Letters - December 12, 2018

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Dangers of Brexit put into alarming focus

The admission from the Government that medicine supply chains could be disrupted for up to six months shows that it is starting to take seriously the consistent warnings from the BMA and others over the risk a no-deal poses to healthcare in Britain.

While measures to anticipate the risks and minimise impact on patients and their access to medicines must be put in place, Ministers are cutting it extremely fine with just over 100 days to go.

The difference between six weeks of disruption and six months of chaos on the borders is clearly huge and the scale of action now required to ensure the safety of patients is eminently much bigger.

That these plans are still only in the development stage with four months to go is extremely concerning and the lack of detail in these proposals will offer little in the way of reassurance to doctors and patients alike.

The BMA has been clear how catastrophic Brexit could be for patients, the NHS workforce and the health of Britain and Europe, which is why it is imperative that the public is given a final say.

Dr Richard Vautrey

Chairman of BMA GP 
committee

PRAISE

Pupils’ faultless performance

On Thursday I had the privilege to attend ‘A tale of two birthdays’ at Weeton Village Hall presented by Weeton St Michael’s Primary School.

I’m not a parent or staff member but felt humbled to witness such a humorous rendition of the birth of Jesus. The pupils gave a faultless performance with no prompting and each pupil had a part. I would willingly pay an enhanced tv licence fee to watch this instead of the drivel offered.

Well done Weeton, small is beautiful, a superb example of today’s readers being tomorrow’s leaders.

They all deserve this praise.

Herbert Chatters

Via email

POLITICS

We’ve lived in sad times for centuries

Has anyone wondered why our politicians are so ready to go to war or, if not that, then to sell arms to war criminals?

I used to think it was just the way of the world, a series of random events would lead to inevitable conflict, it was just human nature.

I now have a different belief, the belief that human nature is dead against war, and that our politicians are not acting in our best interests but in the interests of those who profit from war, either financially or through increased global power.

We live in sad times and have done so for centuries.

Julie Jones

Via email

HEALTH

Festive hints for 
asthma sufferers

Christmas should be a time of good cheer, relaxation and celebration but for many people with asthma, the festive season can be a testing time.

New analysis from Asthma UK shows that an estimated 300,000 people have had an asthma attack over the Christmas period.

Festive triggers, including Christmas trees, yuletide stress and party foods, could be to blame for some people.

People with asthma have sensitive airways.

When they come into contact with triggers such as stress, sulphites found in wine and processed meat, and mould found on Christmas trees, it causes their airways to become more inflamed and tighter, causing coughing, wheezing and leaving them struggling to breathe. Winter can be a particularly problematic time for people with asthma as colds and flu and cold air are also top asthma triggers.

That’s why, at Asthma UK, we are offering simple hints so the 5.4 million with asthma can enjoy the Christmas season. If you have asthma we advise you to:

n Take your preventer inhaler (usually brown) as prescribed. This builds up protection over time and means you’re less likely to have an attack if you come into contact with a trigger.

n Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) at all times.

n Watch out for danger signs and get urgent medical help if your asthma is getting worse, such as needing to use your blue reliever inhaler three or more times each week.

We hope that following these tips and getting more information at www.asthma.org.uk/wintertriggers will ensure everyone with asthma can stay well.

Dr Andy Whittamore

Clinical Lead at Asthma UK and a practising GP