Your readers rightly reacted with dismay, as I did, at the story of Mrs Lily Latham (YEP, March 5 and 6).
The council’s social work staff acted swiftly to investigate the circumstances of Mrs Latham’s case. We have received assurances from the company involved that the high standards we expect from our contractors will in future apply to all the older people they care for. This had already been done before your article was published as we take our responsibilities for monitoring all our home care contracts very seriously.
I would like to assure your readers that this kind of unpardonably poor service is not endemic in our city and that this is evidenced by the low level of complaints we receive from people who are customers of our home care contractors. But mistakes do happen and anyone who knows of a case where poor care is being delivered should contact Adult Social Care and we will investigate.
You make a couple of further points in your articles which do require some clarification. There has been no cut to the funding of the home care budget in Leeds, either in the current financial year or next. The care and support of our older and disabled people remains a high priority for this administration and this will continue in the future.
Much has been made by the government of so-called extra funding to be transferred to social care under the provisions of the Better Care Fund. By the Department of Health’s own admission, this is not new money but will be made over to local government in support of social care services through savings to be made in acute care in order to invest more in services in the community. This means that councils and the Health Service will have to work harder than ever before to support older people staying safely and independently in their homes. Whilst we in local government grapple with the intricacies for funding for social care, people like Mrs Latham remain our first priority. Her wellbeing and dignity were not adequately protected on this occasion and I am sorry that her care did not come up to the standard specified in our contract.
Your readers can be assured that we will continue to monitor our providers closely to ensure contractors know that we and the people of Leeds expect them to deliver the highest quality of care.
Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Executive Board Member, Adult Social Care
Fantastic care at Foot Clinic
WE HEAR grumbles and criticism about the NHS.
Well, for the last three months I have been attending the Foot Clinic (the Diabetic Department) at St James’s Hospital due to a very serious foot infection.
The treatment, care and attention I have received has been second to none. From Dr Bodansky, the podiatrists, nurses and the shoe fitter, down to the staff making future appointments, they have all been absolutely wonderful.
Mrs C Taylor, Moor Allerton Avenue, Leeds
Carers and poor communication
REGARDING THE adverse publicity on home care for the elderly, greed by the providers is one reason, and the disregard by this government for the older generation is another and the two go hand in hand.
One of the problems carers have is lack of communication between medical staff and carers. To explain this, several times this week, an ambulance has been called to residents in our complex. They have been taken to hospital but two or three hours later the carers arrive, not knowing that the person they are visiting has been hospitalised. This must waste many hours of a carer’s time, when they could be visiting someone else.
Mr R Chester, Windmill Green, Rothwell
Savile picture unnecessary
IN YOUR article on the Savile flat being gutted and rebuilt (YEP, March 6) could someone please explain why it was necessary to illustrate this with yet another photograph of the pervert we now know he was?
Nobody needs reminding of what he looked like any more. I am sure many people feel the same.
Mrs J Thompson, Gledhow
Educate cyclists on road rules
AMID ALL this furore to encourage people to get on their bikes, what about a programme to educate a cyclist on how to observe the Highway Code?
Current users do not appear to have any knowledge that a red traffic light means stop. This morning alone in the city centre whilst crossing the road, after waiting for the green man two bikes shot through the light narrowly missing elderly pedestrians, including myself.
Cycling on pavements is rife. When we were children if we were caught riding on a pavement the local constabulary would soon jump on us, it is now not safe to walk on the pavements.
Health fear of filthy streets
REGARDING HOSPITAL bugs, has anyone thought of filth from our dirty streets that is being carried into hospitals by footwear – especially in our suburbs?
Apart from animal waste products, domestic and feral, there are lots of other sources from humans, spit, chewing gum and thrown away food etc.
I have seen many used baby nappies and condoms thrown away. Our streets are filthy and we need to address the issues that could be the cause of bug-related illnesses.
Mrs Elizabeth Stephens, Langley Road, Leeds
Eco-friendly energy source
COUNTRY FILE on BBC television recently featured a dairy farm in England which produced tons of cheese every year. The manure from the cows was swept into a system which extracted the methane gas which then fuelled the farm generators. The electricity produced was more than enough for the farm’s needs and could have supplied electricity for 1,200 homes. The residue was then spread on the land as fertilizer.
How much more “eco friendly” can you get? Surely this is the way forward. It must be cheaper than those ridiculously expensive wind farms blighting our landscapes.
Terry Watson, Adel
IN REPLY to Malcom Nicholson’s letter (YEP, March 5) I have never heard such a bigoted tirade. The fact that the person attended the funeral in whatever attire would still show a mark of respect. Having attended my father-in-law’s funeral in December when only a handful came, and my daughter’s ‘celebration of life’ when over 200 people came and not a black item of clothing in sight, I hope my send off is as good.
Hopefully Mr Nicholson might be lucky enough to have someone to bade him a goodbye when the time comes.
Roger Hick, by email
SO, the rowing club at the University of Leeds is to get a new £1m boathouse. This is going to be built at Thwaites Mills, rather than its current location in York. I agree it is great for rowers, but how can we keep funding this amount of money for pleasure, yet we cannot pay for enough doctors and nurses to keep people alive?
AE Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds
Rugby on late
WHY DO Rugby League supporters have to wait until 11.50pm to watch the Super League Show? It is then repeated on Tuesday later still, at 12.20am. How many supporters have to record it? Come on, Rugby League, time to put the boot in.
Malcolm Myers, Selby