Hermco http://hermco.net/ Mon, 17 May 2021 10:23:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://hermco.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png Hermco http://hermco.net/ 32 32 Rhys Clyne: Central and local government relations urgently need to be mended https://hermco.net/rhys-clyne-central-and-local-government-relations-urgently-need-to-be-mended/ https://hermco.net/rhys-clyne-central-and-local-government-relations-urgently-need-to-be-mended/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 10:14:59 +0000 https://hermco.net/rhys-clyne-central-and-local-government-relations-urgently-need-to-be-mended/

Poor relations between Whitehall and town halls have weakened the UK’s response to the pandemic, the Institute for Government senior researcher says.

To coincide with the anniversary of the first nationwide lockdown, the Institute for Government released a report outlining 10 lessons to be learned from the UK government’s response – at all levels – to the pandemic. We based our recommendations on a series of interviews with politicians and officials from local, decentralized and central government, asking them to reflect on what they had learned over the past 12 months about the strengths and weaknesses of the government. British state.

Many have insisted on the same, unsolicited point: the pandemic has exposed a broken working relationship between Westminster central government and local government across England. These relationships require urgent redress.

The relationship is influenced by the level of funding and devolution to local government. However, on a personal and operational level, the pandemic has also shown that the links between government departments and local authorities – on which much of government depends – have become dysfunctional. They are characterized by “bitterness” and “suspicion” on both sides. As one interviewee – who worked in central government – explained, “There is a shameful and condescending view of local government – that they are less capable, less experienced, more incompetent and more ashamed than members of government. central. They are under the salt.

It matters. The pandemic has shown that the breakdown of the relationship degrades local government knowledge within Whitehall departments – even among senior officials in the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government – and leads to operational problems and opportunities. missed.

The councils were prevented from making plans for the Covid-19 outbreak last summer because the Department of Health and Social Affairs failed to provide timely data on new cases at the local level.

Consultation limited by the center

The local government has not been able to bring as much knowledge and expertise to the pandemic response as it could have due to the nature of Whitehall’s engagement. We have seen this in its tense negotiations with Greater Manchester CA over the levels of financial support offered to areas under local lockdown, and in the limited consultation on the design of the shielding program by MHCLG and DHSC.

Relations between government departments and local authorities are characterized by “ bitterness ” and “ suspicion ”

The breakdown of relationships fuels an instinct for centralization. The response to the pandemic would have been strengthened if the local government had played a larger role, earlier.

Local public health teams have been implementing various forms of testing and traceability for more than 150 years since John Snow tracked cholera on the streets of Soho in 1854. They have direct access and lines of communication with people. local populations. But the government decided to set up a centralized testing and traceability program, relying on private consultants rather than local public health officials.

After reversing this position, Dido Harding – program manager – told the House of Commons public accounts committee that working with local government was one of the factors that led to “significantly better” contact tracing. , reaching up to 92% of people who test positive.

The government has promised structural reform but is dragging its feet

The more than 750,000 people who signed up for the NHS Volunteer Responders program in just four days in April 2020 were not as efficient as they could have been due to the decision to manage things centrally through the NHS England. It took a long time to match volunteers to work and prevented some local organizations – such as nursing homes – from benefiting because they were not initially linked to the national program.

The government has promised structural reform but is dragging its feet. Last year’s English devolution white paper was postponed and has since been incorporated into the ‘upgrade’ white paper. A much-advertised social protection plan is now expected later this year. And local government relies on short-term financial regulations instead of a long-term approach.

Before these reforms, there are simple and practical steps both sides could take to begin mending the broken relationship. More frequent use of secondments from central government to local authorities, and vice versa, would be helpful. It worked during the pandemic when senior local officials helped strengthen testing and tracing. The Local Government Association’s graduate program and the rapid flow of the civil service are also expected to create more common opportunities for graduates to gain experience on both sides of the fence.

Each department in Whitehall should work with the MHCLG and LGA to review the mechanisms in place to ensure early engagement of local government in the policy-making process. This will help to avoid missed opportunities and excessive centralization. Boards should also review and monitor which teams are working with which government departments, seizing opportunities to improve and join those connections.

The Prime Minister seems to want to delay as long as possible an official investigation into the management of the pandemic by the United Kingdom. But that shouldn’t stop politicians and officials in local and central government from acting now to mend their broken relationships.

Read the full report at https://tinyurl.com/s4uk7fsz

Rhys Clyne, Principal Investigator. Institute for Government


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Improvements to the state mental health system aimed at filling gaps in the crisis network https://hermco.net/improvements-to-the-state-mental-health-system-aimed-at-filling-gaps-in-the-crisis-network/ https://hermco.net/improvements-to-the-state-mental-health-system-aimed-at-filling-gaps-in-the-crisis-network/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://hermco.net/improvements-to-the-state-mental-health-system-aimed-at-filling-gaps-in-the-crisis-network/

Those experiencing mental health crises in Wisconsin say being closer to their homes could reduce the trauma of being transported away from friends and family when they need it most.

The state operates two mental hospitals, one in Madison, the other in Winnebago. Emergency detentions have increased dramatically at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, with emergency detentions in the northwest region of the state rising from 5% to 21% in five years, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Regional services could help, believes Chrissy de Superior, who said she has had more than a dozen encounters with police over behavioral issues that have resulted in reckless driving and suicide attempts.

“One year, I was hospitalized every month except August. That same year, I was admitted to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute from January to the end of May, ”where she said she was diagnosed with bipolar anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. WPR does not use Chrissy’s full name to protect her privacy.

Oshkosh-based Winnebago Mental Health is nearly five hours from Chrissy’s home.

“I lost not only the sense of myself, but eventually my job, my house, my pets … I was removed from my daily life and from all my friends except one”, recalls- it.

Governor Tony Evers has proposed that regional crisis stabilization facilities be included in the state’s spending plan for the next two years. Chrissy said she believed such facilities would have provided the intensive behavioral services she needed earlier and “gave me back my life before I lost it all.”

Since receiving the care she needed, she said she bought her first home, had a dog and a cat, and had worked at the same job for 11 years.

Evers’ budget plan also includes an extension of what the state’s Medicaid program covers when it comes to treating drug addiction disorders. Currently, the state’s Medicaid program covers residential treatment, but it does not pay for overnight stays.

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For Brandi of Milwaukee, residential treatment is what helped her recover from an addiction disorder.

Brandi, whose last name WPR does not use to protect her privacy, said she started drinking alcohol at age 13 when her parents divorced. She then switched to prescription opiates and heroin.

The mother-of-two struggled to find care, and while her mother helped watch her children and find resources, none of them were near her home.

“I didn’t have a car. Getting on a bus on one side of town was a challenge in itself, as was trying to stay sober for a day,” she recalls.

Brandi then received residential treatment which helped her recover.

It remains to be seen whether these proposals are found in the state budget. Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers removed from office 384 of the governor’s budget provisions with a single vote in the deliberations of the Legislative Budget Drafting Committee.

Proposals withdrawn from the Evers government’s spending plan include everything from expanding Medicaid, to legalizing marijuana, to modernizing Wisconsin’s unemployment system.

Possible improvements to the state’s mental health system have yet to be voted on by lawmakers.

“We know that additional investments will be needed in behavioral health care,” DHS Associate Secretary Karen Timberlake told reporters last week. “We know we have gaps in our crisis network that we need to fill.”


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Car garage larger than the house? This house is a dream come true for motorheads https://hermco.net/car-garage-larger-than-the-house-this-house-is-a-dream-come-true-for-motorheads/ https://hermco.net/car-garage-larger-than-the-house-this-house-is-a-dream-come-true-for-motorheads/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 09:35:05 +0000 https://hermco.net/car-garage-larger-than-the-house-this-house-is-a-dream-come-true-for-motorheads/

A home in Wesley Chapel, Florida with just over 1,000 square feet was listed for $ 450,000 (approx. 3.3 crore). The house may seem ordinary, but what makes it a must-have for a car collector is its twice the size – and detached – garage.

The garage, which can accommodate up to six vehicles with a Class “A” coach at the same time, has a total area of ​​2,000 square feet. The garage also has two 50 amp circuits with its own power panel box for all electrical needs. There is also a black sewage drain for coaches of all sizes. One side of the garage has a 13 foot high automatic door that can accommodate even a large motorhome. On the other side there are two smaller doors for cars and vans.

(Also Read | This $ 8 Million Auto Themed Property With 10 Vehicle Garage Is A Car Heaven)

Any size vehicle will fit into this garage gem. There is a shared driveway to one side of the house with a large cement parking lot that can accommodate any type of vehicle. With all of these facilities, the garage becomes one of the most important aspects of this property for an avid car collector.

Beside these, the property has over an acre of landscaped and maintained flowers, bamboo, trees and botanical garden. The house has two renovated bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen has been fitted with all the essentials such as microwave, water-connected dishwasher and electric water heater, among others. Since it is a manufactured home or a mobile home, it can be moved.

(Also Read | This $ 12 Million US Mansion Comes With A 50-Car Garage, Gas Station, Pumice Room)

The property also has a heated rock-lined pool / spa with ambient lights, a garden, and a Tiki hut in the middle of it all. It is completely surrounded by screens to protect people from the heat. There is plenty of outdoor entertainment space.


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George Square memorial benches destroyed for the second time as thousands descend for the Rangers title party https://hermco.net/george-square-memorial-benches-destroyed-for-the-second-time-as-thousands-descend-for-the-rangers-title-party/ https://hermco.net/george-square-memorial-benches-destroyed-for-the-second-time-as-thousands-descend-for-the-rangers-title-party/#respond Mon, 17 May 2021 09:25:28 +0000 https://hermco.net/george-square-memorial-benches-destroyed-for-the-second-time-as-thousands-descend-for-the-rangers-title-party/

George Square memorial benches were ransacked for the second time in months by marauding Rangers fans on Saturday night’s title night.

We recounted how the city center remained ‘like a war zone’ with bottles and broken trash after supporters clashed with cops as thousands celebrated their side by winning their first title. of Premiership in a decade.

In March, there were similar scenes after the Light Blues officially won the title, with benches dedicated to the dead in the square destroyed amid massive celebrations.

The sympathetic supporters of the Ibrox side contributed by the thousands to replace them after the last incident.

But now, despite the council chiefs’ efforts in cleaning up, the benches have been broken again and some factories will need to be replaced because the glass is buried so deep.

The costs of the work are currently unknown.

Glasgow City Council Leader Susan Aitken tweeted: “I had the opportunity to say hello and thank you to some of the @GlasgowCC clean-up crew in George Square this morning.

“The transformation they made from last night’s carnage is heroic. But the sod and bedding plants will have to be replaced because of the ground glass.”

Businessman Brian Inkster tweeted how emptied he was that the benches were destroyed again.

He wrote: “Very sad to see again this morning (as I did on March 8) the destruction of the park benches (including those at the memorial) in yesterday’s #GeorgeSquare.




“Some of these were donated to the people of #Glasgow by families dedicated to the memory of their loved ones.”

Five cops were injured, some seriously, after thugs bombarded officers with explosives and other objects during ongoing battles in the square.

Violence spilled over to the surrounding streets with a gruesome attack filmed by a man punched and kicked.

Around 15,000 troops are estimated to have invaded the city center, many of whom gathered outside Ibrox during Rangers’ game against Aberdeen.

Police and Ranger bosses had issued stern warnings against any gatherings banned due to coronavirus legislation.

The infection rate is higher than in other parts of Scotland, with only Glasgow and Moray remaining in a higher level of restrictions.



George Square was ransacked by Rangers fans
George Square was ransacked by Rangers fans

Saturday night’s ugly scenes drew widespread condemnation from police and senior politicians.

A statement by Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “” I am naturally inundated with messages about the shameful scenes of that day in Glasgow.

“The police still have a job to do, which limits my comments to a certain extent – but to say I’m completely disgusted by the Ranger fans who ransacked the city would be an understatement …

“I am also angry on behalf of all law-abiding citizens. In normal times, the violence and vandalism, and the vile anti-Catholic prejudices that were exhibited, would have been quite unacceptable.

“But in the midst of the pandemic, in a city with rising cases, it was also selfish beyond belief.

“People across the country who still live under the most difficult restrictions – unable to see their families or attend weddings and funerals – are rightly enraged at the irresponsible actions of a rogue minority who seem to care. little of the risk they represent for others.

Police promised there would be more arrests to come.

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how the internet of things will transform the tenant experience https://hermco.net/how-the-internet-of-things-will-transform-the-tenant-experience/ https://hermco.net/how-the-internet-of-things-will-transform-the-tenant-experience/#respond Fri, 14 May 2021 08:41:14 +0000 https://hermco.net/how-the-internet-of-things-will-transform-the-tenant-experience/

Through Mike Hooper, Group Head of Business Development & Marketing at Conosco

Given the number of responsibilities that social housing providers face, digital transformation can slide down the priority ladder. Yet many of the problems – breaking the stigma of social housing, fixing many repairs and increasing air quality – can be improved through the use of smart technology sensors.

The sector has faced numerous calls for change, and it is back in the spotlight after the lockdown after being named a key to helping the affordable housing crisis. Go ahead: Internet of Things (IoT). The network of “things” is, in general terms, anything that connects wirelessly to the Internet. The devices contain sensors that collect data about the environment to make informed decisions. Examples of IoT devices in everyday life include smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, which are designed around the user’s voice to deliver always-on requests and information.

Social housing needs to fit into our data-driven future, and IoT can help organizations and landlords deliver a great tenant experience and ultimately reduce repair costs that can be reinvested. in long term homes.

And yet, according to a recent white paper by Capita one, up to 30% of social housing tenants would be on the wrong side of the digital divide with no Internet access. This is a great opportunity to make properties more efficient, accessible, and generally just a pleasure to live with.

What technologies can transform the tenant experience and improve asset management and maintenance so that it is a less conscientious area?

1 – Smart security

Many residents will not have the luxury of being able to work from home when they have maintenance or repairs ahead. Using smart locks should arguably be the first step for any smart home. They allow the resident to give “virtual keys” to other people, so that they can let someone into the house if they cannot access the door. The user simply controls the locks from their smartphone.

They’re easy to install and make repairs simple for both tenant and landlord, so you don’t have to worry about providing a wrench or balancing schedules to find a time that’s right for everyone.

2 – A virtual maintenance technician

One of the hardest jobs for housing associations is fixing broken items for tenants, which the article says often needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Yet it is easier and much more cost effective to repair than to replace. What if you could prevent this item from wearing out in the first place?

Using advanced IoT sensors on devices like an oven or boiler can prevent and diagnose problems and alert the business or owner when it starts to happen. Then, before the full oven break, the real estate worker can arrange the repair of the device in a timely manner and do the small home repair. And, instead of the tenant not being told what exactly is wrong and having to guess when relaying information, the sensor and the sophisticated data it has collected will give the technician an exact view of what is wrong. .

3 – Increase air quality

Moisture, mold and condensation are common issues reported by thousands of social housing tenants, according to a study. This is often due to poor condition, as the problem got worse before it was noticed by the landlord or tenant. But prevention is much better than a cure. And, by installing smart temperature sensors, they can monitor a number of factors like ambient temperature and humidity to measure and fix issues before they become a costly problem to fix.

A searcher stated that an alert can be set up so that when the humidity in a certain area or room rises above a specific level, the owner or occupant will be notified. By installing smart temperature sensors, housing associations might find that they only need to invest in dehumidifiers, instead of paying thousands to remove mold.

4 – Prevent water leaks

Smart leak sensors can detect water leaks and thus prevent excess moisture or catastrophic damage that can lead to flooding. These smart water leak detectors activate smart shut-off valves before major damage is done, allowing you to quickly jump into action in the event of a small leak. This will not only save hundreds and potentially thousands of repairs, but will also help protect the property of residents, further reinforcing the benefits that IoT brings to tenant experiences.

It also removes the chances of repair work that could result in the need to relocate the tenant while the repairs are being made.

Smart technology ultimately helps housing associations make better, informed decisions about how to keep tenants safe. It also means that landlords can better invest their money in buildings, so that social housing tenants can live more comfortably, in safer environments where they know they are well maintained.


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Engineers to reveal cost to repair West Lothian community center affected by closure https://hermco.net/engineers-to-reveal-cost-to-repair-west-lothian-community-center-affected-by-closure/ https://hermco.net/engineers-to-reveal-cost-to-repair-west-lothian-community-center-affected-by-closure/#respond Fri, 14 May 2021 08:36:25 +0000 https://hermco.net/engineers-to-reveal-cost-to-repair-west-lothian-community-center-affected-by-closure/

Structural engineers will provide the Lanthorn repair costs to advisors next month, before summer vacation.

Ross Macdonald, director of the West Lothian Council’s planned improvements and services team, told a Livingston South local committee meeting that the council executive would see all the details of the work needed to reopen the community hub. animated at its meeting in June.

The Lanthorn was temporarily closed in early April after a series of inspections by specialist roof condition engineers identified significant structural issues with the roof boards present.

The planks are made of a specialized reinforced concrete – Béton Armé Aéré Autoclavé (RAAC), often referred to as Siporex – which was used in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Executive Council approved the temporary closure of the Lanthorn Annex and the church from April 2 for a period of approximately two years while repairs are in progress.
The local committee heard that council officers are engaging with administrators, the Lanthorn Community Education Association (LCEA), partners and center users to move as many rentals and activities as possible into the larger portfolio of the center. advice.
The click / collect library service continued with a collection and drop-off point at Arrochar House.

Library services will resume at Torridon House, with navigation and public access PCs available starting this month.
A joint consultancy / LCEA group continues to work on the relocation of user groups to suitable alternative housing.
Mr. Macdonald stressed that the safety and security of the building was paramount when it closed.

His report to the committee added: “The existing video surveillance system will continue to operate while the building is closed. Regular checks will be carried out to ensure that the video surveillance is fully operational.

Security procedures are being developed to allow Scottish Police access to the building to upload footage for crime detection and prevention purposes.

The council has set up a dedicated online information center which aims to provide the local community with up-to-date information on the progress of the relocation of services, structural repairs and the reopening of the center.
It can be viewed online at www.westlothian.gov.uk/lanthorncentre.

A series of FAQs have also been published on the hub.

These will be updated as more information becomes available.
A dedicated email address – lanthorn@westlothian.gov.uk – has also been created if interested groups / individuals have specific questions.
A project steering group has been set up to oversee the management of the project from the demobilization phase to construction and subsequent reopening.
Its members include representatives of the Trustees, the Lanthorn Center Education Association, local groups, the four local councilors and relevant board members.

Stay tuned for the latest news from the West Lothian Courier. Sign up for our free newsletter herehttps://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/newsletter-preference-centre/


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Price pressures intensify in construction https://hermco.net/price-pressures-intensify-in-construction/ https://hermco.net/price-pressures-intensify-in-construction/#respond Fri, 14 May 2021 08:17:00 +0000 https://hermco.net/price-pressures-intensify-in-construction/

He pointed out that the Treasury budget projected a wage hike of just 2¼ percent at the end of 2023 – lower than NAB’s own forecast of around 2¾ percent – as evidence the Treasury did not believe inflation would increase sharply, a point of view He shared.

“At the end of 2023, it may well be that the RBA will send out messages that it will be moving soon,” Oster said. “I think what’s probably more likely is that when they move out, they’ll move pretty quickly – but nothing until 2024.”

While smaller builders have already felt the blow of higher costs, including supplier CSR’s 4% price increase last month on its Gyprock plasterboard products, the country’s biggest players say the shortages local communities and increased global demand for certain materials, especially wood, will also affect them. .

“We are certainly right at the moment,” said Rhett Simonds, managing director of the ASX-listed Simonds group on Friday. “But we see a problem with the prices. In the next six to 12 months, we’ll see that. “

It won’t even be that long, says Metricon Homes, the nation’s largest home builder.

“I think [it’ll be] a little earlier than that, ”said Peter Temopoulos, managing director of privately-held Metricon for construction and operations in Victoria.

“Maybe three to six months, rather than six to twelve months. Probably in the middle of the year we will start to experience price pressure. “

Brisbane-based Pedal Group, which includes the 99 Bikes chain, faces higher prices for parts and bikes. Like many bicycle retailers facing growing demand and slower freight lines since the outbreak of COVID-19, the company is trying to manage higher raw material costs and tensions between supply and demand. .

That has yet to lead to higher prices for buyers, said Pedal Group general manager Matt Turner. In fact, for bikes costing less than $ 1,500, the price was going down with 99 bikes being on sale because there was too much stock.

“Over $ 1,500 in bikes, availability is low, so there are a lot less discounts,” Mr. Turner said. AFR weekend. “The prices are still the same, but consumers won’t get a lot of discount offers.”

But in the future, some prices could increase by as much as 10%, he said.

Supply shortages are also causing long waits for new car buyers in Australia as demand picks up due to low interest rates and an improving economy.

James Voortman, chief executive of the Australian Automotive Dealers Association, which oversees the interests of 3,500 car dealerships, said discounts and promotions in new car sales were virtually non-existent.

Dealers who no longer need to change inventory have stopped offering discounts. Prices for recent models of used vehicles have jumped about 35 percent on strong demand, as households look to add an additional vehicle because they fear using public transportation.

“We are not seeing any of the reductions that would normally occur,” Voortman said.

CSR chief executive Julie Coates described the increase in gyprock prices last month as a ‘catch-up’ hike after no price hikes occurred amid the uncertainty of the early stages of the pandemic . The company also operates the PGH bricks business and the Monier tiles business.

And while large builders always expect higher costs, for many small builders they have already started.

“We’re probably paying 10 percent more for brickyards right now compared to six months ago,” Robert Lynch, executive chairman of ASX-listed Tamawood, which builds homes in Queensland under the Dixon Homes brand.

And the bigger builders, who had anticipated and prepared for higher costs for certain items, had also been surprised by shortages that they did not expect in items such as garage doors and waffle pods – the polystyrene blocks used as vacuum fillers in concrete slabs.

“The waffle pods are made in Australia, but the raw material comes from overseas,” Mr. Simonds said. “The ability to get him into the country has been a big problem. We weren’t expecting [a shortage of] garage doors. It surprised us.

Mr. Temopoulos was frank when asked to name the three materials most likely to increase their price.

“It’s wood number 1, number 2 and number 3,” he said. “There is both a shortage and pressure on timber prices. The biggest problem is the supply. We really haven’t seen the price pressure go up. “

He was reluctant to say when the higher costs would be passed on to consumers.

“The risk isn’t with the client, it’s on us,” Mr. Temopoulos said. “Will there be [retail] price increases? We’re going to have to wait and see … before we can make a call.


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Ford to Help Dealers Speed ​​Up Repairs Using Wearable Technology https://hermco.net/ford-to-help-dealers-speed-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bup-repairs-using-wearable-technology/ https://hermco.net/ford-to-help-dealers-speed-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bup-repairs-using-wearable-technology/#respond Fri, 14 May 2021 08:01:22 +0000 https://hermco.net/ford-to-help-dealers-speed-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bup-repairs-using-wearable-technology/

Ford South Africa is deploying a new high-tech approach to vehicle repair at its dealerships.

The local branch of the US automaker has already piloted the RealWear HMT-1 hands-free remote collaboration tool, which remotely connects technicians at the Ford dealership to the company’s technical support center, made up of experienced support staff and field service engineers, enabling them to collaborate on vehicle maintenance and repair issues.

Using the high-definition camera, flashlight, range of microphones and voice commands of the RealWear HMT-1, dealer service technicians can demonstrate technical issues to the engineer and benefit from immediate assistance in real time.

Ford engineers, in turn, can control the direction of the camera, take photos and notes, and even share screens from service bulletins and wiring diagrams with the technician through the integrated screen on the helmet. , thus allowing him to remain the hands. free while the repairs are being carried out.

“We need to continue to modernize what we do and how we do things,” says Ford Middle East and Africa’s director of engineering operations services. Pieter Verster.

“Part of this plan is the deployment of RealWear, to support our dealership technicians with an innovative solution that helps speed repair and resolution of difficult cases.

“With this technology, we can see exactly what the technician sees and guide him through the repair of the vehicle.

“RealWear is an important step forward to better support our dealers and, most importantly, our customers,” adds Verster.

“This helps reduce vehicle downtime because the dealership no longer has to wait for an on-site service engineer to be dispatched to assist.

“This virtual assistance is available immediately, allowing the technician to quickly repair the vehicle and return it to the customer without delay, ensuring greater customer satisfaction.”

“From a dealership perspective, this technology also leads to increased productivity,” notes Verster.

The travel time and expense associated with obtaining an on-site service engineer from the dealership is also eliminated by this technology, especially in remote locations.

“Our goal is to deploy the system at our Ford dealerships in major centers in South Africa as a first step, and to have additional units that can be shipped to dealers in remote areas when they need it. assistance, ”says Verster.

“We are also working on the introduction of the RealWear tool to remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East to better serve our dealers and customers in these markets.”

Verster says the RealWear strategy complements the recent launch of the Ford Repair Center Concept, which supports Ford dealerships if they have a vehicle that is difficult to repair.

The vehicle is transported to the repair center where a highly trained technician takes care of the case – and where the technician can also rely on RealWear technology and direct access to the technical support center hotline, if needed, to speed up. the process.

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2,000 patients moved across Ontario to free up beds – but it’s taking its toll https://hermco.net/2000-patients-moved-across-ontario-to-free-up-beds-but-its-taking-its-toll/ https://hermco.net/2000-patients-moved-across-ontario-to-free-up-beds-but-its-taking-its-toll/#respond Fri, 14 May 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://hermco.net/2000-patients-moved-across-ontario-to-free-up-beds-but-its-taking-its-toll/

When Alison McVinnie’s husband Kevin Crozier suffered a severe stroke in February, he was transferred between three different hospitals, all within hours.

In a quick attempt to get specialist care, the 54-year-old was admitted to the couple’s local hospital near Collingwood, Ont., Then transferred to a larger facility 40 minutes from Barrie, Ont. before being airlifted to Sunnybrook. Toronto Health Sciences Center for life-saving surgery.

As a result of this procedure, Crozier was referred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie at the end of March to recover closer to home, ending his time bouncing back in the province – at least McVinnie thought.

“You could just feel the mood and the energy change,” she said. “And things were getting stressful.”

The number of COVID-19 admissions to Ontario’s intensive care units was increasing and on April 9, the province announced an emergency order allowing hospitals to transfer patients without consent to help increase the capacity of hospitals. hard-hit establishments.

Just over a week later, McVinnie was told that a fourth unexpected transfer for her husband was in the works.

McVinnie shares a photo of herself and her husband, who are recovering in hospital from a serious stroke. He is now hospitalized in Orillia, Ont., An hour’s drive from the couple’s home. (Evan Mitsui / CBC)

Crozier was eventually sent to a hospital in Orillia, Ont., An hour’s drive from the couple’s home, forcing McVinnie to re-explain his situation to another medical team.

He has since battled secondary infections, including pneumonia and pulmonary embolism, and began to struggle more to communicate. Although he doesn’t have COVID-19 himself, McVinnie said, her beloved husband ended up being “collateral damage” in the pandemic.

And she still doesn’t know when he will return home – or if he will be transported elsewhere.

“You are completely helpless,” McVinnie said.

‘Stressful all around’

So far this year, more than 2,000 patient transfers have taken place across the province, many without consent, between regions within hours of each other – from Toronto to Ottawa to northern Ontario. .

And while the move may help increase hospital capacity in areas where COVID-19 cases are on the rise, several Ontarians who spoke to CBC News said it is also tearing families apart and having an emotional impact on loved ones. patients and healthcare workers. take care of them.

Dr Chris Martin is the Intensive Care Team Leader at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ont., Which in recent months has transferred at least 118 patients to other hospitals. Since the beginning of December, more than 200 patients in the Toronto area have been transferred and the majority were battling COVID-19. (Sylvia Thomson / CBC)

At the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, the last place Crozier stayed before his last transfer, pandemic pressures have become intense this year.

The facility now has a field hospital on site and has had to transfer at least 118 patients to other hospitals in recent months – mainly those requiring less intensive care – to ensure there was a bed capacity to care for patients coming from the Toronto area.

Since the start of December, more than 200 patients in the Toronto area have been transferred and the majority were battling COVID-19, the hospital told CBC News.

“Moving the patient for an hour on the road, or sometimes across the entire province, to get care, this distance is very difficult for families,” said Dr. Chris Martin, Intensive Care Team Leader of the Royal Victoria Hospital, adding that “everything is stressful. around” for its staff too.

1,133 patients transferred in April alone

Ornge, a non-profit air ambulance service operating in Ontario, has been instrumental in moving patients around the province in recent months – to frightening levels.

Since January 1, the Ornge team and local paramedics have completed at least 2,068 intensive care capacity building patient transfers, which does not count transfers made for other non-pandemic reasons. according to the latest data.

The monthly tally has increased month-to-month, with 1,133 patients transported in April alone during the province’s third wave peak.

Some of these people were treated on their trip by Ornge’s ICU paramedic Naomi Williams, who said she had never experienced anything like the current wave of transfers during his 21 years of work.


Trips can take hours, which often means Williams does well in the evening or even after midnight. Even then, she says, there never seems to be enough time to handle the constant load.

“It’s exhausting, to be honest,” she told CBC News. “We are all working so hard right now. We are working additional teams to try to cover the demand. ”

Sometimes, after loading critically ill and intubated patients onto a stretcher to prepare them for transport, Williams said, she sees family members waiting near ambulance bay, hoping to get a first glimpse of loved one since their admission.

Once the patient is on board, each transfer is filled with perilous moments where Williams is alone in the back of an ambulance, on the lookout for any bumps in the road that might bother a fragile patient – including many young adults. .

“I cannot believe the frequency and sheer volume of people who need this type of care,” she said.

Naomi Williams, an intensive care paramedic with the Ornge Air Ambulance Service in Ontario, says she has never experienced anything like the current surge in transfers in her 21 years on the job. Trips can take hours, which often means Williams does well in the evening or even after midnight. (Jared Thomas / CBC)

Ministry of Health recognizes ‘difficult period’

In response to questions from CBC News, Ontario Ministry of Health spokesperson Anna Miller said provincial officials recognize that “these are very difficult times and particularly painful for those in need of care. hospitable ”.

Despite provincial investments to increase capacity, the hospital system faced “unprecedented pressures on critical care capacity during Wave 3,” she said.

Ontario’s emergency order allows hospitals to transfer patients only when necessary, in response to a surge in admissions and in the hope of making reasonable efforts to transfer patients to the site. origin or other suitable location, Miller said.

Radhika Gandhi, a resident of Brampton, Ont., Whose father underwent a transfer between hospitals before his death from COVID-19, said she hoped policymakers would learn from the current capacity crisis before he there will never be another pandemic.

She said her father, Kanaiya, developed symptoms of COVID-19 at the end of December after an outbreak at the factory where he worked. He was admitted to Brampton Civic Hospital, where Gandhi said it was easy to build a relationship with his father’s medical team.

“There was a doctor who spoke my father’s mother tongue,” she said, “and they were able to speak to him in Gujarati before putting him on a ventilator.”

Radhika Gandhi of Brampton, Ont., Said her father, Kanaiya, developed symptoms of COVID-19 at the end of December after an outbreak at the factory where he worked. He was taken to hospital and then transferred to another facility, where he died. (Jared Thomas / CBC)

But to the family’s surprise, and although Kanaiya was based so close to their home, the hospital later announced that it would be moved to another facility an hour’s drive from Newmarket, Ont. After this move, he died on February 4, at the age of 58.

“In the weeks after his transfer he had a lot of secondary infections. It really made me wonder, was it because of this transfer? If he had stayed in Brampton Civic, would would that have happened? ” Gandhi said.

“And there’s no evidence leading to that, saying the transfer did anything. But you can’t help but wonder.”

“ Trauma after trauma ”

Speaking to CBC News at her rural home, a bright red home meant to mimic the apples found in the orchard in front of each fall, McVinnie said she hoped to open a new chapter with Crozier at the property they came from. buy last year. – a complex where their children can visit and where they could receive friends in their golden years.

Now he feels empty without his husband, although McVinnie was able to drive an hour each way to get to her husband’s hospital to visit him closely every day and monitor his slow recovery. He communicates more, she says, and regains his sense of humor.

McVinnie overlooks the property near Collingwood, Ont., Which she and her husband Crozier bought last fall, before he suffered a stroke. While he doesn’t have COVID-19 himself, McVinnie says, it ended up being “ collateral damage ” in the pandemic. (Evan Mitsui / CBC)

Yet this latest transfer, she said, sounded like “trauma after trauma.” And she knows her family is not alone.

“COVID has its own path which is so destructive. But what is happening where we are is we are moving people who also need medical attention,” McVinnie said.

“And that’s an example in the surgeries being canceled and the old people being sent here and there and everywhere … and, you know, it kind of diminishes their importance.”


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A bicycle repair shop pops up in the Mile End garage, serving the community with speed and a smile https://hermco.net/a-bicycle-repair-shop-pops-up-in-the-mile-end-garage-serving-the-community-with-speed-and-a-smile/ https://hermco.net/a-bicycle-repair-shop-pops-up-in-the-mile-end-garage-serving-the-community-with-speed-and-a-smile/#respond Fri, 14 May 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://hermco.net/a-bicycle-repair-shop-pops-up-in-the-mile-end-garage-serving-the-community-with-speed-and-a-smile/

One Thursday afternoon in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood, a group of young boys from the Hasidic Jewish community eagerly watched Juan Carlos Lorena begin his daily transformation from any garage in their neighborhood to a bicycle repair shop.

The garage is located in a quiet lane between avenue de l’Esplanade and rue Jeanne-Mance.

As Lorena opens her automatic door to reveal the dozens and dozens of bikes inside, he grins broadly at the boys’ impatience for him to take a look. their bikes.

“I am a bit of a friend to these children because they come here every day to talk to me and ask me if I can help with a little problem with their wheel, or their brakes or with a tire that is lacking air. “, he said.

Lorena often offers these small repairs for free. And it keeps the prices it charges for more complex jobs as low as possible.

He calls his boutique Vélo Talachas – talacha be Mexican slang for a makeshift repair job or the place where that repair is done.

WATCH | Vélo Talachas serves the Mile End from a rented garage:

Juan Carlos Lorena moved to Montreal to pursue a career in dance. But, after COVID-19 forced theaters to close, he found a new passion: repairing bikes at his workshop, Velo Talachas, in the Mile End. 1:59

Bicycle ballet repair

Lorena’s goal is to serve her community, which includes artists with limited means as well as large families on a low budget.

His interest in artists and their portfolios comes directly from his own experience. Until the pandemic struck, he made a living as a ballet dancer.

It was ballet that brought Lorena to Montreal four years ago. But when the pandemic put an end to live performances, he decided it was time to change careers.

A six-month government-funded bicycle repair training course was just the opportunity he needed to get a fresh start.

“I needed something that excites me and doesn’t bother me,” he says. “I also wanted to help people and not only do something for myself but also for the society around me.”

The course wasn’t even over until Lorena started offering repairs to customers.

In November, he launched a mobile service in a park near his Hochelaga – Maisonneuve apartment, meeting customers in their backyards or on the street to repair their bikes.

The neighborhood kids gather as Lorena opens the garage for another day of work. (Amanda Klang / CBC)

Then two months ago, as cyclists started to fill the streets again, Lorena opened the Mile End garage after finding the rental space through a Facebook group.

He says his wife was tired of having dozens of half-repaired bikes stacked on their balconies.

Lorena’s clients reach out to him on social media for a date or simply stop by the garage. He will let them know if he can do the repair right away or if he needs them to come back another day.

Since many of the city’s commercial bicycle stores now have waiting lists of several weeks, its low prices and quick turnaround have kept it busy.

Satisfied customers

Pierre Bocage is a retired teacher who lives 10 houses from the garage, rue Jeanne Mance.

“He’s a very nice person, he’s efficient. It doesn’t tell you that your bike needs a lot of repairs like other bike repair shops maybe have, ”he says. “He just fixes what’s wrong and that’s it.”

Lorena takes out Pierre Bocage’s bike after doing some repairs. (Amanda Klang / CBC)

Rodney Handelsman also lives in Mile End, a few blocks from the garage.

“It was difficult to get all of my four young children’s motorcycles repaired,” Handelsman says. “So this is a dream come true.”

“I think I’m in better shape!

Working in the garage every afternoon, Lorena takes care of everything from small repairs to rebuilding an entire bike. It also accepts donations of broken down bikes and gives them a second life, often donating the end result to charities for children or adults who cannot afford theirs.

“When [friends] look at me now, they know i love what i do, “said Lorena.” Working out with bikes all day is tough so even though I don’t dance anymore I think I’m in better shape! “

Lorena is not sure whether to start dancing again, even if the theaters will reopen. But he says his goal was never to open a store when he started the bicycle repair training course.

He wants to continue to focus on the community service side of the business, and perhaps expand it with more mechanics who want to support both cycling and recycling, as he does, and contribute to a a better and greener world.


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