Free Press readers have their say. If there’s an issue you’d like to talk about, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on (01302) 347257 or write to us at Doncaster Free Press, Sunny Bar, Doncaster, DN1 1NB.
Charities do a great job but should not be alone to fund end of life care
I refer to the two letters, from Jackie Endley and Caroline Leslie, that you published on June 6 about recent fund-raising for Marie Curie. The events mentioned were to raise funds to help that wonderful charity provide more 24/7 home care for terminally ill patients. As both writers pointed out, the more money raised by the charity the more patients are able to get the care they need to ensure they die, as peacefully as possible, in their own homes. I wrote to you in March 2013 about this issue and you were kind enough to publish that letter. In it I asked why Doncaster’s new Clinical Commissing Group, unlike Sheffield’s, still leaves the provision of much terminal home care to charities like Marie Curie instead of using money, largely saved by unblocking hospital beds, to fund 24/7 home care. It is true that the CCG have only recently taken over the budget for health care in Doncaster, and it is clear that all NHS budgets are under pressure. Nevertheless I wonder if they would care to explain to local taxpayers exactly how much it costs to keep a person for whom further treatment is not an option in a hospital bed compared to the cost of providing that person with basic home care and periodic visits for the administration of pain relief. Perhaps if we are given the financial facts we can then have an informed debate about end of life issues.
Mrs Chris Andrews Thorne Road, Doncaster
Cross party cabinet call
We read with interest our new mayor’s letter in Freeviews (DFP, May 30). She states she understands why many people are turned off politics. Well not so as we noticed in the last four years! She says that no one person has all the answers, and it’s a pity she didn’t think like this when Peter Davies offered cabinet posts to Labour councillors, which they declined. How much better it would have been had they worked together for the good of Doncaster. As he ran her a very close race, it seems many in Doncaster think he did a pretty good job without them. Since she acknowledges her victory was a narrow one, why has she opted for an all Labour cabinet instead of reflecting the views of many in our town by making it an all-party cabinet. We wonder what services will be cut to fund this larger cabinet? Mrs Jones, you said it yourself - no one person has all the answers, and we would add no one party.
M and J Riggott Fieldside, Edenthorpe
Is the NHS doomed?
Anyone who is dependent on the NHS for their health care will no doubt be very pessimistic about its future. The Government promised they would improve the heath service but since then it has gone downhill fast. They have farmed more and more of it out to private companies and they have put doctors in charge of their own purse strings which is a big mistake - these are doctors, NOT accountants. Who can remember being able to afford rail travel, when carriages were packed with families going to the coast for the day? What a God send that would be today with less and less family outings because of fuel prices and the drink/drive laws. But that was before privatisation, when nearly everything was transported by rail. People who remember that will also have some idea of the difference it makes to take industries out of the public domain and turn them over to firms who are only interested in profits for their shareholders, as happened with the railways, steel industry and coal industry, which eventually killed them. It is just a matter of time before the NHS goes down the same route.
Dave Croucher Pinfold Gardens, Fishlake
Safety of children
I wonder how many grandparents of young children feel utterly appalled at the ease with which violent and pornographic images can be accessed on computer by a simple click of the mouse by their grandchildren. If such images were displayed indiscriminately on the covers of of magazines within easy reach of children at your local newsagents there would be a national outcry. Fortunately of course this couldn’t happen as it would be illegal under the 1959 Criminal Pornographic Act banning such images that tend to corrupt and deprave. This being so why is it possible that users of the internet can access far worse moving images on their computers and why is this not banned under the above act? As the grandfather of eight very internet competent children I would really like to know.
Francis Jospeh McKone The Boulevard, Edenthorpe
Youngsters need help
The average age of our sons and daughters leaving home nowadays is 24, but every year our society makes vulnerable teenagers across England leave their foster homes, some with nowhere to turn, few life skills and no support. The Fostering Network is calling on the Government to make it law that local authorities must support vulnerable young people in staying with their foster carers until the age of 21 if both wish this. By supporting care leavers, you are supporting you whole community. On Tuesday there was a real chance for change, as MPs debated the Children and Families Bill in Parliament. I urge your readers to please visit dontmoveme.org.uk and tell their local MP that they want them to make the dream of so many young people a reality.
Robert Tapsfield Chief Executive of The Fostering Network
Support is there
Having a long-term health condition like Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) can be a challenge – and not just for the patient. Husbands, wives, partners and children often find themselves taking on the role of carer, and they need support too. Action for M.E., the UK’s leading charity for people affected by M.E., supports Carers Week 2013 (Monday 10 to Sunday 16 June) and offers information and support to family and friends who find themselves in a caring role. They can call 0117 927 9551 to order our Caring for somebody with M.E. booklet or visit the ‘Friends and family’ section in our Online M.E. Centre at www.actionforme.org.uk
Sonya Chowdhury Chief Executive, Action for M.E.
Thanks to volunteers
The Children’s Trust celebrated Volunteers’ Week last week by saying thank you and acknowledging the fantastic work of the 520 people throughout the UK who have selflessly given up an amazing 120,763 hours this past year for the charity. They have helped in so many different ways, from giving support during children’s therapy sessions, helping organise fundraising events throughout the country, driving, volunteering in our charity shops, and admin duties. Our volunteers not only help practically but are an essential part of raising awareness of the amazing work done by The Children’s Trust. Within the last year there has been an increase of 18,462 volunteer hours from the previous year. The Trust is a national charity providing care and therapy for severely disabled children from all over the UK, as well as a rehabilitation service for children with an acquired brain injury. We are always keen to hear from anyone interested in volunteering. If you would like to find out how you can get involved, please visit www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/volunteer or call Rachel Turner, Voluntary Services Manager on 01737 365002.
Maria Coyle Press Officer, The Children’s Trust, Tadworth
Items raise charity cash
I collect jewellery, books, CDs, DVDs, postcards, telephone/tea/cigarette cards, old mobile phones and old English/foreign coins. All of these items can raise money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind and help people to have a better life.
David Staples 14 Kingsnorth Road, Twydall, Gilligham, Kent