Letters to the editor: 24/08/17

(25 August, 2017)

With more talk of Brexit, and complaints about the council's website


Council needs to spend money on its website

Having read the article in the News about Southwark  purchasing Iphones and Ipads for staff members, I was wondering if they are going to invest in improving their website programmes?

I have used the website twice in two weeks and on both occasions I found it outdated and very frustrating.

The first time I used the site was to contact the housing repairs team (Tenants are constantly encouraged to use the website to report or request services, stating it is quicker). I went through the online form to make my repair request when it got to a point where it said I would have to ring the team on the number supplied? I duly rang the number to be informed by a recording while waiting for my call to be answered  that it would be much more efficient to use the website?

Apparently the website was not capable of processing my particular request.

The second time I went to the website was to buy an Estate Visitor’s Parking Permit. Again an online form which charts your progress on completion, the form requires lots of information, you then choose the amount of permits you want to purchase, then method of payment. Here we go! Cheque or Card? Card – you are not directed to a payment screen ie Visa, Paypal, Worldpay you are requested to give your contact number so you can be contacted within five  working days to give your card details then the permit will be posted (1st Class) to your home address!

What a nonsense, why can’t this process be like all other online purchases, pay by card, download the permit?

Southwark either want its residents to use its website for services or not, but this mixture of half and half systems is maddening.

By all means get good up to date equipment for staff to be able to give an efficient service, but you must have the systems in place for residents to be able to tap into those services the “modern” way – all or nothing.

Sara Glover, via email


Join the live Brexit debate with Syed

With Brexit talks underway, I am sure all Londoners are wondering what will happen over the coming few years.

As a London MEP I have been touring different parts of the city answering some of many questions people have as part of a series of Listening to London events.

However, I know that many people have not been able to get to these.

As the most senior elected British politician in Brussels I am acting as a bridge between our government and the EU during these talks. I think it’s essential that people get their chance to be heard as we move forward.

So thanks to technology, I will be doing a “Facebook live” on August 30 at 7pm in which I hope many more Londoners who have questions will be able to take part.

Readers can find more details at syedkamall.co.uk

Syed Kamall, MEP for London, chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group


Young patients have their say on care

More than 50 young people shared their ideas on how their time in hospital could be improved at Evelina London Children’s Hospital’s annual Inspiring Youth Conference last Friday 18 August.

The conference saw current and former Evelina London patients, aged eight to 20, suggest how young people could have a better experience in hospital.

The event, which was held for the first time last year and run by the Evelina London engagement team, also showcased the work of young people making a difference to others in the hospital and in the wider community.

Eli Russell, 14, who was one of the young patients to attend the conference, said: “I’m really happy to have been invited to the conference because I wanted to have an impact on the hospital that has supported me so much as a patient.

“It means a lot that we can work together with Evelina London to help improve the hospital, and give them our perspective on decisions that will affect our care.”

There were a range of presentations at the conference, including how medical students and doctors can better understand and communicate with young patients in hospital, and what steps the hospital can take to ensure young people receive the highest quality of care, whether they are seen in services designed for children or adults.

At the conference Hannah Thorpe, 20, shared her experience of being a young person on an adult ward, having been admitted to hospital with a serious blood clot while she was a university student.

She said: “Being diagnosed with a blood clot was a real shock, especially at a young age, and it was mentally and physically draining having to be admitted to hospital whilst studying. Thankfully, the care at the hospital was amazing, and the staff, and other support groups such as Thrombosis UK, really helped me know that I wasn’t alone. I was delighted to speak at the conference, because I wanted to let other young people know that illness may be a part of your life, but it doesn’t have to be your whole life.”

Evelina Hospital, via email


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