Letters - September 14, 2019

Chris Webb, Labours Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys, has hit out at Paul Maynard MP and Boris Johnson (pictured) over delays to  a new domestic abuse Bill
Chris Webb, Labours Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys, has hit out at Paul Maynard MP and Boris Johnson (pictured) over delays to a new domestic abuse Bill
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Parliament closure will delay abuse law

Our PM and his Government chose to close Parliament early this week.

That means his Government have delayed the introduction of a new domestic abuse law.

Survivors and domestic abuse experts have put two years of work into creating this bill to see it delayed because of this unnecessary prorogation.

This bill will have introduced a definition of domestic abuse to help victims and the public understand what type of behaviour it constitutes, helping more victims come forward.

These vital changes have suffered numerous setbacks already and now we have another one because Boris doesn’t want to be scrutinised by Parliament and Paul Maynard does what ever Boris says.

Shame on them.

Chris Webb

Labour’s Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys


Kind words must become actions

For those of us working in frontline mental health services, it is extremely worrying to see a rise in suicide rates in the UK for the first time in five years.

According to figures published recently by the Office for National Statistics, there were a total of 6,507 suicides registered by coroners in the UK last year; that is equivalent to 11.2 per 100,000 people - up 11.8 per cent on the previous year.

Every suicide is a tragedy and devastating for families and friends.

However, suicide is often preventable and more must be done to make sure this increase is not the beginning of a more sinister trend.

Demand for mental health care has been rapidly rising for a number years, but frontline services have not seen the investment so vitally needed in order to keep pace.

It is shameful that, in the 21st century, patients are being failed by reduced services and longer waits for treatments, while frontline mental health staff continue to placed under more and more pressure.

This situation is not tenable for much longer.

While there has been some recent focus on suicide prevention strategies, there must be a greater focus on improving public mental health in the UK, with more investment for local services.

A life-course approach is required, ensuring support for mental health during childhood, education, employment and into later life.

It must now finally be time for kind words from health leaders to become actions - parity of resources and care, not of esteem.

Dr Andrew Molodynski

BMA consultants committee mental health lead


Thanks to diabetes Great North runners

Congratulations to all of the amazing runners who made this year’s Simplyhealth Great North Run such a huge success, with a special thank you to the over 530 brave runners who took part on behalf of Diabetes UK.

Huge thanks also to the Team Diabetes UK supporters who were out in force to cheer their heroes to the finish line. Tens of thousands of people completed the half marathon course, absorbing views of some of the North East’s most iconic landmarks including the Tyne Bridge and The Sage along the route which took runners from Newcastle City Centre to the coast in South Shields.

Diabetes UK is the official charity partner of the Simplyhealth Great Run Series 2019.

The money raised by our amazing runners will help to make life better for the 4.7 million people living with diabetes in the UK. Diabetes is a serious condition and if not managed well it can lead to major complications such as sight loss, amputation and stroke. But when people manage their diabetes well, they can avoid these life-threatening complications and stay healthy.

Diabetes UK provides information, care and support for everyone with diabetes – and for their family and friends – so they can manage their condition well. Your invaluable support has helped us move closer to our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Anyone interested in taking on a fundraising challenge for Diabetes UK, whether running cycling, swimming or walking, can visit www.diabetes.org.uk/events.

Clare Howarth

Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK