YEP Letters: February 24

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Zero tolerance for out of control dogs

Peter Thorpe, Leeds 14

How many more times are we going to have to read about off lead, out of control, vicious dogs of the like reported in the tragic savaging of Mary Timpson’s little dog?

I am sick to the back teeth of reading about the idiots who have these kind of ‘weapons’ because that is exactly what they are.

The usual excuse owners of the breed of dog that gets bad press for being vicious is that “Oh it’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owner who brings it up to behave like that.”

Utter twaddle, certain breeds are for certain jobs, one certainly does not see ‘Staffies’ Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akitas etc as guide dogs for the blind? Never seen one of those breeds doing that job yet, why? Because they do not have the temperament of the like of Labradors.

As usual of course it’s the utter stupid arrogance of those that have these breeds thinking it’s fine to let their ‘weapon’ off its lead and go ‘hunting’ for something to kill.

I suppose at some point we will be reading about a maimed child again, or even worse, it is another tragedy waiting to happen.

I dare say there will be replies to this post calling it a negative view, but I would say to those with that attitude, you will never convince me otherwise.

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Choose church for funeral service

Marjorie B Godson, by email

I agree wholeheartedly with Rev Robin Paterson’s article (YEP Letters February 17) regarding crematoria v churches for funeral services.

Statistics show that the majority of family members choose a crematorium for their loved one’s funeral.

Last Thursday evening I checked the obituaries and out of 12 notices, only one was choosing to go to church.

This state of affairs has bothered me for some time and I was delighted when Rev Robin brought this subject up.

As Rev Robin has pointed out, a church will hold far more people than LCC crematoria, the distances for family and friends in travelling to a local church could be minimised (thus cutting down on travel time and expensive limousines), and you do not have to be a regular attender at any church, whether it is Church of England, Roman Catholic or Methodist, to arrange a service there.

Clergy at any church (whether it is a vicar, a priest or a minister) would be delighted to guide and help you through this anxious time, visit you in your home to discuss the type of service you would like, conduct the service and, if you would like a good sing – whether it is one hymn or four – the choice will be yours. There is always a good organist on hand to make the whole thing complete. What is more, every church has a parish hall just a few yards away where a reception may be held. There are many local caterers who do wonderful food, and again you may choose your caterer and the menu.

Compare all this, for example, with gloomy old Lawnswood, from east Leeds at least a 24 mile round trip and a building which has seen better days, needing an enormous injection of cash by Leeds CC to bring it up to modern standards. Car parking leaves a lot to be desired, too, and crossing Otley Road extremely dangerous, especially for the elderly.

So the slogan is: use your churches or lose them – more comfort, less hassle and I do believe that your dearly departed would have approved!

Costs ‘a bit suspect’

Chris Sharp, Leeds 25

I don’t often agree with A Hague (YEP Letters February 19) but, as he points out, it’s always in millions!

Are the quantity surveyors paid by how much they value a job at? Cycle path, millions, statue, millions, refurbishment of anything, millions! A bit suspect methinks.

Legal claims against the NHS

Simon Wilson, Yorkshire Regional Co-ordinator for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Leeds

The NHS brings hope, health, and life to millions of people, but on rare occasions it also fails and patients are injured, and families are bereaved.

To save some money for the NHS, the Government plans to cut its legal bill for medical negligence compensation claims.

Although the public purse is indeed not bottomless, paying compensation is necessary while the NHS continues to cause unnecessary harm.

The Government’s priority should be to ensure the NHS serves its purpose to help people.

When things go wrong which shouldn’t go wrong injured patients and their families need guidance and legal representation.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) of which I am a member, has some ideas for improvements to benefit both our beloved health service and its patients. The NHS must admit when it is wrong.

Failure by the NHS to apologise is the most common complaint raised by patients in England and forces some people down the legal route in search of answers.

A ‘deny, defend, delay’ tactic is used all too often, and drags legal cases out unnecessarily.

Obtaining medical records as part of a medical negligence claims can take up to six months when official guidelines state they should be released within 21 days. Patients and their lawyers do not have time to waste.

Quicker recovery of records would reduce a lot of work, uncertainty, and the negative knock-on effect such delays have on costs.

But the easiest and most effective way to cut the NHS’s legal bill is for it to learn from its own failures and stop repeating harm.

Each claim the NHS has to pay compensation for represents a person who was injured unnecessarily and who needs to get their life back on track.

Short breaks are ‘a lifeline’

Una Summerson, Head of Policy, Contact a Family

As Wakefield Council finalises its budgets for the next financial year, Contact a Family – the national charity that supports families with disabled children – has published worrying new research showing that spending on short break (or respite) services for local families with disabled children has already been cut by 12 per cent since 2011/12.

Families describe short break services as a lifeline. They save the state tens of millions of pounds by supporting parent carers to look after their disabled children, giving them the chance to recharge their batteries or spend time with their other children.

At the same time they give disabled children and young people opportunities their non-disabled peers take for granted like trying new experiences and making new friends.

We appreciate the challenges the council face due to national government funding decisions but want to make sure that the economic and social value short break services bring to families and communities – and the potential impact on families if these services are reduced - are recognised so further cuts are avoided.

Contact a Family is encouraging families with disabled children to visit www.cafamily.org.uk/shortbreaks to find out more about accessing short breaks services locally and how they can work together with other parents and the council to help improve this vital service for families with disabled children in Wakefield.

YEP Letters: October 19