December 2019

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Disability Rights UK (DRUK) – News In Brief   
To contact Disability Rights UK (DR UK) see

In September 2019, Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) published the results of their June 2019 survey on the level of abuse of Blue Badge parking spaces in Supermarket carparks. These surveys have been run regularly by DMUK since 2002

SCAN wants to run similar surveys locally but needs help from volunteers to collect the data at Supermarkets locally. The survey period will be a minimum of one week. Date TBA once we have established how many stores can be included.

Questions will include;

v How many Blue Badge spaces have been provided?

v How many vehicles in the Blue Badge spaces are NOT displaying a badge?

v Is there signage indicating that enforcement of the spaces takes place?

Please contact us if you are able to help with this survey and let us know the location of the Supermarket store that you will most likely visit to do the survey. The surveys will not necessarily be restricted to just the ‘Big Four’ retailers. Any of the ‘smaller’ retailers may be considered if they provide an ‘off road’ car park for their customers.

Visit the forum on our web site to add your responses at Email  or text 07853 038933.

Between October 2019 and July 2020, a new multi-deck car park is being built on the site of the outpatients’ car park at St Peter’s Hospital. Parking has been a challenge on the site for many years and the new car park will help us to greatly improve the situation for patients, visitors and staff.

The car park will be completely closed during the works and there will be no access for drop off / pick up or parking (including blue badge parking) in this area during this time.

The overall number of parking spaces available to patients and visitors will remain the same. From 1st October you will just need to park in a different location and there will be signposting to direct you.

There will be three main parking areas:

1. The ‘Hazel Car Park’, previously used for staff parking is now dedicated parking for patients and visitors. It is located on the left-hand side as you drive up the road towards A&E.

2. The top floor of the car park outside Abbey Wing will remain available to visitors.

3. The small A&E car park will become parking for blue badge holders only.

There will still be 20 minutes free drop off in all of the visitor parking areas. All other charges will remain the same.

The entrance on Level 1 of outpatients will not be accessible whilst the works are being undertaken. The main entrance on Level 2 of outpatients will remain open with normal access for visitors however there will be restricted access for ambulance and taxi pick-up and drop off.

More information, including a map, is available at

THE COMMUNITY EQUIPMENT SERVICE (CES) is a Surrey-wide equipment loan service jointly commissioned by Surrey County Council and Surrey's six Clinical Commissioning Groups to provide assistive equipment and adaptations to enable people to remain as independent as possible in their home environment. As such, it assists with preventing admissions into hospital and/or care homes and facilitating timely discharge from hospital. Since 2009 Surrey's Community Equipment Service have commissioned Millbrook Healthcare to provide this service in Surrey.

The service is provided to anyone with an eligible health and/or social care need (for health requirements this will include people registered to GPs in the Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCGs), for social care needs it includes those people who are classed as ordinarily resident in Surrey).

Your response will help us to improve the services provided by the CES and its commissioned providers.

Your responses will be confidential. The data collected from this survey will only be used to review the current service offered and may be used in the design of the future CES contract.

Why We Are Consulting

The contract to provide the Community Equipment Service (CES) runs for a fixed period and a new contract is due to start in April 2021. As part of the recommissioning process the CES commissioners and its partners, request feedback from all the parties involved in providing and receiving the services it offers.

Cruse Bereavement Care was founded in 1959 and is a national charity providing free advice, information and support to adults, young people and children who are struggling to cope with grief arising from bereavement, whenever or however the death occurred.

We always need more volunteers to meet the constant demand for our services. None of what Cruse achieves would be possible without the passion, dedication and skills of our volunteers.

We are currently recruiting for our next annual intake, the training for which will begin in January 2020.

If you think you have the skills and empathy to work with those who are bereaved and are interested in joining our team of committed and enthusiastic volunteers, we’d love to hear from you!

Please visit where you can download our information leaflet and application form.

You can also read about our volunteers and some of the people they have helped.

We are a very friendly user-led group and we welcome new members!

We meet every few months to feedback on issues for people with a Long-Term Neurological Condition in Surrey and to give feedback on the services that are being offered. We work with Surrey County Council and other organisations.

You can come along to our meetings in person or if you prefer you can join our meetings by phone or video call. We can help with arranging travel if required and we reimburse public transport costs. You can join us with no obligation to attend. It’s free to join – just get in touch!

Contact us by email , by phone 01483 456 558 or by text message 07780 933 053 or join online at

The Guide Dogs organisation has advice on fireworks for dog owners, as new data reveals that pet owners said their dogs were more scared of fireworks than being left alone or going to the vet.

A quarter of dog owners polled in Guide Dogs’ Great British Dogs Survey said that their dog’s biggest fear was fireworks and loud noises, while 18 per cent of owners said their dog was most scared of being left alone and nine per cent said going to the vet.

While every dog is different, there are a number of common signs your dog might be scared of fireworks, including: Destructive behaviour, Cowering or hiding, Shaking or pacing.

NB from editor – RSPCA Guidance for Pets and Fireworks -

Planning ahead can help dogs cope with the fireworks season.

Before the fireworks season starts, provide your dog with a doggy safe haven, choose one of the quietest rooms in your home – it should be a place where they feel in control. Don’t interfere with your dog when they’re in that area. Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences e.g. by leaving their favourite toys there but not imposing yourself at any time. With time dogs can learn that this place is safe and enjoyable so when fireworks go off they may choose to go there because they know, in that place, no harm will come to them and so they are more able to cope. It is important that your dog has access to this doggy safe haven at all times – even when you’re not at home.

When the fireworks start close any windows and black out the ‘doggy play area’ to remove any extra problems caused by flashing lights.

• Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area and provide toys and other things that they enjoy. Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn’t left alone.

• Ignore the firework noises yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.

Sound Therapy 4 Pets ( is a therapy pack available to teach your dogs to be less scared of loud noises.

10 BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND – Edited from an article by a Visually Impaired American comedian, Brian Fischler, but his experiences are not unique

10. Blind people work their dogs at home  
This is simply not true. As soon as Nash and I get in the house, off come his leash and harness. Inside the home, Nash is a regular dog, playing with his bones, sleeping in my bed, and running to the door almost every time someone knocks on it.

9. Guide dogs can’t play with other dogs  
When working, guide dogs are locked into the task at hand, so you want them to avoid any other dog distractions. When they are not at work, though, they love interacting with other dogs. Guide dogs are like any other dog; they just need to be properly introduced.

8. It’s okay to whistle, snap, or wave to a guide dog  
It never ceases to amaze¬ me what people on the streets of New York City fail to realize. If I am walking down the street with my guide dog, snapping, whistling, or waving to him will most likely get a response from him. He’s a dog. Probably Nash will just look at the person but doing that will distract from the work at hand, so control yourself, and don’t snap, whistle, or wave to a working guide dog team.

7. Guide dogs don’t make mistakes  
It’s a sad fact, no one is perfect, not even guide dogs. From time to time, Nash will make a minor mistake. When he does and I am with someone I know, the common reaction is, “Is he supposed to do that? Maybe he needs a refresher course.” No, he doesn’t — it was a simple mistake, it happens. The key is for the dog to not make the same mistake again; the key to success is repetition and lots of praise. So, if you see a guide dog team doing the same thing over and over again, you are witnessing the handler either training the dog to do something new, or possibly correcting a mistake.

6. Guide dogs are antisocial  
This dog isn't being antisocial - he's just resting before his handler needs him again. Nash can be a social butterfly when he is not working. He loves people and wants to say hello to everyone. He is also very silly when not working, and it amazes me how serious Nash can be about his work, but once the harness comes off, he is a playful loving silly fella.

5. Guide dogs are like taxi drivers  
Guide dogs are trained to go from point A to point B, and you are constantly giving them verbal and hand commands to tell them where to go.

Guide dogs don’t read the signs of the store or know exactly where you want to go, but if it’s a store that you frequent often, you can train your guide dog to take you to the door for that specific store. It just takes repetition, lots of praise, and of course a food reward for the dog to know and learn where you want to go.

4. Guide dogs tell you when to cross the street  
Blind people listen for the surge of traffic, and they tell their guide dogs when they think it is safe to cross the street. Dogs are colour blind so they can’t read the cross signal. We give them a hand signal when we think it is safe to cross the street, and the dogs are trained to not walk into on-coming traffic. No, he doesn't know the lights have changed.

3. Guide dogs are also guard dogs  
People often say to me, “It’s great that you have a dog that will lead you around and protect you.” As much as I would like to think that Nash would protect me if I ever was attacked, odds are he most likely won’t. Nash is a Labrador, so it isn’t in his nature to attack someone. He is about as passive as they come.

2. Guide dogs reach a point where they’re done with training  
Actually, guide dogs are always in training, as you are constantly teaching them new things. You are constantly going to new places, so whether it is teaching him a new bus stop, or any of a million things, guide dogs are always in training, even the fully working ones.

And the No. 1 biggest misconception about guide dogs:

1. You can never pet a guide dog under any circumstances  
The key here is to always ask first. Just because you see a guide dog sitting quietly in a restaurant doesn’t mean he isn’t working. For the guide dog to sit there quietly in a restaurant is work. So, if you ask to pet a guide dog and are told, “I’m sorry, but he’s working,” please respect the handler’s wishes.

Extracts from the Disability Rights Newsletter November 2018  
Have you experienced an inaccessible work place?: Osayuki Igbinoba is collecting stories of those who have experienced inaccessible work places, as part of the Scope for Change programme. She will be sharing stories as part of her campaign, If you would like to share a story, please email or tweet @accessforwork.

SURVEY OF DISABLED CYCLISTS: Wheels for Wellbeing is running its annual survey of Disabled cyclists to find out about the latest needs and experiences of Disabled people who cycle. The data they collect will be used to inform our ongoing policy and campaigning work and will help to strengthen the voice of Disabled cyclists in the UK.

You can take part as a Disabled cyclist, or on behalf of a Disabled cyclist (e.g. if you are a parent/guardian/carer of a Disabled person). If you are blind or visually impaired and cannot take the survey online, please call Wheels for Wellbeing on 020 7346 8482 and we would be happy to assist over the phone.

Please fill out our survey at

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), has launched a survey to identify the major challenges experienced by those living with rare diseases.

The Minister for rare disease at the Department of Health and Social Care Baroness Blackwood, announced a national conversation to understand how we can better care for people living with rare disease.

This survey aims to identify the major challenges faced by rare disease patients and the people and organisations that care for them. The themes identified in the survey will feed into a framework to follow the current UK Strategy on Rare Diseases, which runs until the end of 2020. They are seeking input from the rare disease community across the UK, including patients, families and carers, rare disease medical professionals and GPs, clinical academics and industry experts. You must be living currently in the

You must be living currently in the UK and over 16 years to take part in the survey. If you are under 16 years and are living with a rare disease, please ask a family member or carer to fill in the survey for you.