Frontline staff should not have to break news of deaths
O Buckley, Romford, full address supplied, writes:
I have recently heard two reports of the wonderful work being done by our NHS staff caring for Covid sufferers.
I felt for each of them as they did their best for each patient, working extra shifts, and probably concerned for their own families as well.
What shocked me was that more than one said how emotional it was when a patient died, and that the worst part was having to contact the family to give them the bad news.
I was horrified – to have to do this when you are worn out, possibly at the end of your shift. I think it is too much to ask of them.
Surely the hospital have non-medical staff/managers who should be responsible for this – or they should employ a suitably qualified person?
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Boundary U-turn in Upminster
Cllrs Linda Hawthorn, Ron Ower, Chris Wilkins (Upminster ward), Cllrs Gillian Ford, John Tyler, Linda Van den Hende (Cranham ward) – Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association, write:
Havering is currently going through a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, which will result in changes to ward boundaries and councillor numbers from the local elections in 2022.
The LGBCE previously held two public consultations, the latest of which recently resulted in the publication of their new draft recommendations.
Their previous proposals for Upminster and Cranham wards included reducing Upminster ward from three to two councillors and moving part of the Corbets Tey area into Rainham and Wennington ward. They also proposed moving the Dury Falls Estate from Cranham ward into Emerson Park.
However, following a detailed submission from the Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association (UCRA), together with comments from many local residents, the new Boundary Commission recommendations have reinstated three councillors to Upminster ward and moved both Corbets Tey and the Dury Falls Estate back into
Upminster and Cranham wards respectively. The UCRA are delighted that the Boundary Commission now intend to leave our local wards largely unchanged.
A consultation on the new Boundary Commission recommendations will run until March 8, 2021. To view the full report, visit lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/greater-london/greater-london/havering.
You can submit comments on the website, by e-mailing email@example.com or by writing to Review Officer (Havering), LGBCE, PO Box 133, Blyth NE24 9FE.
Mr Rosindell should tell us his alternative to lockdown
G Carrol, Heaton Grange Road, Romford, writes:
It is telling that Mr Rosindell used his column in last week’s Romford Recorder to write a triumphal article about Brexit, when the country is in the grip of a major health emergency.
Surely this column was the ideal opportunity for Mr Rosindell to set out his alternative to the lockdown he obviously opposes. He wants to lift some lockdown restrictions and “work hard to protect the vulnerable”.
I have asked him on at least three occasions to set out a detailed plan, explaining how he would achieve this, but have not received a response.
At a time when thousands are dying and the NHS is overwhelmed, it is highly irresponsible for anyone to pretend there is an alternative without actually providing it.
I’m standing up for better way forward
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, writes:
It was deeply disappointed to see that the Liberal Democrat candidate for the London Assembly has chosen to use this dreadful pandemic to score political points; and surprised to read that Joseph Sowerby (Recorder Letters, Friday, January 15, 2021) misrepresenting my stance about dealing with the current crisis.
Neither gentleman said anything to help solve the dual health and economic crisis our nation now faces.
It is because I take this pandemic very seriously, that I am not just reading from the standard script or following the party line, without thinking deeply about where we are heading.
I am standing up for what I truly believe is a better way forward, considering all angles and attempting to take a balanced approach, as well as thinking long term.
I care about everyone in my constituency who are suffering right now, including those who have lost loved ones or who are sick and vulnerable, as well as considering the plight of people who are now suffering from mental health issues, those who will be losing their jobs, livelihoods, business and homes.
I lost my aunt to Covid and I know many others who have suffered because of this awful virus, so protecting those who are at risk is central to everything I believe.
However, I have also had to deal with the countless emails from people seeing their businesses go to the wall, suffering from mental health issues, domestic abuse and non-Covid physical health issues, all made much worse by an indiscriminate blanket lockdown.
Protecting the vulnerable and behaving in a responsible way to limit the spread of the virus is possible to do, without closing down the country and destroying our economic wellbeing.
All my constituents need their MP to fight to protect them at this time and that is what I have done since the start of this pandemic and will continue to do, until all our lives can return to the life we knew.
Lack of parking a burning issue
D Ainsworth, Barnstaple Road, Romford, writes:
Like many parts of Havering, Mawney ward has a number of roads where a lack of vehicle parking spaces is a burning issue.
Such situations cause concerns not to mention neighbourhood disputes and ill-will aplenty.
Official council notices have been tied to lampposts advising of further double yellow line extensions and other changes, which in many cases will make parking provision worse.
Many Mawney ward roads are considered a “soft touch” to generate income through parking enforcement – those fined being unlucky residents who often have nowhere else to park, even if not causing any obstruction.
One suspects this latest municipal move is intended to generate even more such income.
In anger many notices have been torn down.
Throughout Havering, over the years many local politicians have promised parking initiatives, often only to drum up votes for themselves – but without achieving much, if anything.
Romford Conservative Association would do well to remember that, as their party controls our council, there are votes to be won when dealing with community parking – but also lost in greater quantities when getting it wrong.
I don’t reside in Mawney ward, but frequently visit it.
As such I’ve asked their three ward councillors to emphatically state in their next regular ward newsletter (when delivery resumes after “lockdown”) what parts of their council’s parking changes they approve of, or not. Voters should be informed.
Our council is obsessed with trying to build more properties throughout our borough, yet seem to care not about requirements for additional vehicle parking provision as well as additional education places, GPs surgeries, dental services, hospital availability, road usage, public transport capacity and so on.
Vaccines have had positive impact
Cllr Jason Frost, Mawneys ward, writes:
Even by his admittedly pretty bizarre standards, Cllr David Durant’s latest attacks on the pandemic response strikes a new low.
Please explain Cllr Durant how the saving of lives can ever be considered unethical? Have we reached the frantic final chapter in your warped ‘Better to die’ narrative? You endeavour to promote distrust and fear, not in an effort to solicit genuine debate, but rather to advance an extremist political agenda, the logical result of which would be thousands of people dead.
You appear to treat vaccination (and the science immunology) as something which some mysterious forces have presented to the world in response to Covid-19.
You do this deliberately to undermine confidence in the approach. However, a cursory glance at our history would prove that far from being a species of modern arcana, vaccination has been conducted since the beginning of the eighteenth century when Jenner developed a method of protecting the population from smallpox – which is a horrible disease now thankfully absent from these isles.
Thanks to the steady development of the science of vaccination, our children are protected from measles, mumps and rubella. When we go abroad we are able to protect ourselves against hepatitis and rabies and in older years we can seek some defence against the flu.
Vaccination has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on humanity. I look forward to hearing the how the Independent Residents Group’s motion for debate at council. How, I wonder, are they going to argue that the path to good government is strewn with the dead?
Put families first during this crisis
Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of State for Work and Pensions, writes:
The UK is facing the worst recession of any major economy because of the government’s incompetence and indecision.
Now the chancellor expects families in London to foot the bill – taking £1,000 a year from 759,961 families, damaging our recovery and pulling children into poverty.
We are urging MPs across the house to put party politics aside and vote with Labour today to stop this hit to thousands of people already struggling to get by.
The government must put families first during this crisis and give them the support and security they need.
Saddle up for BHF virtual cycle
Aimee Fuller, British Olympic Snowboarder and cycling enthusiast, writes:
We’ve all felt the strain of 2020 and with restrictions in place across England it’s important that looking after our physical and mental health remains a priority in 2021.
That’s why I’m encouraging people stay active throughout the winter months and improve their heart health by taking on the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) 30-day virtual cycling challenge, MyCycle.
The BHF found that signing up to a challenge has helped a quarter of people get fitter in the past. Completing an exercise challenge, like MyCycle, can also have a positive effect on your mental health as it helps to increase your level of endorphins, which are a natural mood booster. This, combined with the knowledge that the miles you’re covering are helping to raise vital funds for the BHF’s life saving research, is sure to help put you in a good mood.
The coronavirus crisis hit charities especially hard last year. The BHF anticipate they will have to cut funding for new research by £50million this year which will put potential life saving discoveries at risk.
That’s why I’m taking on MyCycle this January.
So, join me and start pedalling to up the miles and get sponsored to help raise vital funds for life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases.
For more information visit: bhf.org.uk/mycycle
Survey of over-70s with hearing loss
Pippa Bark-Williams, associate professor, Institute Health Informatics, writes:
I am writing to draw your attention to a study looking at the needs of older people with hearing impairment during lockdown and to request volunteers aged 70 and over.
For some older people who have been advised to self-isolate for long periods of time during the Covid-19 pandemic, video calling has been a lifeline, helping to keep in touch and reduce isolation and loneliness.
However, technology is far from ideal and for those with difficulties with hearing, difficulties such as sound distortion, time lags and lip reading can create barriers.
We are particularly interested in finding out what does and does not help.
We’ve launched a national survey at UCL (University College London) and we’d love you to take part, whether you use video calls frequently or hardly at all and whether you love them or loathe them (or something in between).
If you are aged 70 or above with hearing loss and happy to fill out a survey (and maybe volunteer to do interviews), please go to ucl.ac.uk/ear/news/2020/nov/research-video-calls-and-hearing-loss.
Insurance problem facing Covid care
George Blunden, chair, Revitalise, writes:
One significant way to alleviate the pressure on intensive care beds is to ensure that more care homes accept Covid-19 patients.
I am chair of Revitalise, a charity providing one of the meagre 131 ‘hot’ care homes in England providing step down beds for Covid-19 patients. Each home has to pass additional infection control checks and have dedicated and trained staff.
However, Revitalise is now being forced to cease providing this service for new patients as no UK insurance provider is prepared to provide indemnity insurance for the provision of care and support to people with Covid-19. Unlike large providers we are just not able to take the risk to ‘self-insure’, nor should any of us be put in a position to do so.
We have been trying to solve this issue with both insurance companies and government for weeks and have been ignored. The government has the power to fix this and must act swiftly to do so.