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Asbestos Patient and Carers Support Forum 2017: Insights Into Asbestos in Manchester Schools

By Principal Lawyer, National Head of Industrial Disease

I was delighted to attend the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group Patient & Carers Support Forum, which was specifically focussed on the subject of asbestos in schools.

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Along with Slater and Gordon paralegal, Natalie Lamb, we received eye-opening talks from two key speakers. The first was Lucie Stephens, who lost her mum to mesothelioma in June 2016 and believes that her mum was exposed to asbestos in the schools that she taught in. Since her mum’s diagnosis and her subsequent death, Lucie has educated herself in the conditions which can develop as a result of asbestos exposure and campaigned tirelessly to try and make a difference.

Lucie reported some quite harrowing statistics. 85 per cent of UK schools still have asbestos in them. In 22 per cent of those schools, the asbestos is recognised as being a “serious cause for concern” but, nonetheless, nothing is being done about it.

Much closer to those of us in Manchester was the fact that at least 569 Greater Manchester schools still contain asbestos.

Much closer to those of us in Manchester was the fact that at least 569 Greater Manchester schools still contain asbestos.

The second speaker was the MP for Leigh and one of the current Mayor of Manchester candidates, Andy Burnham. Andy expressed his unconditional (does he mean unconditional?) support for the work of Mesothelioma UK and also of the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group. He expressed his gratitude for the issues that Lucie had raised and admitted his ignorance to these issues up until now. He pledged his allegiance to the cause.

 

Lucie is campaigning for the Government to introduce a policy for the phased removal of all asbestos from schools to be completed by 2028, starting with the most dangerous asbestos. MPs recommended this in 2012 but no action has been taken.

You can support this cause by signing the petition here.

 

Madelene Holdsworth is the national head of industrial disease at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have a specialist team of asbestos compensation solicitors that deal with asbestos claims on a no win no fee basis. For a free consultation call 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.

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