March 19 letters: The challenge of providing palliative care

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Have your say

From: Val Rule, Nottinghamshire.

I READ Tom Richmond’s column (The Yorkshire Post, March 14) article with great interest as I worked in palliative care from 1987 until I retired in 2007.

Whilst an important part of my work as a Macmillan nurse was focused on the patient and family, a vast amount of time was spent in providing education to staff working in hospitals, care homes and in the community.

The purpose was to disseminate the skills of good palliative care so that all health care staff felt able to nurse patients the way the hospice would.

Even in the late 80s, it was clear that the need for care in the community for patients who wanted to stay at home was outstripping the resources available.

Everyone did their best, but sometimes, despite hours of trying to put together some sort of care, the patient was admitted to and died in hospital, despite all the efforts of all concerned.

Hospices do and will continue to provide excellence and the model they have developed for good palliative care is transferable into the hospital, the home, and care home sector.

Palliative care is about caring for people, irrespective of their illness. It’s about providing care that enables that person’s comfort, expression of feelings, good symptom control and support in a place that is of their choosing .

I was once told by a wise soul that when someone is dying you only have one chance to get it right.

Government’s
housing role

From: J G Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

WHEN the unprincipled and populist leaders of the main parties agree with each other and with Mariella Frostup, it is liable to be on something either trivial or misguided. I would place in the latter category the supposed ‘huge shortage’ of houses requiring to be made up at public expense.

In Mariella’s Panorama programme we were invited to sympathise with a young couple and baby needing help from a parent to buy a three-bedroom house.

On what planet would that be a rational allocation of a scarce resource? It is part of the pattern of property hoarding, encouraged by the tax advantage of owner occupied over rented property, which contributes to the impression of shortage.

Lord Best blithely assured us that public money for housing should be seen as a good investment. Has he seen the rows of boarded up houses in Middlesbrough and elsewhere, and the wasteland where others have been demolished? No doubt we are still paying for this ‘investment’ now found to be surplus to requirements.

With an election coming up, power lies briefly with the electorate. Many of us do not want to be told that, given the great mobility of people, not everyone can be housed in their preferred location.

There is a major role for government in housing. It needs to enforce building regulations and prosecute landlords letting sub-standard or overcrowded properties.

There is a case for it to curb rents which are disproportionate to salaries. But it is not its job to build houses, to provide finance for those who do build them or to underwrite the risk.

Ukip responds
to the public

From: Martin Hall, Woodhouse Lane, Beighton, Sheffield.

I HAVE heard members of ‘the Islington Set’ and similar refer to Ukip with scorn as being ‘populist’.

I am sorry, but isn’t politics about giving the people a voice and not unrepresentative minorities – especially those of the ivory tower clan?

The LibLabCon tell us what to think. Ukip responds to what so many people actually do think. I like that. Little wonder the political elite hate Ukip with such venom, is it? They also despise democracy if it works against their agenda – which it usually does.

From: Allan Davies, Heathfield Court, Grimsby.

ROBERT Reynolds (The Yorkshire Post, March 16) might also have observed that, one, Mr Osborne has missed his deficit targets year by year and, two, that the adverse trade balance is at a very worrying level.

Tories and
hunting

From: John Rimington BSc, Technical Liaison Officer, Hare Preservation Trust, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.

THE Conservative ethos of sometimes clinging 
stubbornly to the outdated 
past was admirably illustrated by the appointment by the 
Prime Minister of Elizabeth Truss as Environment 
Secretary.

Ms Truss, who grew up in Leeds, has just voiced in Parliament her ardent approval of hunting with dogs, which does neither herself nor the Prime Minister any credit at all in the 21st century.

It raises the question of why some individuals are seemingly unable to compete against fellow humans, instead choosing to obtain their adrenalin satisfaction by persecuting diminutive and defenceless wildlife in a one-sided cowardly substitute activity, using the dogs as an excuse to absolve themselves from the ritualistic killings.