latest news from liz »

[30/01/2015 | No comment]

business disability blog 1

Too often, the talents of disabled people go untapped. Yet we know that there are huge commercial benefits to employing the one in five of us with a disability. For a start, a diverse workforce means that businesses are more likely to attract Britain’s 12m disabled customers, with their £212bn potential spending power.  Disabled employees are also more likely to remain committed in their job for longer.


I recently joined forces with the Job Centre, CT Skill and a number of local businesses to champion the benefits that disabled people bring to the workforce. We heard from various businesses about their experience and provided information about the support that is available under the national Disability Confident Campaign.


[30/01/2015 | No comment]


National Citizen Service (NCS) provides a whole range of opportunities for young people to experience new things and develop their skills. The programme is delivered by LEBC locally and I recently caught up with one of its graduates, Bhavik Mandalia, who lives in my constituency. Bhavik said he found the experience really rewarding and that he’d encourage others to take it up. If you’re interested, you can find out more here.

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my priorities »

Caring for older people » Supporting families »

[14/01/2015 | No comment]

Family life is changing and more and more of us are looking after elderly or disabled relatives. There are already 5.4 million unpaid family carers in England – and around 31,000 here in Leicester – and this number is set to increase in future. 3 in 5 of us will be an unpaid carer at some point in our lives.

I recently met Lesley Jarvis, and her daughter Sharon, who have been caring for Lesley’s husband since he had a stroke 10 years ago. They told me that caring is a real struggle and that families often feel pushed to breaking point. Too often people have to battle all the different services to try and get the support they need. One in three family carers have to give up their job or reduce their hours because they can’t get the right support or flexible working hours. Family carers are also more likely to suffer from poor health because of the stress and physical demands that caring brings.

IMG_4221It’s not right that people who do so much get so little in return. That’s why Labour will improve support for family carers. We’ll give family carers a new right to ask for an annual health check and a single point of contact with care services for families caring for people with the greatest needs. We will properly ring-fence funding for carers breaks; recognise the extra transport costs faced by carers by including them in the groups eligible for hospital parking concessions and consult on how to ensure more flexible working arrangements for family carers.

You can find out more about Labour’s package of support for carers here and in the Mercury.


Liz in the news »

[14/01/2015 | No comment]

QT2On Thursday 8th January I appeared on the BBC’s Question Time in Watford. The panel discussed the appalling terrorist attacks in Paris, the need for televised leaders’ debates in the general election, whether Ched Evans should be allowed to continue his career in professional football and the pressures facing NHS A&Es.

You can watch the entire programme here, or read a transcript of parts of the debate here.


Caring for older people »

[14/01/2015 | No comment]


A&E services are under huge pressure across the country, and on Friday, I again visited the Leicester Royal Infirmary to see what the latest situation is like on the ground.

Dr Ben Teasdale, the clinical lead in the emergency department, said they are seeing an increasing number of very sick, elderly patients. He told me about the problems they face recruiting enough staff, and that it’s vital ED services are properly funded and joined up with the work of local GPs. We also discussed the important STEP campaign being run by the College of Emergency Medicine.

I’ll continue to work closely with our local NHS and the City Council to address the problems facing our A&E. We also need action from central Government. Labour has put forward a 5 point plan to help A&Es, including putting more GPs in emergency departments, recruiting more nurses back into practice and making sure there are enough clinicians on the NHS 111 helpline.