Recorder letters: Diabetes and Ramadan, maternity care, general election, NHS, bowel cancer and thanks

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 May 2017

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Muslims at prayer during Ramadan. Picture: STEVE PARSONS/PA

Advice issued to diabetics during Ramadan fasting

Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK London manager, writes:

This year, the holy month of Ramadan begins on Saturday, May 27 when members of the Muslim community across London will be fasting for up to 19 hours a day.

Ramadan can be a challenge for Muslims living with diabetes for whom the medical implications of undertaking a prolonged fast can be extremely serious, even fatal, if not managed well.

If you are living with diabetes and thinking of fasting, it is important that you consult your GP or diabetes nurse. They will outline the potential risks associated with fasting and may also be able to provide some useful tips on how to manage the condition during Ramadan.

Another person to consider talking to is your Imam. Many of them will be able to provide advice and guidance as we work closely with them through our Community Champions programme. It’s also worth mentioning that people with diabetes are not obliged to fast and an Imam can provide you with guidance on alternatives.

Diabetes UK has a helpline for people who have any questions regarding diabetes, including fasting during Ramadan, so please feel free to get in touch on 0345 123 2399 or go to

Maternity concern needs highlighting

An East Ham resident, full address supplied, wrties:

I write with regards to your recent articles (Wednesday, May 3, 2017) on the CQC’s rating of Newham University Hospital and the feature spread about the Maternity Wards at the hospital.

The CQC report rated the maternity and gynaecology departments as “requires improvement” so I was astonished by your glowing coverage of the department. The findings in the report are damning and I believe that your double page spread gives a dangerously inaccurate impression of the department.

Good journalism should represent a balanced view of the experiences of local people like myself.

Independence vote not Farage

Will Podmore, name and address supplied, writes:

The referendum question was not, “Do you approve of the leave campaign or not?”

We were asked whether we wanted to stay in the EU or not, and we decided, fairly, democratically, to leave.

It was not a vote about Nigel Farage. Farage wanted it to be about Farage. Cameron and Osborne wanted it to be about Farage. But it wasn’t.

By voting to leave the EU we did not endorse Farage. Again that’s what Farage wanted you to think.

But there was only ever at most 15 per cent support for Farage, so the vast majority of those who voted to leave did so despite Farage, not because of him. Ukip never got more than four million votes, but 17.4 million of us voted for independence.

NHS needs longer term strategy

Dr Gary Marlowe, BMA London regional council chairman, writes:

Prevention is better than a cure and this is especially true when it comes to public health spending in the UK.

A recent series of papers published by the BMA highlights how cuts to public health budgets – expected to total £400m by 2020 - have undermined a prevention-based approach and are a false economy, ultimately costing the NHS more money in the long run.

The government’s watered down strategy on obesity and failure to place tighter restrictions on smoking and alcohol consumption means we are facing a ticking time bomb as services in east London reach breaking point.

Politicians must commit to working with healthcare professionals to deliver an effective public health strategy as, with the correct public health approach, there is a greater chance of preventing illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes which continue to increase year on year.

As well as the financial implications of failing to grasp the seriousness of the situation, the health and wellbeing of the nation has and will continue to suffer if the government does not intervene and commit to funding a long-term sustainable public health strategy.

Sign up to beat bowel cancer

Mr Motivator, Fitness Guru, writes:

We all know by now that maintaining an active lifestyle should be one of our top priorities in life.

Only by taking care of ourselves do we stand a chance of being the kind of person we strive to be on the job, at home with our loved ones, and in our communities. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

That’s why I’m supporting Bowel Cancer UK Step Up for 30 challenge to encourage people to take up regular physical activity and be more active to reduce their risk of bowel cancer. It’s really simple, just get sponsored to do 30 minutes of physical activity every day for 30 days in June.

Scientists think around half (54 per cent) of all bowel cancers could be prevented by having a healthier lifestyle such as maintaining a healthy weight, taking more exercise, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here

Thanks for your kind donations

Mr Professor Federica Marelli-Berg, BHF funded researcher, writes:

I want to thank your readers who have been supporting the British Heart Foundation (BHF) this spring by decluttering and donating items from their clear out to their local BHF shop.

I work at Queen Mary University of London as a BHF professor and wanted to tell your readers about my current research project, funded by the BHF. My research focuses on a white blood cell, called a T-cell, which helps protect the body from infections but can also cause organ rejection. My team has identified new ways of preventing heart transplant rejection without affecting the rest of the immune system. This research could improve outcomes for heart transplant patients by helping reduce they’re likelihood of organ rejection.

My project is just one of over 1,000 research projects that the BHF currently funds at universities across the UK, investigating every aspect of heart and circulatory disease – from causes and better drugs to improving surgical techniques. Each of these projects are only made possible by the BHF’s generous supporters and each unwanted item donated this spring brings us one step closer to the next big breakthrough in heart research.

I cannot thank the people of London enough for helping to support such an important and worthy cause.

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