March 6 Letters: Wonderful NHS deserves our praise

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From: Glan and Angela Driver, Cross Moor Lane, Haxby, York.

AT a time when many people complain about the National Health Service, I am going against the grain to say that the experience that we have had has been of the highest standard.

Our granddaughter Jenny Pickering was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer, stage three, when she was three and a half. She was admitted to the children’s cancer ward at St James’s Hospital, Leeds, which has since moved to Leeds General Infirmary.

The tumour had grown round her organs and had entered the spine between the sixth and ninth vertebrae. It was discovered when it damaged her lung. The tumour had prevented one of her ribs from growing.

After numerous tests she underwent several courses of chemotherapy, each followed by serious infections, and a few days after her fourth birthday she had an operation to remove the tumour. The tumour in her spine was left, as it was considered too dangerous to remove. Jenny then had to have further chemotherapy.

Throughout this time, the whole family were treated with great kindness and consideration. Jenny, throughout her treatment, was handled with affection and respect – having everything discussed with her.

We cannot speak too highly of the doctors and nurses who looked after her, led by Dr Adam Glaser, and also Dr Heather Cooper-Waite, who saw her in the follow-up consultations.

After her treatment she visited the hospital every three months for MRI scans and checks, and as time progressed, every six months and then yearly.

She still visits the hospital once a year, and everyone is interested in her progress and likes to hear what she is doing.

She is a beautiful, clever girl, who is also a brilliant dancer, and we cannot thank Dr Glaser enough for all the care and consideration he has give Jenny and her family over the years.

Where else in the world could we have received such wonderful service, free of charge?

Labour wrong
about badgers

From: Mr H Andrew, Hill Top, Stannington, Sheffield.

I SEE that if Labour are elected to power Ed Miliband will stop the cull of badgers which will allow TB to continue in our cattle for many more years and cost this country millions every year.

In the first half of my life we did not have badgers in our area and we had lots of ground nesting birds and hedgehogs. Since badgers came into this area, we have lost all of them. I miss seeing them and hear them sing, also the badgers have killed many of our laying hens. In Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and parts of England where culling has taken place it has greatly reduced TB.

Personally I only ever see a badger at night in the car headlights and there’s not much fun in that.

Protecting
pensioners

From: GHD Duffett, Rosedale Avenue, Hartshead, Liversedge.

THE Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, seems to have run into trouble endeavouring to untangle the Gordian Knot that the various welfare benefits have become over the years by introducing Universal Credit (The Yorkshire Post, February 25).

Clarifying the wood from the trees by consolidating the payment seems to be his goal but maybe his department has overlooked the pension guarantees and state pension.

Most people over the age of 75 are in receipt of pension credits (previously called benefits) since the state recognises the state pension is inadequate. Simplifying procedures by consolidating the state pension with pension guarantees for those over 75 would, therefore, cost the Treasury very little whilst reducing the number listed as “benefit recipients”.

Restoring dignity to that generation that endured numerous austerity measures (including wartime), inflation and did their bit as National Servicemen is, surely, an objective worth pursuing. The pensioners over 75 should not be confused with the younger generation of “baby boomers”.

Death duties
unfairness

From: Mr D Kirkby, Mirfield.

WITH reference to the article about death duties (The Yorkshire Post, February 26), in addition to the information provided, I would like to point out that the allowance in 1964 was £3,000 and would now equate to £55,000. However, it still remains at £3,000. The £100 (raised to £250) small gifts allowance equates to £1,800. These allowances are long overdue for a change.

Thanks for
cartoon fun

From: Mrs SM Barnard, North Park Road, Leeds.

FOR years, my husband and I have been enjoying the brilliant Horace and Doris cartoons appearing in The Yorkshire Post.

We love finding aspects of ourselves in the couple – surely the best tribute to the skill of a cartoonist.

There seems to be an endless stream of John Morris’s work, although I understand that he died around the year 2000.

I hope we can still look forward to more.