Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Local Hospitals Also Need Vital Donations from the General Public

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Local Hospitals Also Need Vital Donations from the General Public

Article excerpt

Byline: DENISE ROBERTSON

IN the last two weeks my husband and I have each received letters from Great Ormond Street Hospital asking for financial support and I have seen several adverts for Great Ormond Street on my local television.

Last week, I was telephoned by a young man who wanted to tell me about the great work done there and how I could support it.

Once upon a time, London was the only place in Britain where seriously ill children could receive advanced treatment. That is no longer the case.

There are long-established centres of excellence in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol, to name but a few, all providing treatment equally as good as that provided at GOS.

Those hospitals need all the help they can get from their catchment areas, but the vast fundraising machine at GOS, fuelled by public donation and the royalties from Peter Pan, continues to fundraise nationwide, siphoning off funds that are needed locally.

I have no doubt that excellent work is done within GOS, but they are no longer the only source of succour for ill children and it is time the nation woke up to that fact.

IT'S been another bad week for Britain's police. Plebgate rumbles on and, in addition, we had a transcript of officers interviewing Jimmy Saville which sounded more like a script from the Two Ronnies.

Another officer has been jailed for six years for stealing from a vulnerable woman - typing a new will in her name and making himself the sole beneficiary of her estate.

I was brought up to have huge respect for the men and women who guard our freedom.

My dealings with them, when I worked in an accident hospital, con-firmed my belief that they had high standards and great compassion but, at the moment, they are sadly in need of some good publicity, and the sooner Plebgate is settled the better.

We need to reclaim our faith in Britain's police. The furore is doing little to enhance the image of the new police commissioners.

One had to do a partial climbdown on Newsnight. Another, the commissioner for Merseyside, described the affair as inconsequential and herself frustrated at all the attention given to it.

Doesn't she realise that what happened at those gates concerns every citizen? Not because they care particularly for Andrew Mitchell but because they need to feel safe in their own interactions with police.

THE frenzied discussions about the price of energy must be frightening for those who are already in fuel poverty. Every winter in the UK, 25,000-30,000 deaths are linked to cold weather. That's about one death every seven minutes.

That's not acceptable in Britain 2013, and I do not place any faith in Ed Milliband's promise to cap energy prices.

It smacks too much of King Canute, and this Canute, during his time as Energy Minister, was responsible for slapping on extra costs to pay for green policies. …

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