Blackpool Victoria Hospital issues urgent warning to patients before visiting A&E

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The hospital is ‘extremely busy’ tonight

 

Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital is urging parents to think before attending A&E for non-emergency treatment.

Trust bosses issued a statement on social media this evening (November 2) saying they are ‘extremely busy’.

Residents are being asked to stop and think whether they need to come to A&E, or if they could visit their GP or dial 111 instead.

The tweet read: “We are seeing a high volume of attendances in our #Blackpool A&E department

“If your condition in NOT an emergency, please consider alternative services such as visiting NHS 111 online

“Thank you for your support to #HelpUsHelpYou.”

It comes four days after Blackpool Teaching Hospitals declared a ‘critical incident’ due to high numbers of patients.

Members of the public with non life-threatening illnesses were urged to avoid their hospitals to help ease pressure on the service, particularly Emergency Care.

The trust covers Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Clifton Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital.

 

 

Child hospitalised after ‘tripping over’ at Thornton nursery

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A child was taken to hospital after “tripping over” at a nursery in Thornton.

 

An air ambulance landed on the field at the corner of Poachers Way and Fleetwood Road North at approximately midday today (November 2).

A road ambulance was also reported spotted outside Little Explorers Nursery and Forest School in West Drive, with medical staff seen going into the establishment.

Staff at the nursery have confirmed a child was taken to hospital after “tripping over”.

A child was taken to hospital after "tripping over" at Little Explorers Nursery and Forest School in West Drive (Credit: Google)

A child was taken to hospital after “tripping over” at Little Explorers Nursery and Forest School in West Drive (Credit: Google)

“A child tripped over at the nursery and an ambulance was called,” a spokesman for Little Explorers Nursery said.

“It was expected to take an hour and a half to arrive so instead an air ambulance was sent.”

Lancashire councillor’s bid to raise awareness of brain tumour symptoms in child…

North West Ambulance Service said they were called to the scene at around 11.20am.

A spokesman for NWAS said: “An emergency ambulance and an air ambulance crew attended,” a spokesman for NWAS said.

“A patient has been taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by road for treatment.”

 

 

Last of sails removed from Lytham Windmill following storm damage

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Lytham’s iconic windmill is looking very different after weather damage to three of its sails.

 

Contractors on behalf of Fylde Council were removing the fourth sail on Tuesday as they look to restore the landmark to its distinctive best.

After a sail snapped in two in blustery weather on the evening of Friday, October 1, it was later found to be rotten inside.

A second sail was damaged in further bad weather last week and by the start of this week, the windmill was down to a single sail.

The last of the sails being removed on Tuesday morning

The last of the sails being removed on Tuesday morning

Next step awaited for repair to Lytham windmill

Fylde Council owns and maintains the windmill, which previously lost a sail to high winds in 2011. Following that, the remaining three were removed to allow for repairs to thewindshaft support.

Those fixes, which took a day, had to take place before the new sails could be attached. The council has also had a second sail made after another was found to be weakened.

The 216-year-old stricture requires a major refurbishment following the stirm damage

The 216-year-old stricture requires a major refurbishment following the stirm damage

And back in 1998, gale force winds caused three of the windmill’s sails to completely snap off, while the fourth sail was found to be damaged beyond repair.

All were replaced with special pitch pine imported from Canada.

 

 

Casualty taken to hospital after air ambulance spotted responding to incident in Thornton

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A person has been taken to hospital after paramedics were spotted responding to an incident in Thornton.

 

An air ambulance landed on fields located at the corner of Poachers Way and Fleetwood Road North at around midday today (November 2).

A road ambulance was also reported spotted outside Little Explorers Nursery and Forest School in West Drive, with medical staff seen going into the establishment.

North West Ambulance Service said they were called to the area shortly after 11.20am but were unable to confirm the nature of the incident.

A person was taken to hospital by road following reports an air ambulance was responding to an incident in Thornton
A person was taken to hospital by road following reports an air ambulance was responding to an incident in Thornton

“An emergency ambulance and an air ambulance crew attended,” a spokesman for NWAS said.

“A patient has been taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by road for treatment.”

Little Explorers Nursery and Forest School has been approached for comment.

 

 

Life in Black and White: Blackpool artist draws on his mixed-race experience and pride in the resort

Home | Blackpool Gazette

You might be forgiven for thinking that growing up as a mixed race young lad in Blackpool, a town which doesn’t have the significant Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities of neighbours like Preston, might have left artist Brendan Bunting bitter.

 

But that is far from the truth. While his new exhibition does look at issues surrounding race and identity, it also focuses on the immense pride he has in his resort home.

My BLACKpool has been commissioned by the Grundy Art Gallery, in partnership with the Resilience Revolution.

It explores the Artists identity and pride in Blackpool from the perspective of a mixed race man growing up in a predominantly white working class town.

Brendan Bunting is hoping his exhibition at Blackpool's Grundy Art Gallery will inspire young people to explore their identity and pride in the resort

Brendan Bunting is hoping his exhibition at Blackpool’s Grundy Art Gallery will inspire young people to explore their identity and pride in the resort

The artwork, which heavily features the techniques of collage and frottage, is the start of a process of collaboration with the Grundy Art Gallery and will be shown in the gallery’s forecourt presented on the exterior glass panels there until December 11.

The aim is to use it to generate a series of workshops for young people living in Blackpool, to explore their own identity and pride in the town and to foster a sense of resilience and community.

Brendan, 42, a youth worker for Lancashire County Council and with Blackpool Council, said he wanted the youngsters to develop their own work and have a platform.

He said: “There is a series of eight panels a mixture of collage, frottage and portrait drawings as well, exploring my upbringing in Blackpool.

Brendan uses collage and frottage techniques in his mixed media work

Brendan uses collage and frottage techniques in his mixed media work

“They are in the outer courtyard of the Grundy.

“They are all in black and white and I use newspaper articles in the work.”

He said growing up in Blackpool was enjoyable but he did come across some problems

“We do not have massive black community in Blackpool although that has started to change over the past 20 years.

The work also features newspaper archive stories

The work also features newspaper archive stories

“It was challenging at times but always welcoming.

One of the pieces in the work is a little bit of satire.

“I have been compared to everybody from footballers Trevor Sinclair to Ian Wright!

“Every pub I have gone in there has always been one guy in there saying it. They just say it.

The exhibition will be followed by workshops with young people

The exhibition will be followed by workshops with young people

“They are not being rude or aggressive, in fact I suppose it is quite complimentary, but I always think What?

“I have always found it hilarious. I have a list as long as your arm. So that is incorporated into my artwork.

“I have experienced racism, not something frequent, but there has been some.

“But I don’t want to focus on the negatives. Blackpool gets a bad press, people demonise us – its a place that voted leave (in the Brexit referendum) and everyone’s racist, and questions are being asked about the asylum seekers at the Metropole at the moment, but in fact we are a welcoming community.

“We are a community built on transience.”

He said that so many people have come to Blackpool over the years to work in the tourism industry or as a result of that seaside connection, that it is used to welcoming outsiders.

His own family were in that category. His father is from Blackpool and mother from Northern Ireland who came to work in the holiday season.

He said for him transicence, which can be looked on by some as a negative term, is in fact a positive for him.

The former Hawes Side and Highfield pupil said that things can still be challenging for young black people.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has brought the debate about racism to the fore and people don’t like to be challenged on their views.

“There are complaints about being ‘woke and so forth.

“Things are changing. I went into an African shop in town the other day to get some ingredients for cooking and I was chatting with the lady there.

“I thought this is amazing, years ago I would have had to travel to Manchester for these things. She was telling me how she does hair too.

“I remember getting dreadlocks when I was 14 and I struggled to get them done in Blackpool!”

He said when the sessions start he hopes to get the young people to look first at their own identity and the positives about the town too.

He added: “I don’t want to look at the negative stuff, like how we feature on all the wrong lists for social problems. I want to focus on positivity.”

He said he studied art at night school as it was something he always enjoyed as a child.

“I specialise in portrait drawing on social issues.

“I like to look at people who are marginalised in society and that is why I use newspaper articles as part of the works.

“I have three filing cabinets of material, newspapers stories. They are in wallets with themes, homelessness poverty. The number of Gazette stories is amazing! It is like an archive.

“Storytelling is at the heart of the artist’s practice. Through supporting others to showcase their own story I hope to nurture and show that civic pride.”

Rubbia Ullah, the education officer at the Grundy said: “Brendan and I have been working together over the past few months to develop workshops for local young people.

“We wanted to highlight Black History Month and the forecourt commission was a great opportunity to showcase some of the concepts Brendan will be exploring in the workshops.

“The work we’ll be doing with local young people will go well beyond this month. It’s been great to work with Brendan and exhibit the work of a brilliant local artist and youth worker.”

 

 

Blackpool cabbie stripped of licence after crash

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool cabbie has been banned from driving taxis after crashing into a stationary vehicle while drunk.

 

Blackpool Council stripped the driver of their licence after being informed of the incident, which happened on September 10, by the police.

After being hauled before licensing chiefs the driver, who has not been named, admitted they had an alcohol dependency problem.

The licence was revoked by licensing officers using their delegated powers.

Councillors have handed out punishments to taxi drivers

Councillors have handed out punishments to taxi drivers

Another driver has received a warning letter after being charged with a public order offence after a dispute with a passenger who refused to pay their fare.

The incident, on July 31, did not result in a formal conviction but the driver was brought before the council’s public protection sub-committee to explain what happened.

After deciding it was an ‘isolated’ incident and ‘out of character’, councillors agreed to issue a warning letter.

A warning letter was also issued to another driver who had been convicted of being in a public place with an offensive weapon in August.

Information given to the sub-committee by the police, said the driver “had been involved in a confrontation in relation to abuse received by their son.”

The driver told councillors “they had picked up a tool in reaction to their son being spat at by a gang of youths.”

Minutes from the meeting, which was held behind closed doors, add “they

assured members that they had no intention of using it as a weapon and had only picked it up in self-defence.”

A further driver had their licence suspended for two weeks and received a warning letter due to dangerous defects to their vehicle, including worn tyres.

 

 

Blackpool Britannia Metropole Hotel’s dirty kitchen pictures released with splattered doors

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The Metropole Hotel in Blackpool has been slammed for ‘dirty’ equipment and facilities

 

Metropole Hotel, Blackpool
Metropole Hotel, Blackpool (Image: JThomas / Geograph)

Blackpool Council has released grim pictures inside the Metropole Hotel which was slammed for its poor food hygiene in a recent report.

The hotel on Princess Parade has been accommodating asylum seekers since last month (September), but an inspection carried out on August 26 concluded that it needed to make a major improvement in its food hygiene practices.

Blackpool Council operates the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme which helps consumers make informed decisions about where they eat and buy their food.

 

Food-serving establishments receive ratings from ‘0’ where urgent improvement is required, to ‘5’ which means the food hygiene standards are very good.

The Metropole Hotel’s restaurant received ‘1’ – ‘Major Improvement Necessary’ because they failed to ensure the food preparation and service areas were kept clean.

The report shows that the establishment must examine all their food items and identify those with allergens – at the time of visit there were no allergen information available for any food served in the restaurant.

Food debris was also found on the stairs and in the cutlery drawers.
Food debris was also found on the stairs and in the cutlery drawers.

They also noted three health and safety concerns: various taps in the ladies toilets were loose and needed securing, the front to a gaming machine had been removed for maintenance and was not replaced or barred to prevent tampering and risk of injury and the third floor window next to the ‘X’ storeroom had a crack in it.

The Metropole Hotel failed to comply with the hygiene regulations of Food Safety and Hygiene England Regulations 2013 and were ordered to thoroughly clean and disinfect the food premises, as well as implementing an effective cleaning schedule for these areas.

The front to a gaming machine had been removed for maintenance and was not replaced.
The front to a gaming machine had been removed for maintenance and was not replaced.

Among the list of items that led to the ‘Major Improvement Necessary’ rating, food debris in front of the second fridge in the kitchen, dirt on the kitchen radio, soap dispenser and can opener were noted by Blackpool Council.

The additional restaurant used for staff meals needed to be cleaned down after use, as well as the dirt of the door from the kitchen to the staff restaurant.

A piece of equipment in the hot drink area.
A piece of equipment in the hot drink area.

Blackpool Council reported ‘significant’ pooling of water on the floor of the pot wash area, and continued to list dirt in the following areas; first freezer, door into the restaurant, kitchen door, outside of the water urns, crates in the hot drink area, in the under-the-stairs walk-in freezer, downstairs flooring, the second walk-in freezer, the underside of the hand towel dispenser and the taps of the hand washbasin downstairs.

An out of use trolley in the downstairs area was also reported as dirty, with an accumulation of food debris.

Dirt was photographed on the doors to the restaurant.
Dirt was photographed on the doors to the restaurant.

Food debris was also found on the stairs and in the cutlery drawers.

At the time of the visit, it was observed that as a food business operator, the Metropole Hotel failed to ensure that all articles, fittings and equipment of which food come into contact with were effectively cleaned.

The Brittania owned hotel has been ordered to thoroughly clean and disinfect the food premises, as well as again implementing an effective cleaning schedule.

A build up of carbon was observed outside of the cooking pans, as well as an accumulation of old dough in the dough mixer.

Kitchen equipment.
Kitchen equipment.

The inspection also found meat residue on a ‘clean’ meat slicer, which could cross-contaminate across foods.

Commenting when the report went out, a spokesperson for the Home Office said: “All the hotels the Home Office uses must meet relevant health and safety legislation and provide their latest health and safety risk assessment.

“Serco have confirmed that kitchens in the hotel have had significant improvements made and have been reassessed.

“Britannia have had independent audits conducted on kitchens with high scores provided, with a further audit due next week.

Kitchen equipment.
Kitchen equipment.

“Our Nationality and Borders bill will fix this broken system to deter these dangerous and illegal crossings.”

Britannia Hotels has still not responded to a request for comment since the report was published.

 

 

 

Novavax files submission to UK regulator for Covid-19 vaccine approval after Blackpool trial

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The final data on the Novavax coronavirus vaccine has been submitted to the UK regulator for approval.

 

The firm behind the vaccine said it anticipates a “positive decision” following the completion of its rolling regulatory submission to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

More than 15,000 people took part in the phase 3 Novavax trial at various hospital sites across the UK, including Blackpool.

Novavax said its application for conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) marks the first submission for authorisation of a protein-based coronavirus vaccine in the UK.

File image by Jonathan Gawthorpe

File image by Jonathan Gawthorpe

Britain has ordered 60 million doses of the vaccine.

Novavax boss Stanley Erck thanked all trial participants.

 

 

Man charged with torching flats in Blackpool after residents tackle flames and firefighters rescue casualty from inside burning building

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A man appeared in court charged with putting lives in danger by setting fire to a block of flats.

 

Johnathon Hartley, 45, was accused of starting the fire where he lives in He faces an additional allegation of recklessly causing the fire.

Hartley appeared before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court, which was told two members of the public spotted the flames and used extinguishers inside the building to put them out.

Defending, Howard Green said his client would deny the offences.

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court

Magistrates said the case must be dealt with at the higher Preston Crown Court, where Hartley was due to appear on Christmas Eve.

Three fire engines and crews – from stations in Forest Gate, near Stanley Park; and South Shore – were called to Reads Avenue at around 5.45pm on Monday after a fire broke out in a ground floor flat.

“One casualty was rescued from the property before receiving first aid from fire service personnel,” a spokesman said.

“Firefighters used two hose reels, four breathing apparatus, a positive pressure ventilation unit, a first aid kit, and oxygen therapy at this incident.”

Crews were there for “several” hours.Reads Avenue, central Blackpool.

 

 

Former Blackpool, Derby County, Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday forward announces his retirement

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Former Blackpool forward Luke Varney has announced his retirement.

 

The 39-year-old much-travelled front man announced he was calling it a day over the weekend after 513 appearances and 104 goals for 11 different Football League clubs.

His decision comes just months after returning to Quorn AFC – the Leicestershire-based Uhlsport United Counties League premier division north club Varney began his career at and where a stand still remains from the proceeds of his £50,000 sale to Crewe Alexandra in 2002.

Burton Albion was his last senior team, with Varney returning to the Pirelli Stadium – after a spell there during the 2018/18 season in the summer of 2020 – in a fitness coach/player role.

However, he left the League One outfit at the end of last season, prompting a return to Quorn.

As well as Burton and Crewe, Varney played for Charlton Athletic – after the Addicks paid £2m for him in 2007 – Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackpool, Portsmouth, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town and Cheltenham Town.

Varney joined Blackpool on loan at the start of their Premier League campaign in 2010/11.

Varney featured for the Seasiders during their season in the Premier League

Varney featured for the Seasiders during their season in the Premier League

The forward would make 30 appearances for the Seasiders, scoring five times.

His most memorable goal during his spell on the Fylde coast came in the famous 2-1 win against Liverpool at Anfield,

After returning to Derby County, Varney made the move to Portsmouth in the summer of 2011 when Steve Cotteril splashed out £750,000 to secure his services.