Industry figures have raised concerns about a healthcare ratings website that has allowed a wheelchair charity to submit a string of glowing reviews about its own services.The Posture and Mobility Group and the National Wheelchair Managers Forum have sent a joint letter to the I Want Great Care (iWGC) website, raising concerns about its relationship with Whizz-Kidz.iWGC claims that it provides patients with the opportunity to provide feedback about the care they receive from healthcare services such as GP practices, hospitals and pharmacies, that reviews posted on the site are “totally independent”, and that visitors “can be confident that comments have not been edited and represent true patient opinion”.But some wheelchair services professionals point to the overwhelmingly positive reviews given to Tower Hamlets NHS wheelchair services, provided through a partnership between Whizz-Kidz and Mile End Hospital in east London, with review after review giving the service five stars, often in all three sections (recommend, involvement and equipment).They highlight the arrangement by which Whizz-Kidz is allowed to collect reviews from its own Tower Hamlets service-users on paper and then send them to iWGC to be uploaded onto the site.And they fear that the flood of positive reviews could be used by Whizz-Kidz as it bids to secure new NHS wheelchair services contracts.A brief analysis of 135 reviews shows similar phrases that keep appearing in supposedly independent entries, such as “I cannot thank them enough”, “I cannot praise them enough”, “I really can’t thank you enough!”, “I cannot thank you enough”, “I cannot thank them enough” and “I cannot thanks them enough!!”.But the most suspicious example came in the similarity between two reviews of the Tower Hamlets wheelchair service that were posted 11 days apart.The first review, on 23 December – which has since been removed by iWGC – stated: “I was give a good decrper of what the weelchair was and was clearly given good intructon on how to use the chair and also what to do when using the chair in deffrent plasces. The staff were very frendly and undersand of my needs.”Another review, posted on 4 January, is almost identical, except that the spelling mistakes have all been corrected.It states: “I was given a good description of what the wheelchair was and was clearly given good instructions on how to use the chair and also what to do when using the chair in different places. The staff were very friendly and understood all of my needs.”There are also concerns at the large batches of reviews that are uploaded after apparently being provided by Whizz-Kidz, with 10 posted by iWGC on 15 February 2016, 12 on 12 February 2016, 13 on 23 December 2015, and 12 on 30 November 2015.And whereas by early this week the Tower Hamlets wheelchair service boasted 150 reviews, nearby Camden and Islington had attracted just one, while a wheelchair service in Roehampton had just two.Sir Bert Massie, former chair of the Disability Rights Commission, and now chair of the Community Equipment Code of Practice Scheme (CECOPS), the UK’s independent standards body for disability equipment, wheelchair and seating services, said his organisation was concerned about the relationship between Whizz-Kidz and iWGC and whether the reviews of the Whizz-Kidz service were “genuine independent reviews from service-users”.He said: “As the independent standards body for disability equipment, wheelchair and seating services in the UK, CECOPS’ aim is to improve the quality of these services, regardless of who provides them.”But he said he believed that the reviews being uploaded about the Whizz-Kidz service were “unhelpful to commissioners of services, unfair to other providers, and ultimately detrimental to service quality.”A Whizz-Kidz spokeswoman said in a statement: “Our customers are given the opportunity to feedback their experience independently and we do not input our customers’ feedback in to the website.“This is managed by iWantGreatCare and we trust they administer the platform appropriately.”She added: “Thank you for highlighting the double entry examples. We have referred this to iWantGreatCare and they are looking into it.”She declined to say exactly how the process worked by which Whizz-Kidz submits reviews of its own services to iWGC, or to say whether Whizz-Kidz was putting any pressure on service-users to submit reviews.Balshen Izzet, the charity’s director of communications, had earlier said in a statement: “The customer voice is at the centre of all of our work at Whizz-Kidz and we take pride in ensuring that our customers have the opportunity to give genuine feedback on the services and equipment they receive from us. “This feedback enables us to improve the service that we provide to our customers.”Last year, DNS reported on concerns about the influence of Whizz-Kidz on NHS England’s wheelchair services improvement programme, which included a new Wheelchair Leadership alliance, chaired by Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson.The charity has close links with the former NHS England chief executive Sir David Nicholson, and is believed to have had about 10 representatives and service-users at an NHS England wheelchair summit in February 2014 – an event chaired by Sir David – even though it was attended by less than 80 people.Sir Bert has warned that Whizz-Kidz has a “very clear vested interest” in the reform process because “they want to compete for services”.Whizz-Kidz has wheelchair services partnerships with a string of NHS trusts, and says on its website that it is “continually seeking opportunities to work collaboratively with the NHS to deliver wheelchair services”. iWGC refused to comment on the Whizz-Kidz reviews, other than providing a copy of the organisation’s response to the complaint submitted by the Posture and Mobility Group and the National Wheelchair Managers Forum.In that response, iWGC’s web manager, Jenny Heelis, says that iWGC offers “multiple feedback collection methodologies to ensure maximum inclusivity for all service users”, including allowing services to use “forms, media and format customised to the specific needs of their service, and their patients”.She says that all of the feedback collected by iWGC “undergoes a moderation process”. And she says that iWGC set up a project with Whizz-Kidz in 2014, which “includes a whole range of ways to collect feedback”, and that the results of this pilot scheme “will help iWantGreatCare understand what is effective for patients and the service provider”. The letter also says that it is “absolutely possible for other wheelchair services to collect feedback through paper”.Picture: Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, a Whizz-Kidz patron, with two of the charity’s ambassadors
Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.“Are Labour trying to block Brexit?” That was the subject line of an email from Brandon Lewis to Tory supporters last night. The party chair pointed to Labour’s new amendment as proof that the opposition is moving towards another referendum. “One thing is for sure – they simply can’t be trusted to keep any promise they make to respect the result of the referendum,” the email reads. Of course, many in the Labour Party wish we were trying to block Brexit, but that’s not what is happening. As detailed in yesterday’s email, the amendment isn’t as cheering to ‘People’s Vote’ supporters as it might at first seem, and Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t backed a fresh public vote.We can make a fair assumption that Lewis’ email foreshadows Theresa May’s strategy at PMQs today. Week after week, the Prime Minister has accused the opposition leader of trying to stop Brexit, even though making claims to the contrary would do a better job of exploiting divisions within Labour. John McDonnell’s praise on Newsnight for the “sensible” amendment tabled by Yvette Cooper, which aims to extend Article 50 unless a deal is agreed by the end of February, will probably feature in this afternoon’s attack lines. By supporting Cooper’s move, the Labour leadership risks playing into Conservative hands, but the gamble could pay off. Amber Rudd has warned that there will be ministerial resignations unless May offers a free vote.Just as Labour Remainers protest that 2016 Leave seats have turned, and the Labour votes in those constituencies come mostly from Remainers anyway, there are doubts among Tories over their strategy on Brexit. ConservativeHome has looked at the electoral landscape and concluded that a snap poll could see them shed former Remain voters – perhaps retaining just one seat in inner London – without gaining many new Leave voters nationally.Moreover, party chiefs at CCHQ have told The Sun that an election now will put Corbyn in No10 because they are “woefully underprepared” to fight one, with old data and a demoralised grassroots. This leak may well be an effort to put the fear into Tory MPs and coerce them into voting for May’s deal next week, but the concerns don’t paint a pretty picture for the Conservatives in the not unlikely eventuality that we do get a 2019 election.At the most recent meeting of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) yesterday, members of the ruling body discussed election prep, from choosing all-women shortlists to selecting in non-marginals. The community organising unit is reportedly working with prospective parliamentary candidates and local parties now. Labour has its own worries – namely that an impassioned People’s Vote campaign could distort any nuanced messaging on Brexit – yet Corbyn’s party has more than a fighting chance of winning. And how long can a party that cannot govern stay in government?Sienna @siennamarlaSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:NEC /Theresa May /General Election /Labour /CCHQ /Jeremy Corbyn /Brexit /Brandon Lewis /
MIKE Rush said Saints wanted to steamroll Bradford from the off on Friday and that contributed to a comprehensive 54-0 win.Although the Bulls were depleted, Saints started with a big pack and it did its job in the early stages.“We started with a big pack as we wanted to steamroll them and that is what happened,” he said. “I thought we were good from the off and we owed it to ourselves to attack a little better than we did last week.“I think defensively we aimed up again and that is important for us as we had an off day a few weeks back and took a lot of criticism as a result. We are starting to remove that from us and I am really pleased with how we performed.“We used the ball well even though the conditions were bad but to be fair you have to give credit to the groundstaff on producing such a good pitch to play on despite the rain. It is a firm surface and it isn’t the conditions that affect how you play, it’s your footwork. If you look back to that game at Odsal we played in ankle deep mud and struggled. The pitch at Langtree Park is excellent.”Josh Jones grabbed a hat-trick in the match to celebrate a new three-year deal he signed on Thursday.He added: “Josh Jones played well didn’t he? He’s stronger than cider and takes on the line well. We’ve never really struggled with juniors here… we’re lucky we have a production line and a number of the juniors when they are given the challenge and an opportunity to perform they can.“This was Josh’s ninth game today and I can’t remember him making more than one error in all that time. He is a real good player and hopefully he keeps his feet on the floor. He has a new deal and is certainly one for the future.”
THERE are just a couple more days to take advantage of our great Early Bird Season Ticket deals.Join thousands of other fans who have already secured their spot for the 2013 campaign – with places in many areas of the stadium now limited.The deadline to secure these offers is Christmas Eve so you’ll have to act fast!The Hattons Solicitors West Stand has tickets available – as does the East – whilst there are seats left in the North and Solarking South Stands.Great value:Junior Season Tickets in the Hattons Solicitors West Stand are priced at just £50 – saving £80 on full match day prices. That’s eight free home games for the price of a leading computer game! It also gets you in away matches too.Family Season Tickets for three people or more save at least £100 or three free games on full match day prices across the stadium. Juniors pay only £3.30 per game when attending with an adult!Young Adult Season Ticket holders can save £62 over the course of the season.Season Ticket Holders are also entitled to 50%-off unreserved seating for the Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.It’s simple to buy your ticket – either call into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, telephone 01744 455 052 or log on to www.saintssuperstore.com
KEIRON Cunningham says Hull FC are currently the best team in the comp and he isn’t expecting a Challenge Cup hangover when the two sides lock horns this Friday.Lee Radford’s side claimed this season’s first piece of silverware with a thrilling 12-10 win over Warrington on Saturday.“It was a really exciting Challenge Cup Final and I am really pleased for Radders (Lee Radford),” he said. “He went through it last year and has come through the side of it. He deserves the success as do all the Hull boys.“People talk about a Cup hangover but we will be facing a tough side. They didn’t rest players before the Cup final so they certainly won’t be afterwards. They are the best side in the comp, have just won the Cup, and have ambitions of winning all three.“We have played them three times this season and on two of those occasions we had a real chance of winning. We will be a different animal to the one they faced last time we played.“We have had a break, freshened the boys up, got plenty of training in and we know what we are facing.”He continued: “They are a good team across the board. They have lots of international players, players who have played State of Origin and they are playing for each other. There are also very good kids there and local talent.“I am really pleased for Danny Houghton – he deserves the credit he is getting – and players like that. They have been around those tough times and have come through them.“They are in a good place at the minute and will be hungry for a little bit more.“We’ll just keep on fighting each week and once the game with Wakefield is over we will then see where we are at.“Momentum is massive at this part of the season and is the biggest thing everyone is striving for. You can see how easy it is to gain and how easy it is to be lost. Two or three poor games can have you falling off the face of the earth.“These are important games for us as we build into something.”Saints will be without Mark Percival as he continues to rehab his leg injury whilst Luke Walsh and Luke Thompson are suspended.Tickets for the game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.