Tag Archives: Teresa Heritage

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

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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

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