IoS letters, emails & online postings (20 February 2011)

Share
Related Topics

My father spent most of the last two weeks of his life in a filthy geriatric ward, lying in a urine-soaked bed, unable to reach his buzzer or a drink, while a crowd of nurses stood chatting about their social lives round a nurses' station.

More than 14 years later, nothing seems to have changed. Have nurses become more callous and cruel? Is the system wrong? Is it a combination of factors?

Wards should be designed so that a nurse is sitting in the middle of the ward in full view of all beds (as used to be the case). Where there is gross neglect or ill-treatment, we do not want financial compensation, but a sincere apology and the knowledge that someone is being held accountable and that it will not happen again.

No amount of technical expertise is any use if the patient is frightened, hungry, thirsty or in avoidable pain and discomfort. Trainees should be told to imagine it is a loved one of theirs that they are looking after, and to be reminded that we all grow old – even them.

We need to get away from the target-driven box-ticking culture that infects all organisations. Care can't easily be measured. This crisis is in part caused by treating everything as a business. Care can never be just a business. This problem does not just apply to the NHS. It happens in the private sector, too, and last week's Ombudsman's report should not be used as a stick with which to beat the NHS by those who wish to undermine it and introduce more privatisation.

Jill Rooney

Ashtead, Surrey

David Cameron's Big Society relies on local people creating communities of mutual care, but he denies them the core money to enable them to do this ("Battle of the Big Society", 13 February). He seeks to integrate different religions and cultures into one society, but by promoting faith schools he undermines this. He seeks to encourage individuals to contribute to the common good, but he fails to curb those whose greed and selfishness have helped to cause this situation. He seeks to give local people more power, but makes drastic cuts to councils and robs them of control over schools.

I suggest a different slogan: a Mutual Society. There are many models from history: the early Christian church, monasteries in the middle ages, the co-operative movement in the 19th century, and building societies in the 20th century before they succumbed to the temptations of capitalism.

John Nicholson

Leeds

A recent government pledge of £27m for debt advisory bodies coincided with a radio programme on the proliferation of internet-based unregulated, unregistered lending agencies, sucking the heavily indebted section of the population into further debts. It would appear that the citizens of other European countries do not use credit as freely as this country, subscribing to the old-fashioned concept of living within one's means. They, therefore, are emerging from recession more rapidly.

Before the financial meltdown, the letterbox would be besieged with tempting offers of unlimited, cheap loans. I don't recall hearing any clamouring, warning voices from any of these supposedly safeguarding bodies, nor any intervention from the government to curtail these excesses at the time.

Anna Hurwitz

Via email

John Lichfield's article "Belgium – eight months with no government", 13 February) is an outstanding example of the need for first- past-the-post elections, to create strong government. It has been reported the King of Belgium has been advising the prime minister. I can imagine the furore if the British Royal Family was forced to advise the British Prime Minister.

Roy Burns

Chester

I agree with Paul Vallely's arguments for giving prisoners the vote ("Populist, illiberal and sickmaking", 13 February), but would they be allowed to stand in elections? This would hardly lead to a prisoner winning an election, but would let them voice their concerns.

Kartar Uppal

West Bromwich, West Midlands

I applaud Robert Fisk's article "Cairo's 50,000 street children were abused by this regime" (13 February). Street children are some of the most marginalised individuals in the world. During turbulent times they often suffer disproportionately and are repeatedly overlooked by society, governments, and the media. The disregard for even their most basic human rights is seen in countries across the world. Fisk's article highlights what this can lead to: a bullet in the back by those tasked with the role of protectors.

Louise Meincke

Advocacy Manager, Consortium for Street Children

London SW9

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (with address; no attachments, please); fax: 020 7005 2627; online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2011/February/20

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

I’m not sure I fancy any meal that’s been cooked up by a computer

John Walsh
Labour leader Ed Miliband delivers a speech on his party's plans for the NHS, in Sale, on Tuesday  

Why is Miliband fixating on the NHS when he’d be better off focussing on the wealth gap?

Andreas Whittam Smith
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore