No help for my friend

I HAVE friend who has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

She has managed to cope for a long time with the help of her family and carers.

Alas her condition has deteriorated and her family, with the best will and love in the world , can no longer give her the care she deserves.

She needs help with most things now. She has gone into a nursing home. She is well cared for there but it is very expensive.

My friend has applied for the subsidy ‘Continuance of Care’ to help with the nursing home fees and relieve the family of some of the financial burden.

This subsidy is not means tested. She has been refused.

The Motor Neurone Disease nurse has written in support of her claim, stating exactly how much extra care her patient requires. This has made no difference.

It would seem one has to be at death’s door to qualify for this help. Maybe the NHS only agree to help with funds if they know they do not have to pay out for very long.

My friend has bravely born this dreadful illness and her family have been unrelenting in their care for her.

Should she not now have a little financial help to ease the burden for them all?

Joan Bithell,

Address supplied

Not enough doctors

Plans to shake up health care provision fail to address the root cause of the sickness.

The A&E crisis has not just arisen because of increased demand but because there are insufficient doctors. Shuffling the deck chairs around isn’t going to cure that.

Obviously specialist emergency consultants can’t be produced overnight but that problem must be addressed urgently.

Meanwhile, more patients are turning up at hospitals for help because their GPs aren’t providing out of hours service and the public mistrust the NHS 111 helpline. GPs should never have been allowed to operate a 9-5 service, courtesy of Labour, and that has to be rectified, with new contracts if persuasion fails.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s proposals are a sticking plaster over a gaping wound and expecting call centres, pharmacists and paramedics to take up the slack is not good enough. People’s lives are at risk from a lack of trained doctors and this has been allowed to happen until we have now reached breaking point.

I also fear that creating “super” A & E’s will mean seriously ill patients having to travel longer distances for emergency help, potentially imperilling their lives.

Louise Bours,

North West UKIP

Improving survival rate

This month is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month – an opportunity to get the nation talking about this disease, which currently claims the lives of about 7,900 people every year in the UK.

I’m proud to be helping Pancreatic Cancer UK to raise the profile of this so-called ‘silent killer’ - an inspirational charity I first became involved with following the sudden and tragic death of my sister-in-law, Alanah. Many people think the condition is rare and simply doesn’t affect younger people. In fact, a third of cases are in the under-65s. All too often it is assumed that if diagnosed with pancreatic cancer nothing can be done.

But this shouldn’t be the case. With greater understanding among both the public and health professionals and further investment into research, we are confident that real progress can be made and survival rates can be improved.

To find out about the work of Pancreatic Cancer UK and how you can become involved, please visit: www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/everylifematters. Alternatively, if you, or someone you know has been affected by this issue and would like to talk to a pancreatic cancer nurse specialist, please call the Support Line on 020 3535 7099.

Suggs,

Madness frontman and Pancreatic Cancer UK supporter