Musculoskeletal care and occupational health: only for more ‘enlightened’ employers?

first_img The good news is musculoskeletal care for working-age people is widely considered a priority area by clinical commissioning groups, a government report has argued. The bad news for occupational health, however, is its conclusions that employers often try to do the bare legal minimum while OH provision itself is often fragmented and bedevilled by shortages of specialists. Nic Paton reports.It may not have the snappiest title in the world, but the government’s report Understanding the provision of occupational health and work-related musculoskeletal services certainly does what it says on the tin.The 51,000-word document published in May by the Employers, Health and Inclusive Employment Directorate (where the government’s Work and Health Unit is now located) sets out to evaluate the current occupational health market and, within this, the provision of services related to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.While a standalone research document in its own right, it will undoubtedly feed into the work the government is doing ahead of the publication of its workplace health Green Paper, which in turn will set out the government’s response to last year’s consultation Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss.For occupational health professionals, it also provides valuable insights into the state of, and appetite for, OH within the UK, especially how OH is commissioned, resourced and accessed, and the split (and some of the tensions) between NHS and private provision.The research methodology comprised five main components. These were:a series of in-depth interviews with eight experts in the fields of OH and/or MSK, and a literature review;a semi-structured telephone survey of 103 OH providers;a further semi-structured telephone survey of 156 private and NHS providers that sell OH services commercially;a semi-structured telephone and online survey of 111 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs); and15 in-depth qualitative case studies with OH providers and employers that had used their services.‘Fragmented provision’ a legacy of 1948Starting at the beginning, the report made the case that OH’s weaknesses go all the way back to the establishment of the NHS in 1948, and the decision at that time to leave OH outside the new national service. The NHS’s stance ever since, it argued, had “contributed to employment outcomes being largely overlooked in studies of health interventions and a lack of leadership in OH, resulting in fragmented OH provision.”Since then, OH provision had gradually shifted from being primarily an in-house function to an outsourced model, mainly because of employers seeking to reduce costs. At the same time, outsourced private providers had generally been less committed to investing in the training of OH professionals, “and as a result the pool of UK OH expertise is perceived to be dwindling”, it warned.The result was “uneven access to OH and work-related MSK services, a missing link between treating health problems and supporting individuals to work and OH not having been prioritised sufficiently by employers”. A bespoke OH and MSK offer fully-tailored to the employer’s workforce was nowadays “comparatively rare”, the report concluded.Perhaps unsurprisingly, employers were the main commissioners of OH services: almost all providers (97%) had been commissioned by employers, it found. Around half (54%) of OH providers had also been commissioned by individuals, often self-employed individuals or those looking for work seeking mandatory medicals.Nearly all OH providers (96%) said their support interacted with NHS provision, most commonly through employees going to their GP or being referred for specialist treatment. Seven out of ten (69%) OH providers captured data on the outcomes achieved through their support in all or most cases, with 56% doing so in all or nearly all cases.Staff shortages, training and developmentVirtually all OH providers (99%), again, did use some form of training, development or accreditation system, and the majority of these (96%) felt these were effective in ensuring quality of service. Six in ten OH providers (63%) did some form of marketing, mostly directed at employers (97%). Those who did no marketing (37%) did so because they felt they received enough business without it.Most private OH providers, the report concluded, had only a small number of employees (17% were sole traders and 43% had just one to nine employees). The majority (82%) subcontracted work to additional members of staff on a regular ongoing basis.On average, two-thirds (64%) of staff employed or subcontracted by private OH providers were medical professionals (such as doctors or nurses). The most commonly employed role was registered nurses with a SCPHN OH qualification, followed by occupational health physicians (OHP). Eight out of ten private providers (78%) felt they had the right balance of medical and non-medical staff.Three-quarters (76%) of private and NHS OH providers conceded they did have access to funding for staff training. Among these, 61% partly or wholly funded courses. A third of (35%) funded training posts.More worrying, just under half (44%) of private OH providers conceded they had roles they were unable to fill, most commonly OH nurse or physician roles, primarily because of a decrease in medical professionals with OH experience in recent years. In particular, registered nurses with a SCPHN OH qualification (51%), nurses with other OH qualifications (41%) and occupational health physicians (37%) were seen as the most difficult roles to recruit for.Commissioning of MSK servicesWhen it came to clinical commissioning group (CCG) commissioning of musculoskeletal services, nearly all commissioned MSK physiotherapy (99%), podiatry (97%), injection therapy (96%), joint replacement (95%) and specialist pain clinics (91%).MSK physiotherapy was the most commonly used community-based MSK service among working-age people, with 88% of CCGs reporting it in their top three. Specialist pain clinics were the most commonly used hospital-based MSK service among working-age people (71%).One positive finding was that MSK care for working-age people was widely considered a priority area by MSK leads in CCGs, with a quarter (23%) viewing it as “a very high” priority and half (50%) as a “high” priority.Tailoring of MSK services to the health needs of the working-age population was widespread among CCGs, with 91% tailoring “to at least some extent”, and 70% “mostly” or “completely”.Working-age patients were most commonly referred via their GP to both community- and hospital-based MSK services. Self-referral was also relatively common, particularly for community-based MSK physiotherapy.The vast majority of CCGs (93%) reported at least some deliberate commissioning of MSK services to create a framework of multidisciplinary support for patients. However, these multidisciplinary services were not necessarily focused on employment needs or vocational rehabilitation, it was conceded.Nevertheless, four-fifths (79%) of CCG MSK leads agreed their MSK services met the needs of local working-age people, although only 14% “strongly agreed”. This, the report argued, suggested there was “some scope for improvement”.Is OH only for ‘enlightened employers’?Given all this, what then does the report conclude? First, on commissioning, from the researchers’ conversations with the experts respondents the – arguably somewhat cynical – consensus was that health and safety legislation had, more often than not, “seeded the idea among employers that, as long as they are meeting their legal obligations, they don’t need to do anything else about employee wellbeing”.The commissioning of more holistic OH provision had therefore become the province “only of more ‘enlightened’ employers”, they concluded.Evidence from the polling of OH providers surveyed also largely supported this, the researchers argued. “They believed that employers and individuals are most commonly motivated to seek OH support by obligation, or reacting to issues affecting the business, rather than aspiration,” the report said, adding that improvements to productivity, health and wellbeing often “were secondary motivations”.The majority of providers felt their service complemented NHS treatment or acted as a valuable follow-up to fit note advice. However, some did note resistance or delays when contacting GPs as, in their experience, “GPs did not consider OH a priority”.Concerns about future capacity of OHPerhaps the most concerning discussion, however, was around the OH workforce and, from that, the potential capacity of the profession to meet both current and future demand.Given that, as already highlighted, most OH providers are small-scale businesses with relatively few members of staff and reliant on subcontracting out work, it is clear the sector’s capacity to scale up may be limited.Yet, curiously, only a fifth of the providers polled said they were delivering services at full capacity. “In summary, demand did not appear to be exceeding supply, however of the available OH market capacity, 89% had been taken up over the previous 12 months,” the report concluded.And then, as previously reported in Occupational Health & Wellbeing, there were real fears for the future of OH as the specialist expert at the workplace health table.The report concluded: “Findings suggest that a potential large threat to the future of OH provision is the reduction of qualified OH physicians and nurses in recent years, which has led to unfilled roles for over two-fifths of OH providers.”Providers were most likely to have vacancies in the most specialised roles, and these were also the hardest to fill, particularly nurses with an OH specialism. On top of this, there was a gap between the number of fully-funded training posts available and the number filled.Feedback from the expert interviews concluded that, historically, major employers had provided a key source of specialist OH doctors, by recruiting GPs and training them to meet their business’s needs. But the past two decades of employer cost-cutting and outsourcing had hollowed out this model, leading to the warning that the available pool of OH expertise was “dwindling”.“One expert suggested that specialist training within private OH provision was rare, and that they instead ‘poach’ NHS trained staff,” the report added.Finally, on marketing, OH providers had limited need to use marketing to attract their customers, the report concluded. “Targeted marketing to specific sectors was rare, and a substantial proportion of OH providers did no form of marketing at all,” it argued.For those who wish to delve more deeply, the summary and full report of Understanding the provision of occupational health and work-related musculoskeletal services can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-the-provision-of-occupational-health-and-work-related-musculoskeletal-servicesBest practice case studiesThe directorate’s report includes 17 case study examples of occupational health in practice, including anonymised employee stories, and the various lessons that can be learned from them.These are split between examples of employers commissioning private providers, employer-funded in-house OH services, and NHS in-house OH services.To cite just one to give a flavour, the report highlighted an employer that designs and manufactures military and industrial components and where the use of chemicals in production was a known risk but there were also issues around stress.Originally OH provision had been delivered via telephone interview but the company then moved initially to a medical nurse being available on a daily basis and then, as it was felt the service was being misused, to contracting out to an OH advisor (a sole trader) working on site, with referrals available over the phone as well as face to face.The referral process was divided into three parts: case management referrals for absence, health, and performance related concerns; surveillance for hearing tests, lung function tests, biological testing, support with training and policy development; business development for attendance management training and training to support a business with health-related initiatives. An electronic referral form through an encrypted portal was used to ensure data protection.One production line employee, “Oliver”, was rushed to hospital with pain in his legs. His HR manager stayed in touch with him regularly and eventually made a referral to OH for recommendations for returning to work. As at this point Oliver was still physically unable to work, a second referral was made at a later point. The HR manager again remained involved throughout, along with the plant manager and line manager. The process took five to six months in total.The OH advisor made a plan for a phased return and recommendations for a maximum number of hours and shifts, which the HR manager stuck to. Oliver was also made aware of Access to Work and helped him apply.Other adjustments included additional breaks and being given the ability to sit down while at work. He was taken off night shifts as these were felt to add additional pressure. Oliver’s line manager felt the recommendations were communicated clearly to him.OH’s role as a “neutral third party” meant the adviser had the authority to ask Oliver to return to work at a sustainable pace, the report concluded. “The HR manager believes Oliver otherwise would have risked returning to work too quickly, in order to prove himself,” it saidNo sick leave had been needed to be taken since OH’s involvement, and the provider had also designed and delivered training for all managers on how to better support staff and reduce absence, it added.‘How can we reinvigorate the OH market?’The role of occupational health in supporting musculoskeletal health was highlighted by Dr Bola Akinwale, head of strategy at the directorate, at the Health and Wellbeing @ Work conference in Birmingham in March.With coronavirus at that point still an emerging threat, Dr Akinwale stepped in at short notice to replace deputy chief medical officer for England Dr Jenny Harries, who had originally been scheduled to speak but was detained in London dealing with the response to the pandemic.In her presentation, Dr Akinwale outlined how the government was committed to a gathering evidence around musculoskeletal health, including the role of the workplace, evidence around the role of physical activity in aiding recovery, and how healthy behaviours could be better promoted.The government was, she emphasised, “working actively to try and think about how to smooth the interaction between different parts of the system that all play a part in health and work, both for people who are in work and out of work.”She talked through some of the health and wellbeing trials and pilots going on around the country. This included the “Working Win” health-led employment trial in Sheffield that is using a modified version of Individual Placement and Support to try to assess the best type of support for those who are out of work, or struggling in employment due to health problems.Dr Akinwale also highlighted the Employment Advisers in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) pilot, where more than 40% of IAPT centres now have employment advisers embedded within their services.In discussing the government’s forthcoming workplace health Green Paper, Dr Akinwale said: “We know that there is a gradient in access to occupational health. So people who are working in smaller firms or smaller businesses are much less likely to have access to occupational health provision than those working in larger firms.“One question is how can we smooth out that access; how can we reinvigorate the market so that there is both the capacity and the quality of provision that means that employers want to buy it, and understand what they’re getting?”The role and use of fit notes was another issue that was firmly in the government sights, she confirmed. “Are some conversations handled really positively, with a positive outcome, so that the fit note isn’t necessary? Or is it that there are challenges in making a may be fit for work recommendation that doctors face?” she questioned.“A big challenge is that GPs have seen a conflict between their role providing this statutory advice, which is somebody’s ticket to get SSP [Statutory Sick Pay] or claim benefits, that is one role, versus their role as patient advocate and their role in providing care. And that is a challenge to think about,” Dr Akinwale said.References“Understanding the provision of occupational health and work-related musculoskeletal services”, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-the-provision-of-occupational-health-and-work-related-musculoskeletal-services“Health-led employment trial co-designed by University researcher launched by Disabilities Minister and Mayor”, University of Sheffield, August 2018, https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/working-win-sheffield-launch-1.797917“What might OH expect from workplace health Green Paper?”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, April 2020, https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/what-might-oh-expect-from-workplace-health-green-paper/“Employment Advisers in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies: process evaluation report”, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, July 2019, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-advisers-in-improving-access-to-psychological-therapies-process-evaluation-report“Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss”, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, July 2019, https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/health-is-everyones-business-proposals-to-reduce-ill-health-related-job-loss“Staff shortages pose ‘large threat’ to future of occupational health provision, report warns”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, June 2020, https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/staff-shortages-pose-large-threat-to-future-occupational-health-provision-report-warns/“Occupational health to have ‘prominent’ role in fight against coronavirus”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, March 2020, https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/occupational-health-set-to-have-prominent-role-in-fight-against-coronavirus/ Related posts: Previous Article Next Article Study to consider benefits of occupational health service at GP surgeriesResearchers are looking into whether access to an occupational health service via their GP surgery will reduce the number of…center_img No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Musculoskeletal care and occupational health: only for more ‘enlightened’ employers?By Nic Paton on 2 Oct 2020 in Musculoskeletal disorders, OH service delivery, Return to work and rehabilitation, Sickness absence management, Occupational Health, Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Recent elevation changes of Svalbard glaciers derived from repeat track ICESat altimetry

first_imgWe have tested three methods for estimating 2003–2008 elevation changes of Svalbard glaciers from multitemporalICESat laser altimetry: (a) linear interpolation of crossover points between ascending and descendingtracks, (b) projection of near repeat-tracks onto common locations using Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), and(c) least-squares fitting of rigid planes to segments of repeat-track data assuming a constant elevation changerate. The two repeat-track methods yield similar results and compare well to the more accurate, but sparselysampled, crossover points. Most glacier regions in Svalbard have experienced low-elevation thinningcombined with high-elevation balance or thickening during 2003–2008. The geodetic mass balance (excludingcalving front retreat or advance) of Svalbard’s 34,600 km2 glaciers is estimated to be −4.3±1.4 Gt y−1,corresponding to an area-averaged water equivalent (w.e.) balance of−0.12±0.04 mw.e. y−1. The largest icelosses have occurred in the west and south, while northeastern Spitsbergen and the Austfonna ice cap havegained mass. Winter and summer elevation changes derived from the same methods indicate that the spatialgradient in mass balance is mainly due to a larger summer season thinning in the west and the south than in thenortheast. Our findings are consistent with in-situ mass balance measurements from the same period,confirming that repeat-track satellite altimetry can be a valuable tool for monitoring short term elevationchanges of Arctic glaciers.last_img read more

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Amen, Greyfriars

first_imgOutraged students at Greyfriars have attacked the Hall authorities’ decision to permanently close without consulting any members of the student body.Greyfriars, one of the University’s seven Permanent Private Halls, is to close next year following a national review of the Capuchin Franciscan Order’s ministries.Students at the PPH, who first heard the decision on Tuesday, will be transferred to Regent’s Park in October next year to complete their degrees. In a statement released on Tuesday, the Hall’s governing body explained that the closure was largely motivated by a shortage of friars, as well as considerable financial difficulties. They claimed their decision was not based on a scathing University report published in September that criticised the ethos and practices of PPHs.“The Hall is already highly subsidised by the Capuchins, and has become a financial burden to their other areas of activity within the UK. It therefore became apparent during the course of our review that there is no long-term future for Greyfriars Hall as a ministry of our Province,” they said.Former JCR President Ellaine Gelman was highly critical of the PPH’s actions and felt measures to ensure students needs were being met were insufficient. “Many of the freshers present at Tuesday’s meeting were crying, and the feeling was: why did they accept us if they knew this was going to happen? Some students who don’t want to go to Regent’s Park are now looking into moving to colleges instead. I think Oxford’s losing an important part of itself,” she said.“They claim that everything they’re doing is in the interests of the students. If this was the case, they should have consulted the JCR president. It’s quite insulting to be kicked out of your own college and community. My personal opinion is that the Capuchins no longer want the students there. If it was just a financial issue then they could have found the money somehow,” she said. Gelman added that the general feeling among students was one of great sadness at the College’s closure. “Everyone knows each other’s name at Greyfriars, it’s such a tight-knit community. We feel our sense of identity is being taken away from us. Some of us will be spending our third year in what feels like a foreign institution,” she said.Greyfriars MCR President Sheridan Taylor agreed, “We’re all in a state of shock. It’s very saddening that part of our family, the friars, are going to be separated from us. I love it here, it’s so vibrant, and adds so much to the diversity of the University as a whole.”The Hall is to keep its student accommodation operational for two years after students are transferred to Regent’s Park. Greyfriars JCR President Jonathan Hamill commented, “[We are] understandably disappointed. As a student community it offered a very special place to study with amazing academic and social opportunities. The closure of the Hall, for reasons beyond the student’s control, is an issue that provoked great sadness.”Staff at the Hall will have their positions reviewed in the coming year, although it is hoped many will continue teaching in conjunction with other colleges.Communications Officer for the Order Barry Hudd explained, “There is only a handful of staff at the Hall and one permanent staff member. The majority of people working there won’t be affected.”OUSU President Martin McCluskey said he was impressed with the University’s response to the Hall’s closure. “Given the circumstances, we’re pleased with how the central University are handling the situation and we’re confident that the move to Regent’s Park is in the best interest of Greyfriars students and their academic experience at the University.” The University has issued a statement, explaining that they are unable to influence the Hall’s decision to close. “The University of Oxford is bound by the decision of the Capuchin Fraciscan Order that their ministry at Greyfriars can no longer continue after the end of this academic year. We regret the loss of Greyfriars as a Permanent Private Hall but respect the Order’s decision.”last_img read more

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OUSU launch campaign to break class barriers

first_imgOUSU is to create a campaign committed to tackling prejudice against working class students. A motion passed at the weekly meeting of OUSU Council on Wednesday mandated the creation a Student Union ‘Class Act’ Campaign.The motion, submitted by Jaycie Carter and Eden Bailey, passed by an overwhelming majority, promising to set up a committee “open to all OUSU’s student members who self-identify as working class, low income, state comprehensive school educated, or a first-generation student.”Jaycie Carter told Cherwell: “Currently, the needs of students represented by the Class Act campaign—working class, low income, state comprehensive school educated and first generation students—are neither adequately discussed nor addressed by the University or by our colleges.“Once the access work finishes and we arrive at Oxford, the support too often ends. Our campaign aims to bring about much-needed change by representing these students, campaigning on their issues and providing them with support networks and community.”The campaign’s directives include campaigning exclusively for the issues of those who “not only face barriers to reaching Oxford, but also face specific issues once they are here, which are… largely unaddressed.”The motion mentioned the recent Educating All report, a survey of students from top Russell Group universities, in which “over 70 per cent of students who identified as working class agreed with the statement ‘your class was a barrier when integrating at university’.”Eden Bailey, the OUSU VP for Academic Affairs who seconded the motion, said she was “thrilled” at the move.She told Cherwell: “There is important work to be done across UK universities, particularly those in the Russell Group, in ensuring that all students feel truly welcome and are fully supported at university, regardless of their background.“We will be providing representation that Class Act students currently don’t have to campaign on issues affecting them, creating networks that previously haven’t existed for students and alumni to meet and support each other, and provide relevant resources to support some of the specific welfare and academic needs of these students.”The establishment of the campaign comes in light of St. Hilda’s appointing its first Class Liberation officer last Novemberlast_img read more

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Saturday’s Spooks N Kooks Surf Contest Moves to 8th Street

first_imgThe fourth annual Spooks N Kooks Costume Surfing Contest on Saturday, Oct. 10, will be moved from First Street Beach to Eighth Street Beach due to erosion at the north end from last week’s storm, particularly at some of the beach entrances.All are invited to participate in the charity event.The contest invites surfing Elvi, sharks, and sundry other creatures and characters to dress up and hit the waves in an informal competition.Entry fee is (at least) five non-perishable food items to be donated to the Ocean City Ecumenical Council Food Cupboard.It is run in association with Surfrider Foundation, South Jersey Chapter and includes prizes for largest donations, as well as for the top three places in divisions including: longboard, shortboard, SUP, women, and groms under 13). The “King Kook” Trophy goes to the overall winner.Registration is on the beach at 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the contest. No-wave date is Sunday, Oct. 11.The marine forecast calls for northeast winds to build through the morning to 15 to 25 mph — a swell that might typically hold up better at Eighth Street than First Street anyway. Most forecasts call for 1- to 2-foot waves.For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.last_img read more

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Marco Beverage SysteMS

first_img(Dublin, Ireland), has launched the Filtro Shuttle, a new bulk filter coffee brewer with an insulated urn that is fully portable and designed to meet the European Coffee Brewing Centre’s standards.Marco’s UK sales director Chris York comments: “There are locations where it is impossible to have a bulk brewer near to the service point. For such establishments, the Filtro Shuttle represents a perfect way to safely transport and serve coffee.”last_img

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Stiletto cuts to free-from

first_imgMrs Crimble’s free-from range has been refreshed to offer a wider range for consumers and to create a more uniform brand identity. Owned by Stiletto Foods, the free-from foods brand now includes light cheese crackers in Rosemary and Onion, Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto and Original Cheese flavours, as well as its more traditional products, such as frozen apple and rhubarb pies. The newest addition to the range is Mrs Crimble’s fresh gluten- and wheat-free bread, available in both seeded and white varieties. The full range comprises cakes, biscuits, corn and rice cakes, baked snacks, bread, pastry and muffin mixes.Branding consultancy pi global has refreshed the overall visual appearance of the brand to allow for its growth and utilise the freshness and appearance of the products by making them more visible through the packaging.www.stilettofoods.comlast_img read more

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Track the History of On the Twentieth Century!

first_imgAll aboard! Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher embark on a madcap musical adventure as they travel On the Twentieth Century, the fabled Chicago-to-New York passenger train that doubles as the retro setting for the latest Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Cy Coleman revival. How did the Tony-winning musical, which officially bows March 15 at the American Airlines Theatre, reach its current destination? Sit down, and enjoy a fun (and occasionally tumultuous) ride down memory lane. Now departing—with lots of playwrights! On the Twentieth Century initially pulled into Broadway in 1978, but its journey starts nearly 50 years before. That’s when Charles Bruce Milholand hands his play, The Napoleon of Broadway, to producer Jed Harris. According to Ben Hecht: The Man Behind the Legend, the popular producer sees potential—he likes the central character, a crazed producer—but convinces Milholand to have Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, the writers of The Front Page, construct a new plot and dialogue. A month later, the pair delivers Harris two new acts, believing the final act should take a week to 10 days to complete. Ha! Next stop: Hitsburg! Twentieth Century opens December 22, 1932 at the Broadhurst Theatre. Burns Mantle of The Daily News calls it “the most striking production of the year.” Sadly, The Great Magoo doesn’t fare so well, closing after only 11 days. The movie adaptation, of course written by Hecht and MacArthur, is released in 1934 and becomes a classic. Aside from being star John Barrymore’s favorite film, it’s considered the first screwball comedy. The play is revived in 1950 starring Jose Ferrer and Gloria Swanson, and in 2004 with Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche. Final stop: the American Airlines Theatre! 37 years after its Broadway debut, On the Twentieth Century returns to the Main Stem, opening officially March 15. Chenoweth can’t wait to begin her journey. ”The comedy chops are major, the vocal chops are challenging and tough, and physically it’s a killer,” she says. “I’ve wanted to work it in my schedule for a while, and finally it happened. I just want to do it justice, you know? I want to put my stamp on it and make Betty, Adolph, and Cy Coleman proud.” Next stop: Savior Town! Judy Kaye, Kahn’s understudy, steps in for the star two weeks after the show’s debut—on five minutes’ notice. Cy Coleman’s verdict? “A star is born!” Kahn and the show agree to part ways three weeks later, though Kahn gets $100,000 for her troubles. On the Twentieth Century ultimately wins five Tonys and closes after 449 performances on March 18, 1979. “If that show had opened with Judy Kaye,” Prince admits to Ilson, “I believe it would have run a few seasons.” Next stop: Frustration Cove! Not even close. Securing the rights is a hassle. Then, they read the play. It’s funny, but the loads of dialogue, singular train setting, and big cast mean a gigantic headache. Plus, Columbia Pictures won’t allow the creative team to take anything from the movie. Comden, Green and Coleman finally decide to simplify the story of Broadway producer Oscar Jaffee trying to woo actress Lily Garland, his fellow train passenger and former mistress, to star in an imaginary new musical. Bruce Granit, Lily’s current beau, is added to mix—as well as a few train-free flashbacks. Next stop: Collaboration Square! Betty Comden and Adolph Green work with famed composer Cy Coleman on an off-Broadway workshop revue. The trio gets along famously and vow to collaborate on a full-length show afterward. They spend months fruitlessly searching for an original project. Then, as Green told The New York Times, he decided to “turn a silk purse into what we hoped would be another kind of silk purse,” a musical adaptation of Twentieth Century. Easy, right? Next stop: Kahn Island! After four weeks of tryout performances, On the Twentieth Century opens February 19, 1978 at the St. James Theatre. The show is ripe with veteran and fresh talent, including John Cullum as Oscar Jaffee, Madeline Kahn as Lily Garland, and Kevin Kline as Bruce Granit. The positive notices belie the backstage negativity. Kahn chafes at the “ludicrous” eight-shows-a week schedule, regularly skipping performances. Prince, who wanted Kahn fired after she vetoed Danny Kaye as her co-star, accuses the star of not going all-out every night. Something has to give. Related Shows Next stop: Multitask Station! MacArthur and Hecht meet studio honcho Sam Goldwyn in an elevator, where Hecht can’t help pitching a script—Goldwyn accepts it on the spot. The writers retreat to a Hollywood ranch eager to finish the play, now retitled Twentieth Century. The abode swells with high-profile rambunctious guests, including Gone with the Wind producer David O. Selznick, who brawls with MacArthur. Goldwyn wants his script. Then Howard Hughes asks Hecht to write a gangster movie. Hecht promises to write Scarface if he’s given a $1,000 bill every workday at 6pm. He finishes in 11 days. View Comments Next stop: Litigation Junction! Harris travels to Hecht and MacArthur’s ranch for the elusive third act, only to be denied entrance. (The producer resorts to lurking outside, banging on doors and cursing. It doesn’t work.) He sues MacArthur and Hecht for breach of contract in December 1931, demanding the $5,000 he had advanced them. It’s hard to blame Harris. After all, the writers had agreed to have the remainder of the play done by August 15…of the previous year. Next stop: Solutionville! George Abbott and Philip Dunning secure the option for Milholland’s play. However, the contract between Harris and Milholland maintains that only Hecht and MacArthur can rewrite the third act. Ugh. Finally, fate intervenes! A professional director is needed for another Hecht play, The Great Magoo. (Jeez, when did Hecht sleep?) Abbott agrees to helm the project—if Hecht finishes Twentieth Century. Hecht, without MacArthur, writes the rest of the play in 10 days. Next stop: Music City! Comden, Green, and Coleman deliberate on the show’s musical style. All they know is it should be over the top. That is settled after Coleman “improvised a musical sequence that was highly flamboyant, verging on the operatic,” Comden and Green wrote in The New York Times. Legendary director Hal Prince climbs aboard. “I thought it was intelligent fun, and I needed a job, so I accepted,” he told biographer Carl Ilson. Next stop: Star Valley! Fast forward to 2015: Director Scott Ellis (You Can’t Take it With You) wants to mount a revival of the musical with Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth as Lily. No problem! Chenoweth adores Madeline Kahn—she named her Maltese after the late star—and the feisty Oklahoman relishes a big challenge: “I’m glad that I’m getting the opportunity to put my feet in her shoes,” she says. Peter Gallagher signs on to play Oscar Jaffee for a different reason: “I had been dying to do a musical with Kristin Chenoweth,” he tells Broadway.com. Lyricist Amanda Green (Green’s daughter) and veteran TV scribe Marco Pennette provide new material for the show. On The Twentieth Century Show Closed This production ended its run on July 19, 2015last_img read more

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Toronto Raptors considering Tampa as temporary home due to COVID-19 | NFL News

first_imgOther cities mentioned as a possible home are Buffalo, Kansas City, Louisville, Nashville and Newark, N.J. The Toronto Blue Jays used nearby Buffalo as their temporary home during the Major League Baseball season.“We’re exploring options for our Plan B,” Raptors director of communications Jennifer Quinn told the Tampa Bay Tribune. “But our main focus is on playing next season in Toronto.”Raptors president Masai Ujiri told the CBC that the overwhelming preference is for the team to play in Canada.“We have many options, to be honest,” Ujiri said. “I think we’re lucky that the Raptors have become a darling, I think, hopefully, globally. We’re proud of that.“Everybody wants us to come play. We are honoured, we are humbled and we are appreciative that everybody wants us to come play in their city, but honestly, our main goal is to stay home. We really want to stay home.”The Raptors have made the playoffs in seven straight seasons and won the 2018-19 title when since-departed Kawhi Leonard was the star and guided the club past the Golden State Warriors in six games.Amalie Arena is also home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. The Amalie Arena in Tampa could host Toronto Raptors 'home' games in the forthcoming NBA season
The Amalie Arena in Tampa could host Toronto Raptors 'home' games in the forthcoming NBA season

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Thomas Cook is back in the game, but with a new business model

first_imgThomas Cook, one of the oldest and most famous travel agencies in the world, declared bankruptcy last year and suspended all its business operations. Fosun was already a major shareholder in TC, and last November he paid £ 11m to buy out the rights to be able to use the Thomas Cook logo, website and social media accounts. But according to British media, Thomas Cook is returning, but only as an online travel agency. So, we can forget Thomas Cook as he was before, without a strong network of planes and hotels, but from now on only as an online travel agency. The brand’s owner, China’s Fosun, wants to revive Britain’s oldest travel company within weeks to be able to be in the game at the start of bookings for next summer. Thomas Cook needs to get a license from the regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, and according to the BBC, she could get it within a few days. Interestingly, the website is also active, but for now it does not reveal much, except that some news from the company can be expected soon.last_img read more

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