Recorder letters: NHS crisis, Imani, family tree, dementia, voting for 16-year-olds

PUBLISHED: 09:33 10 May 2017

PA Wire/PA Images

Doctors should face a potential bill of £131, 000 if they quit the NHS soon after completing their training, a report suggests. Picture: PA

Government must tackle NHS funding

Dr Gary Marlowe, BMA (British Medical Association) London regional council chairman, writes:

With the general election looming, politicians from all parties must not duck the crisis in our NHS or allow it to be pushed to the margins by the focus on Brexit.

In east London, hospitals, general practice and social care have been pushed to breaking point as years of underinvestment has left NHS staff and services worryingly overstretched.

Indeed, a recent BMA survey revealed that doctors are becoming increasingly concerned over funding cuts and the impact on patient care, with more than half of doctors surveyed reporting that quality of care had become worse in the last year, with only three per cent believing it had improved.

With the NHS facing a £30bn deficit by 2020 the situation needs urgent attention as worsening NHS performance figures, increased waiting times for treatment and bed shortages are having a direct impact on patient care and safety. Despite having one of the best health care systems in the world, years of underinvestment in the face of rising patient demand means the NHS is now failing too many patients, too often.

Whoever leads the next government must ensure that NHS funding keeps pace with other European nations, that EU doctors in the UK and UK doctors in the EU are protected from the impact of Brexit, that general practice is properly supported, that policies protect and enhance the public’s health, and that the pressures impacting the day-to-day delivering of high-quality, safe care are tackled.

Don’t let Imani’s death be in vain

David Spencer, Oxford Road, Stratford, writes:

I was choked to read of the suffering of little Imani by her so-called parents.

The council is carrying out a case review so that this does not happen again – until the next time of course!

Help me complete my family tree

Miss L Lee, Eastcote, Pinner, writes:

I am looking for anyone who worked in a mother and baby home in Balaam Road, Plaistow.

It was next to a church and was run by nuns.

My mother’s sister’s daughter was one of the women who had her baby there; her name was S Temple-Palmer. She had her baby on or about May 24 - 25, 1961. It was a boy.

I am her cousin and would appreciate anyone with information getting in touch with the Recorder. I am working on my family tree.

Join us in fight against dementia

Meera Syal, actress and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador, writes:

Like many of your readers, my family has been affected by dementia.

The condition is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer and could affect us all.

Someone develops dementia every three minutes and too many are facing it alone, without adequate support.

We urgently need to find a cure, improve care and offer help and understanding for people affected.

Together we achieve more, that’s why I’m urging people in London to come together and unite against dementia.

Join us and unite now at

Give 16-year-olds the right to vote

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo’s London, writes:

Many young people are turned off by modern politics.

In turn, some politicians can disregard young people’s needs as they are less likely to vote. And so the vicious cycle continues.

Straight after the EU referendum, pollsters said that just 36 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 turned out to vote, and a collective finger was pointed at a generation for not bothering to have their say.

But we now know, thanks to research by the London School of Economics, that the turnout was actually 64pc.

The Brexit vote showed that young people who have grown up as EU citizens felt strongly enough to visit the ballot box, and the obvious question is whether the result would have been the same if 16 and 17-year-olds had been allowed to have their say.

At Barnardo’s we support the lowering of the voting age to 16 in Westminster elections to ensure greater representation of young people at a national level.

With yet another vote looming

on June 8, young people have another chance to influence national politics – including the 750,000 British teenagers who were too young to vote in last year’s referendum.

Young people all around us are shaking off the labels the older generation have given them and proving that they don’t deserve to be called apathetic or narcissistic.

In the children’s sector we need to use our contact with young people to emphasise how political engagement can change lives.

At Barnardo’s we’re helping young people tell their stories and share their experiences to influence politicians and decision-makers.

Politicians need to do more to enable young people to have a say on key issues.

Failure to do this could result in more and more drifting to politics outside the establishment, which is not a sign of a healthy, representative democracy.

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