Recorder letters: childhood obesity, war heroes, inequality in doctors pay and bake for stroke charity
PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 September 2018
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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Inactivity fuelling obesity crisis
Tanya Braun, head of policy and communications, Living Streets, writes:
The news that only two out of 53 European countries are more overweight than Britain is a wake up call screaming at us to find more achievable ways to move more.
It can be difficult to keep active, especially for those with office jobs, but inactivity is making people unhealthy and unhappy.
Even a short, brisk walk can have fantastic mental and physical health benefits, helping to prevent long-term chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression. Direct NHS savings from an increase in urban walking and cycling have been estimated at £17bn over 20 years.
This isn’t just about improving our current situation; it’s about safeguarding the future of our children. One in five boys and one in six girls of primary school-age are classed as physically inactive, and one in three children leaves primary school either overweight or obese.
Swapping the school run for a walk helps build more exercise into a child’s day and ensures they develop healthy habits for life.
Remembering our war heroes
Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, chief executive, RAF Benevolent Fund, writes:
On Sunday we remembered the bravery of the Battle of Britain pilots who took to our skies in defence of the nation, night after night during the summer of 1940. Battle of Britain Day on September 15 is a moment to pause and reflect not only on their sacrifice but on the sacrifice of all who have served our country.
It is important to remember the legacy left by all those pilots who gave their lives for our today and to remember that whilst we may not face the same, visible, our selfless servicemen and women continue to put their lives on the line for us today.
This year, Battle of Britain Day coincides with Remember a Charity Week, a campaign to raise awareness of the impact a gift in a will can make to charities. For the RAF Benevolent Fund, gifts in wills make up almost 60 per cent of our total donated income. Income which has been spent over the past 100 years supporting the RAF Family, serving and retired personnel and their families.
People like the families of those killed in action during the Battle of Britain in the Second World War, ensuring the pilots’ children received the best possible start in life despite their tragic loss; or providing for RAF veterans so that they may live out their retirement in comfort and dignity.
As the nation marked the Royal Air Force’s centenary this summer, here at the Fund, we celebrated almost 100 years of support for the RAF Family; we have stood side by side with those who gave their all, since 1919. However, it is only because of the support of incredible donors who leave a legacy to support RAF and ex-RAF personnel in need that we are able to continue to do that.
Doctors should be treated the same
Dr Gary Marlowe, BMA London regional council chairman, writes:
A recent report published by the British Medical Journal which shows disparities between the pay of black and minority ethnic (BME) doctors and their white colleagues is further evidence of the need to tackle discrimination in the NHS.
Every doctor working in London, and indeed across the country, must be treated fairly and equally. There can be no excuse for variations in pay when doctors are delivering the same level of patient care.
This doesn’t stop at pay differences with staff surveys showing that BME doctors are at greater risk of harassment and bullying from both colleagues and patients. Indeed, with only seven per cent of senior managers in the NHS coming from BME backgrounds, barriers to progression are very much present.
The government must do more to insure that all forms of discrimination are taken seriously and work towards eradicating unfair treatment within the NHS.
Bake fundraiser for stroke charity
Rachel Khoo, celebrity chef, writes:
I’m on a mission to get residents baking this October to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.
Stroke is much closer than many people think: there are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke. Almost two thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability.
Between October 22 and 28, the charity is calling on people to take part in Give a Hand and Bake. It is a fun, and delicious way, to help people whose lives have been impacted by this condition.
The Stroke Association has ideas to help you get started: just visit stroke.org.uk/GAH to download or request a pack.