A SURVEY of cars carried out by Croydon council road safety officers found as many as 85 per cent of safety seats were wrongly fitted or not of the right type for the vehicle or for the height of the child – and some children were found in cars which had no restraints fitted at all.
The dangers of not having the correct child seat in your car are now being highlighted in a new campaign promoted by Croydon council, TfL and Roadsafety UK.
Every year, as many as 8,000 children under 15 are injured as car passengers in accidents on British roads. This figure would be lower were it not for the fact that more than 50 per cent of child seats fitted across the country may be ineffective in a crash.
Cllr Jason Perry, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, said: “I was shocked to learn how many people don’t take this issue seriously, and I urge everyone to follow the advice of this campaign and get their safety seats checked over.
“The high number of children who are injured as passengers in cars could be significantly reduced if parents fitted proper safety seats.”
Typical problems found are that seats are not suitable for the weight and height of a child or that they have been improperly fitted into the car. “It is also common to find that the straps have not been securely fitted to keep the child safe.
Advice on car seat safety is available at http://www.goodeggsafety.com Croydon council also runs public advice clinics around the borough throughout the year and has officers who are available to offer free advice. (Source: Croydon council press release)
“STRONGER VOICE FOR PATIENTS AND PUBLIC”
Government health reforms will mean a stronger voice for patients and public, say Bromley council.
As part of the reforms taking place across the country under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, local authorities are developing local Healthwatch organisations to act as the local consumer champion to speak out about health and social care services in the area.
Bromley council have awarded the contract for the local Healthwatch to Community Links Bromley. Awarded for one year, to run from 1 April 2013, it has the potential to extend this for a further two years until 31 March 2016.
Local Healthwatch organisations are independent of the council. They will be represented on the statutory health and wellbeing boards, which have been set up as part of the health reforms to bring together GPs, health professionals and councils to identify the health priorities for the local area and work together at addressing those needs.
Healthwatch Bromley will also have a role in promoting public health, health improvements and tackling health inequalities.
It is also tasked with building relationships across the council, with GPs, patients’ representative groups, Bromley’s voluntary and community groups and service providers to give the community it serves a stronger voice about health and social care in Bromley.
Bromley council leader Cllr Stephen Carr, said: “Our local Healthwatch will play a crucial role in making sure patients, carers and other service users have a strong, independent voice in the strategic planning of health and social care in Bromley and the award of this contract reinforces how important we believe that voice to be.
“Also, engaging with those who use health and social care services will be all important with the re-design of health services in south London following the review of the South London Healthcare Trust.”
Colin Maclean, Director of Community Links Bromley said, “Our aim over the next few months is to put in the place the new organisation and team. There will be many opportunities for local people to get involved.”
The Healthwatch organisations are funded by the Department of Health. At a national level Healthwatch England has been established as the consumer voice to influence national policy, advice and guidance. (Source: Bromley council press release)