Recorder letters: NHS online booking, Muslims under attack, grief support for cat owners and autumnal conkers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 September 2018

Richard Sheppard says not everyone can book appointments online. Picture: PA IMAGES

Richard Sheppard says not everyone can book appointments online. Picture: PA IMAGES

PA Wire/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

NHS online bookign not for all

Richard Sheppard, Stratford, full address supplied, writes:

When I phoned my doctor to make an appointment recently, I was told the phone number I have used for years is now just for information.

I have since been told you now use the internet to make an appointment.

The internet may rule most people’s lives but believe it or not, there are still lots of us who still don’t understand how to use it in an every day sense which makes our lives very difficult as the traditional ways of doing things are withdrawn in order to save money.

I did get to see a doctor on this occasion but I worry that in future I won’t be able to see one if I need to simply because I can’t use the internet.

I am already effectively locked out of the Universal Credit system because of this.

I would hate to think the NHS is going the same way as there hasn’t been that much information about his.

Perhaps someone from the NHS could explain these changes and what those of s not on the internet need to do if we want a face-to-face appointment with a GP in the future.

Muslims under constant attack

A Canning Town resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

For every antisemite in Labour, Conservative or the general population, there are many thousands of Muslim haters.

The Muslims are under attack from every direction in the media, press and politics and yet it has been normalised and deemed acceptable.

I am sure that most of the people who complain about antisemitism would look the other way, deny or justify the hate against Muslims as what people feel.

Grief support for cat owners

Stuart Sheppard, Cats Protection contact centre manager, Cats Protection, writes:

Following Grief Awareness Day (August 30), I would like to let your readers know that Cats Protection offers a grief support service called Paws to Listen.

For many, losing a cat can be a very traumatic experience and there can be a lack of understanding from family and friends about how deeply the loss can impact on a person.

A survey carried out for Cats Protection earlier this month highlighted that 73 per cent of pet owners feel it can be as difficult and upsetting grieving for a pet as it is grieving for the loss of a person.

Cats Protection understands just how much your cat means to you and what you may be going through if your pet is missing, has had to be rehomed, nearing the end of their life or has recently passed away.

We have a large range of resources, information and support to help you at this difficult time, including ways to celebrate the life of your cat.

If you’re experiencing the loss of your cat, you can talk to us on 0800 024 9494 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

It’s a free and confidential service and our volunteer listeners can provide emotional support and practical information.

If you feel that you need to talk to someone then please give the Paws to Listen service a call.

We all need to be mindful of the emotional impact that losing a pet can have on a person.

Heatwave delays seasonal conkers

Martha Boalch, citizen science officer for the Woodland Trust, writes:

The ripening of conkers is delayed this year and there are many factors that could come into play.

This year’s heatwave will have encouraged fruit to grow more rapidly, but lack of water may have stopped conkers from growing to their full potential.

Tree pests and diseases such as the horse chestnut leaf miner and bleeding canker can also affect the health of horse chestnut trees.

Although we’ve only had a small number of conkers recorded so far, all is not lost for our favourite sign of autumn!

Over the next month we would expect more fruit to ripen, but only time will tell whether this will be a bumper crop.

For this reason, we need more people to tell us about what they see happening with local flora and fauna.

By recording seasonal changes with our Nature’s Calendar project, we can assess how nature is coping with a changing climate – and inform wider studies.

Through its Nature’s Calendar project the Woodland Trust relies on the public recording signs of nature through its website: The data helps the charity understand how nature is affected by weather and climate change.

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