our nation is getting safer every day, as more and more people get protected by the biggest immunisation programme in the history of our health service.Over 10 million people have now received their first dose of one of our coronavirus vaccines. This is almost 1 in 5 adults in the UK.We’re vaccinating at scale, while at the same time retaining a close focus on the most vulnerable in our society to make sure those at a greater risk are at the forefront of the queue.I’m pleased to inform the House that we’ve now vaccinated almost 9 in 10 over 80s in the UK, almost 9 in 10 over 75s and over half of people in their 70s.We’ve also visited every eligible care home possible with older residents in England, and offered vaccinations to all their residents and staff.This means we’re currently on track to meet our target of offering a vaccine to the 4 most vulnerable groups by mid-February.This is an incredible effort that has drawn on the hard work of so many and I want to take this moment to thank every single person who has made it happen. The hundreds of thousands of volunteers up and down the country, our colleagues in the NHS and social care, the scientists, the GPs, the nurses, the manufacturers, local authorities, the armed forces, civil servants who work night and day to make this deployment work and anyone else who has played a part in this huge logistical endeavour.It really is the best of the United Kingdom. At our time of national need, you’ve given us a big boost in our fight against this deadly virus, which remains a big threat to us all.There are still over 32,000 COVID patients in hospital and the level of infection is still alarmingly high. So we must all stay vigilant and keep our resolve while we keep expanding our vaccination programme, so we can get more people protected even more quickly.New sitesMadam Deputy Speaker, we have an ambitious plan to do this. We’re boosting our supply of vaccines, and our portfolio now stands at over 400 million doses, some of which will be manufactured right here in the UK.And we’re opening more vaccination sites too. I’m pleased to inform the House that 39 new sites have opened their doors this week, along with 62 more pharmacy-led sites.This includes a church in Worcester, Selhurst Park – the home of Crystal Palace Football Club – and a fire station in Basingstoke, supported by firefighters and support staff from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.One of the greatest pleasures for me over the past few months has been seeing the wide range of vaccination sites that have been set up, right in the heart of our local communities.Cinemas, mosques, food courts and so many other institutions have now been transformed into life-saving facilities, giving hope to people every day. Thanks to this rapid expansion, we have now established a major national infrastructure.There are now 89 large vaccination centres, and 194 sites run by high street pharmacies, along with 1,000 GP-led services and over 250 hospital hubs.Today’s announcement will mean that even more people will live close to a major vaccination site, so we can make vaccinating the most vulnerable even quicker and even simpler.Clinical trialsMadam Deputy Speaker, we’ve always believed in the power of science and ingenuity to get us through this crisis.And I was pleased to see earlier this week to see compelling findings in the Lancet medical journal, reinforcing the effectiveness of our Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.It showed that the vaccine provides sustained protection of 76% during the 12-week interval between the first and second dose and that the vaccine seems likely to reduce transmission to others by two-thirdsThis is of course really great news for us all, but we will not rest on our laurels.Madam Deputy Speaker, no one is really safe until the whole world is safe. Our scientific pioneers will keep innovating so we can help the whole world in our collective fight against this virus.I saw how powerful this ingenuity could be when I was one of thousands of volunteers who took part in the Novavax clinical trial.A trial that published very promising results a few days ago.Today, I’m pleased to announce another clinical trial, a world-first study that will help cement the UK’s position as a global hub for vaccination research.This trial will look at whether different vaccines can be safely used for 2-dose regime in the future to support a more flexible programme of immunisation.I want to reinforce that this is a year-long study, and there are no current plans to change our existing vaccination programme, which will continue to use the same doses. But it will perform a vital role, helping the world understand whether different vaccines can be safely used.Our scientists have played a pivotal part in our response to this deadly virus and once again they are leading the way, helping us to learn more about this virus and how we should respond.Encouraging take-upMadam Deputy Speaker, it’s been heart-warming to see how excited so many people have been to get their vaccine and to see the work taking place in local communities to encourage people to come forward to get their jab.Honourable members, of course, have an important role to play too. I was heartened to see colleagues from all sides of the House coming together to encourage take-up within minority ethnic communities through a joint video, which was posted on social media last week. Two videos I should add.As the video rightly says: “MPs don’t agree all the time. But on taking the vaccination, we do”.I couldn’t agree more, and I’m grateful to every single Honourable member who has come forward to support this national effort.We want to make it as easy as possible for colleagues to do so. This week, we published a new resource for Honourable members that provides more information on the vaccine rollout and what colleagues can do to increase the take-up of the vaccine in their constituency.This is an extremely valuable resource and I’d urge all Honourable members to take a look and think about what they can do within their constituencies.ConclusionMadam Deputy Speaker, our vaccination programme is our way out of this pandemic. But even though this programme is accelerating rapidly and, as the Chief Medical Officer said yesterday, we appear to be past the peak, this remains a deadly virus, and it will take time for the impact of vaccinations to be felt.So, for now, we must all stand firm and keep following the steps that we know make a real big difference until science can make us safe.I commend this statement to the House. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:clinical trials, coronavirus, football, Government, hospital, Immunisation, infection, infrastructure, pandemic, research, Scientists, social media, UK, UK Government, United Kingdom, vaccination, Vaccineslast_img read more

Community hubs aid vaccine rollout

first_imgCommunity hubs aid vaccine rollout JOINT STATEMENTThe State Government will open 14 Community-Based Vaccination hubs by the end of July helping to make the COVID vaccine rollout easier.Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the centres will be established to coincide with increased vaccine supply announced by the Federal Government.Members of the general public aged 40-49 who may want to receive a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination will be able to register for vaccination.“Our job so far has been to vaccinate the 1a and 1b groups that include our workforce in hotel quarantine, health, police and other emergency services,” the Premier said.“Queensland Health has sufficient Pfizer stocks to continue that work and open up to the 40-49-year age group who may want to register to be vaccinated.“We do not want an ounce of vaccine to go to waste.”Four community-based vaccination locations have already been stood up across the Wide Bay and Mackay regions at:Central Queensland University City Campus (Mackay)Bundaberg TAFEHervey Bay TAFEMaryborough City HallThree community-based vaccination locations in south-east Queensland will be stood up in the coming weeks.An additional seven community-based vaccination locations will progressively be opened.The state is preparing for mass vaccination when supplies of Pfizer vaccine are expected to increase in the last quarter of 2021.Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the community hubs would assist Queensland’s recalibrated rollout.“Since the TGA’s advice regarding AstraZeneca, Queensland has had to adapt its approach to the vaccine rollout,” the Minister said.“We’re making the vaccine as accessible as possible and maximising our vaccine administration capacity.“Already, we have stood up Pfizer hubs at hospitals in every HHS across Queensland to provide greater vaccine accessibility.“The Palaszczuk Government will ensure that our vaccine rollout is accessible as possible, and these community vaccine hubs will further assist Queenslanders, no matter where they are, to get access to the vaccine.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Bundaberg, Central, Emergency Services, Federal, federal government, Government, health, health minister, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Maryborough, Palaszczuk, Pfizer, QLD, Queensland, Queensland Health, TAFE, TGAlast_img read more

Slattery holds off Goya to win Russian Open by 1

first_imgMOSCOW – Lee Slattery bounced back from an erratic start to shoot a 2-under 69 Sunday that was enough for a one-shot victory at the Russian Open. The Englishman entered the final round with the lead but two bogeys on the front nine left him temporarily two shots behind Argentina’s Estanislao Goya. However, Slattery birdied three of his last eight holes, including a chip in from the rough on the 17th, while Goya bogeyed the 13th and 15th. ”That chip in was massive,” said Slattery, who narrowly missed out on a European Tour card for this season. ”Having to ask a lot of promoters for invites, it’s been a difficult year. I forgot what it was like to write letters. I’ve written a lot this year and it’s just nice to be able to finish the year off like this with a win.” Slattery finished with a 15-under total of 269 as he secured his second career European Tour win, and first since 2011. Goya was second after a 68, with defending champion David Horsey of England (68) another shot back in third following a bogey-free round. Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey was one of four players to share fourth place on 12 under. South African Jake Roos set a course record with an eight-under 63, hauling him up the leaderboard from 34th overnight to joint eighth. In damp conditions at the Skolkovo Golf Club, the start of play was delayed by two hours due to fog. Golf has become increasingly popular in recent years with the Russian elite, and the tournament attracted a small but well-heeled crowd, some with bodyguards in tow. Andrei Pavlov pleased the spectators by becoming the first Russian ever to make the cut at a European Tour event, but he could not keep up the same form for the final two rounds, finishing 71st on 13 over.last_img read more

Hobbled Dems, Eager GOP Back for Lame-Duck Session

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. WASHINGTON – Dejected Democrats and invigorated Republicans returned to the Capitol Monday to face a mountain of unfinished business and greet more than 100 mainly Republican freshmen-elect lawmakers determined to change how they do that business.Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, in line to become speaker when the new Republican-led Congress convenes in January, told GOP newcomers Sunday evening that they may spend their next two years doing just two things: stopping what he called “job-killing policies” and the “spending binge.”“The American people are sick and tired of the ‘Washington knows best’ mentality. All the power in this town is on loan from the people,” he told the group, which he noted includes seven farmers, six physicians, three car dealers, two funeral home directors, a former FBI agent, a pizzeria owner, an NFL lineman, and an airline pilot.First, though, lawmakers must slog through the post-election session that, as with past lame ducks, is expected to be unpopular and largely unproductive.Republicans are looking ahead to January, when they will take back control of the House; many Democratic lawmakers and staff are more focused on cleaning out their desks and looking for new jobs.Democrats also have the sad occasion of seeing one of their most venerable members go on trial on ethics charges. The House ethics committee opened the trial Monday of 80-year-old Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the former Ways and Means Committee chairman charged with 13 counts of financial and fundraising misconduct violating House rules.In an indication of how far the 20-term lawmaker has fallen, Rangel told the four Republicans and four Democrats on the jury that he had run out of money to pay his previous attorney and asked that the trial be postponed until he could get a new lawyer.High on the agenda for the lame-duck Congress: Lawmakers must act before year’s end on expiring Bush-era tax cuts to protect millions of people from significant tax increases. Congress failed to pass even a single annual spending bill this year, and funds are needed to keep federal agencies financed and avoid a government shutdown. Doctors, meanwhile, face a crippling cut in Medicare reimbursements.Democrats still command sizable majorities in the House and Senate and have other ambitions for the lame-duck session. Most will go unfulfilled.There are efforts to give Social Security recipients a $250 check to make up for no cost-of-living increase next year; to extend unemployment benefits; to allow gays to serve openly in the military; to ratify a nuclear weapons reduction treaty with Russia; and to extend government oversight of food safety.Congress will be in session for a week, break for Thanksgiving week and return on Nov. 29. Lawmakers will continue until they complete their work or give up.Most of the attention this week will be on activities off the House and Senate floors.Elsewhere on the Hill, more than 100 incoming House and Senate freshmen started learning the rules of decorum, how to run a congressional office and how not to get lost in the Capitol basement. Two Democratic senators — Joe Manchin, who won the seat of the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Chris Coons, elected to Vice President Joe Biden’s Delaware seat — will be sworn in Monday.On Tuesday the Senate parties elect their leaders. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada will continue to head the reduced Democratic majority, with Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky still guiding the Republicans.House leadership elections take place Wednesday. Pending the official floor vote in January, Republicans will confirm Boehner as the next speaker and Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia as future majority leader.Things appear to have settled on the Democratic side.Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants to stay on as Democratic leader, and a Democratic arrangement reached Friday clears the way for Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer to become second in command without a challenge from South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn.The chances of bipartisan action during the lame-duck session could become clearer when President Barack Obama meets next week with leaders of both parties at the White House.On the most pressing issue facing Congress, extension of the Bush tax cuts, Obama wants to extend them for couples earning less than $250,000 annually while seeking a compromise, perhaps a temporary continuation, for wealthier taxpayers. Buoyed by their advantage, Republicans are holding firm on permanent extensions for all.This, Boehner said last week, “will be the most important thing we can do to help create jobs in the country.”On Sunday, Obama said that if Republicans “feel very strongly about it, then I want to get a sense of … how they intend to pay for it.” Emaillast_img read more

Norway Claims Victory in Longines Europe Division 2 Final in Greece

first_img SIGN UP More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! Email* Team Norway stormed to a very significant victory in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Greece staged at the 2004 Olympic venue of Markopoulo in Athens (GRE) today.This final of the 2019 Europe Division 2 series saw eight nations battle it out for the single promotional spot on offer for Division 1 next year, while also up for grabs were two qualifying places at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final 2019 in Barcelona (ESP) next October.And it was the Norwegian side, consisting of three members of the Gulliksen family along with Hege Tidemandsen, who claimed pole position ahead of Portugal in second while Poland lined up in third.A move into the super-competitive higher division is a big ask for many of the countries that have a limited pool of horses and riders, so winning Chef d’Equipe, Mikael Kolind, was cautious about his team’s prospects after today’s great result. “We have the ticket for Division 1 now, so we will see if we will use it!” he said this evening. But there’s no doubt about their forthcoming trip to Spain.“We are very happy to be able to go to Barcelona and hopefully to qualify a team for the Tokyo Olympics,”said Tidemandsen, who produced one of the three double-clears that secured the winning zero scoreline. Portugal will join them at the Spanish fixture, putting just four faults on the board to finish a fence ahead of the Polish side who were foot-perfect second time out but who couldn’t improve on their eight-fault first-round tally to just miss out.It was wide open right to the end however, victory depending on a clear round from the last man into the ring, Geir Gulliksen (59) who is better known to his friends as “Jimmy”. His daughter Victoria (27) racked up 16 faults in the first round and eight in the second with the 10-year-old gelding Papa Roach. So although both Tidemandsen and Victoria’s brother, Johan-Sebastian (22) riding Exit of Ice Z, never put a foot wrong, Norway needed to discard those eight faults to stay out in front.Hungary and Portugal were lying joint-second with a four-fault tally as the second round began over the course designed by Germany’s Christian Wiegand, and when the Portuguese held firm then a fence down from “Jimmy” would force a two-way jump-off, and any more than that could prove extremely expensive. Staying cool and calm however the Olympian, who has been the rock on which Norwegian showjumping has depended for very many years, steered the 13-year-old Gin Chin van het Lindenhof, a horse he took over from Ireland’s Bertram Allen at the end of last year, to a clean run all the way. And the roars from the Kiss and Cry said it all as he galloped through the finish – it was a Norwegian mission accomplished.“This was just an amazing experience! It’s the first time for me at the Division 2 Final and to go in there and win the whole thing is just super, I’m so proud of what my team-mates and all our horses have achieved today,” saidTidemandsen.Tidemandsen runs a riding school in Norway along with her mother “a little further north from Gulliksens”, and has been a real self-starter. “I began with ponies and then we always made the horses ourselves because we never had money to buy the good ones, we would only get the horses no-one else wanted and if I was good enough I could improve them. But today I’m very happy because I have a really good horse who jumps his heart out for me,” she pointed out.She was talking about the 13-year-old Carvis who, however, has been a very difficult character along the way. “He was always jumping too big and scaring himself when he was younger, and I was a bit of a chicken so my sister did all the early work with him. He wasn’t easy,” she explained.Now however he’s a family favourite. “We’ve had him for 10 years and people are always trying to buy him, but my father says we can’t sell a friend,” she said this evening.She is hoping that she and her friend are on their way to Barcelona where the battle for that last Olympic slot is likely to be hard fought. The final Europe Division 2 standings, based on today’s result, show Norway and Portugal in first and second places, Poland in third, Hungary in fourth, Greece – represented by a plucky three-member side today – in fifth, Spain in sixth, Bulgaria in seventh and Romania in eighth. Tags: Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding.last_img read more

Tropical Storm Isaias nears Florida coast before heading for the Carolinas

first_imgiStock/imagedepotproBy: DANIEL MANZO, EMILY SHAPIRO and DAN PECK, ABC News (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Tropical storm conditions are nearing the East Coast of Florida Sunday morning as Tropical Storm Isaias brings heavy rain and strong winds to parts of the Bahamas.Isaias, which had been a hurricane, weakened late Saturday.Tropical storm alerts now stretch from Florida to North Carolina and may move further north.Isaias will pick up forward speed and accelerate into the Northeast U.S., likely tracking very close to I-95 from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia to New York City and then moving into New England.The current forecast track shows the center of Isaias moving near or over the East Coast of Florida Sunday and into Sunday night.Isaias is expected to bring six inches of rain to parts of eastern Florida and a storm surge of 1 to 4 feet.Isaias may be near Jacksonville or Daytona Beach by Monday morning.Tropical Storm Isaias is currently bringing heavy rain and strong winds to parts of the Bahamas and Tropical Storm Conditions are nearing the east coast of Florida. The storm has winds of 65 mph and is about 45 Miles east-northeast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm is moving northwest at 9 mph.Isaias will then move back over the ocean, passing by Georgia, before moving into the Carolinas.Some areas of coastal North Carolina are under mandatory evacuation orders.States of emergency have been declared in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.Isaias is expected to pick up speed and accelerate into the Northeast, likely tracking very close to Interstate 95 from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia to New York City and then moving into New England.In the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic, the main threat will be very heavy rain and coastal flooding.By Tuesday evening, the storm will likely pass very close to New York City with torrential rain and some coastal flooding.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

It’s time to ask: Are you happy?

first_imgWhen was the last time you asked your employees the simple question: “Are you happy?”Personal Group, which aims to help UK businesses improve productivity through better engagement, says it was built on one simple fact: Happy people are more productive. There’s no denying that health and wellbeing can have huge impacts on day-to-day life. Therefore, ensuring employee wellbeing and wellness plans are considered should be a high priority for any operator.So, how can a company ensure those within it are happy?Emotional wellbeingResearch released by the British Red Cross earlier this month revealed that more than half of people working in the transport and logistics sector feel always, often or sometimes lonely.Mind says that one in four adults in the UK suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem each year.Deteriorated emotional wellbeing can add just as much strain on an employee as poor physical health.Heal and Safety Executive (HSE) says: “Whether work is causing the health issue or aggravating it, employers have a legal responsibility to help their employees.“Work-related mental health issues must to be assessed to measure the levels of risk to staff. Where a risk is identified, steps must be taken to remove it or reduce it as far as reasonably practicable.”One way that this can be done is to offer staff Personal Group’s Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP). With this, it is possible to offer confidential support to staff when they need it most.Personal Group says: “Our EAP supports employees with emotional, personal, financial, legal, marital, family, tax, work and management issues.“The service is available 24/7 throughout the year by phone, email, SMS or fax, connecting your employees to senior in-house specialists to deal with all EAP needs.”It also offers a range of benefits including: Financial wellbeing, health checks and lifestyle advice.Personal Group also offers its Hapi Hub, a cloud-based management information tool. It gives you the ability to see what your employees are doing in real-time, which benefits are most engaging and which employee services are most in demand. Physical wellbeingIt’s a fact that promoting good physical health and wellbeing among employees can increase efficiency.Making investments that ensure employees are in good physical health can reduce levels of sickness, increase energy levels and boost levels of concentration.Personal Group says: “Great companies are now reviewing an ‘on-demand GP’ service.” This could help the workforce stay in good health, as the average wait to see a GP in the UK is two weeks. That could mean a member of staff being off work until they feel better, or until they have seen a doctor.Wellbeing programmes don’t need to be expensive investments that requires staff to have time away from work.Stagecoach was the first transport company to introduce nationwide staff wellness scheme. It invested in a home-based wellbeing programme, #DrivingFitnessTogether, which aims to help the operator’s staff improve their physical and emotional health through a series of videos covering physical workouts as well as other aspects of wellbeing including nutrition, hydration, stress management, goal setting, confidence and sleep management.Speaking about the initiative, Stagecoach UK Bus MD for England and Wales, Mark Threapleton, says: “The wellbeing of our staff is hugely important. We all spend a large part of our lives at work so it’s important that we support each other and look after our health.“This initiative is another example of the innovative steps we are taking around wellbeing and we hope employees will make the most of this fantastic opportunity to find out more about how to stay healthy and happy.”Staff benefitsAnother way to help provide the foundations to positive employee health and wellness is by offering financial peace of mind.The Transport Benevolent Fund (TBF) is a service that provides its members with a range of benefits when they find “things are not going so well.”TBF explains that members contribute £1 a week and then all benefits are available not only to the member, but also to their partner and any dependent children.Where staff have contributed for long enough, they gain free membership in retirement.TBF benefits include: Prescription prepayment certificates, therapies, laser eyesight correction, medical equipment, medical consultations, scans and tests and many others.There are many ways to ensure your staff are happy when they are at work. Being able to offer employee perks that enhances personal health and wellbeing is invaluable, but so is providing and open and honest working environment, encouraging people to talk, and simply asking them: “Are you ok?”www.personalgroup.comwww.tbf.org.ukWith one in six British workers affected by conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress every year, mental health awareness needs to be raised in most industries, not least the passenger transport industry.Despite these statistics, there is undoubtedly a stigma attached to the term and people tend to avoid talking about it.Since research hints that there’s a link between employees’ happiness and their productivity at work, it’s in employees’ best interests to support the wellbeing of their staff.Offering schemes such as Personal Group’s employee engagement platform or financial peace of mind with TBF are just a couple of ways to do this. It shows you are prepared to invest in your staff’s health and that you are a business willing to talk about mental health and personal wellbeing.By changing viewpoints in the workplace, people will begin to feel comfortable about being open and honest and it will eventually take the stigma out of something that affects us all – mental health.This is an issue that can only be tackled if people are willing to talk about it.Time to Talk DayWhy not take part in Time to Talk Day on 7 February? Organised by Time to Change – a movement that exists to change how people think and act about mental health problems – the day is “about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health,” says the organisation.last_img read more