Letters, November 17, 2011

ON behalf of our family, I would like to write and share with you the level of service we have received from Ward 6 of Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Our elderly father was admitted to the hospital recently after breaking his hip during a fall at home. He was admitted to Ward 6 for treatment.

Without exception, the nursing team were excellent. During his stay, he became critically ill with an existing health problem, unrelated to his hip, and subsequently passed away.

During his last few days of life, we found the nursing team very open and honest with all of us. They treated not only the patient, but also our family with compassion, respect and a wholly appropriate manner. We were helped to come to terms with the situation by the nursing staff, the ward doctor and also the palliative care team.

The hospital made it possible for us to keep a bedside vigil for four days. During this time they continued to care for both the patient and our family and were extremely warm and compassionate throughout. Their level of care exceeded all our expectations.

When faced with the imminent loss of a loved one, our hospital experience was a great comfort and will continue to be in our memory forever.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all the staff and care team in Ward 6. Their dedication is truly special and words cannot express the gratitude we feel at their care during such a difficult time.

In these current times there is so much negative media surrounding the standard of care in hospitals; particularly towards the elderly. Our family wanted to share our totally positive experience with you and let us celebrate the fact that we have this hospital, with such wonderful staff, in our town.

The Hollingsworth Family, Doncaster

Dismay over more cuts

I WOULD just like to make it known to the people of Doncaster of yet another government cut to what I believe is an essential service.

I am a disabled person and I was lucky enough to find dedicated workers at Hickleton Hall running a programme called ‘Stepping Out’.

These caring people take disabled people like myself to The Dome swimming baths and some of us have learned to swim and if we cannot access The Dome, eg school holidays, they take us to Cusworth Hall and Lakeside Shopping Village. The service has been funded by DMBC and is due to finish in March due to the cuts in funding, one of the patients said “this has given me back my life”.

I suffered a stroke two years ago and became wheelchair-bound, prior to this I was abled bodied. Disability can happen to anyone and cutting services to an organisation such as this are taking away a lifeline to so many people.

I would like to mention the project manager, Lynn, who has recently been made redundant, she worked extremely hard along with Ellie, Julie and numerous other to keep ‘Stepping Out’ going.

In sumnmary, to DMBC if there is any funding available please consider re-instating this fantastic and worthwhile service.

Mrs Kath Shaw, Victoria Avenue, Doncaster

One man’s stand sees action

CONGRATULATIONS Coun Williams, you certainly got the council planning officers choking on their morning coffee by displaying the banner you had erected in the centre of Thorne.

It wasn’t up very long until the officers demanded it was removed, if only the council was as quick to sort similar issues out.

All over the borough we have signs, banners and those sandwich boards blocking every walkway, but with them not directly naming or knocking DMBC nothing is done to the owners whom stick these out without a care for the pedestrians, especially parents with prams which have to negotiate around these obstacles.

I also believe that the council is now rushing into preparing a bid to the lottery commission for grant monies to refurbish some of the Thorne buildings. This has to be completed by the end of November with decisions made for the winners in 2013. Someone is sure going to be busy.

Why did it take one man’s stand off to engage the council in the first place?

Well done Coun Williams, you should hold your head up high and the residents of Thorne should be grateful to have a councillor who does look after his ward, just wish you were our ward councillor,

Mrs P Worsdale, Church Balk Lane, Edenthorpe

There’s no need for councillors

FURTHER to the report in Free Press (November 27) regarding Doncaster Councl’s recruiting of a new head of paid service and chief executive, I draw to your attention that, at that time, Jo Miller had not got the job. This did not occur until her appointment came before what would have been the full council at an extraordinary meeting on November 3. Only 42 members of the council turned up to ratify the recommendation that Mrs Miller was the most suitable candidate for the post.

I thought it was disgraceful that 21 members failed to attend what was the most important business meeting since the AGM. The majority of the absentees were Labour members. No explanations for their absence were put forward to the chair.

A few years ago I suggested at a Doncaster Council Watch public meeting, and subsequently to Mr Martin Winter, the previous elected mayor, at a full council meeting, that Doncaster could shed 42 councillors because they were surplus to requirements. This suggestion was endorsed by Peter Davies in his election manifesto. so far, he has not achieved his goal - however, the low turnout for the extraordinary meeting last week is good evidence that 21 members confirmed by their non-attendance, that the council taxpayers of Doncaster don’t need them.

The costly, out of hours, extraordinary meeting lasted only ten minutes and I further question as to why this was not dealt with at the full council meeting on October 20, bearing in mind that the final interviews for this post took place on October 5, 6, which gave adequate time for the Secretary of State to rubber-stamp the Doncaster Council Appointments Panel findings.

Maurice Field, Kings Road, Wheatley

They should’ve been there

AS a member of Sprotbrough Library Action Group I attended the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee of Doncaster Council last Thursday, November 10.

The mayor and Councillor Cynthia Ransome are responsible for the cabinet’s decision to close 14 libraries in Doncaster.

However, when councillors met, both the mayor and Coun Ransome were absent. Therefore they avoided responding to councillors’ concerns about the closure and this was a dereliction of duty.

Stephen Platt, Cusworth Lane, Doncaster

Mansion House is a sad sight

I AM a veteran soldier and having attended the service at the war memorial, made my way to Mansion House to observe the march past.

I was dismayed to see how much Doncaster’s premier building is being neglected by Doncaster Council.

The powers that be would, of course, quote chapter and verse saying there are deep cuts, no money etc but they are responsible for the upkeep for the building.

It’s over 250 years and I’m sure there are many areas out of sight in the building that are worse than those on the frontage.

What’s the use of spending good money trying to get visitors and investers to the town when our prize asset is looking in such a shabby state? As an ex-squaddie, I know how a splash of paint can smarten up the place.

Name and address supplied

Used postage stamp appeal

I WOULD like to say a big “thank you” to everyone who has sent me used postage stamps which enables me to raise money to donate to The Guide Dogs for the Blind.

I am always in need of all types of postage stamps, including foreign and Christmas, and would be grateful if you could pass this message on to your friends and contacts at home and abroad so that I can continue to raise funds to help support The Guide Dogs for the Blind in forthcoming years.

If you are able help I would be grateful if you could cut the stamps from their envelopes (leaving a 1cm margin around the stamp) and send them to the address below.

Myrna Chave, PO Box 91, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 9AR

Carers should check benefits

AS we head into the winter months, sharply rising fuel bills play on many minds and the prospect of an additional expense seems almost too much to bear at a time of such immense financial pressure.

And it is so often the vulnerable who find themselves facing the most extreme conditions at this time of year, including the nation’s six million carers.

Over nine in ten carers surveyed recently by Turn2us have concerns about how they are going to manage to pay growing fuel bills through the coldest months. he research also reveals the disturbing fact that over half of carers are not claiming carers allowance, and one in five are not claiming any benefits at all.

This is the case despite the fact that carers offer an unpaid contribution of 119 billion every year to the UK’s economy.

In these increasingly difficult times, it is more important than ever to ensure that everyone, especially those who need help the most, are aware of their potential entitlement to welfare benefits.

I would urge all carers to access the benefits checker at www.turn2us.org.uk, and discover what they might be entitled to, how much and where to claim.

Spread the message and let’s get those who most need financial support claiming what they may be entitled to.

Lynda Bellingham, Ambassador, Turn2us, 200 Shepherd’s Bush Road, London

Hub policy is unfair

MAY I, through your paper, express my disgust at having to pay £14 for a ticket to enter the Doncaster Minster for my daughter-in-law’s graduation; had she been graduating from any other college or university, to include Durham, Sheffield or Hull she would have been allocated two free tickets.

This year “The Hub” has introduced a package to include a mini buffet and entrance to the Minster on a take or leave it basis - ie no ticket, no entrance.

This is both unfair and costly for members of families wishing to join in with the celebrations of the students achievements.

Surely people wishing to attend the ceremony at the Minster should be allowed to do so without having to purchase a £14.00 ticket?

Margaret McKevitt, Ambassador Gardens, Armthorpe