YEP Letters: February 2

Have your say

I found your article on January 24 regarding the new chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust very interesting.

It quoted Julian Hartley saying “the importance of patient care in a way that is compassionate, is personal, goes above and beyond the norm”. I wish some of this compassionate care could have been afforded to my husband recently.

Having been registered with our GP practice for well over 40 years, I rang the surgery at 8.15am on Friday and asked for a home visit. The receptionist took the details which were my husband had injured his back decorating and it had steadily got worse. He had tried usual remedies, resting, painkillers, warm patches etc but it was getting worse and he was now in extreme pain, so much so he could hardly move. My son and I could not lift him without causing him more pain and so he had to stay on the lounge floor Thursday evening.

I was told the GP would visit after morning surgery sometime after 11.30am. The surgery is approximately five minutes drive away from our house. At about 1.10pm the GP rang and asked how my husband was, I explained again the symptoms. The GP said he didn’t have any injections he could administer (there is a pharmacy next door to the surgery) and suggested prescribing some muscle relaxant (so we could get him upstairs) and strong painkillers and I could pick them up later which I duly did.

Later that day my son and I could still not help him so he literally had to crawl from the lounge through the hall and up the stairs before finally collapsing in agony on the bed.

My husband is 66 and it is only the second time we have requested a home visit, the last time was almost ten years ago when he had acute pancreatitis but that time we did get a visit!

Where is the compassion and patient care? I am sure there are thousands of other people who have had similar experiences and indeed greater needs but I was so incensed I had to write to express my outrage.

Mrs LM Kent, 
Off King Lane, Leeds

Stick to miners’ strike facts

ISN’T IT time to take the ‘emotion’ out of the 1984 miners’ strike and stick to the historical facts?

Because if anyone should be making an apology it ought to be former NUM leader Arthur Scargill who led his members without a proper ballot into what was never an industrial dispute, but a personal ‘war of attrition’ against the government of the day, which on a victory or death basis could only have one winner, ie the one with all the power and money!

Fuel for power stations had been stockpiled for months in advance so Maggie Thatcher could never be caught out like Ted Heath was in 1974, plus the CEGB was given carte blanche to burn as much expensive oil as they needed to keep the lights on and industry running.

Solidarity among miners was far from 100 per cent with some returning to work, others forming a breakaway Democratic Miners Union leaving the rest defenceless against the most reactionary Government this country had ever seen in the 20th century!

Also, pit closures were not only by the Tories, Labour closed many in the 1960s, and there is evidence that even more were planned in the Crosland Diaries of 1968, when that minister broached the subject because it was obvious the NCB was a serious financial liability the country could no longer afford. However, lack of political courage put closures off the agenda.

In spite of the losses of both jobs and mining communities, Mr Scargill didn’t do too bad for himself did he?

DS Boyes, 
Upper Rodley Lane

1930s wasn’t
a golden age

I REFER to ‘Benefits panic: long Tory rule for return of dignity and integrity’ (Malcolm Nicholson, January 25).

The 1930s were not the golden age. There was widescale unemployment, no welfare state and people who were unable to find a job starved, applied to the Board of Guardians for means tested benefits or moved into the workhouse. There was no NHS – medical insurance was needed to pay doctors’ fees, anybody could open a school even if they had no qualifications, there was no inspection to ensure that the premises were suitable. This continued until the Education Act 1944.

This Government appears to be taking us back to the 1930s and we are almost there. Families are relying on food banks. The reason why Labour won a landslide victory in 1945 was because people remembered how grim things were before the Second World War.

Miss P Johnson, 

Reforms undone by Tory rule

MALCOLM NICHOLSON may consider himself to be blessed with being born in the 1930s (YEP, January 25) but for many it was known as the ‘wasted years’. The slump, mass unemployment, hunger marches, the means test and the rise of fascism.

The Government’s poor handling of the economy paved the way for Labour’s thumping majority in 1945.

The Labour government’s first task was to rescue the failing industries of the nation from the greed and inefficiency of private enterprise by putting them into public hands and to top it all they introduced the National Health Service.

All of these gains and reforms have been undone by Tory governments.

Since 2010, millions of people have sacrificed their living standards due to this Government’s austerity programme.

This austerity spreads throughout the world but doesn’t extend to the world’s richest one per cent who own 65 times more than the combined wealth of the bottom 50 per cent.

Malcolm Nicholson may wish to see this inequality and injustice continue for the next 25 years – but I don’t.

John Appleyard, Firthcliffe, Liversedge

Not much waste in the midden

ALL THIS talk about bin men – I am sure some of your readers aged over 70 remember the big brick hole in the wall we called the midden and the outside toilets known as the lavs. All the rubbish was thrown in the midden but mind you, not much was wasted.

Bottles and jars were sold for an old penny, and rags were sold or made into smaller clothes. My grandfather had a big pole with a nail on the end and he collected shoes to mend. Newspaper was used for toilet paper or to light the fire, wood was burned or made into carts. There was hardly any food waste as there was hardly enough to feed our family of six – living in a two bedroom house.

There was a wash house in the yard. Grandma did the washing where she warmed the water in a set pot by lighting a fire underneath, then scrubbing and possing the clothes and then she used a large mangle to press all water out (and it broke all the buttons on the garments). Then the washing would be put on the lines to dry.

The houses where I lived had been condemned before the war and those at the back facing Dewsbury Road were already empty so we had our share of mice, rats and bugs, yet I was never ill. I never knew how they managed to empty the big holes of the middens. They must have had to shovel it all out. It must have been in the sixties when the houses were finally knocked down.

Mrs M Ferguson, 
Seacroft, Leeds

Setting example

WHAT A lovely couple Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall are (and baby now!). No pretence, arrogance, prancing about from one Caribbean island to another and partying at our expense. These so-called “princes and princesses” should take the example set by Mr and Mrs Phillips and learn how to behave.

Name and address withheld

Kirkgate Market, Leeds

YEP Letters: February 9