New article - Cobblestone cross-over success


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New article - Cobblestone cross-over success

  1. 1. Better Care in Islington issue 4- text version News and information for carers and people who use Adult Social Services 'Focus on mobility' edition Contents page - scan through this section - each headline links to the full article Welcome page Message from Councillor John Gilbert, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care Section 1 - Better Care news From 1st July, smoke doesn't get in your eyes - Islington goes smoke free on the First of July What you said about charges for care - The results of recent consultation exercise on charges Festival for the over 50s - The summer festival for Islington's young at heart! New advocacy service - A new law means that professionals must consult with an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate e-SAP upgrade - getting the single assessment process online Scootability scoops up - The Camden and Islington scheme won 'most innovative transport project' last summer Danny's vision - How blind filmmaker Danny Callaghan got 'Minefield' in the can Appropriate service - a new service at local police stations Have your say with 'Have your Say!' - Age Concern's new guide for over 55s is out now Phone-a-friend - Find out about The Friendship Phone Network, run by Manor Gardens Centre Service users' views - User researchers are finding out what service users with learning difficulties think New support for direct payments - The Shaw Trust are now running Islington's direct payments service In the neighbourhood - Training galore at the Neighbourhood Learning Centres Apologies…- To the Caribbean Pensioners & Friends Section 2 - 'We get around' Some of Islington’s disabled residents tell us how Islington doesn't drive Bob crazy - Bob Ross, local disabled driver Betty boos buses…- but Deaf British Sign Language user Betty Trujilli loves her Freedom Pass! Metroline's line on accessibility - The local bus company tells Better Care how they deal with complaints Elizabeth gets around - Elizabeth Jones' blindness doesn’t stop her from travelling all over Islington and London! Caught short in WC1, EC1, N1..? Use RADAR! - For £3.50 you can get a RADAR key that opens the door to 7,000 disabled loos Mobility difficulties - The Power & Control gang tell us theirs Scooter girls and blue badge boys at Islington Outlook - How the physically disabled guys and gals who use the Outlook centre get around Section 3 - Get involved! There are lots of ways to get involved in mobility issues - find out how in this section Where mobility and accessibility are top of the agenda - How the Islington Mobility Forum works with local disabled people to make services more accessible 'Eyes' for less messy streets - 'Eyes for Islington' volunteers are keeping the streets of Islington clean and tidy How Frances got involved - Frances Davidson. Local service user and active member of Islington Mobility Forum Walking audits - A practical approach to making services more accessible Cobblestone cross-over success - A new accessible design in York Way, N1 Section 4 - Better Care events Your calendar of forthcoming events for 2007 Section 5 - Recognising your needs Get on board with your wheelchair - A handy guide for wheelchair users about getting on buses Blue badges - Useful information for blue badge holders 1
  2. 2. Dedicated to you…- Some parking bays around Islington are being designated for disabled I'll vouch for that - get more visitor vouchers Broken pavement, awkward scaffolding? Report street hazards Introducing…the information and access team Look out for the new Outlook - developments at the new resource service in N19 It's common sense…what Islington do about parking tickets Go to DisabledGo - Accessible information, a mouse click away You should know about…Ricability Cutting-edge care - how new technology is helping people to live more independently Vorsprung durch iBus - the bus of the future, now Accessible bus stops Parking panel New bus stops - request a new bus stop Blue Badge fraudsters fined Section 6 - Housing Access your estate - how local housing estates are being made easier to Changes at Homes for Islington - Your quick guide to the new HFI housing offices Help for leaseholders - Houseproud and CHAS provide financial help for local homeowners Supporting People in Islington - the latest news on the services that provide support at home Section 7 - What to expect from Adult Social Services Some service standards explained Section 8 - Your health Walk the walk - do the walk of life around Islington Care in Camden Road - it's a GP surgery, it's a community centre, it's homes for homeless people, it's Camden Road Care Centre Transport to hospital Exercise for all - accessible leisure facilities in Islington for disabled people Expert patients know, you know - the Expert Patient Programme is supporting patients with long term conditions Section 9 - Transport of delight? Want to comment or complain about a local transport service? Here's tons of carefully researched numbers and email addresses to help you do just that. Buses Trains Tubes Taxis Not forgetting the streets Planning for Islington's transport Section 10 - Staying independent Get streetwise - Our indispensable guide to national and London-wide assisted travel & mobility schemes Access Islington - making local goods and services more accessible, the Disability Action in Islington way. Accessible planning - including accessibility in the planning process Mobility component - what's that? Before you apply, read this! More useful information about applying for a Blue Badge, Taxicard or Freedom Pass Less steps by 2010 - making London's tube stations more accessible Scootability flexibility for a fiver - the benefits on offer if you become a Scootability member Section 11 - Created equal News and information about equality and diversity issues Making disability equality happen…in Islington Making disability equality happen…in local health services Fairer for all sexes - how the new gender equality duty will impact on council services Section 12 - Working with carers Carers are doing it for themselves - How the Expert Patient Programme is supporting carers You're never too old to care - the Islington Carers Forum and Age Concern Islington are working with older carers What's important to carers? The carers survey, the carers conference and the carers strategy 2
  3. 3. Section 13 - Publication corner All the must-have health and social care leaflets, with added mobility info too. Section 14 - Better Care contacts Even more handy numbers and emails - keep them by your phone or computer. 3
  4. 4. Welcome… …to the fourth edition of the popular Better Care in Islington. In this issue we have a rich mix of service user stories, information and up-to-the-minute news on health, housing, social care and mental health services. Our streetwise guide to mobility passes is essential reading for anyone who wants to apply or re-apply for a Blue Badge, Freedom Pass, or Taxi Card. After focusing on carers in issue two and service users in issue three, this time we look at mobility issues - a topic close to most of our readers' hearts. The ability to get out and do everyday things: visit friends, do the shopping or take a trip to the park is a crucial and integral part of independent living. To ensure that this issue of Better Care is Islington is your indispensable guide to mobility issues in Islington, Adult Social Services has worked closely with our colleagues in Street Management to make sure we cover a wide range of topics. Local service users with different disabilities have told us their Islington mobility story in the 'We get around' section. We have spoken to bus company Metroline to find out how they tackle complaints and are delighted that Transport for London have given us access to their excellent photo library for this edition. Then the 'Transport of delight' section takes you on a whistlestop tour of local transport services. Better Care in Islington - don't leave home without it. New article - Our commitment to mobility users Message from Councillor John Gilbert, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care At the meetings I attend and the surgeries I hold, mobility issues regularly crop up as a topic of concern for local disabled people and carers. A recent Best Value review and the high profile consultation on the new disability equality law last year have taken mobility issues to the top of the council’s agenda. About 16% of Islington's population describe themselves as disabled, so we can be confident that mobility is an important issue for many local residents. This 'focus on mobility' edition of Better Care in Islington demonstrates our continuing commitment to listening to all our residents and to providing distinctive, clear and high quality information. It is available in alternative formats so if you know someone who could benefit from an Easy Read, audio, text or large print version of this magazine, please let us know. I hope you find Better Care in Islington an entertaining and informative read. 4
  5. 5. Section 1 - Better Care News New article - From 1st July, smoke doesn't get in your eyes The law on smoking changes this year. On Sunday 1st July a new smoke-free law will come into force in England. That means all enclosed public places and workplaces will be required to be completely smoke free. Even inside smoking areas will not be permitted, If you want to stop smoking and get ready for the law call 0800 093 9030 or email Find out how Islington is preparing for a smoke free borough visit New article - What you said about charges for care Between September and December 2006, Islington Council asked both users of adult social services and residents what they thought about proposed changes to charges for care services. We asked everyone about the principles to guide our charging policy and the practical changes to working out charges. Nearly a thousand people replied. The new policy, based on the views expressed in the survey will include: • better use of public money to support people in need • no automatic withdrawal of public funds from people with savings over £21,000 • fairer treatment of older people through the withdrawal of day care charges • more generous treatment of income by keeping the 15% discount given on top of all other allowances For more information about charges for care services contact the Welfare Unit on 0800 731 8081. New article - Festival for over 50s Forget about Glastonbury, this June the place to be is the 50 + Festival in Islington from the 16th to 23rd. Appearances by the Kaiser Chiefs or Snow Patrol are unlikely, but you can go to the Dance Festival on Saturday 16th in Highbury Fields courtesy of Islington Council, Age Concern Islington and other partner organisations. Each day has a different theme such as Arts & Culture, Learning & Work, Health & Wellbeing and Older People & Technology. You'll get practical information and advice alongside arts exhibitions, sports events, concerts, dance, theatre and variety shows. And don't forget to bring your wellies! For more information call Andrew Younger on 020 7527 3504 or email New article - New advocacy service Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Islington has to introduce a new advocacy service. It will target people who cannot make decisions on their own about important issues like serious medical conditions and moving to new accommodation. From March 1st 2007 council, health and mental health professionals must consult with the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate or IMCA when someone does not have a carer, family or friends. In cases where carers and relatives are known, they will usually be involved in making decisions, often about health and accommodation. IMCAs will work mainly, though not exclusively, with people with learning difficulties, mental health needs, dementia and brain injury. Independent organisation Advocacy Partners will run the local IMCA service, which covers anyone in Camden or Islington at the time a decision needs to be made. This could include, for example, a patient in a local hospital, someone living at home or a care home resident. Back to contents 5
  6. 6. If you would like to find out more about the service contact Bianca Kokkolas on 020 7527 1264 or email New article - Appropriate service From 1st April 2007 if any adults considered to be vulnerable, present themselves at an Islington police station or they are arrested, the new ‘Appropriate Adult Service’ can support them. For more information contact Bianca Kokkolas on 020 7527 1264 or email New article - Phone-a-friend Manor Gardens Centre launched their Friendship Phone Network in February. To combat winter deaths, isolation and depression the network recruits volunteers to keep in regular contact with older people around Islington. The volunteers also make sure that their phone buddies get the right advice and information to help them avoid financial and health problems. Laura, 90 who hasn't left her Finsbury Park home for several months, really appreciates her tele- friend. 'If you're feeling down it's important to get things off your chest. Otherwise you just bottle it all up.' If you want to find out more about the scheme or you would like to volunteer call Avril Baker on 020 7561 5264 or email New article - Have your say with 'Have your Say!' The latest edition of Age Concern Islington's 'Have your Say!' is out now. Aimed at over 55s in Islington this must-have guide tells you how to say what you think about local services, sort out problems, suggest improvements, and a lot more. It's crammed with useful addresses, phone numbers and information about your rights too. To get your copy call 020 7281 6018 or email New article - New support for direct payments If you receive direct payments you will have probably heard that the organisation who originally supported this service, Choices, shut down in November. The Shaw Trust, a national charity, has been brought in to support Islington's service users who currently receive or are interested in receiving Direct Payments. The Shaw Trust has a national profile for its work with disabled people in the fields of training, work opportunities and independence. Visit or ring 020 7977 6801 or 6802. Find out how Direct Payments can work for you, call 020 7527 8164 or email Parents of disabled children can call 020 7527 2123 or email New article - 'e-SAP' upgrade Up-to-the-minute technology is being harnessed to make sure that service users get the benefits they are entitled to. e-SAP is the electronic version of the 'Single Assessment Process' which means district nurses, social workers and occupational therapists can share information about assessments over the internet using a Lenovo computer, just like the one pictured. Once an assessment is complete, the system will show whether there is a need for a benefits assessment. If there is, an electronic referral can be made straight away to Islington's Welfare Rights Unit. The unit will also get all the information they need to help with benefits applications. Back to contents 6
  7. 7. For more information about the Single Assessment Process contact Howard Smith on 020 7527 8161 or email New article - Scootability scoops up Last summer the ScootAbility Mobility Scooter Loan Scheme won the 'most innovative transport project' at the National Transport Awards held in London. No mean feat as they were up against Transport for London’s popular pre-pay Oyster Card, amongst others. ScootAbility is a joint venture between Islington and Camden Councils for local residents with a mobility impairment. A £5 annual fee includes a home delivery and pick-up service, insurance, breakdown recovery and maintenance. Members can borrow mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs for up to four days. Bargain. ScootAbility membership, previously only for over 55s, has been extended to residents who are 16 and over. For more information ring Linda Brosnan on 020 7527 3017 or email New article - Danny's vision Danny Callaghan has a vision - he would like to make films for a living. Good for him…best of luck, you might think. When you found out that he has been blind for the last 10 years you would probably think again. A friend encouraged him to do a multimedia course at City & Islington College so, supported by a note taker, that's just what he did. Danny's pitch to make a dialogue-free short film was one of only two ideas chosen by his class and tutor that made it onto 'celluloid'. Danny's and his fellow film students' teamwork paid off with the 11-minute 'Minefield'. It's a quirky, slightly surreal film and has a blind person as its central character with one scene shot in Danny's just- off-the-Essex Road flat to keep the shoot to budget. The story involves a missing girlfriend and an inappropriate career move, but Better Care promised Danny not to include any spoilers! Danny started a year long TV and film access course last September and hopes to go to university to continue his studies. This may help him to produce another UK film masterpiece on a par with 'Withnail and I', one of his all-time fave films or emulate the chatty ultraviolence of his favourite director Quentin Tarantino. Find out more about the accessible courses run by City & Islington College. Call 020 7700 9200 or email New article - Service users views You may have read in back issues of Better Care in Islington about a proposed user led monitoring project for learning disability services. Last summer the Elfrida Society, a local charity, advertised, interviewed and recruited six researchers all of whom are service users, for the project. Since October they have been hard at work with Elfrida visiting supported homes, day centres, and day clubs to find out what service users think about them. A report that is written up after each visit includes the impressions of the researchers themselves. In future these reports will be taken into account together with other performance information whenever contracts for learning disability services are reviewed. For more information about the scheme contact Ian Christie on 020 7527 8157 or Back to contents 7
  8. 8. New article - Apologies… …to the Caribbean Pensioners & Friends. On page 16 of the last edition of Better Care in Islington we implied that the group longer met. We are pleased to report that they are alive and kicking on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (plus a Friday afternoon session for domino demons) at Sotheby Mews Day Centre, N7. Call 020 7226 1421 for details. New article - In the neighbourhood If you want to learn new skills or brush up on old ones, head on down to one of the 19 Neighbourhood Learning Centres around Islington. They provide all kinds of training, from basic IT skills to cutting edge multimedia courses. Some centres are geared to particular service user groups eg mental health service users and people with learning difficulties. Other centres specialise in film and video workshops and some even offer dance classes alongside computer lessons. Call Adult and Community Learning Service on 020 7527 5782 for your nearest Learning Centre. Back to contents 8
  9. 9. Section 2 - 'We get around' Local disabled people tell Better Care in Islington their mobility story. New article - Islington doesn't drive Bob crazy Bob Ross drove a blue 'invalid carriage' for 15 years. "They were horrendous", Bob explains, "they would blow over in the wind, and because they were made of fibreglass the bodywork exploded if you were hit!" His adapted Ford Fiesta is a million miles from the low-tech nightmare of yesteryear. "The Fiesta has hand controls for the brake and accelerator - it's far more comfortable and a lot safer than my previous car." About 20 years ago Bob took a driving test for adapted vehicles and, as he has a higher rate mobility component to his Disability Living Allowance, leases his car through Motability, an independent charity. A car is the only way Bob can get around, because of his disability. "For me it's equivalent to a pair of legs. I can't use public transport so a car is essential." Although he has problems accessing some local services, such as the Angel Sainsbury's (it's a long trip from the disabled bays to the store), Bob says that parking in Islington for Blue Badge holders is "pretty good". "Compared to Camden, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, Islington comes out on top as a disabled driver-friendly borough. In Islington Blue Badge owners can park in any resident bay and providing there are no loading restrictions you can park on single yellow lines. In Camden you can't use your Blue Badge south of the Euston Road, which restricts how close you can park to local hospitals." Speed humps are the only things that mar his Islington driving experience. "I have a spinal problem so it can be painful going over them." He can usually park in his resident's bay, which is close to his home and Bob is in discussion with Homes for Islington to get an allocated bay later this year. For more information about adapted cars contact Motability on 0845 456 4566 Minicom: 01279 632273 or visit Click here for more information about Motability. New article - Betty boos buses, cheers Freedom Passes! Betty Trujilli is profoundly Deaf and a British Sign Language user. She is a big fan of the Freedom Pass and has been using one for nearly eight years. "It's very useful for me and other people with disabilities because it allows me to go to social activities. Without it, it would be very difficult communicating with transport staff", explained Betty through BSL interpreter Debbie Conway. "It's important that Deaf people get out, otherwise they can develop mental health problems because of their isolation.'" Betty is less positive about local buses. "When I first moved to Islington the bus drivers' attitude wasn't that bad. Things seem to have got worse recently - sometimes buses go past you when you stick your arm out. Sometimes if I ring the bell for the bus to pull up at my stop, it goes past. Then if I try to speak the driver and even the passengers, they are not very sympathetic." "Street signs are not always clear" Betty explained, "so Deaf people can get confused walking around Islington. It would be useful if you had maps in different places around the borough to show you where you are'. Another of Betty's bugbears is cyclists on pavements. "Deaf people get very shocked when a cyclist goes past them on the pavement, because they cannot hear them coming from behind. If there were more cycle lanes that would really help." Betty also uses the tube but thinks information could be more accessible for Deaf people. 'If the tube stops in the middle of a tunnel there is no visual information. 'If some tube staff had BSL skills that would really improve things." Back to contents 9
  10. 10. The type of issues that Betty has raised in this article can be discussed at the Islington Mobility Forum, a fully accessible meeting for local older and disabled people. Ring 020 7527 3017 or click here for more information. New article - Elizabeth gets around Elizabeth Jones' blindness doesn't stop her from breezing around Islington and London. On the day Better Care in Islington spoke to her she was on her way to a lobby of Parliament to obtain a higher mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance for blind people using public transport. When she started to go blind more than 25 years ago, Elizabeth relied on her husband's eyes. As she gave up work and her car, this immediately made her less mobile. Then when her husband passed away it wasn't so easy for her to get out. "I thought, I can't stay at home, it's driving me mad!" By drawing on the confidence that had made her a successful company secretary she started to become a regular public transport user. "After a while you forget what it's like to see and you rely on your 'mental map', how you see in your mind's eye." She has noticed a change in attitudes for the good over the last few years. "Bus drivers are better at stopping closer to the kerb. They are more thoughtful." Elizabeth now awards her most helpful bus driver of the year with a box of chocolates. As we made our way to the Holloway Road from Elizabeth's home she confidently avoided the obstacles on the pavement: the rubbish bags, the driveway gates that jutted out and the enormous parked car. We boarded the Number 43 bus and made our way to Highbury & Islington tube. At the station Elizabeth requested the 'VIP' service. Nothing to do with travel on a deluxe carriage (!) but a 'meet-and-greet' service for visually impaired people that means a Transport for London employee meets Liz at her final destination and any other stations if she needs to change lines in between. For more information about accessible public transport contact Transport for London - Access and Mobility on 020 7222 1234, textphone 020 7918 3015, email or click here New article - Scooter girls and blue badge boys at Outlook Better Care in Islington went to Islington Outlook (The Day Centre Formerly Known As St John's) and spoke to some service users with physical disabilities to get their mobility stories. Audrey, Joan and Sally have all had strokes and none of them can use their right arm. Audrey and Joan get to Outlook on the community bus, while Sally - who lives relatively close by - walks using her frame. Audrey uses her walking stick to support her as she walks around Islington. "I use the buses quite often, some bus drivers are very good and will wait for me until I sit down." Joan hasn't tried to get on a bus with her wheelchair, as she is worried about the things that could go wrong. "What if the ramp didn't work or the bus goes straight past you?" Audrey and Joan are both Taxi Cards users. "They are good for local journeys" Audrey says, "and it's much more reliable than Dial-a-Ride, they can be very difficult to get through to." Joan went to Wood Green Shopping City using Dial-a-Ride and only had 30 minutes to shop. "Scooters are smashing" exclaims scooter fan Audrey. "If you ring Brent Cross Shopping Centre they will tell you where to pick your scooter up. You can take your scooter inside a lot of the shops, with other shops you have to leave it outside. Hampstead Heath has a scooter service too." "I'm not getting a scooter because my husband thinks I won't walk if I do!" Sally explains, "It's handy to use occasionally, but I don't like to be wheeled around as it can be uncomfortable. Especially over cobblestones." (not always! Click here for the 'Cobblestone' story) Back to contents 10
  11. 11. Edward and James both of N7 have different stories to tell. Edward, who has a brain injury, doesn't use public transport at all. If he needs to get around he asks his wife or son to drive him there. He has a Blue Badge, which really helps with parking despite the non-disabled drivers who choose to ignore the signs. James has compression of the spinal cord, which makes walking difficult. Despite this he tries to use public transport when he can. "I use my Freedom Pass but don't like the pushing you get on buses at rush hour so I usually travel off-peak. I also use the tube whenever I can, though sometimes it gets too packed." Find out more about Taxicard, Dial-a-ride and Freedom Passes click here, for Scooter info click here. New article - Mobility difficulties Mobility issues for people with learning difficulties became very clear when Better Care in Islington worked out where to meet the Power & Control Group: Linda, Edmund, Nabeel, Tracy, Jackie, Brigid and Theresa. They speak up and represent service users at Learning Disability Partnership Board meetings and run a consultation forum called the Service User Forum. "Some of the group travel by taxi and others by bus, but if it is somewhere that isn't familiar to members of the group then I would have to arrange 'travel training' prior to our meeting," said Vince Bottomley, who runs the group for the Elfrida Society. We decided to meet at The White Swan, Highbury Corner, where the group were having their Christmas meal and they had all been to before. Linda handed over a note with a number of things that she thought should be looked into to make it easier for her to get around Islington: • broken and uneven pavements • big holes in the roads • the not-very-good temporary covers for holes dug in the pavement • the short time that the green man stays lit on pedestrian crossings • speeding cyclists on pavements • buses that don't stop near to the bus stop As we ordered our lunch other group members spoke up. "If I am visiting a new place, I will go with someone first," explained Jackie. "When I have been somewhere once then I can go by myself." For Jackie, and many other people with learning difficulties who find it difficult to read maps, being shown where you are going is an essential part of travel. Edmund said he has problems getting on and off of buses. "The bus drivers don't always stop next to the pavement, then people bring on buggies so there is no space for wheelchairs." Jackie added that bus drivers "drive too fast and don't slow down." And Linda was surprised when a bus driver wouldn't let her take her dog on the bus. Our discussion highlighted the importance of mobility issues for people with learning difficulties. The Power & Control gang are relatively independent, so for people with more severe learning difficulties the issues are more acute. Transport for London publish 'Out and about in London, My guide', a series of publications for people with learning difficulties. Call 020 7222 1234 for a copy. Click here for Publications Corner. New article - Metroline's line on accessibility James Thompson from bus company, Metroline, has been a Driving Standards Officer for more than three years. If someone complains about a bus driver's attitude or driving he heads out in 'plain clothes' to make his own evaluation. As an ex-bus driver he knows what to look for and is able to intervene if he observes unprofessional behaviour. Back to contents 11
  12. 12. "Other times I ride around different routes to make sure that drivers are dealing with the public in the correct manner. I like to see them give older people more time to get on and get a seat, also that they use their mirror to check that passengers are secure before they drive off." James talks to drivers individually, he also arranges roadshows at bus garages to highlight particular problems. He accepts that making buses more accessible for everyone is an ongoing issue. "There are good and bad drivers out there. My job is to make sure they are all good!" James' tip for unhappy passengers is to make a note of the white 'running number' on the side (or front) of the bus. 'If you tell us that number then we can pinpoint exactly where the bus was and deal with your complaint much more quickly and effectively.' The 'Transport of Delight?' section tells you how comment or complain about local transport services. New article - Caught short in WC1, EC1, N1...? Use RADAR! For your convenience there are four public loos in Islington, open 7 days a week (unless stated): Chapel Market, White Conduit Street, N1 - unisex cubicle with RADAR lock open 8am to 6pm The tennis court end of Highbury Fields, N5 - 24 hour auto loo Islington Green, Essex Road, N1 - 24-hour auto loo Old Street Roundabout, EC1 Exits 7 & 8 - unisex cubicle, no RADAR lock, attendant on duty, open 7.30am to 7.30pm Mon-Fri To widen your choice of toilets apply for a RADAR key. It's a scheme that gives you free access to around 7,000 locked public loos up and down the country - 17 of them can be found in some of Islington's pubs, leisure centres and bookshops. The two auto loos listed above can be accessed using RADAR - for full details go to Each RADAR key costs £3.50 for disabled people. A National Key Scheme guide is also available from RADAR (Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation) for only £10.25 - to get your key or the guide visit or call 020 7250 3222. New article - Cobblestone cross-over success Thanks to a new design by the highways service York Way Court, N1 is now much more accessible for wheelchair users and visually impaired people. The design has allowed the cobblestones features to be retained too. Local resident Mr Kevin Rice is delighted. "Before this was put in place I used to find it very difficult to get out and about…I'm really pleased Islington Council listened to our plight and have really improved the quality of our lives. The council is keen for local older and disabled people to discuss local mobility and accessibility issues at the Islington Mobility Forum - click here for more details. New article - Did you know?… …wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs can make individual requests for a drop kerb. Funding is limited. Phone Contact Islington 020 7527 2000 Back to contents 12
  13. 13. Section 3 - Get involved! New article - Where mobility and accessibility are top of the agenda Local older and disabled residents are welcome at the quarterly Islington Mobility Forum (IMF) meetings. It's the place to be to raise all manner of accessibility and mobility issues. IMF members are encouraged to give their views on designs and developments to make sure that older and disabled people can use new projects around the borough. This could include helping the council to make decisions about the type of street lighting used or the design of a new pedestrian crossing. Alan Desborough chairs the forum and a wide range of Islington residents and community groups attend. Many of the issues discussed at a typical IMF are covered in this edition of Better Care in Islington such as travel schemes and disabled parking. IMF meetings for 2007 are Tuesday 12 June, Wednesday 19 September and Wednesday 21 November. Contact John Robson on 020 7527 2443, text Contact Islington on 020 7527 1900 or email to book your place. If you need assistance with transport, have special dietary requirements or require accessible information let John know when you book. It's quite a long meeting so come to the session that interests you, or stay for the day and have a nice lunch too! Here's a typical timetable: Time Session What happens 11-12pm Accessibility A chance for individuals to raise access issues: surgery • public transport eg access ramps on buses • 'street environment' eg pedestrian crossings, dropped kerbs, street clutter, quality of pavings and other walkways • door-to-door transport services • travel passes eg Taxicard, Freedom Pass A panel made up of council, service providers eg Transport for London and other organisations field the questions 12-1pm Lunch and A chance for members to network and informally chat about networking mobility and access issues. 1-3.30pm The Forum The more formal part of the meeting with a set agenda. It usually consists of presentations from guest speakers and updates or report backs from council staff. New article - 'Eyes' for less messy streets Since 2002 several hundred committed local residents, businesses and organisations have been looking out for problems in their streets, parks and communities. 'Eyes for Islington' are volunteers who keep the council on their toes by reporting street debris and other matters in their neighbourhood. This includes urban eyesores like abandoned cars, graffiti, flyposters, fly tipping and dog poo, then there's the everyday obstacles like damaged pavements, potholes, dangerous roadworks, overgrown trees and shrubs, faulty street lighting. If you want to become an 'Eye' they hold regular meetings and training days and you get regular updates from them too. Call 020 7527 2000 or email for more information. Back to contents 13
  14. 14. New article - Walking audits As an Islington Mobility Forum member you can volunteer to take part in a walking audit. It’s a stroll around different areas in Islington by council officers and service users to identify accessibility issues. A few walking audits are held each year and you get plenty of notice before one takes place. Recent audits have looked at the area around the new Arsenal stadium and the busy crossroad at Junction Road in Archway. Feedback from each walking audit will be used to inform plans for making medium to long term improvements to the street environment. New article - How Frances got involved Frances Davidson first came across the Voice & Choice project run by Age Concern Islington through a friend she had known for years. Then when she saw a leaflet about a benefits surgery for people with English as a second language she told her Afghanistani neighbours about it. "I've been able to so many things and meet so many different wonderful people since then," she said. Through a Voice & Choice meeting about transport Frances heard about the Islington Mobility Forum at a Voice & Choice meeting. "As a disabled elderly person transport is one of my big things, so when there were elections, I put my name forward and was elected as one of the Chairs." 'I learnt about the new Disability Equality Act meetings run by the council (click here for the article), which I attended. I have also discovered things like the Pain Management Clinic, and we now all meet and support each other regularly.' "The great thing I value as I get older is that whatever contribution we make to improving things for older or disabled people, we improve it for everyone else as well. I hope more and more people will take advantage of what Age Concern has to offer." For more information about Age Concern Islington's Voice & Choice project contact Kate Tansley on 020 7281 6028. Back to contents 14
  15. 15. Section 4 - Better Care events 2007 World Health Day 7 April Islington carers conference + information day 3 May Help A Heart Week 2 - 10 June Carers Week 11-17 June Islington Mobility Forum 12 June 11-3pm 50+ Festival 16 - 23 June Learning Disability Week 17 - 24 June National Falls Awareness Day 26 June Social Services Forum 9 July Islington Mobility Forum 19 September 11-3pm World Mental Health Day 10 October Islington Mobility Forum 21 November 11-3pm World AIDS Day 1 December International Day of Disabled Persons 3 December To find out more about any of these events call 020 7527 8157 or 8154 or email Back to contents 15
  16. 16. Section 5 - Recognising your needs New article - Blue Badges If your Blue Badge is stolen contact parking services on 020 7527 6108 immediately and they will issue a new one. They will make a note of the missing badge and look out for illegal use on the streets. If you live in a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) you can get a substitute for your blue badge. This is a permit that can be displayed when you are parked in your CPZ and means you don’t need to leave the actual badge on display. New article - Get on board with your wheelchair It can be tricky for wheelchair users to get onto buses, particularly during busy periods. Here’s a step- by-step guide on what you need to do to get your wheelchair on and off the bus. Thanks to bus company Metroline who helped us put this article together. All London buses have working ramps and are wheelchair accessible. Metroline informs Better Care in Islington that ramps are checked every day before a bus leaves the garage and if the ramp does not work, the bus does not leave the garage. They are also pleased to report that all the bus stops on the 43 'corridor' are accessible and that their new ramps are better quality and more reliable. Before you board a bus in a wheelchair, if there are pushchairs in the designated wheelchair area they should be folded up. Step 1 Look for the button next to the blue and white wheelchair symbol on the side of the bus - the ramp will be deployed from the door closest to this button. When you push the bell a light comes on in the driver's cabin. Step 2 The driver deploys the ramp first, then the doors will open. This usually takes about 10 seconds and is accompanied by an audible beep or noise. Step 3 Allow walking passengers to get off first, then go up the ramp to the designated area. Step 4 Once you are on, if possible let the driver know where you are getting off. This will enable them to stop the bus at an accessible spot. Step 5 Press the button next to the blue and white wheelchair symbol in the designated area. This will alert the driver that the ramp needs to deployed at the next stop. You can contact London Travel Information on 020 7222 1234 for a leaflet about accessible buses. New article - Dedicated to you 'Dedicated disabled bays' have been made possible by a new law that allows the council to enforce some disabled parking bays 24 hours a day. Under the old rules bays could only be enforced during parking restriction hours, after which, anyone could use them. A site assessment and consultation with neighbours take place beforehand, then a legal document is drawn up that allows a new bay is marked up and enforced. In an initial pilot there are 12 new bays and the council hopes to expand the scheme further as the first tranche of bays have proven to be a great success. Connie Atkins of N1 said “I am delighted with my new bay; it has given me my life back again.” If you currently have a disabled bay and would like to go on the waiting list for a dedicated disabled bay contact Parking and CCTV Services on 020 7527 6182 or email Back to contents 16
  17. 17. New article - I’ll vouch for that Did you know that the daily allocation of visitor vouchers has increased from five to ten. So if you use vouchers to allow friends or relatives to visit they can come twice as often! Call 020 7527 1338 for more info. New article - Look out for the new Outlook Work continues apace at Islington Outlook, the Archway resource service for physically disabled, Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted adults. Service manager, Paul Herbert, explains "The first phase of the building work went really well. We are now based in our new space, which includes a small gym, computer suite, café and other training rooms." "The Deaf Job Club continues to meet on Mondays at Outlook and Action for Blind People (AFBP) work from the centre on Tuesdays. AFBP's developing service includes job coaching and computer skills for blind and visually impaired people. City & Islington College and Outlook work together to deliver a varied timetable of courses - it's a lively centre even with the building work going on next door!" "Phase two of the refurbishment work should be completed by the end of May and the Community Rehabilitation Team (CRT) will be joining us in June. By then the centre will boast a state of the art gym, an Independent Living Room for improving life skills and treatment rooms for therapists from the CRT." "I would like to thank service users and staff for their patience during the work. Despite the disruption and noise, it's been business as usual." For more information about Islington Outlook ring 020 7263 3537. New article - Go to DisabledGo Frustrated wheelchair user Gregory Burke set up because he could never find out whether the place he wanted to go to was accessible or not. The website contains information about services in a number of London boroughs and many parts of the UK. Islington Council and Marks & Spencer have jointly sponsored the Islington pages of the site. Gregory, says: "Not knowing whether a building will be accessible or staff will have a helpful attitude makes you think twice before going out. That means you can miss out on things you want to do and local businesses lose valuable custom. DisabledGo lets you judge for yourself whether a local service is right for you.” Are Pizza Express staff disability aware? Is a hearing loop available for the latest blockbuster at Islington VUE? …Can you take your wheelchair to that organic gastropub you just read about in the Standard? …Does a hotel offer adapted rooms?…Does a restaurant have menus in large print or Braille? Visit to find out the answers to these questions and whole lot more too. New article - You should know about…Ricability Because Ricability is an independent organisation who carry out research and provide information for older and disabled people. They have close links with the UK Consumer Association who publish Which? Magazine. Ricability have produced over 20 free consumer reports on subjects such as household products, telecom and alarms and mobility, available in accessible formats at or call 020 7427 2460. Back to contents 17
  18. 18. New article - Introducing...the Information & Access team 020 7527 2299 is a useful number to know. Dial those digits and a friendly voice will, after a few probing questions, either point you in the direction of another council service or carry out a 'contact assessment' over the phone to work out if you are eligible for a service from Adult Social Services. "Ringing the team doesn't necessarily result in a service, but it is the first step in the assessment process" explains Moya Field, who currently manages the team. "Often we give callers information and advice about other specialist services or, in a lot of cases, about housing." After asking a few key questions, a member of the team will take you through a 30-minute 'contact assessment', then the team will have a much clearer picture of your needs and which service(s) you may be able to use. They will also advise you on the next steps that you need to take. Mobility is a big issue for the team says Moya "Mobility is critical for almost everyone who we recommend for a social services assessment. There is an extensive section in the contact assessment on mobility that covers everything from how easy it is to get out of bed, to how you manage outdoors. We ask callers how they get dressed, how they do practical things, how they get out and many other questions about their mobility." To contact the team ring 020 7527 2299, fax 020 7527 6420 email or minicom 020 7527 6475 New article - Broken pavement, awkward scaffolding? To report broken paving slabs, kerbstones or scaffolding that is difficult to navigate call Contact Islington on 020 7527 2000. Make sure you get a reference number to follow up your enquiry. New article - Accessible bus stops Islington intends to make about 20 bus stops fully accessible every year. This means adapting bus stops are adapted so the bus can stop closer to the kerb and deploy an access ramp with ease. In 2005/6 14 accessible stops were completed and by March 2007 another 22 bus stops were completed. New article - Vorsprung durch iBus London Buses are introducing 'iBus' - not another must-have gadget from that famous computer company but a technological step forward for public transport. iBus will give more accurate predictions about the time a bus is due to arrive and a recorded announcement will inform passengers of the next stop. There will also be visual displays that echo the recorded information. Find out more about iBus, visit or call 0845 300 7000. New article - New bus stops If you have a suggestion for the position of a new bus stop, a new bus route or a change of timetable contact London Buses on 020 7918 4300 or email them at New article - Did you know? There are 8000 buses operating across London New article - Blue Badge fraudsters fined Two men from Essex were recently prosecuted for using fraudulent blue badges in Islington. At court in January the judge dished out fines of nearly £500 apiece. Nice work m’lud. Back to contents 18
  19. 19. New article - Parking panel A citizens’ panel has been set up to help chose the new contractor to enforce parking regulations in Islington. The panel have made suggestions to be included in the contract specification, will play a part in selecting the contractor, and will review the new contract after it starts. New article - It’s common sense Parking attendants now tear up tickets if the driver comes back to their car while the ticket is being issued. New article - Cutting edge care Islington has been introducing telecare since July 2006. 'Telecare' is a general term for different devices that are linked to a call centre who can respond to emergency situations such as a flood, fire or gas leak. You may also hear the term 'assistive technology' used about this kind of equipment. Telecare includes bogus caller, gas, smoke or flooding alarms and fall and movement detectors. Telecare identifies problems such as falls, as soon as they occur. The call centre is alerted and the service user contacted and visited in a very short period of time. This reduces the time spent on the floor after a fall and the need for hospital admissions. Telecare users get extra security and peace of mind as one lucky Islington resident can testify to when her smoke alarm averted a full-scale fire in her home. She could not be contacted when the smoke detector was triggered, so emergency services were sent automatically. They found clothes burning on the elements of an electric heater and extinguished the fire immediately. Islington will receive a £245,000 grant to provide telecare services across the borough in 2007. It is hoped that these hi-tech services will benefit many more individuals in the future. If you are eligible for health or social care services telecare is free until 31 March 2008. Ring Michelle Johnson on 020 7527 5212 or email for more details. Back to contents 19
  20. 20. Section 6 - Housing New article - Supporting People in Islington 2006 was another successful year for the Supporting People (SP) programme, which provides support for nearly 5000 people to live more independently in Islington. The programme assists a wide range of vulnerable people including women fleeing domestic violence, homeless people, people with mental health problems, older people, people with learning difficulties, young people leaving care, people with drug and alcohol problems and ex-offenders. Local residents who receive SP services may live at home and receive support from visiting key workers. Others live in supported housing where a key worker is based during the day or 24 hours a day, or sheltered housing which is designed for older people with an on-site warden. Last year the SP online directory was launched, a number of services were reviewed and over 40 people attended the first SP service user conference at the Crescent Suite, N5. They had the chance to speak to the SP team and tell them how they would like to see services developed over the next five years at a lively and fun event, expertly compered by Penny West. Our new directory contains information about Supporting People services and explains how to make a referral. Visit the directory at Find out more about Supporting People services ring 020 7527 2000 or email New article - Access your estate Homes for Islington (HfI) is working hard to make local estates safe and accessible for all with regular estate inspections so that HfI staff can identify ways to improve access. Recent improvements include better lighting on walkways, the use of tarmac instead of concrete to stop tree roots growing above the surface and bollards to prevent parking on pavements. When new barrier gates are fitted, care is taken to provide space for wheelchairs and scooters to pass. Kerbs can be adapted or ’dropped’ where necessary. If you have mobility issues with the estate you live on an assessment can be carried out which may result in a referral to the occupational therapy team at Adult Social Services. Contact your area housing office or Contact Islington on 020 7527 2000 and they can advise you. Housing associations and private landlords are also responsible for making their property more accessible. New article - Help for leaseholders If you need help paying your service charge, or the cost of, for example, a new kitchen or new windows under a major works scheme, help is at hand. A nationwide scheme called Houseproud can give loans to leaseholders over 60, or households with a disabled person of any age. They will explore different loan options and assist you with the application. You can also spread payment over two or five years, look at statutory loans and options if you get income support, job seeker’s allowance or pension credit. CHAS Central London - independent advisors on housing and debt - offer free advise to Islington leaseholders. They can find the best solution for your circumstances, maximise your benefits and restructure your finances for a long-term solution to housing and debt problems. If they cannot help, they will refer you to another agency who can. Back to contents 20
  21. 21. Contact the home ownership unit for more details about Houseproud and CHAS on 020 7527 7715 or 7720, or email them at They can also be contacted using Typetalk. The ‘Leaseholders Guide to Major Works’ is available at New article - Changes at Homes for Islington After consultation with residents Homes for Islington will be operating from four housing offices. Below is a quick guide to the new offices and the ward areas that they will be covering. Area Name of office Wards covered Contact details North Holland Walk Hillrise, Junction, St 020 7527 7480 George’s and Tollington Holland.walk@homesforisli East Upper Street Canonbury, Finsbury Park, 020 7527 5300 Highbury East, Highbury upperstreet.AHO@homesfo West and Mildmay South Central Street Bunhill, Clerkenwell and St 020 7527 6250 Peter’s csha@homesforislington.or West Lyon Street Barnsbury, Caledonian, 020 7527 6880 Holloway and St. Mary’s lyon.street@homesforislingt Opening times for all offices are Monday to Friday 9am - 4.45pm. Back to contents Section 7 - What to expect from Adult Services Adult Social Services want to provide a good service for everyone - whether you currently receive one of our services or you would like to receive a service. To give you a good idea about how long it will take from the time you get in touch with us, here are some targets that we intend to stick to. When you would like to get a community care service such as home care, it will take no longer than… 48 hours from the time you make your first enquiry to when we make our first contact 28 days to complete a social care assessment and let you know whether you are eligible to receive a service Then it will take no longer than 28 days for the new service to start If you currently receive a home care service we will… review the services that you receive at least once a year draw up a care plan that tells you what to expect on the days that your care worker visits deal with any complaint you make about your home care as soon as we can - no longer than 20 working days. 21
  22. 22. Section 8 - Your health New article - Care in Camden Road A new complex that includes a GP surgery, a health hall, community centre and accommodation for homeless men opened at 331 Camden Road, N7 in October last year. Islington Primary Care Trust (PCT), Mosaic Housing Association and The Surgery GP practice developed the Partnership Primary Care Centre. The new centre is a considerable improvement on the old Fairweather House premises and will enable the practice to offer more clinics, treat more patients and provide new services such as sexual health clinics and anticoagulation services (preventing heart attacks and strokes). Tony Hoolaghan of Islington PCT said: “The new centre is a much-needed addition to an under-served area with a high incidence of drug abuse, alcohol dependence and mental health problems. The centre brings services into the heart of the community. Now local people can get treatment a stones' throw from their home.” The Hanley Primary Care Centre and Bingfield Primary Care Centre have also recently opened. If you want to register with a GP ring 020 7527 1182 or 1183 or call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 7527 1086 or 1087, Minicom 020 7527 1085, email New article - Transport to hospital When you see a specialist or a GP and they refer you to a hospital they should always ask you whether you require transport. If it is your first visit the GP or specialist will organise transport for you. If you regularly visit a hospital they will arrange transport for you directly. If you have any problems with travel to or from hospital contact the Patient & Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 7527 1086 or 1087, Minicom 020 7527 1085, email New article - Exercise for all If you want to exercise and you have a disability then Aquaterra Leisure, a charity who runs Islington's gyms and leisure centres, has something for you. As well as all the regular activities, there is a swimming session for disabled people on Saturdays at Archway Pool from 4.30-5.30pm, trampoline sessions on Tuesdays between 7.00-8.30pm and Wednesdays between 5.00-6.00pm at The Sobell Centre. The gyms and leisure centres are located all around the borough and include the Ironmonger Row Baths in EC1, Sobell Leisure Centre in Finsbury Park and the Archway gym. All gyms are geared to disabled exercisers and staff will provide one-to-one support at the initial session and advice is available, if needed, at all subsequent visits. Through the exercise referral programme, aimed at patients with medical conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, many Aquaterra staff have experience of working with disabled people. Equipment such as hoists and hand bikes also make the gyms and leisure centres more accessible for people with a range of impairments. Carers are welcome to support the person they are caring for at their exercise sessions. However, if they also wish to exercise, they should talk to an advisor about the membership options available. Aquaterra staff will give as much assistance as possible, though they cannot lift people on or off equipment. Call the Health Projects Team on 020 7689 9846 or 9847 to find out which gym or leisure centre will suit your needs. Back to contents 22
  23. 23. New article - Walk the walk Now there are even more ways to do the walk of life in Camden in Islington, as new routes have been added to the seven regular walks. Go on an organised walk to get intimately acquainted with the highways and byways of Islington, a qualified leader shows you the way and they don't cost a penny. Older people and anyone new to fitness especially welcome. So don’t walk on by, walk the line and you'll never walk alone! (that's enough song references - Ed) New walks include 'Finsbury on Foot' which explores the greenspaces and parks of N4 and Autumn Amble, the popular annual walk which attracted over 100 people last year, is taking place on Wednesday 3rd October. For more information about these and other walks, contact Emma Charlton, Walking Co-ordinator on 020 7527 2626 or New article - Healthy Islington? According to we better make that a large questions mark! In Islington life expectancy is lower than the average across the rest of England, and death rates from smoking, heart disease and stroke and cancer are also high. Reasons to be cheerful include the lower obesity levels and fewer recorded incidence of diabetes in the borough. Visit the website to find out how other boroughs fared. New article - Expert patients know, you know The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) takes the view that people with long-term conditions know the best way to manage their condition. The programme is free, lasts six weeks, two and a half hours a week and is run by trained volunteers who have a long-term condition themselves. Each EPP helps participants take more control of their health and covers topics such as healthy eating, relaxation techniques and gentle exercise (at all levels and abilities). Discussions include dealing with pain and tiredness, managing distress, depression and other feelings. Previous courses have boosted confidence and enabled participants to make changes to better cope with their health problems. One happy ex-EPP-er said “It has been a great help just to be able to see and speak to people with the same problems.” Another said “I have started swimming again which I never thought I would do. It’s given me a new lease of life.” Call Claire Davidson on 020 7527 1209 email Check out some EPP stories at Back to contents 23
  24. 24. Section 9 - Transport of delight? In this section we give you the low-down on different transport services around Islington and how to tell them whether their service is delightful or not so delightful… New article - London-wide You can get information about accessible transport from Transport for London's Access & Mobility team on 020 7941 4600 email or textphone 020 7918 3500. New article - Buses Several bus companies have routes running through Islington including Metroline, Arriva, East London, First Capital, Stagecoach and East Thames. If you want to comment or complain about the bus routes that run through Islington contact Transport for London (TfL) and they can take up your issue with the relevant company. Email - Telephone - 0845 300 7000 Textphone - 020 7918 4435 Visit If you have a specific complaint or comment try to note down the white 'running number' which is above the front doors or on the front of most buses. Every London bus has an A3 TfL poster, usually to the side of the drivers' cabin, which explains how you can get in touch. New article - Tubes The Victoria, Northern and Piccadilly lines run through Islington. Most tube stations across the network have step access and are not suitable for people with mobility issues. New tube maps have a wheelchair symbol showing accessible stations across the network. The only accessible tube station in Islington at the moment is Caledonian Road. However, London Underground have confirmed that Highbury and Islington and Finsbury Park will be made step free by 2012 in time for the Olympics. To comment or complain about the tube ring Transport for London on 0845 330 9880 or complete the online comment form at is a website designed to help visually and mobility impaired people to find their way around the tube system. New article - Trains There are two rail companies that run through Islington: Silverlink Metro operate the North London Line that stops at Caledonian Road & Barnsbury, Highbury & Islington and Canonbury stations. Mobility issues and customer relations 0845 601 4867 select '4' for assisted travel Email: Silverlink Metro can arrange assisted travel for passengers if you give them 24 hours notice. An accessibility guide is available at stations or from customer relations. Back to contents 24
  25. 25. First Capital Connect operate the North City Line that stops at Finsbury Park, Drayton Park, Highbury & Islington, Essex Road and Old Street. Assisted travel for older and disabled people, call 0800 058 2844, or Textphone 0800 975 1052 Customer services 0845 026 4700 Email: If you have difficulty accessing First Capital Connect services please contact them and they will help you plan your journey. Contact National Rail enquiries on 0845748 49 50 Textphone 0845 60 50 600 New article - Taxis and private hire cars Transport for London are working with the Public Carriage Office to make sure that taxis and private hire cars are safe and accessible. All black cabs are wheelchair accessible and most have aids for disabled travellers including ramps, induction loops and large coloured grab handles. To complain about a London taxi you can write to: PHV Licensing Section, Public Carriage Office, 15 Penton Street, London, N1 9PU or email with as much information as you can provide such as the driver's licence number, date, time and pick p address. New article - Not forgetting the streets… If you have any comments or complaints about things that might make it difficult for you to get around such as pavements, pedestrian crossings, street clutter, fly tipping, graffiti or overhanging trees ring Contact Islington on 020 7527 2000. New article - Planning for Islington’s transport Did you know that Islington has a 'Sustainable Transport Strategy'? It’s a ten-year plan for improving and developing local transport services. The Mayor, who is responsible for transport London-wide, requires all London boroughs to produce these plans. Consultation on the plan took place from May to July 2005, The Mayor approved it in October 2006 and the council adopted it in December 2006. You can find a copy at For more information contact John Robson on 020 7527 2443. Back to contents 25
  26. 26. Section 10 - Staying independent New article - Access Islington A new project run by Disability Action in Islington (DAII) aims to enhance access to local goods and service for disabled people in Islington as described in Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. If you have had difficulties, they want to hear from you. Under the scheme 'community access monitors' from a range of different ages and impairment groups will road test local services. All the monitors will receive free training and information workshops, then their job will be to look at physical access and staff attitudes of Islington's clubs, shops, leisure facilities, art galleries, restaurants etc. Community access monitors will be on the look out for things that make it difficult for disabled people to use local services such as the number of steps to an entrance or limited space inside a shop. 'Gripe cards' are available so that you can provide details about the problems you experience and are available in accessible formats: web-based, Easy Read, tape, a DVD for British Sign Language users and community languages. Call the Hotline: 020 7704 9483 (voice and text), fax: 020 7359 1855, email, Minicom: 0207 359 1891 or visit If you would like to be a community access monitor get in touch with DAII too. New article - Accessible planning From December 2006 a new law says that the council has a to 'encourage participation of disabled persons in public life'. A good example of how this works in Islington is a project involving Disability Action in Islington and the council's planning department. They are working together to ensure that planning applications and re-development work around the borough incorporates accessibility issues. This includes work on Islington Green, and in Farringdon, Archway and the major development at Kings Cross. For more information contact DAII using the contact details in the previous article. Back to contents 26
  27. 27. New article - Get streetwise Your at-a-glance guide to assisted travel and mobility schemes for older and disabled people. Benefits Who's it for? Where do I apply? Elderly person's Free travel on London Anyone aged over 60. Local post office Freedom Pass tube, buses, trains, Docklands Light Go to Railway and trams after 9am weekdays to locate your nearest (9.30 for trains) and all branch or call 08457 22 day weekends and 33 44 bank holidays. Call the Access & Information Team on 020 7527 2299, Minicom 020 7527 6475 Disabled Free travel on all People with a higher rate Your nearest social person's London transport (as mobility component of services Locality office Freedom Pass above) all day, every Disability Living Archway (North) day. Allowance (DLA). 020 7527 7500 Drayton Park (Central) You may also be eligible if 020 7527 8800 you experience significant Calshot (South) problems walking due to a 020 7527 6400 physical disability, learning disability, Call the Access & sensory impairment or Information Team on 020 mental health problem. 7527 2299, Minicom 020 7527 6475 Taxi Card 104 discounted trips in People with a higher rate Joyce Webb a licensed cab every mobility component of Adult Social Services year. DLA or Attendance Joyce.webb@islington.go Allowance, people 52 discounted trips if registered blind and 020 7527 8177 you also have a people with a significant Freedom Pass difficulty walking. or your nearest Locality office as above (trip allocation to be reviewed) Blue Badge Park your car (or a Drivers or passengers Parking services carer or friend's car) with a mobility impairment 020 7527 6108 on a: who use a car regularly to get around. • Yellow line* .uk • Resident bay NB: carers, relatives or • Pay and display friends can only use the bay Blue Badge when a • Business bay disabled person is in the • Shared use bay car. • Disabled bay If you qualify for a Taxi *except where waiting Card you will also qualify + loading restrictions for a Blue Badge. apply …and you will be exempt from the Congestion Charge too! 27
  28. 28. Dial-a-ride Door-to-door service Taxi Card holders, people Transport for London for disabled people who are on a higher rate 020 7027 5823 who cannot use public DLA or attendance or transport allowance, registered online at blind or in receipt of a War Pension Mobility Supplement Back to contents New article - Before you apply, read this! If you want to apply for a Freedom Pass, a Blue Badge or Taxi Card ring the relevant number from the streetwise guide or speak to your social worker or support worker. Even if you do not automatically qualify to receive a mobility pass or assisted travel, you may still be eligible. You will need to have a 'mobility assessment' to find out if you meet the criteria. The Community Rehabilitation Team at the Peckwater Centre in Kentish Town carries out all mobility assessments. In the summer they will be moving into the newly refurbished Islington Outlook in Archway. Whatever their location, they will always send you a letter about your assessment with their address and a map. How you may be assessed for a: Blue Badge - you are awarded points using locally agreed criteria and if your points go above the threshold you will be awarded a Blue Badge. Discretion will be applied if your condition is deteriorating. Taxi Card - if you can't walk more than 50 metres without experiencing severe pain or discomfort then you may be eligible for a Taxi Card. Freedom Pass – are designed for people who can’t walk more than 100 metres, but can use public transport. The assessment looks at mobility impairment as well as mental health problems, sensory impairments or a learning disability. New article - Did you know?…over 1 million older and disabled Londoners have a Freedom Pass New article - Mobility component? What’s that? If you look at the guide on the opposite page you can see that people who receive the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance are usually eligible for a mobility pass. In order to get the mobility component you must: ♦ be under 65 years old; ♦ be unable, or virtually unable to walk, because of your physical disability; or ♦ need assistance from another person when you go out, because of a physical or mental disability. ♦ have had walking difficulties for at least three months which are likely to continue for at least another six months. You will probably be eligible for the lower rate if you need help to get around outdoors in places you do not know well, for example, if you are blind, partially sighted or have a learning disability. You may be eligible for the higher rate if you cannot walk at all, even with the use of aid or equipment. If you can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort and the effort of walking could threaten your life or seriously affect your health then you may also be eligible. Disability Living Allowance claim forms are available from the Disability Contact and Processing Unit on 08457 123456, the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 882200 or visit Back to contents 28
  29. 29. New article - If you get a Higher Rate Mobility Component... …or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement you can use your allowance to lease or buy a car, or to buy a powered wheelchair or scooter. Contact Motability on 0845 456 4566 Minicom: 01279 632273 or visit New article - Go further with Taxicard Did you know you can now 'stagecoach' your Taxicard journeys? That means you can have two stages to your journey, when previously you could only have one. For the first stage of your journey swipe your card as usual, then if you want to travel further swipe your card again. A 'stagecoached' journey will cost £3, which covers a fare limit of £23.60 at peak times, and up to £28.60 off peak. Taxicard holders are responsible for managing their trip allowance. For more information call Joyce Webb on 020 7527 8177 or email New article - ScootAbility flexibility for a fiver ScootAbility provides mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs on a short-term loan basis to older and disabled residents in Camden or Islington with mobility impairments. An annual membership of £5 means you can book a mobility scooter or power chair for up to four days. Membership - 100 members since October 2004 - includes a 'drop off and pick up' service, insurance, breakdown cover and training. ScootAbility will help you find the scooter or wheelchair that suits your needs, make sure you are comfortable using your vehicle and give you the confidence to use it on local roads and pavements. Now anyone 16 years and over with a mobility impairment can take advantage of this award-winning service. Contact Linda Brosnan on 020 7527 3017 or email New article - Less steps by 2010 Transport for London are committed to making 25% of all tube stations step-free by 2010. By 2011 all stations will have induction loops, tactile paving and more information points. Further consultation will be taking place on making all tube stations more accessible later in 2007. Contact TfL on 020 7222 1234 for more information. New article - PlusBus - use it, don’t lose it! There are changes afoot to the PlusBus Hail-and-Ride service in Islington. PlusBus is a local bus service aimed at older and disabled people that goes to local shops, leisure centres, health and day centres. The small, low-floored yellow buses can either be flagged down along its route or caught at specific bus stops. A new route - 812 - started operating in Islington on Monday 23 April 2007. It combines the old PB1 and PB2 routes, so many streets and destinations will continue to be served. PlusBus is still a free service for Freedom Pass holders - other passengers pay £1 a trip. Transport for London is distributing leaflets about the new service across the N1 and EC1 areas and to existing users. Routes PB4 and PB6 came to an end on 30 March 2007. For more information about PlusBus call Hackney Community Transport on 020 7275 2400, Fax 020 7275 2450 or email Back to contents 29
  30. 30. Created equal New article - Making disability equality happen…in Islington Last year three meetings looked at ways that the council can improve the way it listens to and anticipates the needs of disabled people. The first meeting looked at barriers to equality, the second at solutions and the third at a draft action plan, which also included comments from council staff. In December 2006 the 'Disability Equality Scheme' was launched. It describes the different ways that the council intends to improve services and promote equality for the estimated 28,000 disabled people living in Islington. The aim is to change services so that they can be used by anyone, regardless of their disability and the council will ensure that people are not discriminated against because of their disability. To find out more about the scheme, call 020 7527 3142 or email Accessible formats of the action plan are available at Mobility issues were high on the agenda at all three meetings and have been built into the new scheme. The table below lists some of the things the council will be doing about mobility and accessibility issues. Action How will it happen? How do we know it's When happened? Ensure that new and Include ‘access statements' Positive feedback from Sept 2008 refurbished buildings are in all planning permission local disabled people about accessible applications access issues Improve pavements and ‘Map’ the condition of all Positive feedback from April 2007 remove street clutter footways around Islington local disabled people about access issues Make pedestrian crossings Install drop kerbs and Reduction in complaints Dec 2007 more accessible for tactile paving at all from visually impaired and visually impaired and Deaf crossings Deaf people people Improved facilities for Deaf people at crossings Enable disabled people to The 'Bus Stop Accessibility Reduction in complaints April 2007 travel within Islington Programme' will make bus from all disabled people. travel more accessible Regular inspection of street work New article - Fairer for all sexes The 'gender equality duty' comes into force in April 2007. It means that councils across the country must show that they treat men, women and transgender/transsexual people fairly. It means looking at how the council runs and making sure that everyone's needs, including older and disabled people are addressed. Events are being held across Islington and surveys have been designed to explore ways that council services can be improved. A plan will show how the council intends to end discrimination and harassment and promote equality over the next three years. If you would like to comment contact Thuvia Jones on 020 7527 3054, or Back to contents 30
  31. 31. New article - Making disability equality happen…in local health services Islington primary care trust (PCT) who run local health services (doctors, dentists etc) worked on their Disability Equality Scheme (DES) last summer. A local disability organisation helped them to ask local disabled people about how they could make it easier and fairer for disabled people to use health services. A group, that includes local disabled people, will check that the tasks in the scheme are carried out within their timescales. The PCT is keen for local residents to comment on their DES - to have your say contact Jenny Singleton on 020 7527 1089, email or visit to get your copy of the DES. Back to contents 31
  32. 32. Section 12 - Working with carers New article - Carers Directory Look out for the new directory for mental health carers. Owners of the current directory will be please to know that the new, improved version will be in a handbag (or manbag) friendly size! Copies should be available in June from the Islington Carers Forum on 020 7263 9080 or the Camden & Islington Social Care & Mental Health Trust on 020 7445 8554. New article - What’s important to carers? That's one of the questions we asked Islington's carers last year. Over 330 people took time out from caring to tell us what should be included in the next carers’ strategy. The strategy will look at what the council and its partners need to do over the next three years to help carers care and lead fulfilling lives. The Carers Strategy Group, which represents all the main carers’ organisations in the borough, is leading this work. To make sure the strategy is on the right track, a carers conference and information day is being held on Thursday 3 May 10am to 3pm. Local carers can read and comment on the draft strategy, listen to speakers and take part in workshops. Information stalls on carers services and free complementary therapy will also be available. Put 3 May in your diary - more information available soon. Contact Rosemary Lamport on 020 7527 8153 or email Copies of the draft strategy are available on request. New article - Carers are doing it for themselves Islington Primary Care Trust is running a 'Looking after Me' course as part of the Expert Patient Programme to give carers the tools to take more control of their health and caring situation. There are no boring lectures! 'Looking after Me' is a free six-week self-management course (two and a half hours a week) for adults who care for someone living with a long-term health condition or disability. It covers relaxation techniques, dealing with tiredness, exercise and coping with depression and other feelings. All the course tutors have experience of caring. Previous participants have reported that the course helped them to feel more confident, think more positively, feel less tired and lead a fuller life. The first 'Looking after Me' course in Islington runs February to March 2007. Find out more. Call Claire Davidson on 020 7527 1209, email or visit and click 'Looking After Me - course for carers'. New article - You’re never too old to care A support group for older carers and carers of older people in Islington was set up in October. They face particular problems because their dependants are often more physically, emotionally and mentally dependent upon them; and older disabled people typically have fewer support services than younger disabled people. Older carers can be isolated, have given up paid work, on call all day and may have been caring for many years - this can lead to illness from injury, depression or anxiety. Hilary Ayling from Islington Carers Forum and Jacky Mariner from Age Concern Islington run the group on the first Wednesday of the month at Drovers Day Centre, North Road, N7 (next to the Goodinge Health Centre) between 2 and 4pm. 32
  33. 33. There are different activities and talks each month plus the chance to meet other carers and share experiences over tea. The Tesco Charity Trust is funding a day trip for the group later in the year. Call Jacky or Maureen on 020 7607 7701. Back to contents Section 13 - Publication corner Health publications How to find a Doctor (GP) in Islington How to find a dentist will be available in the Spring at Medicine use review: Understand your medicine - service offered by some local pharmacists Patient Advice and Liaison Service Quit smoking Your Life! – Lively health news magazine with an Islington spin Social Services publications Your guide to community care and supporting people charges in Islington Your guide to charges for care homes Housing options for people with learning disabilities living in Islington Direct payments Protecting vulnerable adults from abuse – how to recognise and act on abuse Sharing information – your right to know A ‘Direct payments for community equipment’ leaflet is due out in the spring. Mobility Out and about in London: Supporting independent travel Travel guide for parents and carers of people with learning difficulties Out and about in London: My guide Travel guide for people with learning difficulties about using public transport around London Assisted transport services in Greater London Contact Transport for London on 020 7222 1234 for a copy of these leaflets or visit General How to comment or complain about a council service Disability equality scheme summary explains how Islington is going to promote disability equality To request a copy of the publications listed in printed or accessible formats call 020 7527 5105 or 8196 Access this mag! Different versions of Better Care in Islington are available… a text version with hyper-links that is 'screen reading software’ friendly audio versions on CD or tape an Easy Read version with pictures and easy-to-read text Large print Call 020 7527 8157 or email stating which accessible format you would like. Back to contents 33
  34. 34. Section 14 - Better Care contacts 2007 Contact Islington 020 7527 2000 (24 hours, 365 days) TexBox (text telephone system) 020 7527 1900 Adult Services Information & Access Team 020 7527 2299 minicom 020 7527 6475 e-mail: click ‘health and social care’ click ‘services for adults’ Housing Housing Aid Centre 020 7527 2000 (housing advice and homelessness service) Housing and Council Tax Benefit 020 7527 4990 Finding a council home 020 7527 4140 HFI Direct - repairs, rent, service charges 0800 694 3344 (Free) Sheltered Housing Circle Anglia 08457 697 695 Shelter - independent housing advice 020 7014 1450 click ‘housing’ Camden & Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) 020 7530 3765 e-mail: Health Services NHS Direct Lo Call 0845 4647 24-hour nursing advise and health information service PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) On the spot information, advice and help to resolve problems with health services, for patients, families and carers: Islington Primary Care Trust 020 7527 1086 or 1087 Minicom 020 7527 8361 e-mail: website: Whittington Hospital 020 7288 5551 e-mail: University College London Hospital 020 7380 9975 e-mail: Moorfields Eye Hospital 020 7566 2324 or 2325 e-mail: Benefits Islington Welfare Rights Unit 0800 731 8081 (Free) Benefits Enquiry Line - for people with disabilities and their carers 0800 88 22 00 textphone: 0800 24 33 55 34
  35. 35. Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance 0845 7 12 34 56 Carers Allowance Unit 01253 856123 Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit Helpline 0845 300 3900 textphone 0845 300 3909 The Pension Service 0845 60 60 265 textphone 0845 60 60 285 Help with health costs advice line 0845 850 1166 for useful information about allwances and helplines Comments and complaints Adult Social Services Tel: 020 7527 8046 e-mail: Housing Tel: 020 7527 4278 e-mail: Family Health and GP services Tel: 020 7527 1447 Mental health services Tel: 020 7530 3099 Other useful contacts Transport for London - Access & Mobility Team 020 7941 4600 email: textphone 020 7918 3500 Age Concern Islington 020 7281 6018 e-mail: Alzheimer’s Society - Islington 020 7837 8723 email: Centre 404 Family Support 020 7607 8762 email: Disability Action in Islington (DAII) 020 7226 0137 email: Islington Carers Forum 020 7263 9080 Linkline Community Alarm Service 020 7527 5456 For a complete list of voluntary organisations in Islington visit Back to contents 35