Tag Archives: Hertfordshire County Council

More events coming up this month and next as we move towards World Aids Day

Dear all,

Apologies for the delay in updating the blog, things have been very busy of late. We have a number of exciting events coming up in the next few months.

First is a charity cake baking competition with the wonderful Bakehouse St Albans as part of the Harpenden and St Albans Food festival this month. Are you the next budding amateur baker in the district? Think you bake the chocolatiest chocolate cake in the city? The best biscuits in town? If so, why not enter for your chance to be one of 20 bakers competing each day.

See the Bakehouse website for more details and an application form http://www.localbakehouse.co.uk/bakeoff/4590388035 Each day from the 27th of September a charity will be the nominated recipient of funds raised at the event as cakes submitted will be sold after the judging process with proceeds going to the charity of the day. We will be taking part on the 29th of September so grab that self raising flour and whisk up a marvel for us if you can !

On the 14th of October there will be another fashion show with the fabulous Chloe James Lifestyle store at the Cote Brasserie in the High Street in St Albans from 7.30pm. Tickets will be on sale shortly from Chloe James store at 12 The High Street 01727 843431 http://chloejameslifestyle.co.uk/ or email enquiries@chloejameslifestyle.co.uk Always a very popular event !

On the 5th of December we will be having another busking day and awareness event for World Aids Day. This will be at the clock tower in St Albans High Street as before, A free event for all. A full running list of performers will follow shortly but do make time to come along on the day if you can. More details will be published as we finalise the running order but we expect that the event will run from 11am to around 4pm. If you would like to help out on the day with collections or information distribution please do let us know on 01727 842532 or email info@thecrescent.org.uk.

We are also pleased to see that Barnet Council are now offering a postal HIV testing service very similar to ours, it is a pity that Herts County Council won’t fund this here, and makes it all the more imperative that we raise funds to keep going. Please if you can come along to any of the events in the next few months we would be very grateful. Without your support and generosity we cannot do what we do!

As ever thanks for your support

The Crescent Team

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The Crescent on BBC 3 Counties with Jim McManus DPH at Herts County Council

Dear all,

We were on BBC 3 counties Friday afternoon with the Director of Public Health at Herts County Council talking about HIV testing, why the County Council wont fund the Crescent and also why Herts Aid don’t provide the service either, despite a huge amount of funding.

You can listen again here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02x6f74 we are on from 2hrs 20 mins the Roberto Perone Show 31st July on BBC 3 Counties Radio.

As you will hear the Director of Public Health is very reluctant to commit to anything, wouldn’t answer the presenter’s questions about why Herts Aid don’t provide the service, nor why he wont fund us. He seemed more interested in suggesting the Crescent didn’t understand the issues…

We will leave you to decide why Herts County Council refuse to fund us despite Public Health England asking for more community based testing…

The Crescent Team

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The Crescent is NOT Happy With Herts County Council !

Dear all,

Our latest article in the Herts Advertiser about postal testing services, available elsewhere in the country and being trialled in Birmingham and Luton amongst just two places. We have been appealing to the County Council for two years or more to introduce this, and /or fund our testing services. As there was no sign of any action from the County Council we introduced this ourselves (without funding) a year ago. We could no longer stand by whilst the late diagnosis problem exists (and grows in Hertfordshire) and those responsible for addressing the issue continue to sit on their hands.

We fail to understand why the County’s preferred supplier of services, Herts Aid, (who have ten times our income by the way) have not also introduced this kind of postal service as an alternative method of testing.

Public Health England is asking local authorities to introduce as many different methods for testing as possible, with an emphasis on more local community based testing services and postal testing too.

Herts County Council have made a good deal of noise recently about their commitment to “HalveIT” the national campaign to reduce late diagnosis of HIV, (something they until recently denied was an issue in Herts). However they still fail to put anything in place, or fund services like ours that are well established in the community and are based in the areas most affected (St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Watford and Rickmansworth for example)

It seems to us to be yet another example of the County Council saying the right thing, but again dragging their heels, perhaps hoping the focus will move on whilst they deliberate and then plans will be quietly shelved.

We deserve better than this as a County, it is after all the “County of Opportunity” apparently. However if you want to test for HIV, protect your health, and that of others, your opportunities are somewhat limited.

Come on Herts County Council, put your money where your mouth is ! Hertfordshire residents deserve so much better, the tests cost very little and certainly not as much as was apparently provided to an agency to “improve their brand image ” recently, (with seemingly little result).

Time to divert some funds to resolve a real health issue instead !

Link to the Herts Advertiser article here

http://www.hertsad.co.uk/news/st_albans_hiv_charity_offers_revolutionary_at_home_test_1_4175358

Please do feel free to contact your County Councillor, your MP, The Director of Public Health, Jim McManus, or the Cabinet member for Localism and Health, Teresa Heritage to insist on a fair deal for Hertfordshire residents!

The Crescent Team

CB1185-The-Crescent-Home-Testing-Poster-FOR-PRESS2-(low) (2)

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Free Postal HIV Testing Available From The Crescent For All

Dear all,

BBC and ITV news yesterday covered the launch of a pilot postal HIV testing service for residents in Birmingham in “At Risk” communities only.

The Crescent is very pleased to see that others are now providing this service and wish the team at HIVTestUK.com and Birmingham Heartlands HIV Service the very best in their endeavours to combat the late diagnosis issues in the Birmingham area. You can read more about the pilot here https://www.hivtestuk.com/hivtestuk-pilot-project-launches-in-birmingham/

We hope that Hertfordshire County Council takes note and implements quickly a similar programme to address the late diagnosis rates in Hertfordshire, particularly in West Herts, where rates are well above national average. Hertfordshire’s Director of Public Health Mr McManus, coincidentally was also a joint Director of Public Health in Birmingham, and so we hope he will follow the direction they have taken without further delay.

We have been raising this issue for some two years, appealing to Mr McManus and Teresa Heritage, Herts County Council Cabinet member for Localism and Health, for funding for our postal service, but without success. Perhaps now there will be a change of direction, we certainly hope so!

Our postal service is not restricted to at risk groups and is free for all residents of Hertfordshire and beyond. It is quick, totally confidential, and very easy to do, we will support you throughout the process too. If you don’t want to test by post we do of course offer onsite instant result HIV testing by appointment.

Contact us on Testing@thecrescent.org.uk, visit our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or call us on 01727 842532 to order a kit or find out more about the service.

The Crescent Team

CB1185-The-Crescent-Home-Testing-Poster-FOR-PRESS2-(low) (2) CB1185-The-Crescent-Home-Testing-Poster-FOR-PRESS-(low) (2)

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Our Trustee Rachel Gets Press Coverage In the Daily Mail and Sun Newspapers

Dear all,

More coverage this week in both the Daily Mail and The Sun Newspapers with our Trustee the lovely Rachel talking about life with HIV.

Links below, please feel free to share !

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2979005/Three-HIV-positive-women-share-incredible-stories-living-disease-no-longer-death-sentence.html

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/6352785/Were-happy-and-healthy-women-despite-having-HIV.html?CMP=spklr-153174873-Editorial-TWITTER-TheSunNewspaper-20150303-Real%20life

Don’t forget if you are concerned about HIV you can get advice from the Crescent, plus a free home sampling HIV testing kit, just email testing@thecrescent.org.uk call 01727 842532 or call in to our drop in anytime to collect a kit.

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent Team

“Living with HIV? Call in to our drop in any day, or join us for lunch on a Tuesday from 12.30 each week, or for our Sunday Lunch which we hold once a month, next on 12th April, then 03 May and 07 June, more details on our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk

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National Aids Trust Press Release on Late Diagnosis in Hertfordshire

Hi all,

Below is a press release from the National Aids Trust asking Hertfordshire County Council to tackle the chronically high levels of late diagnosis in the County. Some areas have rates of over 25% above the national average, with the majority of these being in the west of the County.

We feel this is proof that the current countywide service is concentrating far too much effort in the East and North and not enough in the West. Figures published by Public Health England show that late diagnosis rates in Three Rivers, 67% Watford 52% St Albans 53% Dacorum 60% whereas North Herts is just 35%…

We really feel it is time Herts County Council and the Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group reinstated funding for our testing service that they decommissioned 4 years ago. Please feel free to write/email/tweet your County Councillor and MP asking that this be made a priority!

See a copy of the press release below..

Click Here Hertfordshire – Late Diagnosis rates above national average

Don’t forget if you think you may have been exposed to HIV or haven’t ever tested then you can do so using one of our postal testing kits. The service is entirely free and confidential, you can test at home or at our premises, collect a kit from us or ask for one to be posted to you. the results will be delivered to us after you have posted your sample. Please see our website http://www.thecrescent.org.uk or email testing@thecrescent.org.uk for more details.

Thanks for your support as ever

The Crescent team

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Radio Verulam Outspoken with Angela Clarke

You can listen again to tonight’s show where we talk about HIV, funding and why we need your help on the listen again service for Radio Verulam’s Outspoken Show with Angela Clarke on the link below

http://listenagain.radioverulam.com/station/archives/9068

Just cut and paste the link into your browser if the link doesn’t work directly by clicking on it, we are on at the top of the programme directly after the news 10 mins and 28 seconds into the recording.

Thanks again for your support

The Crescent Team

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