Letters to the editor: 18/05/17

(18 May, 2017)

This week, readers wrote to us about Nigel Farage, foreign aid, and 'bed blocking' in hospitals


Third world blamed for being unemployed?

I’m sorry to hear about Seamus Farrell’s unemployment predicament (letters page , Southwark News,  May 11) but, despite Daily Mail propaganda, it’s not constructive to blame poor people in third world countries.

In my opinion David Cameron was right to reserve 0.7% of gross national income to help people struggling abroad.

Even if a Prime Minister Nuttall came into office and abolished the foreign aid policy it probably wouldn’t help our indigenous unemployed to lead more dignified lives.

The erosion of UK citizens’ benefit entitlements and tightening up of jobcentre protocols began under new labour, continued under the conservatives and it wouldn’t be much better under UKIP.

Michael Zehse, Peckham


Calling African and Caribbean men

Orchid and Cancer Black Care will be bringing their Prostate Cancer Awareness Roadshow for African and Caribbean men .

The Roadshow aims to raise awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors amongst men, their families and anyone concerned about the disease.

The Roadshow will take place on Friday 26th May 2017 from 9am-4pm, at Brixton Station Road Market in Brixton.

The Roadshow is part of a new three-year project, called ‘Changing Lives – engaging black African and Caribbean men at risk of or affected by prostate cancer” which is funded by the Big Lottery. Developed in collaboration with Professor Frank Chinegwundoh MBE, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust, ‘Changing Lives’ will see new support services and outreach work for black African and Caribbean men affected by or at risk of prostate cancer.

Orchid is the UK’s leading registered charity focused exclusively on male-specific cancers. Formed in 1996 by a testicular cancer patient, Orchid exists to save men’s lives from testicular, prostate, and penile cancers through pioneering research, the provision of specialist information and support, campaigns and raising awareness. www.orchid-cancer.org.uk

Cancer Black Care (CBC) is a charity established to serve black minority ethnic (BME) groups in the London area. It was founded in 1995 by Isaac Dweben following the death of his elder brother in 1992 from prostate cancer. Isaac discovered there was a lack of appropriate information and the level of cancer awareness amongst the Afro Caribbean community was very limited and needed to be addressed if further deaths from preventable and treatable cancers were to be avoided. www.cancerblackcare.org.uk

Those who have concerns relating to male specific cancers can seek specialist advice and support from a team of Male Cancer Information Nurse Specialists every Monday and Wednesday from 10am-5pm on the freephone Orchid Male Cancer Helpline 0808 802 0010. The Nurse Specialists can also be contacted at helpline@orchid-cancer.org.uk


It is a crime to grow old in this country 

A recent Freedom of Information request revealed that more than 2,600 people died in hospital last year while they waited for adequate social care.

This was after they had been declared medically fit to leave but before they had a social care place to go on to.

Figures released by NHS England recently show ‘bed blocking’ is at a record high, with more than 2,500 healthy patients prevented from leaving hospital each day as there is nowhere for them to go.

Every day hundreds of thousands of older people are left to battle on alone without care and support they desperately need.

Money spent on social care for the elderly has fallen by 1.1 billion in the past five years despite a rise in demand.

Central government has cut funding for social care and community services on an unprecedented scale.

Care in the community has for years clearly indicated how the benefits of a consistent daily personal carer can improve the quality and welfare of elderly person.

It seems that once you are old and vulnerable, care becomes careless in both senses of the word.

When national insurance contributions were asked of them in 1948 at the inception of the NHS I predicted the promises would never last, and so it has come to pass.

I have said before, it is still a crime to grow old in this country.

Reg  O’Donoghue, Walworth   


Join us and unite against dementia

Like many of your readers, my family has been affected by dementia.

The condition is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer and could affect us all.

Someone develops dementia every three minutes and too many are facing it alone, without adequate support. We urgently need to find a cure, improve care and offer help and understanding for people affected.

Together we achieve more, that’s why I’m urging people in London to come together and unite against dementia. Join us and unite now at alzheimers.org.uk

Meera Syal, Actress and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador


Not all about Farage

The referendum question was not, “Do you approve of the leave campaign or not?”

We were asked whether we wanted to stay in the EU or not, and we decided, fairly, democratically, to leave.

It was not a vote about Nigel Farage. Farage wanted it to be about Farage. Cameron and Osborne wanted it to be about Farage. But it wasn’t.

By voting to leave the EU we did not endorse Farage. Again that’s what Farage wanted you to think.

But there was only ever at most 15 per cent support for Farage, so the vast majority of those who voted to leave did so despite Farage, not because of him.

UKIP never got more than 4 million votes, but 17.4 million of us voted for independence.

Will Podmore, East London



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