Post letters: Compassion, tree tribute, TfL finances, GPs, diabetes and key workers

Stacie with sons, Joel, 16, and baby Hunter. Picture: Stacie Thomas

Stacie with sons, Joel, 16, and baby Hunter. Picture: Stacie Thomas - Credit: Archant

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

An opportunity for compassion

Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking ,writes:

The heartbreaking story in the Post last week will impact most people, particularly families, on the desire of a young mother, Stacie Thomas, who is critically ill, to provide an early Christmas for her young son, and make it a day for him to remember.

This is compassion and motherly love shown at the highest level.

Stacie, diagnosed with an advanced stage of lung cancer has prioritised her love and concern for her family to have a memorable Christmas despite the possibility that she may not be with them.

Her main concern is for her children, rather than herself. This selfless attitude is one of the highest virtues that is found in caring families and communities and demonstrated here with Stacie going all out to make the day special, not for herself but her sons.

The reaction to such devastating news has solicited much help from friends, neighbours and others hearing of the sad news and will give much comfort to Stacie as her days may be shortened. The way in which Stacie will be comforted is for additional help and gifts be given for the children of Stacie. This is not a pleading or begging letter for help but to be an opportunity for compassion from the community to be expressed with sincerity and love to Stacie and family.

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Let us hope and pray that Stacie will smile again and see her children given a day that they will always remember with gratitude.

Trees a fitting tribute to NHS

D W Smith, Epping Forest, full address supplied, writes:

Regarding your story on October 14, 2020 about the planting of 32,000 trees and shrubs in Parsloes Park.

I would like to congratulate Barking and Dagenham Council on their decision to honour the NHS and other essential workers. This is a fitting and living memorial that will be there for many generations to come.

There are known health benefits from woodlands, making it a particularly appropriate memorial.

How nice it would be if other councils throughout the country could do something similar. I wonder if the council could promote this idea nationally.

Be transparent on TfL’s finances

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly member for City and East, writes:

Earlier this week, we saw the campaigning efforts of City Hall, charities, business leaders and Londoners pay off.

As part of a last-minute emergency funding deal with TfL, the government dropped the worst of its proposed conditions, including the removal of travel concessions for under 18s and older people and the extension of the congestion charge zone to the North and South Circulars.

However, the government still fell far short of providing the long-term and sustainable financial package that TfL asked for. This is despite the fact the first lockdown caused their fare revenue to drop by 90 per cent.

During the recent negotiations, the government commissioned KPMG to deliver a review of TfL’s finances. So far, this has been kept hidden, even from the TfL Commissioner himself.

If ministers are intent upon interfering in how the transport system in our capital should be run, they need to be transparent with Londoners and publish the findings of the report as soon as possible.

What we do know is that before the Covid-19 outbreak, Sadiq Khan had reduced the operating deficit at TfL, that he had inherited from Boris Johnson, by 71pc, whilst boosting TfL’s cash balance by 13pc.

GPs are open as normal

Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director, NHS in London, writes:

The NHS has put in place extra measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we want to reassure patients that it is safe to come in for treatment when they need it. However, the risk of catching Covid-19 is still here and it’s vital that we take additional steps to keep our patients and staff safe.

111 First will help reduce the waiting time to be seen in A&E; instead Londoners will get the treatment they need faster and in the right place.

General Practice is open to deal with patients with normal primary care needs, but it is essential that anyone who requires urgent, although not life-threatening treatment, contacts NHS 111 first to get the right care.

Arrangements will not change for people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries who should continue to dial 999 and anyone who arrives at A&E without calling NHS 111 will still receive medical care, with those needing emergency treatment prioritised.

GP practices are open as usual and should be contacted first if you need an appointment with them.

As well as at The Royal London Hospital, bookable slots are already available at North Middlesex University Hospital, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich, Croydon University Hospital and Barnet Hospital.

Covid worrying for diabetics

Roz Rosenblatt, London head, Diabetes UK, writes:

Many people have already started Christmas shopping - and there’s a way we can all combine enjoying the festivities whilst supporting people with diabetes.

The Covid-19 pandemic affects everyone, but for people living with any type of diabetes, it is a particularly worrying time.

This year we’ve seen demand for our services reach record levels, while our own funding has been significantly impacted. More so than ever, people with diabetes need us, but we need your support to be able to continue fighting their corner.

That’s why we are working to support people – and you can be a part of this vital effort by simply browsing our Christmas shop from the comfort of your home and choosing from a wonderful range of Christmas cards and gifts.

The shop can be found at

Don’t punish key workers

Maggi Ferncombe, London regional secretary, UNISON, writes:

The government has agreed to give private train operators an 18-month blank-cheque funding deal, so they can continue to run a profit.

Meanwhile, all Londoners are asking for is Boris Johnson to listen to London’s elected Mayor and agree a fair deal that doesn’t punish them for being key workers.

They shouldn’t have additional charges and taxes forced on them when so many people are already facing financial hardship.

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