Letters, October 2 2020


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Public needs to know localised Covid-19 statistics

Hallelujah! It has taken over five months during a national crisis, but at last somebody in authority, with hopefully some influence, has smelt the coffee and realised that it is farcical to utilise the term ‘patient confidentiality’ as a pathetic excuse for withholding Covid-19 statistics for Campbeltown and other local areas.

Perhaps the chair of the Integrated Joint Board can have a bit more luck in persuading the powers that be the general public has a need to know!

After all, if government is asking the plebs to be responsible, the least they can do is reciprocate and offer the non-confidential information that may help people to make more informed and responsible choices

Andrew Hemmings, Sound of Kintyre.

Traffic issues in town’s residential streets

The comments below were taken from the Courier’s Facebook page in response to last week’s article about Councillor Donald Kelly’s hopes for a one-way system and mandatory 20 miles per hour speed restrictions to tackle overparking and speeding in the Davaar Avenue and Ralston Road areas of Campbeltown:

Daniel Robinson: ‘I’ve always thought a one-way system in most schemes in the town is needed. I’ve driven a truck down Ralston Road, down the hill, only to be met by the bus coming the other way. One of us had to reverse the whole way as there isn’t always space in the side to go into!’

Karen Irwin: ‘One-way system definitely needed up Ralston Road.’

Robert Houston: ‘Create parking in the bowler hat and waste ground to the rear of the cul-de-sac on Davaar Avenue, as a possible solution?’

John Donald Semple: ‘Best to trial these things before any major change. Often changes to traffic flow create more problems than those they are meant to remedy.’

Malina McAulay: ‘Speed bumps definitely [needed] for corner of Roading and Davaar Avenue, racers coming and going round the corner.’

Paul Mackie: ‘I was in Campbeltown this summer for a holiday and I was staggered at the amount of ‘boy racers’ the town has. I appreciate that there is not much for young lads to do but, equally, where are they getting the cash to buy these small ‘supercars’ with their huge turbos and souped-up wheels. It’s like a throwback to the 1980s.’

Jo Duncan: ‘Would love to see a change in limits or some speed bumps put in at the bus stop area of Stewarton, cars going past there at a mental speed. Considering there are houses, a bus stop and a park it should definitely be looked into.’

Senga Dunn: ’20 mile limited [needed] at High Askomil. Take my life in my hands everyday when I step onto a main road with people driving like maniacs.’

Action needed to ensure proper end-of-life care

A third of patients in Scottish hospitals are in their last year of life and 10 per cent die on their current admission. We know that many of these people miss out on the care and support they need when they become terminally ill, are approaching the end of life, and when they die.

Marie Curie and the University of Glasgow have recently, with a range of experts, explored how palliative care in acute settings can be improved, what changes need to be made, and how to better share good practice.

Our report, Past, present and future: Caring for those approaching the end of life in Scottish Hospitals, finds that despite many examples of good care, hospitals are still not identifying enough patients who could benefit from palliative care when seriously ill and approaching the end of life, and so unfairly miss out on the care they need.

We are calling upon the Scottish Government, NHS boards and integration authorities to implement the 12 recommendations set out in this report covering public policy, communication, identifying palliative patients, IT, workforce, training and education, data and culture.

We would like to see this include a £15 million Change and Innovation Fund to test new models of integrated care involving acute settings.

The impact for patients who have missed out on palliative and end-of-life support in hospitals is distressing not only for those who are at the end of life, but also for their families.

We have seen these impacts further increase with Covid-19. There is no denying hospitals are the right place for some dying people to be, and for many it is their preference.

We need definitive action to ensure people get the care they need when visiting and staying in hospital in their last years, months, weeks, days and hours of life.

Richard Meade, head of policy and public affairs Scotland, Marie Curie, and Dr Marian Krawczyk, lecturer, school of interdisciplinary studies (end of life studies), University of Glasgow.

Need to Talk service is just a call away

This coming week marks both World Sight Day (Thursday, October 8) and World Mental Health Day (Saturday, October 10), two important reminders of the fragility and stress to which we are all vulnerable, and which have been exacerbated during the current crisis.

Every day in Scotland 10 people begin to lose their sight. To those affected, the prospect of losing their independence and even their livelihoods can have an understandable impact on their mental health.

RNIB Scotland’s Need to Talk service is available in Argyll. It offers free and confidential advice and support over the phone from trained counsellors, providing vital reassurance that help is available so people can find their lives again and come to terms with whatever sight loss condition they have.

Our Need to Talk service is there so no one should feel alone or adrift at what can be a very sensitive time. It is also available to the family and carers of those experiencing sight loss.

Need to Talk can be contacted by emailing needtotalk@rnib.org.uk or telephoning 0303 123 9999.

James Adams, director, Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland.

Are you a military veteran?

Scotland has around 130,000 older military veterans and Age Scotland believes that many go without the assistance available to them, such as priority healthcare for conditions linked to their service, help with dental and eye care, housing and financial support.

We have launched a revamped version of our popular free Veterans’ Guide to Later Life in Scotland.

The guide features information about support and opportunities available to every older person in Scotland, plus content specifically for British Armed Forces veterans including regulars, reservists, National Servicemen and merchant navy who have sailed in support of a British military operation.

It is most relevant to veterans aged 65 plus, but much of the content will be of interest to veterans aged 50 to 64, regardless of how long ago, or for how long they served.

If you are aged 65 or older, live in Scotland and have served in the armed forces, the guide will be most relevant to you. It doesn’t matter how long ago, or for how long, you served: you may have had a military career, a short period of national service, been a reservist, or even supported a military operation with the merchant navy.

Many people we’ve met through our Veterans’ Project left the armed forces with little or no support for readjusting to civilian life. Today, the military is more proactive in supporting that transition, but older veterans it seems were, by and large, left to it.

Our guide aims to ensure veterans have a better experience when making the transition to later life.

Veterans and their families can request a free paper guide by calling Age Scotland on 0800 12 44 222 or visiting www.age.scot/veteransguide. It is also available as a download.

Doug Anthoney, Age Scotland Veterans’ Project co-ordinator.