September 25: Twin issues of care and respect

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From: Mrs S M Abbott, Melbourne Road, Wakefield.

ANOTHER viewpoint to the letters in response to the Care Quality Commission’s views on the way residents in care homes are addressed –why some correspondents are “outraged” and “appalled” beats me.

I visit an elderly family friend regularly at a nursing home and all the residents are treated with respect and called by their Christian names – surely that’s the answer. Everyone is happy and no-one feels belittled, after all they are elderly and used to being properly addressed.

I recently went into a shop and was served by a young lady who I had never met before and she called me “darling”. I whispered to her so as not to cause embarrassment and said that only my husband was allowed to call me “darling”. She apologised.

I think we need to have an open view in these matters and let those who are actually there be the judge of what’s best for all concerned.

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

WHILE I sympathise with Jayne Dowle (The Yorkshire Post, September 21), she should not assume that her father would have been turned away from his local A&E department if he had not seen a GP first. Indeed A&E “open door” policy may be the root cause of hospital emergency departments being overstretched, because it is open to abuse by folk who cannot be bothered to register with a GP.

That said, I think it is important to remember that most GPs are not specialists – as primary carers, they provide advice, reassurance and first line medication. They have roles to play as primary care administrators but they are unlikely to be ophthalmologists. The clue is in their title – they are general medical practitioners. They act as “gatekeepers” to the rest of the NHS. But that does not and never has meant that specialised consultancy-level treatment cannot be accessed in other ways – because it can – typically through emergency departments.

Simply increasing the number of non-specialist GPs may sound simple and obvious. With all due respect to the Royal College of GPs, it’s a very expensive answer to the wrong question. Understanding the roles of GPs and the medical emergency services would, I suggest, go a long way to avoiding the kind of frustration and distress which she describes. Phone 111 next time, Jayne.

Policies fuel rural crime

From: Peter Hyde (retired police inspector), Driffield.

THE cost of rural crime is said to be about £800m. Of course this cost is borne by the rural community and, of course, everybody blames the police for failing to stem the tide.

How can they? There is a very simple answer: give them the tools to do the job. We pay our council taxes and pay income tax and yet what do governments do? They spend it on foreign aid and white elephants like HS2 and Police and Crime Commissioners who have no knowledge or experience of police work, instead of protecting us from criminals.

My town used to boast an inspector, two sergeants and five constables, plus five rural beat men who lived on their beats. I am led to believe we have a single constable with cover from many miles away now.

I have never seen a police officer in Driffield for many many months and it may even be more than a year and I am in town most days. As a former country bobby, I detected quite a lot of crime through contact with my residents and during that time built up an excellent relationship with them.

There was mutual trust and I could rely on help from them at any time. Poachers, pig thieves, poultry thieves and scrap thieves had their collars felt and there was very little alcohol-related bother that I could not handle as assistance was always at hand offered by the locals. The removal of those country bobbies clearly has led to the rise in rural crime as it has in the detection of crime in both urban and rural areas. Too few bobbies equals too much crime. I might add the justice system does not help in doling out short or non-existent sentences in cushy jails or the usual slap on the wrist. The Conservatives were well known for supporting the police service.

Not so now, I’m afraid.

Sounds like segregation

From: J Hutchinson, York.

I WAS interested to learn that an orchestra has been formed using only young black, Asians and ethnic minorities to give them the opportunity to listen to classical music and also learn an instrument. Although I applaud the aim of this orchestra I wonder what would be said if I organised one using only indigenous white youngsters who would also benefit from this kind of inter-action, would this be looked upon as elitist or racist? Is this road to segregation the way to integrate our country or is there to be one law for the English and another for immigrants?

We’ll reap a bitter harvest

From: Mr H Andrew, Sheffield.

IF ever Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Cabinet get control of British agriculture, I guess we will be expected to to survive on grass and dandelions. Maybe the ‘veggies’ would survive on that, but most would not.