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HAPPY 2012! Love and best wishes from Judy Viitanen and PRimage

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•☆☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

In 2012….I hope the kindness you’ve given to others returns many times to you.
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you’re going,
And the insight to know when you’re going too far.
May hope, love, and warmth be in your heart’s possessing,
And may the New Year bring you and yours many blessings.
Happy New Year!

Judy Viitanen

Taking politics to the people …. PRimage loves this!

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011


The ‘joys’ of political canvessing! …..

This Tory pledge is a good move, says PRimage

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

I am sure that a lot of people will be pleased at the news that the Conservatives have pledged to stop travellers gaining planning permission for illegal permanent camps.  During my 5 years as a District Councillor in St Albans the area was plagued with this problem. Often green belt sites were plundered by travellers – which caused a lot of hassle for local residents and the community generally.  The mess, rubbish and damage that these illegal ‘gypsy sites’ caused was unbelievable!


Pharmacy2U lobby on internet pharmacy logo guidelines & verification

Friday, November 5th, 2010

PRimage client, Pharmacy2U, is the UK’s leading dedicated internet and mail order pharmacy operation, and advocates that internet pharmacy, properly and professionally regulated and strictly monitored, provides a valuable service and additional choice for consumers. Since its launch in 1999, the company’s robust checks and balances business processes and powerful audit systems have been a benchmark example of best practice in e-pharmacy.

Pharmacy2U Managing Director, Daniel Lee, says that during the past year he has noted,  with increasing concern, that the current internet pharmacy logo is being used by pharmacies which do not adhere to the current Code of Ethics and the proposed GPhC Council Standards for pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists of retail pharmacy business services. This is a matter of great professional and commercial concern for Pharmacy2U, and to highlight the problem and validate their concerns, the company have conducted an audit and review of the websites of 100 online pharmacies using the Internet Pharmacy Logo.

The audit research findings are very disturbing and reinforce this growing problem – revealing that a number of pharmacies displaying the internet pharmacy logo unfortunately have not fulfilled even the simplest requirements of the standard: such as clearly displaying the name of the owner of the business, or providing information on how to confirm the registration status of the pharmacy or pharmacist.

Of the 100 pharmacies reviewed in the audit sample:
•    23% were not conforming
•    14% were not showing the name of the business
•    16% did not state the superintendent pharmacist
•    16% were not displaying information on how to confirm status
•    16% were not displaying complaints information
•    13% were contravening NHS brand guidelines

Mr Lee comments: “We believe strongly that the verification process for the internet pharmacy logo needs to be robustly monitored and adhered to.  It is vital that the new GPhC, DH, policy makers and other stakeholders recognise this – and Pharmacy2U are committed to campaigning to achieve this. The internet pharmacy logo could be a fantastic tool to enable consumers to find a trusted source of internet pharmacy – but its success and validity can only be based on a tightly controlled process for the distribution of the logo and the monitoring of its use”

“Over the past decade internet and mail order pharmacy has been positively recognised within many Department of Health policy documents – and has been acknowledged as fulfilling the NHS ethos of meeting the needs of patients, with ease of access, convenience and choice. Our research findings show that the credibility and integrity of Internet pharmacy is being put at risk – which is damaging for consumers and for the confidence that the public and opinion holders have in online pharmacy.”

Pharmacy2U recommend that the following five requirements are needed to increase the robustness of the verification process for the internet pharmacy logo, ensuring:
•    Patients privacy is protected
•    Adherence to a recognized and agreed standard of practice
•    Conformation to other standards such as Trading standards, Distance Selling Directives, ISO90071, etc
•    On site inspection mandatory with appropriate costs charged to the registering pharmacy
•    Possibility of a new third party organisation to ensure that applicants meet the initial and ongoing requirements for registration
These recommendations will be part of the Pharmacy2U campaigning message to the GPhC and other key opinion formers and policy makers.

Pharmacy2U is further worried about the many illegal internet pharmacies operating in the UK. Mr Lee has zero tolerance of illegal and non conforming internet pharmacies – and the company continually report these rogue websites to the MHRA. Unfortunately, according to Mr Lee, there is little the MRHA can do for rogue websites operating outside of the UK.

The company is not alone in their concerns on this issue. In September Google announced its intention to file lawsuits against online rogue pharmacies that it believes have deliberately broken its advertising rules.

New Government’s ambitious legislative programme – PRimage comment

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

We’ve just finished listening to the Queen’s Speech. _45798937_007343060-11

Our view: the coalition is taking on an ambitious and challenging political programme! But we wish them success. David Cameron’s Con-Lib government aims to enact 22 separate bills over an 18-month period, as it attempts to build on the early goodwill towards the coalition. Nick Clegg will preside over a range of political reforms, including fixed-term parliaments and a bill to hold a referendum on changing the Westminster voting system to the so-called “alternative vote”.

Our interest as a healthcare communications agency means that we were looking for steers on the NHS.  So, particularly important for health was that the voice of patients and the role of doctors in decision-making will be strengthened, with the aim of improving public health as well as reducing health inequalities. A Health Bill is expected to begin its legislative process in 2011.  So there are sure to be a number of consultations to respond to – and plenty of opportunities for engagement in the coming months as the content of the Bill is decided. PRimage is looking forward to this – and to factor in our client’s interests and viewpoints.

MD, Judy Viitanen, is pleased that the overall thrust of the programme indicates that both the Tories and LibDems share a common interest in devolving power over public services to local people. We also give a ‘thumbs up’ for the news that the legislative programme include plans to create an Office of Budget Responsibility to produce independent economic forecasts and a shake-up of City regulation, giving the Bank of England greater powers in maintaining economic stability.

As a specialist healthcare public affairs and PR consultant, Judy is reassured that the Treasury has confirmed that the Department of Health’s overall spending will not be reduced in the current financial year. 7706136The Chancellor has announced £6.2bn would be saved from government spending during 2010-11, but none would come from the DoH. Health will have to make additional efficiency savings but they will be reinvested within the department.

For sure there will be tough and difficult times ahead; but the PM and deputy PM are right to focus on reducing the huge deficit as the most crucial challenge. 57434645771821We will be seeing an interesting 18-months of politics ahead ……..

Beat bullying! Saving Lives Campaign – PRimage comment

Friday, May 21st, 2010

This terrible news story today – ‘Schoolboy, 15, hangs himself after ‘being plagued by bullies’ http://bit.ly/dxZhDg – highlights the urgent need for the new coalition government to take action and deal with the issue of bullying, especially in schools.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6dbJk4i0VY – Saving lives campaigning documentary is lobbying for affirmations in schools, to help deal with bullying and racism!

To find out more and to lend your support to this campaign, please contact: saving_lives@hotmail.co.uk or judy@primage.org


Coalition’s poll ratings and appointment of Field as ‘poverty tsar’ – PRimage comment

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

PRimage believes that David Cameron has made an excellent decision in appointing the Labour MP Frank Field as the Government’s ‘poverty tsar’. Cameron is clearly putting the fight against deprivation at the heart of his agenda. As a compassionate Conservative, Judy Viitanen thinks this is exactly the right approach, and is very relieved to hear that Mr Field has been asked to lead a major review into levels of poverty across Britain. He is also expected to study how poverty should be measured in the future.frank-field

Field is a long-time champion of welfare reform, and an MP that Judy really admires!

PRimage is also pleased to see that a new ICM opinion poll published this morning shows a high level of public support for Mr Cameron’s coalition administration – and for its key policies on tax and political reform. Almost two-thirds of voters (64 per cent) thought that the Lib-Con coalition was the right way forward for Britain after the general election resulted in a hung parliament. It was backed by 87 per cent of those who voted Tory this month and 77 per cent of Lib Dem voters.

Overall, the Conservatives have gained one point since the election and are supported by 38 per cent of the public. The Lib Dems, by contrast, have slipped significantly, down three points to 21 per cent. Labour have gained three points to 33 per cent.

Let’s hope that this “trust” between the Tories and the Lib Dems and the electorate continues!5743464 However, PRimage hopes that Cameron will keep to his Conservative pledges on defence, immigration and Europe. Watch this space.

Conservative Manifesto – PRimage comment

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Judy Viitanen has been reviewing the Tories election manifesto – ‘Invitation to Join the Government of Britain’ – and is liking what she reads!3969854

As a specialist healthcare consultancy, PRimage is interested in the plans to strengthen the power of GPs as patients’ expert guides through the health system by putting them in charge of commissioning local health services and giving them power to hold patients’ budgets. It’s encouraging to learn that the Party will ensure that funding decisions are made on the basis of need, and commissioning decisions according to evidence-based quality standards, by creating an independent NHS board to allocate resources and provide commissioning guidelines.

We also think that it’s great that the Conservatives recognise the input of the UK’s millions of carers, who look after relatives. elderly-31Their plans will support carers, and those they look after, by providing direct payments to help with care needs and by improving access to respite care.

The Tories five main headline commitments for health:

1. Give patients more choice

Putting patients in charge of making decisions about their care, including control of their health records; spreading the use of the NHS tariff, so funding follows patients’ choices; and, making sure good performance is rewarded by implementing a payment by results system.

2. Trust healthcare professionals

The Conservatives intend to scrap the politically-motivated targets that have no clinical justification. They will set NHS providers free to innovate by ensuring that they become autonomous Foundation Trusts. They will cut the cost of NHS administration by a third and transfer resources to support doctors and nurses on the frontline.

3. Increase access to vital drugs and services

They will stop the forced closure of A&E and maternity wards, so that people have better access to local services, and give mothers a real choice over where to have their baby, with NHS funding following their decisions. We will create local ‘maternity networks’ to ensure that mothers can safely access the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

4. Take control of your care

They will devolve control over health budgets to the lowest possible level, “For people with a chronic illness or a long-term condition, we will provide access to a single budget that combines their health and social care funding, which they can tailor to their own needs.” They will also support carers, and those they look after, by providing direct payments to help with care needs and by improving access to respite care

5. A healthier nation

The Department of Health will become a Department for Public Health so that the promotion of good health and prevention of illness get the attention they need. They will also:

·        Introduce a health premium – weighting public health funding towards the poorest areas with the worst health outcomes;

·        Enable welfare-to-work providers and employers to purchase services from

·        Mental Health Trusts; and,

·        Increase access to effective ‘talking’ therapies.


Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

electionsNow that the Prime Minister has announced this morning that the General Election will be held on Thursday 6 May it’s important that the electorate concentrates on the key issues facing this country – and evaluates which of the political parties has the right vision. For Judy and the PRimage team the choice is David Cameron and the Conservatives.cameron-3

www.rockthevote.com – PRimage supports this campaign to get young people motivated to vote.

Judy Viitanen on Twitter@JVPRimage

Friday, March 19th, 2010