Check out today’s YEP letters.
Tories have missed Rees-Mogg
Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16
I can’t help feeling that the Tory party are totally blind to have missed Jacob Rees-Mogg from their candidates for party leader and new Prime Minister. As well as being a main proponent of the Brexit “leave” campaign, the guy has all the attributes to be a leader for the whole country and not just the Tory party.
Working closely to bring standards up
Coun Peter Gruen, Chair of the Adult Social Services, Public Health and NHS Scrutiny Board, Leeds City Council
Your editorial regarding judgements made by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is very timely: your readers may know that the CQC is the formal regulator; in a way like Ofsted is with schools.
Its judgements therefore do carry weight and just as knowledgeable parents research potential schools, so will families do their homework about care and residential homes.
This is why one of the first reforms I introduced last year was for our Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board to monitor very closely all the CQC reports across the whole of Leeds and for different types of institutions; hospitals, GP practices, dentists, residential and care homes. So what have we learnt?
The good news is that in general our GPs pass with flying colours; there are lots of ‘goods’ right across the city. The picture is one of good care and customer satisfaction. My thanks to all the very hard-working colleagues – doctors and staff- who are making this possible.
The inspection arrangements for dentists are still being established – so it’s probably too early to make an overall assessment and we will wait to hear the CQC’s judgement on hospital and mental health services later this year.
However, as we discovered throughout the course of last year, inspection outcomes across the Adult Social Care sector is more mixed and varied. In April 2016, the CQC’s Adult Social Care Inspection Manager presented the following summary of inspection outcomes for Leeds: 91 (54 per cent) received a ‘Good’ rating, 71 (42 per cent) received a ‘Requires Improvement ‘rating, and 7 (4 per cent) received an ‘Inadequate’ rating.
None were graded as ‘Outstanding’
Nationally, less than one per cent of inspections judge providers as ‘outstanding’ and around four per cent are judged to be ‘inadequate’ – so Leeds is not unusual in this respect. However, nationally 66 per cent of providers are assessed as ‘Good’ and 29 per cent are assessed as ‘Requires Improvement’. While these figures show there are improvements to be made across the country, they also show there is an even greater challenge across Leeds.
In Leeds, there is also a difference between Local Authority Homes; adjudged as giving ‘Good’ care and private, independent homes, where the judgements are more varied. I say this not because I want to score points, but because providing great care for vulnerable, elderly residents, in some cases with additional fragilities, is a very demanding and constantly challenging endeavour.
In many cases providers get it right; however in other cases more work remains to be done.
It is my considered view that at this moment the private sector does not yet provide the consistent, high quality care and leadership that we have a right to expect when we think about the best options for our parents, relatives and loved ones.
That is why we will continue to give close scrutiny to what I hope will be an improving picture. I am optimistic because both management and staff with whom I have met are dedicated to providing the best care they can and our own Adult Social Care staff are working closely with colleagues to bring standards up.
Lotherton is a great day out
Coun Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council Executive member for Environment and Sustainability
I’d like to thank Vernon Wood for his letter in the YEP on the Lotherton Hall Estate and his kind words about the house and grounds.
We are lucky to have such wonderful parks and estates in Leeds- not just at Lotherton but Temple Newsam, Roundhay Park, Golden Acre, Middleton Park and all of the other great parks, some big and some small.
Mr Wood is right that £5.50 is the standard adult admission. However, we do offer a range of concessions and discounts, including a family ticket priced at only £16.50 for two adults and three children. It’s even cheaper with a Leeds Card!
Whilst some of our activities are free, we need to be able to keep out gems like Lotherton Hall open. If you want a comparison, Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, the nearest similar English Heritage property, costs £10.40 for an adult.
Even better value is available by becoming a member – an adult membership is as little as £19 for which you get admission for a year, invitations to exclusive events, a free one day pass for guests and regular newsletters.
During the time we have been charging for entry of Lotherton Hall we have invested in new play equipment, a new deer hide and a wildlife pond and maze. The servants quarters in the house have been restored and opened, the costume gallery refurbished, many new events, games and activities added and a lift has been installed in the house.
All of this improvement has led to a rise in visitor numbers and great feedback.
I hope residents do visit the Lotherton Hall Estate, it is a great day out.
Thanks for barge trips
Anthony Silson, by email
May I, through your columns, thank all the organisers, bargees and any others who made the weekend barge trips on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal so successful.
The trips at Armley Mills and Kirkstall were most enjoyable.
Time to change the system
Alison Harris, Harrogate
If anything good has come out of the events of the last two weeks one thing is very obvious that for the first time in many people’s lives their vote has actually counted.
There has been much talk of the undemocratic nature of the EU but ironically MEPs have always been chosen by a far fairer system than our own MPs – by proportional representation.
Now that people have realised that their vote can count it is surely time to replace our outdated and unfair first past the post system, which effectively disenfranchises many of us.
Our governments are chosen by a few voters in a few marginal seats.
No wonder there is widespread apathy amongst voters.
It is time to change the system and take control.
Carry on politicking?
Graham Branston, Rawdon
I know it’s not really a laughing matter, but there could be a latter day revival of those corny and rather cheeky Carry On films – ‘Carry On Politicking’.
The script would probably not compare to what has actually happened recently, but which current actors would you cast as Cameron, Corbyn Farage, Bojo, Gove, Osborne etc.
What a great school Christmas panto! Take care not to be defamatory though.
Little faith in negotiations
Richard Gallagher, Guiseley
It is vital that absolutely none of the members of teams involved in Brexit negotiations with the EU are drawn from the ‘Remain’ camp.
We could after all muster very little faith in the abilities of anyone who apparently viewed the outcome of David Cameron’s pre-referendum negotiations with the EU as a ‘good deal’.