...and is Leeds keeping its word on cycle legacy?
LISA Brydon is a very poorly woman. Diagnosed with aggressive brain tumours and given 12 months to live by doctors, she tells the YEP how she is being kept alive by the wonder drug Avastin.
It’s fantastic that this medication can give patients like Lisa some more precious time with their loved ones – but it’s not quite that straightforward.
In order to receive Avastin, Lisa has to pay for it. Has to pay an awful lot, in fact.
She and her husband Jack have already handed over £20,000 and could soon be forced to sell their home in Pontefract so she can keep taking it.
Avastin has been previously given to brain tumour patients in Yorkshire, but funding was axed following the NHS re-organisation last year.
It’s still available for certain cancers, but not Lisa’s. Yet another shake-up next month could see Avastin axed altogether on the NHS, for the simple reason that it’s too expensive. For many patients that would be the equivalent of a death sentence.
Earlier this month, the YEP revealed how Chris Reed and Karen Straughair were paid a total of £120,000 for a four-month stint in temporary management posts at Leeds hospitals.
This was just months after the couple received payments totalling £1m when their previous health service jobs in the North East were abolished.
The NHS needs to get its priorities right – and fast.
Is Leeds keeping its word on cycle legacy?
LEEDS shone on the world stage when it hosted the Grand Départ, which was supposed to leave a cycling legacy in the city.
However, the willingness of local councillors to embrace cycling has been questioned by a campaign group that believes far more can, and should, be done to encourage commuters to take to two wheels.
While Leeds City Council will point to the progress that has been made in spite of budgetary constraints, momentum needs to be maintained.
A simple start would be to ensure that every planning application has to pass a cycling compatibility test before it can be given the green light.