IoS letters, emails & online postings (9 November 2014)

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The Independent Online

Your article regarding lack of care for vulnerable patients appals me, especially the fact that the number of specialist learning disability nurses is falling ("Three vulnerable patients a day die due to lack of care", 2 November).

My eldest son was severely physically disabled, had a learning disability and was unable to speak; fortunately I was always asked for my opinion when he was ill, and doctors and consultants always listened. Sadly though, this didn't save my son who died a few years ago while receiving respite care in a special hospital. He was allowed to dehydrate over a weekend, and by the time we were contacted, things had gone too far.

Since my son died, I have been giving talks to new care staff who work in day centres, residential and respite homes. This is a big leap forward by the local authority, in that they have recognised that the best people to talk to care staff are people who have, or have had, a child with a disability. Maybe this idea should be extended to nurses as part of their training.

Diane Graham

Watford, Hertfordshire

As a social worker who works with adults who are learning disabled, I welcomed Charlie Cooper's article. The one point I felt necessary to make was about the description of Gerald who "had the IQ of a seven-year-old". Gerald had the IQ of a 37-year-old, because that is his age. Likening people who are learning disabled to children does nothing to promote their rights or to encourage others to view them as equals.

Luke Bryan-Lai

via email

I am writing to correct Jane Merrick's misconceptions about bus services outside London ("All hands on the parish pump", 2 November).

Contrary to her suggestion, bus services are significantly cheaper in England's city regions, including Tyne and Wear, than they are in London. Bus satisfaction in every one of England's biggest city regions is also higher than in the capital. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of cuts to bus routes in recent years have been by local authorities, not bus operators.

Places such as Manchester and Newcastle don't need devolution to get Oyster-style smart ticketing. Britain's biggest bus operators have announced this will be introduced across England's largest city regions during 2015. Labour's uncosted and unnecessary bus plans, meanwhile, would land people with a huge tax bill and lead to higher fares.

Martin Griffiths

Chief executive, Stagecoach Group

At present we are giving non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, who are well supplied with lethal aid by our allies. At the same time if young British men leave this country to go out and fight alongside the rebels we punish them. Our policy of half-hearted support for Syrian rebels seems utterly confused and is condemning Syria to war with no end in sight.

Brendan O'Brien

London N21

In the interview with Natalie Bennett she spoke of 10 target seats ("Green Party shuns Lib Dem pact over environment policy", 2 November). The most important strategy to me would be to vote Green in safe Tory and Labour constituencies.

When the next coalition government is formed, whether it is Tory or Labour, if it does not include the Greens, the first policy they will endorse will be to stop the Green surge. To stop the Ukip surge both major parties have adopted hard immigration stances. To stop the Green surge no doubt they would adopt green policies. It does not matter who adopts them as long as they are in force soon.

R F Stearn

Stowmarket, Suffolk

When it comes to global warming you repeatedly, and mistakenly illustrate stories with photographs of power station cooling towers (Letters, 2 November) – which emit non-polluting water vapour, rather than the implied carbon that these articles are actually about.

Jimmy Bates

Ledbury, Herefordshire

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