Letters, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Have your say

Make a stand over drop-in centre

I HAVE just returned from a meeting at the Sandhill Centre on the closure of the minor injury and illness services at the Grindon Lane drop-in centre (although I am aware other services will remain) and I was disappointed at the turn-out.

 I know this was the last of many meetings on this subject and the public may be sick of the same responses from the powers that be, but I feel unless more people stand up and have their say this facility will close as planned.

 My fear is that although I can quite easily use the new Houghton Primary Care centre which is planned to take up some of the patients from Grindon Lane, there is presently no 24/7 service available at this alternative practise.

 It was suggested that only one 24/7 service would be required in Sunderland and that would be at the new proposed Urgent Care Services facility which will be housed at the Sunderland City Hospital.

 Apart from the car parking problem this would impose, especially at weekends, what about the costs involved? The proposed new-build extended car park will not come cheap as opposed to the already free and convenient car park we already have at Grindon Lane.

 It was also suggested that a large proportion of patients who attend the drop-in centres could be treated by the local GP at their surgery but I thought these centres were opened because the patients couldn’t get to see a GP in an emergency. In some cases the decision to access the GP at all was within the hands of the receptionist who advises you of the options. This all takes time plus the added uncertainty of accessing the GP anyway.

 The plus side, I suppose, is that the new proposed facilities at the alternative centres will be GP-led, but at a cost to the general public being inconvenienced at their most vulnerable time, when in an emergency.

 Why not place a GP at the Grindon Lane centre along with other drop-in centres and lets all be happy and proud of the NHS we all love and cherish?

 This is my personal view only. I do not speak on behalf of any other interested party.

 Copies of the new proposals on this issue, along with a questionnaire to complete with your thoughts are available on 0191 5297038. The consultation closes on November 30, 2012.

Audrey Polkinghorn,


RSPCA can’t act on all incidents

IN response to a letter in the Echo (A shocking sight, 17/11/12) the RSPCA would like to address the points raised.

 While we have every sympathy with the person who saw the body of the cat and appreciate their concern for the cat’s owners, we regret that we just don’t have the resources to attend every incident where an animal has died, unless there are obvious signs of ill treatment. The RSPCA received more than 1.3million calls in 2011 alone and investigated 159,759 incidents involving cruelty to animals.  

 These were in addition to 119,126 animals which had to be rescued or collected.

 To put this in perspective, these incidents are dealt with by less than 500 RSPCA officers covering the whole of England and Wales, compared to more than 130,000 police officers.

 This means that we have to prioritise the calls we receive and put those animals which are suffering first. We hope that your readers will understand that this unfortunately means we are unable to attend to every incident where an animal may have died naturally.

Sophie Wilkinson,

RSPCA Regional Media Manager

McClean should have worn poppy

WITH regard to the refusal of James McClean to wear the Sunderland strip bearing the poppy logo, I feel that this incident reveals an appalling lack of man–management within the club from board level down to the team manager.

 He should have been told that that was the strip to be worn for the Everton match and if he disapproved of it he need not play.

 His individual rights do not need to be considered.

Furthermore, his exclusion would hardly have affected the team performance, as he is no longer is a key member of the team. He appears to be a “one-trick pony” whose technique has been sussed out by every Premiership defender. This whole incident just brings disrepute to the club.

Ed Hunter,

East Boldon

Appeal for old pal

A MR ER Stannard of Great Yarmouth would like to get in touch with an old friend, Mr Jack Horsly, last known address 88 The Avenue, Deneside, Seaham.

 They met while training as airframe engineers at Brise Norton, Oxfordshire.

 If you have any information could you contact me at this email address: BBailes60@live.co.uk or call 0191 581 3560.

W Bailes,