YP Letters: Help us carry on caring for sick children – Martin House Hospice boss

Martin House Hospice.
Martin House Hospice.
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From: Martin Warhurst, Chief Executive, Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People, Wetherby.

THIS year has seen Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People reach an important landmark, celebrating our 30th anniversary.

When Martin House opened in 1987, it was only the second children’s hospice in the UK. Through the years much has changed as we’ve developed our building and services, but the family-led care we provide has remained absolutely at the heart of all we do.

We reflected that by celebrating our anniversary with our families, both past and present, and with our young people and the community, through a service at Selby Abbey, a garden party, the creation of a community art project and a music festival for our young people.

On top of this, we carried on caring for our children and their families, which includes respite stays where families enjoy time making memories together, and visits from our community team to support them at home.

We also give families the help they need through the saddest of times, at the end of their child’s life and afterwards, as our bereavement team support families, often for up two to three years after their child has died.

But our service isn’t cheap; it costs more than £6.5m, a year to run Martin House, and most of that is raised by the public.

Your fundraising takes many forms – taking part in one of the many events our fundraising team organises, corporate and community support, donating to our shops, or completing individual challenges.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who supports and fundraise for us and on behalf of Martin House, I want to say thank you for everything you have done for us in 2017.

We’re now looking to develop our services for the next 30 years, to make sure we are still providing the care and support our families need now and in the future.

From: Rod Barnes, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

AS we make the final preparations for our busiest period of the year, it is also an appropriate time to reflect on everything we have achieved throughout 2017. One of our big successes was securing a rating of ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission across all our service areas.

This year hasn’t been without its challenges, from unprecedented increasing demand and budget pressures to a constantly-evolving healthcare landscape, but we have continued to perform to a high standard. We’ve also been at the forefront of many national developments including the largest clinical ambulance trial in the world – NHS England’s Ambulance Response Programme.

We were chosen as a pilot site for the project which focused on improving response times to critically-ill patients by making sure that the best, high quality, most appropriate response is provided for each patient first time. Following the trial’s impressive results, NHS England has implemented new ambulance standards across the country.

This has improved the way we identify which patients need the fastest response and has also given call handlers more time to assess 999 calls so that patients in non-life threatening situations can get the right care first time, which may be treatment in their own home or onward referral to their GP.

Following our previous success with piloting various initiatives in NHS 111, we now have more clinical advisors than ever before.

It’s a real privilege to lead this organisation whose workforce makes a real difference to the lives of many people across our region every single day.

Do spare a thought for our dedicated staff and volunteers who will be working instead of celebrating over New Year and only dial 999 in a genuine medical emergency to ensure that our ambulances are available for those who need them most.

Save accused from shame

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

WITH three rape trials collapsing because of the police failing to disclose evidence (The 
Yorkshire Post, December 22), isn’t it time that the name 
of an accused was protected until any prosecution has been concluded and an outcome attained?

In all three recent cases the accused have suffered mentally and the cases have had an impact on their careers.

The women involved remain anonymous.

This cannot be fair if we truly want an equally fair society for all.

Carried away by the Vikings

From: Jan Scott, Wigginton Road, York.

DESPITE its worldwide reputation, I was not really prepared for the wonder of the Jorvik attraction in Coppergate, York.

I am from Australia and was visiting with my daughter and her family for Christmas.

All I want now are some magical snowflakes falling on my coat and scarf!

Thanks for the sleigh ride

From: Lorna Young, Sheffield.

BRAVO BBC for providing us with that wonderful alternative to Strictly!

I speak of the marvelous All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride which was two completely silent hours of glorious Norwegian scenery and just two ladies, two reindeer and two sleighs.

No flashing lights, raucous cheering and shouting – what a change!

Please repeat it!