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14th Jun, 2021

Your Letters: Wonderful nurses, politics and parking at the Alex

Correspondent 18th Apr, 2020

THE Prime Minister’s tribute on Easter Sunday was moving and reflected the contributions made by everyone in the NHS.

He described how nurses combine continuous personal care with deep professional knowledge and skills.

It was a wonderful demonstration of the importance of nurses during this Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Yet there is a worldwide shortage of at least 5.8 million nurses and too many feel undervalued and unsupported. Governments worldwide must now invest in nursing and change this for the future.

Lord Nigel Crisp

Baroness Mary Watkins

Chairs of Nursing Now

House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW

ON Saturday we saw Conservative MPs take to social media to criticise the new Labour leader for questioning Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s comments that our NHS workers are wasting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

During their Twitter ‘pile on’ Conservative MP after Conservative MP – including our own Rachel McLean – used the same line of attack – we should be ‘coming together’ at a time of national emergency, not ‘playing politics’.

This is a tactic we have seen all too often, nationally and locally, where the Conservatives seek to block scrutiny by accusing others of ‘playing politics’.

We absolutely agree that party politics should be paused at this difficult time. Co-operation is what Liberal Democrats do and our members have been part of the community response to the pandemic.

Pausing party politics however does not give our government or councils a free rein to do what they want without scrutiny.

The government has already used the crisis as a basis to shut down parliament.

It is absolutely right that we continue to hold the government to account on their handling of this crisis.

We must be free to ask questions without the government, our MP or local Councillors seeking to shut them down by invoking the ‘party politics’ defence.

It is not ‘playing politics’ to demand that the government is accountable for its actions. It is playing politics to try to shut down scrutiny by questioning people’s motives for holding it to account:

Did the government make the right decision in pursuing the ‘herd immunity’ policy and if not, how many deaths has it led to?

Why do our hospital and care staff not have the PPE they require to do their jobs safely despite the government having weeks to start addressing this issue?

Why has it taken the government so long to increase testing when the World Health Organisation stated weeks ago the only way to beat this virus is to ‘test, test, test’?

It is not playing politics to hold our Government to account; as citizens, it is our political duty to do exactly that.

A Haycock,

Redditch and Inkberrow Liberal Democrats

I ADMIRE Councillor Joe Baker’s stand in relation to the situation for staff at the Alexandra Hospital, and equally throughout Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT).

I am equally dismayed at people causing parking issues for residents.

I’d like to know if WAHT has implemented the government’s instructions to provide free parking to NHS staff during the present crisis. Notwithstanding that to charge staff in the first place is an iniquitous act.

Let’s also look at some facts, and ask why WAHT finds it necessary to charge more to visitors than at the Kingfisher Centre?

· At the Alexandra it is as follows: Up to one hour – £2.50, 1-2 hours – £3.70, 2-4 hours – £4.50, 4-6 hours – £6.00, 6-24 hours – £7.50.

· At the Kingfisher Centre: 0 – 2 hours – £1.50, 2 – 5 hours – £2.50, 5 – 6 hours – £3.00, 6 – 7 hours – £5.00.

The Alexandra has a captive audience.

Hospitals shouldn’t be making money out of patients or visitors, let alone staff. What is their justification to charge more?

Is it to pay the contractor so that they make a profit too?

A few years ago, all political parties said they would abandon these charges. Nothing has happened.

The reason at the time was that existing contracts had to run their course.

I suggest that many of these have been renewed in that time.

Joe, it is time for a rethink, and revisit your party’s promise: “In 2009 Labour Health Secretary Andy Burnham promised to scrap the (hospital car parking) fees.”

P Merricks, Redditch

I JUST want you to know about a wonderful lady called Karen Buttler who runs Inspire CIC and the refill for life at Winyates Craft Centre.

During all this Covid-19 business she has gone above and beyond for many people who are stuck.

She has done food parcels and also delivered them with her daughter Harriet, son Oliver and his wife Jo.

She goes into her shop everyday to make up these parcels on her own to make sure there is no cross contamination.

Karen has been a rock to so many people for years but she has shown humanity at its best over the past few weeks.

Some of which goes above and beyond as all she gives is out of her own pocket and she goes skint and donates from her shop for those she cares for.

I know there is a lot of praise for NHS and all front liners but I just want this beautiful lady to know how amazing she really is.

A Friend

A FEW weeks ago you published a letter about the logos of Bromsgrove District Council and of our own Redditch Borough Council.

At this time of the coronavirus crisis, during my ‘government allowed daily exercise’, I had a walk near the Garden of Remembrance in Plymouth Road.

On the cemetery gate I noticed the official closed sign. The sign only had the Bromsgrove District Council logo on it.

There was no reference to Redditch Borough Council.

Cemeteries and the Crematorium are one of the shared services between the two councils (BDC and RBC); it has been pointed out that both logos should appear on the closed notice at this Cemetery and all the other cemeteries.

Perhaps the staff are a bit stressed at this crisis time, however a colleague did say, a visitor might wonder why a Bromsgrove Council notice appears on a Redditch Cemetery gate.

There are a few other shared services, so we wonder if there are places in Bromsgrove which have notices with only the Redditch logo on them. And I’ve heard a rather frivolous remark about their signs in our town – ‘ is Bromsgrove attempting to ‘get noticed’?

P Bladon, Southcrest

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