Monthly Archives: February 2017

Together we can tackle child abuse

New Campaign

A campaign has been launched across the Tees area to help confront child abuse and stamp it out.

Together, we can tackle child abuse is supported by the Department for Education, and aims to give people the confidence to report their concerns over the safety and welfare of young people.

The campaign is being rolled out across the country It recognises the fundamental right of all children and young people to live free from abuse and neglect.

It’s targeting the many people who suspect child abuse,  but all too often do nothing because they’re afraid of being wrong.

In 2014/15, more than 400,000 children in England were supported because someone noticed they needed help.

But many more can get the help they need if those around them act on what they see and hear.

A recent survey showed 42% of people in the North East are put off reporting suspected abuse because they think they might be wrong. More than a quarter (27%) would wait until they were absolutely certain abuse or neglect was taking place before making a report.

ABC Checklist

To spot the signs of child abuse or neglect, follow the ABC checklist:

  • Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk.
  • Behaviour – such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired.
  • Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, visit to get the number for your local authority

Mark Braithwaite, speaking on behalf of the four Tees Local Safeguarding Children Boards, said: “Abuse is a serious crime that devastates lives.   We need to get a clearer picture of the extent of the problem so that agencies are better able to target supportive interventions to give children the protection and care that is their fundamental right, and every one of us has a role to play.

“You don’t have to be absolutely certain about whether a child is being abused – if you have a feeling that something’s not right, contact your local children’s social care team, explain your concerns and they will look into it.

“This campaign has an important role to play in giving people confidence that they will be listened to and that the information they give could transform – or even save – a life.

“The message might simple, but it couldn’t be more important – If you think it – Report it.   Together, we can tackle child abuse.”

For information on advice and support available in the Tees area, visit

Money worries? Do you know what you are entitled to?

NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Council have joined forces to provide welfare advice in local GP surgeries.


Both local authorities are now offering free and confidential advice/assistance relating to welfare benefits and tax credits within GP surgeries.


If money worries are getting you down, you can arrange to speak to an advisor at one of several health venues across the region. They provide free comprehensive and confidential advice and assistance relating to Welfare Benefits, Tax Credits and Tribunal representation.


There are numerous benefits to both patients and the health and social care system for providing welfare advice in healthcare settings. Other parts of the country have seen:


13% reduction in GP appointments

22% reduction in prescriptions for antidepressants

58% reduction in prescriptions for hypnotics and anxiolytics

12.7% reduction in all appointments



Janet Walker, local GP and Chair of South Tees Clinical Commissioning Groups said ‘It’s great we have been able to work closely with both Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland councils to offer this valuable advice to local residents at a GP surgery near to them.


There may be people who are able to claim benefits and have no idea about it. If you are struggling with financial pressures I urge you to book some time with these professionals to find out more.’


Patients can arrange to speak to an advisor or alternatively surgery staff can make referrals on behalf of Patients to be seen at any of the following venues,


Middlesbrough GP Surgery Advice Sessions:


Parkway Surgery                          Monday am

Newlands Medical Centre         Monday pm


Cleveland Health Centre           Tuesday am

Oakfield Medical Practice         Tuesday pm


Park Surgery                               Wednesday am


Martonside Medical Centre      Thursday am

Coulby Medical Practice     Thursday pm


Crossfell Health Centre      Friday am


You can contact the daily advice line on 01642 729242 or email:


Redcar and Cleveland GP Surgery Advice Sessions:



Coatham, Redcar



Manor House, Normanby




Low Grange, Eston




Hillside, Skelton



Huntcliffe, Saltburn



Redcar Primary Care Centre, Redcar




Woodside, Loftus




The Garth, Guisborough



To book an appointment with an advisor, please telephone 01642 771166 or email



Cllr Lynn Pallister, cabinet member for health and housing at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “I would encourage anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or anxious about welfare benefits or tax credits to book an appointment for a free and confidential advice session.


“These sessions could be invaluable for people facing financial pressures due to benefit related issues and it is so important we do everything we can to try and improve their mental wellbeing.”

Time to think

Driving along to work listening to local radio coming down Ormesby Bank  reminded me that it is coming up to a year since Teesside was saddened to hear about the loss of Alastair Brownlee, radio presenter, and ‘Boro’ advocate in every sense of the word.

As many of you will remember Ali had bowel cancer.

His family were touched by the support and tributes  they received from so many of his fans , but I also remember them wanting to promote awareness of bowel cancer.

I know it is not always an easy topic of conversation, but because there can be warning signs that could be linked to bowel cancer I am going to remind us all that if you have blood in your poo or have been going more often and it’s looser for three weeks or more, don’t keep it to yourself, see a health professional and tell them about it. It may prove to be nothing, but get it checked out.

If it did prove to be something, finding bowel cancer earlier means we can treat it much better. There is a poo test that can find blood that you can’t see. The national screening programme sends test kits out to all people aged between 60 and 74 every couple of years.

If you have had one through your letter box, or a family member has – please everybody let’s get tested.

On Teesside we’re not good  at taking up any screening tests – just think what a good mark of respect it would be in Ali’s memory if more of us got tested and we saved some lives by finding and treating it sooner.

For more information please visit the Be Clear On Cancer campaign.