Mayor Sadiq Khan seeks ‘Walking and Cycling Commissioner’ – £58,800 for a three-day week

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Sadiq Khan was today urged to make the new post of walking and cycling commissioner a full-time job.

Campaigners welcomed his wish to prioritise pedestrian safety but said the job – when combined with the contentious cycling portfolio – was too big for a three-day-a-week position.

The news story from today’s Evening Standard is here: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/make-mayors-walking-and-cycling-czar-fulltime-job-sadiq-khan-urged-a3321291.html

See below for the full job description:

The Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner: outline responsibilities and accountabilities

Job Title:                   The Mayor’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner

Max Salary:               Up to £98k (pro rata)

Responsible to:          The Deputy Mayor for Transport

Duration:                   Fixed Term Contract (to May 2020 with possible extension)

Hours:                        Part time – 3 days per week

 

Role Scope

The Mayor’s walking and cycling programme will bring together all the activities undertaken by Transport for London and key partners designed to promote and support healthy, active, non-polluting travel in London.   This post exists to provide strategic advice to the Mayor and TFL on the overall content and direction of the programme and strategic oversight of delivery of the programme. They would work collaboratively with a wide range of partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors and with London’s diverse communities to support delivery of the programme. The post holder will provide a high-profile “ambassadorial”, outreach and stakeholder management role for the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor for Transport and Transport for London on the Mayor’s walking and cycling programme. They would represent the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and TFL to stakeholders, the travelling public and the media on the programme.

Key Accountabilities

 

  • To act as an advocate for walking and cycling in London, raising the profile of walking and cycling as ways of travelling around the city and promoting their heath, environmental, social and economic benefits to all who live and work in and visit the capital.

 

  • Secure the necessary resources to achieve the Mayor’s manifesto commitments related to walking and cycling, monitor progress towards them and report to the Mayoral team as required, including through formal reporting processes.

 

  • Have oversight, under the policy direction of the Deputy Mayor for Transport, of the development of TfL walking and cycling policy and programmes (bringing together the key areas of interest across transport, urban planning and public health) and the progress of the delivery of walking and cycling programmes and their benefits across London.

 

  • Proactively engage with and build relationships and working partnerships at a high level with London’s local authorities, transport providers, community organisations, Public Health England and other public and private organisations that may already be able or have the opportunity to influence the safety and conditions for walking and cycling in London, or promote walking and cycling within the capital.

 

  • Develop and manage relationships and alliances across the GLA Group and with a wide range of external stakeholders with interests in relevant policies and standards, including national, regional and local government, delivery bodies, NGOs, and other key opinion formers to ensure effective representation and delivery of Mayoral priorities.

 

  • Represent London’s interests on walking and cycling at appropriate events, conferences, launches and openings and to the media to raise the profile of walking and cycling in London.

 

  • To identify, and lobby for, further sources of funding for the development and delivery of walking and cycling related activity and programmes within London, including helping to secure third party financial support for relevant elements of these programmes through sponsorship, support in kind or provision of staffing or other resources, and securing the provision of adequate resources within TfL.

 

  • Provide written and oral briefings, advice and reports for the Mayor and the Mayor’s Office, Chief Executive, Directors and others as required. Respond to information requests from the Assembly.

 

  • Promote and enable equality of opportunities, and promote the diverse needs and aspirations of London’s communities.

 

Key interfaces

The Mayor of London

The Deputy Mayor for Transport

The Mayor’s team of Directors and key staff within the Mayor’s Office

The TfL Commissioner

MD TfL Surface Transport

Director of Strategy and Planning, TfL Surface Transport

GLA Transport team

Public Health England and public health staff within TfL and the GLA

Chief Executives and senior elected members of the London Boroughs

Chief Executives/senior managers of relevant voluntary organisations and trade associations

Chief Executives/senior managers of London

Knowledge

 

  • A good understanding of the benefits of walking and cycling and their links to other policy agendas, including public health, the environment, social justice and the wider urban economy.

 

  • A good understanding of the key issues and challenges relating to increasing walking and cycling in London and the relationship between the two forms of travel.

 

  • A good understanding of the mix of policies and programmes needed to support delivery of an increase in walking and cycling, including infrastructure improvements, financial and other instruments and behaviour change programmes

 

  • A good understanding of the practical, political, financial and commercial realities of delivering projects and programmes that support an increase in walking and cycling on a crowded road network and in a politically complex and highly regulated environment.

 

  • A good understanding of and credibility with the key stakeholders involved in the walking and cycling agenda and ability to leverage relationships and interest from across a diverse range of sectors and audiences, including sectors and communities not currently engaged in the walking and cycling debate in London.

 

Skills

 

  • Exceptional influencing, communications, outreach and stakeholder management skills, with the ability to coalesce different constituencies around an agenda and to represent the Mayor and TfL’s vision compellingly in public. Ability to engender maximum trust and confidence of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor through the highest level of personal and professional integrity.

 

  • The ability to network and influence at the highest levels in the public, private and voluntary sectors, including the ability to engage the widest possible range of audiences and interests in the walking and cycling agenda, including from the transport, urban planning, environment, economics and public health sectors.

 

  • Strong strategic skills, with an ability to propose and evaluate strategic options and to lead the policy debate in the areas covered. Well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills and ability to devise creative solutions to complex problems and issues.

 

  • The ability to work in a politically complex and highly regulated operating environment.

 

Experience

 

  • Significant experience of operating in a complex political and regulatory environment together with consultation and negotiation skills in order to seek to change opinion and influence political and other stakeholder

 

  • Significant experience of working with a broad range of stakeholders in the public, private and voluntary sectors on development and/or delivery of policies and programmes relevant to the walking and cycling agenda.

 

  • Experience of public speaking and representing an organisation or issue to a wide range of audiences, including conferences, senior stakeholders and the print and broadcast media

 

  • Experience of generating third party financial or other support for project and programme delivery

Period pain drug offers hope in search for cure for Alzheimer’s disease

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A painkiller similar to iboprufen that is used to treat period pain has given hope of a breakthrough in reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers today revealed that memory problems and brain inflamation in mice were “completely reversed” by giving them mefenamic acid for a month. They now want to see the anti-inflammatory drug, which costs around £1.50 a week and is known in the UK as Ponstan, tested on humans in the hope of finding the first cure for Alzheimer’s.

Dr David Brough, who led the Manchester university team, said: “There is experimental evidence now to strongly suggest that inflammation in the brain makes Alzheimer’s disease worse.

“Our research shows for the first time that mefenamic acid, a simple Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug, can target an important inflammatory pathway called the NLRP3 inflammasome, which damages brain cells. Until now, no drug has been available to target this pathway, so we are very excited by this result.”

About Around 500,000 people in the UK have Alzheimer’s disease, which gets worse over time and destroys their ability to remember, think and make decisions.

Testing the usefulness of drugs already licensed for other conditions is a priority as it could “shortcut” the 15 years needed to develop a dementia disease from scratch.

Dr Doug Brown, director of research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “These promising lab results identify a class of existing drugs that have potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease by blocking a particular part of the immune response.

“However, these drugs are not without side effects and should not be taken for Alzheimer’s disease at this stage – studies in people are needed first.”

The research, funded by the Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer’s Society, is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Axed, on hold: concern after TfL pulls back on road safety schemes

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Cyclists have reacted angrily to a decision to scrap plans to improve safety at a junction on the A10 notorious for high collision rates.

Transport for London has ditched a series of improvements at the Stamford Hill/Clapton Common intersection in Hackney after a majority of respondents to a consultation feared they would increase traffic and congestion.

Highbury Corner proposed pedestrianisation

On hold: Proposed pedestrianisation of one side of Highbury Corner

TfL has also put on hold the part-pedestrianisation of Highbury Corner roundabout in neighbouring Islington after concerns were raised about increased delays to buses.

TfL said collision rates at Stamford Hill last year were the lowest for some time. But its report failed to take account of several serious collisions this year including the death of a pedestrian in a bus crash in March.

Jono Kenyon, co-ordinator of Hackney Cycling Campaign, said: “By cancelling all work TfL are effectively saying it is business as usual at a horrendous collision site.

“For TfL to state that safety has improved when we have continued to see several serious collisions including fatal ones whilst the consultation was open is very disappointing.”

Lawyer Kevin O’Sullivan, of Cycle Legal, who lives nearby, said: “The spate of accidents in the last few years have nearly always had as their victim a vulnerable road user- a cyclist or a pedestrian. This should clearly signpost to TfL that the junction is too dominated by big vehicles and not enough is there to protect the vulnerable.

“With the size of the road at Stamford Hill six lanes wide, if TfL can’t find space for segregated cycling there – as they have done successfully further down the road towards Seven Sisters – then they can’t find space for cycling anywhere.”

TfL said 55-65 per cent of the 730 respondents opposed various parts of its Stamford Hill plan, with 29-40 per cent in favour – though many felt the plans for safer cycling and walking did not go far enough.

There was greater support for changes at Highbury Corner, where the western side of the roundabout would be closed to link it to the roundabout’s central island.

Of the 2,823 responses, 71 per cent thought the changes would improve conditions for pedestrians, 67 per cent thought they would improve conditions for cyclists and 59 per cent thought they would improve conditions for Tube and Rail users. However about a third feared the impact on bus routes and 28 per cent said replacing the gyratory with two-way route would have a negative impact on traffic.

TfL and Islington council said they would consider all responses to the proposals before deciding whether to proceed.

Alan Bristow, Director of Road Space Management at TfL, said: “We’re pleased that so many people have fed back on our proposals to improve Highbury Corner. We are now carefully reviewing all the issues raised to ensure that any proposed improvements work for everyone and can create a better environment for all those who live in, work in or visit the area.”

 Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It is encouraging that the majority agree that these ambitious plans will improve Highbury Corner, which is badly congested, difficult for pedestrians and cyclists, and leaves green space stranded on a traffic island.

 “The next step is to carefully consider all the responses and look at how best to minimise the effect of changes to bus routes, before publishing our response, which will outline a way forward. If proposals do go ahead, we will work with TfL to minimise the gap between the end of the current bridge work at Highbury Corner and the start of improvement work.”

‘This isn’t about persecuting the driver. It’s about prosecutors taking cycling deaths seriously’

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Michael Mason

Michael Mason: died 19 days after being hit cycling in Regent Street

A motorist has been summoned to appear in court charged with causing the death of a cyclist after a crowdfunding appeal enabled a rare private prosecution to be brought.

Gail Purcell, 58, is due to appear at Westminster magistrates’ court on September 6 to face charges of causing the death by careless driving of stand-in teacher Michael Mason, 70, in Regent Street in February 2014.

Mr Mason’s daughter, Anna Tatton-Brown, said today: “It’s something we [as a family] have been pushing for and are keen to have. This isn’t about a persecution of Gail Purcell. This is about prosecutors taking Mick’s death – and cycling deaths – seriously.

“It’s sad we’ve had to rely on charity and public support to do what the police and criminal justice system should have done anyway.”

The legal challenge by the Cyclists’ Defence Fund follows anger from Mr Mason’s family and road safety campaigners at the decision of the Metropolitan police not to prosecute.

It was made possible after more than £60,000 was raised from in excess of 1,500 donations to cover legal fees. It is believed to be the first such private prosecution brought after a cyclist’s death.

Ms Purcell told an inquest in December 2014 that she was driving a Nissan Juke car north on Regent Street, near the BBC, when she failed to see Mr Mason cycling in front of her. She received the court summons on Saturday at her home in St Albans.

The prosecution will enable evidence not considered at an inquest to be heard by the magistrate.

Duncan Dollimore, spokesman for the Cyclists’ Defence Fund, a subsidiary of the Cycling UK charity, said: “This is an important step towards what we hope will be justice for Mick Mason’s family. They have suffered not just the tragic death of a family pillar, but also been woefully let down by the police and legal system at the time they needed it most.

“The Cyclists’ Defence Fund wants to thank everyone who has generously donated. Without their help this private prosecution and the Mason family’s ongoing struggle for justice wouldn’t have been possible.”

Mr Mason, who was providing teaching cover at Grey Coat Hospital girls’ school in Westminster, suffered “severe traumatic brain injury” after being hit from behind at about 6.25pm on on February 25, 2014, as he cycled home from visiting the Apple shop.

His life-support machine was switched off at St Mary’s hospital 19 days later when doctors told his family that the prospect of a recovery was “extremely remote”.

Deputy coroner Dr William Dolman ruled that Mr Mason had died as the result of an “accident”. Under pressure from Mr Mason’s family and media coverage, the Met reviewed its decision not to pass the case to the Crown Prosecution Service but determined it had been correct not to seek a prosecution.

* https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/justiceformichael

*Note: Ms Purcell’s first name has previously been reported as Gale, as this is how it was listed by Westminster coroner’s court. It is now given as Gail as this corresponds with the speling in her electoral roll entry.

London cyclist death toll rises after police confirm man died in hospital 11 days after car crash

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A cyclist died in hospital 11 days after being critically injured in collision with a car, it can be revealed today.

John Still, 67, from Lambeth, is the fifth person killed cycling in London this year. He died on April 30 – the first fatality of the year – but his death was only confirmed last week by the Metropolitan police after an inquiry from the Evening Standard.

No further details of Mr Still were available and his family asked not be contacted by the media, a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

Air ambulance Merton

The crash happened about 5pm on April 19 in Madeira Road, near Mitcham Common. The driver of the blue Peugeot 307 car stopped at the scene.

Mr Still was taken to hospital after emergency treatment from London Ambulance Service paramedics and a doctor from London’s Air Ambulance, which landed nearby.

He is believed to have been taken to the major trauma centre at St George’s hospital, in Tooting. Police continue to appeal for witnesses to come forward to assist with the investigation.

Mr Still is the second cyclist this year to die in a car crash. The other was Christopher Holt. The other fatalities have involved a van (Frank Cubis), a HGV (Magda Tadaj) and a bus (Dan Stephenson).

 

Boris bikes help Wandsworth to deliver country’s biggest increase in cycling

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An expansion of the Boris bikes scheme was today credited with helping a south London borough record the biggest increase in cycling in the country.

Wandsworth saw the proportion of residents cycling increase from 18 per cent to 31 per cent, placing it second only to Richmond in London (33 per cent) and in fifth place nationally, behind Cambridge (58 per cent), Oxford (43 per cent) and York (34 per cent).

The hire bikes were introduced in Wandsworth in December 2013 as part of an expansion of Boris Johnson’s scheme to west and south west London. Last month they were used 104,456 times in the borough.

Two part-segregated cycle superhighways introduced by the former mayor – CS7 between Merton and the City, and CS8 linking Wandsworth and Westminster – also pass through the borough.

The Department for Transport figures, which looked at the number of people cycling at least once a month in the 12-month period to last October, found cycling rates in Wandsworth were more than double the national average of 14.7 per cent.

Jonathan Cook, Wandsworth council’s transport spokesman, said: “These figures are very encouraging and seem to tally with the latest census data and Transport for London travel surveys which suggest more and more Wandsworth residents are embracing pedal power.

“Major initiatives like extending the cycle hire scheme into our borough and upgrading our cycle route network have made a real difference.”

TfL has no plans for another major expansion of the scheme, which earlier this year was extended to the Olympic Park. However councils are able to apply for extra docking stations within 200-500 metres of an existing station.

Boris bike olympic stadium

There are 62 stations in Wandsworth, with the council keen to work with new mayor Sadiq Khan and developers to deliver more on the Nine Elms regeneration area in Battersea.

Mr Cook said: “We are about to start work on a borough-wide 20mph zone and are working with TfL on plans for cycling improvements at Tooting Broadway.

“Encouraging Londoners to embrace cycling is key to freeing up space on our overcrowded trains, Tubes and buses, as well as reducing traffic and tackling air pollution. Wandsworth Council will continue to play its part and as a city we have to be bold and explore every opportunity to increase cycling and walking in the years ahead.”

The DfT figures, based on Sport England’s annual phone survey, also revealed that Croydon saw the 10th biggest increase in the country, from 5.9 per cent to 12.8 per cent.

Charity for blind people remains concerned at cycle superhighway route despite reassurances from Mayor

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SADIQ Khan has reassured a charity for blind people that building a cycle superhighway beside its headquarters will not put its members at greater risk.

The Mayor has written to the Lesley-Anne Alexander, chief executive of the Royal National Institute of the Blind, after concerns were raised about Judd Street being used as part of the route for the extension of the North-South superhighway to King’s Cross.

However the RNIB remains concerned at the possibility of an increase in collisions between pedestrians and cyclists and is still arguing for the route to be diverted away from Judd Street.

Transport for London initially proposed replacing the traffic lights and pelican crossing near the RNIB offices with a large zebra crossing.

See here for my story from April when concerns were first raised: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/cyclists-hitting-staff-who-work-at-blind-peoples-group-london-hq-a3226566.html

But after 170 people raised the issue in a TfL consultation, Mr Khan decided that the signal-controlled crossing “will not be changed”. Concerns had also been raised by former Home Secretary David Blunkett.

A total of 70 per cent of more than 1,300 respondents backed the wider extension of the CS6 segregated bike route through Bloomsbury. It currently runs between Elephant and Castle and Farringdon.

TfL will announce in the Autumn how it plans to proceed. Mr Khan has not given the official go-ahead but said the superhighway would make a “big difference”.

He said: “It will provide thousands more Londoners with an easier and safer cycling route in central London. Of course, there are lessons to be learned from how previous routes were delivered, including reducing the impact of construction on all road users.

“I have therefore asked TfL to look very carefully at issues raised by the public to make sure they are properly considered during the process.”

Richard Holmes, regional campaigns officer for RNIB, said: “While Transport for London acknowledge changing the pelican crossing would be foolish, it has not addressed RNIB’s concerns about how the dramatic increase of cycling on Judd Street will impact upon blind and sighted pedestrians.

“We are concerned about the plans to run the cycle superhighway along Judd Street and think other alternative routes need to explored fully. We continue to lobby and campaign for the superhighway to go another way to make it safer for blind and partially sighted people using Judd Street.”

Junior doctors win extra time to raise funds to continue High Court bid to block Jeremy Hunt’s imposition of new contracts


2pm update: the High Court has granted an extension to allow Justice for Health campaigners to raise £130,000 to allow their judicial review claim against imposition of the junior doctor contracts to proceed. 

They have until mid-August to raise the sum – reduced from the £150,000 sought by the Department of Health. Mr Justice Green said there were matters of public interest that deserved to be considered by the court. 

More than £60,000 has already been pledged (7pm update: £90,000) since an emergency appeal was launched last night. To donate, click here: https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/nhs/

It is unclear when a full hearing will take place – and whether this could delay the start of phased imposition of the new contracts from October 1. It is hoped that time for a three-day hearing can be found in September. 

Second update: the case was raised in Parliament today by the newly-elected Labour MP for Tooting and former junior doctor Dr Rosena Allin-Khan: 

 Initial report from this morning: Junior doctors were today fearing defeat in a High Court bid to block Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt from imposing new contracts to create a so-called “seven-day NHS”. 

They were “devastated” after an 11th-hour manoeuvre from the Department of Health meant they had to raise an extra £150,000 to cover court costs in the event of their defeat.

The Justice for Health group of five junior medics had already raised more than £180,000 from crowdfunding to bring judicial review proceedings, challenging the alleged “illegal” imposition of the “unsafe” changes to their working hours.


The wider dispute has seen junior doctors hold the first all-out strike in NHS history. Earlier this month, in a bid to end the deadlock after three years of negotiations with the British Medical Association, Mr Hunt said he would introduce the new working arrangements on a phased basis from October.

The junior doctors said: “We were devastated to hear just 24 hours before our case management hearing, that the Secretary of State has now demanded Justice For Health raise a total of £150,000 as security for costs in order to proceed with our case.  

“This is a staggering amount of money and we feel it is an underhand tactic to silence junior doctors and prevent us from raising our legitimate concerns in holding Mr Hunt to account.”

About £40,000 had been raised overnight but the case was not expected to receive permission to proceed to a full hearing when it opened this morning. 

Lead campaigner Dr Ben White said there remained a “mood of defiance” among the country’s 53,000 junior doctors. He told the Standard: “This is not about increasing doctors’ pay. It’s about putting on the right number of staff and having the right number of hospital beds.

“The Department of Health has improved things slightly, from a terrible contract to a not very good contract. But they are not being honest with the public about the fact that the NHS is stretched already and we cannot stretch it any further.”

A separate application from the BMA, challenging the Government’s failure to carry out an equalities review of the proposed changes, was also due to be dropped.

A&E crisis hospital: Dead patient lay undiscovered for up to 4.5 hours, another died on day of staff shortages

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One patient lay dead for up to four-and-a-half hours before being discovered while another died unexpectedly because of staff shortages at one of London’s busiest A&Es.

A report into the crisis-hit North Middlesex hospital today revealed further details about failures in care that has resulted in its urgent and emergency services being declared “inadequate”.

The hospital, in Edmonton, revealed chief executive Julie Lowe was “on leave”. It is understood she will not be returning to her £160,000-a-year post.

The Care Quality Commission, whose inspectors returned to North Middlesex in May and June after concerns were sparked about a number of serious incidents, was told that an internal investigation had found that the failure of doctors to undertake hourly rounds “meant that a patient had lain dead for up to four-and-a-half hours before being found”.

In another case, an investigation into an unexpected death found that the A&E department was “two to three nurses and one middle grade doctor short on the day in question”.

Today’s report makes clear that the December 2013 closure of the A&E department at Chase Farm hospital, Enfield, had a “significant impact on the demand for services at North Middlesex”, with about 500 A&E attendances a day.

It said there were “excessive” delays in patients seeing a doctor, other departments were “not supportive” of emergency staff and there was an “overbearing” trust management.

The CQC said the hospital had “turned a corner” since a visit in April but warned further improvements were needed by August 26. Another inspection will take place in September.

North Middlesex medical director Dr Cathy Cale said: “We are extremely sorry for the current problems in A&E and for the long waiting times for some patients. We are committed to getting back to the standards that we and our patients expect.”
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Psoriasis campaigner’s anger at being questioned about her skin condition before being allowed to board easyJet flight

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Holly Dillon 3

A health campaigner who suffers from a chronic skin condition today told of her anger after being questioned before being allowed to board an easyJet flight.

Holly Dillon, 26, from Peckham, was returning from a short break in Faro last night when the check-in attendant raised “health and safety concerns” before letting her onto the Luton airport-bound flight.

Miss Dillon, who launched the #GetYourSkinOut online campaign to “empower” other sufferers of the non-infectious condition and challenge misconceptions, had gone to Portugal to enable the sun’s rays help to reduce her psoriasis.

The assistant film director told the Standard: “I’ve just been stopped in Portugal checking in to the easyJet flight from Faro back to London before boarding the plane. The boarding desk clerk just stopped and indirectly asked my friend, not me, whether I had a problem with my face or skin.

“Wearing no make-up coming back from holiday – the one thing that helps my skin – I felt great, and my psoriasis has completely gone down, and he actually stopped me.

“I said: ‘Excuse me, you should be asking me directly if you think there is something wrong.’ He said it’s a health and safety procedure. It’s yet another example of the lack of awareness of psoriasis and the overall appalling easyJet service. It was completely unacceptable, rude and unprofessional.”

Jon Bernthal and Holly Dilon

Ms Dillon, who has worked on films with Brad Pitt and Jon Bernthal (above), gathered almost 1,500 Instagram followers in a matter of months after launching #GetYourSkinOut.

She enlisted professional photographer Lewis Khan to take pictures as she underwent PUVA treatment at Chelsea and Westminster hospital, where she bathes in lotion before undergoing light therapy three times a week during flare-ups.

Holly Dillon 1

She said: “I did that for two reasons: I wanted to show the effect the treatment was having on psoriasis, and to show psoriasis in a positive light. We got a series of photographs that show it as an art form, rather than images showing it as red and itchy, even though it is red and itchy.”

Psoriasis affects about 1.8 million people in the UK, and most often develops in adults under 35. It can massively affect quality of life and has been linked to 300 suicides a year. Sufferers are at increased risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease and arthritis.

Psoriasis is caused when skin cells regenerate too quickly, probably due to a problem with the immune system. Celebrity sufferers include Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian.

Holly Dillon 2

Ms Dillon has worked on Les Miserables and alongside Pitt on Fury and Bernthal on Fast & Furious 6. She had her first flare-up at 14 and was diagnosed with guttate psoriasis, which causes small sores to develop all over her body, four years later.

Her latest flare-up was sparked by a bout of tonsilitis. The condition can make holding down a job difficult due to the debilitating nature of the attacks and the time-off required for treatment. “In the last 18 months I have had treatment for six months of that,” she said.

Her campaign has sparked a flood of responses from others with psoriasis. “The thing with psoriasis is because it doesn’t have a death sentence at the end, it’s disregarded by the public,” she said. “But it is chronic. It has a huge impact on people’s lives, on their wellbeing and happiness.

“There are plenty of clinical articles online but I wanted to speak to someone who wasn’t a healthcare professional, to rant, cry and laugh. It’s about giving a platform and a voice to everyone with psoriasis. Get Your Skin Out isn’t just about psoriasis, it’s about being proud of who you are and about body image as a whole.”

Dr Anthony Bewley, consultant dermatologist at Whipps Cross Hospital and The Royal London Hospital, said: “The Get Your Skin Out campaign is brilliant because it is so positive and affirmative about living with a chronic skin condition like psoriasis.

“All too often people feel ashamed and disempowered when living with skin disease, but Holly’s message is: get in control of your skin, get advice about how to get it better, get your skin out and shine. It’s a great message and long overdue.”

An easyJet spokesman said: “easyJet is sorry to hear of Ms Dillon’s experience whilst boarding flight EZY2020 from Faro to Luton on Sunday 19 June 2016.

“As soon as we were made aware this morning, we started an investigation. All of our staff are carefully selected and undergo training to maintain our high level of customer care which may not have been upheld in this occasion. We will be addressing this with the ground staff member involved as we always have high standards to maintain. Our customer team are contacting Ms Dillon to discuss this with her directly.”

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