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READERS LETTERS: This kind of disregard cannot be tolerated

This kind of disregard cannot be tolerated

The CQC’s review into the application of Do-Not-Attempt-Resuscitate (DNAR) orders during the COVID-19 pandemic reveals incorrect and ageist use.

As a solicitor specialising in supporting older and vulnerable people in Spalding, I know that sadly, this is nothing new.

Cartoon (43469381)
Cartoon (43469381)

It’s horrifying to think about DNAR orders being applied to groups of vulnerable people.

This isn’t how they should be used and however stretched our health and care services are, this kind of disregard for older people cannot be tolerated.

Best practice guidelines have been set out by the Resuscitation Council UK, but they aren’t being followed everywhere. Clinicians need to do better here, too often it’s ignored or treated as a tick box exercise rather than prompting meaningful consultation with patients and loved ones.

There is clearly a need for all of us to initiate our own conversations about whether we’d want CPR, and also about our wider care wishes. Once we’re in an emergency situation it’s often too late.

Worryingly, only 59% of those aged 70+ have talked to loved ones about their care wishes. And whilst 81% of us think planning ahead for later life is important, only 22% of us have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, setting out our wishes in writing in a legally binding way.

As a country, we must start talking about our wishes should we lose mental and/or physical capacity or require emergency medical treatment.

This recent investigation into the use of DNARs must encourage us all to have those difficult, but vital conversations, no matter our age.

Elizabeth Young

Roythornes Solicitors, Spalding

Our MP deserves great credit for deal

On first reflection, I was surprised to see that Sir John Hayes had voted in support of the Government’s Tier System for COVID-19 restrictions.

However, reading about the extraordinary concessions he managed to obtain from the Secretary of State for Health, my surprise was transformed to admiration. He deserves great praise indeed!

Rather than merely condemning the Government’s plans, voting against them in a sulk without providing any viable alternative – Sir John was instead able to secure a meaningful and substantive commitment from the Government, establishing the means by which, providing cases do not spiral, our request to move into tier 2 will be considered specifically.

Though admirable, what did Conservative rebels achieve for the areas they represent? They lost the vote.

By making his vote conditional on what is, essentially, preferred treatment for South Lincolnshire, Sir John has done a fine job.

In fact, thinking about the significance of this, it is yet another impressive example of his skills as a politician and proven fighter for his constituents.

Coun Josh Yarham

Market Deeping Mayor

Light at the end of the tunnel

At last, there is light at the end of the COVID tunnel and they are not exaggerating when they say good things come in threes.

Our local MP Sir John Hayes deserves our thanks for going the extra mile on behalf of his constituents in securing a commitment from Matt Hancock that an area-by-area review of the tier restrictions will be carried out on December 16.

That is good news for our area and represents a significant departure from the Government’s normal approach.

This significant concession is no small achievement and was only secured because Sir John and other Conservative MPs in Lincolnshire played hardball with the Government and battered the Heath Secretary over the head with the facts and figures which show that South Holland and The Deepings is a low-risk area.

I know it is incredibly frustrating to have started with tier 3 restrictions and in that respect Sir John is right to point out that even though the vaccine is now in the pipeline, it is not a free pass to let our guard down after such a long struggle - we must all continue to observe the common-sense rules of face, hands, space.

Unfortunately, I still see too many people shopping without a face covering, and the same when it comes to space.

If we are to emerge from tier 3 on December 17, we must all play our part, which means wherever possible respecting other people’s air space by maintaining a two metre distance. I continue to see far too many queues where it looks like the people behind want a piggy back. Please – resist the urge to huddle.

Sir John can only do so much, the rest is down to us to take personal responsibility for protecting ourselves and our loved ones by respecting other people’s air space.

If not, we will all pay the price.

The first vaccine has proven to be safe following large scale clinical trials and the first batch of 800,000 doses has arrived in Great Britain. Is it safe? Well, I will have it without hesitation when called upon.

The main reason it has arrived so quickly is because of the huge sums of money we and other countries have pumped into the vaccines development – hundreds of billions, as well as, the willingness of all the nations and companies engaged in its development to pull all the stops out.

The reason it normally takes so long to develop new vaccines is because the scientists spend years trying to raise the money for their research and development. Then the money only comes through in a trickle spaced over many years. With this pandemic the profs have had more money than they could have dreamt of – cost has quite literally been no barrier.

Going forward, it is vital that the Government builds public confidence in the vaccine and it would be great to see our local and national leaders leading by example and being among the first to be publicly vaccinated.

First in the world to approve the new vaccine. I thank the boffins at the MHRA on behalf of a grateful nation for their forward planning, and I salute them and their teams for working round the clock to go through the vaccine data with a fine-tooth comb. This is a massive bonus for Great Britain that we can now get on with rolling out the largest vaccination programme in this country’s history. Is it a benefit of Brexit? Well let’s put it this way, no other country in the EU has approved it yet, which in itself speaks volumes.In the inflexible one size fits all world of the EU they will all have to wait patiently. Fortunately, Great Britain has taken back control and as a result we can do our own thing without prior approval from Brussels. In today’s global economy it is that flexibility and responsiveness that is going to serve GB PLC so well today and in the future.

Craig Jackson

Sutton Bridge

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