Thanks to all who support this vital cause and don’t be fooled by speeding reports

FROM Eve Richardson, chief executive, National Council for Palliative Care and Hilary Fisher, director, Dying Matters Coalition and Idris Francis respectively.

We are writing to say a huge thank you to all members and supporters of the Dying Matters Coalition in Thame for their commitment over 2010.

With hundreds of members in the local area, and more than 13,800 across England, we are starting to transform our society’s culture of silence around dying, death and bereavement.

During 2010 Dying Matters has worked with care homes, hospices, PCTs, funeral and legal service providers, retirement organisations and charities, many older people and community groups, and faith and belief groups to make talking about dying easier.

We have supported communities, schools, older people, GPs and many hard-to-reach groups all over the country to break the taboo around discussing dying well and a good death.

Not talking to anyone or planning properly prevents many people of all ages from having their wishes met and getting the care and support they want at the end of their lives.

Talking about our plans for the future, wills, funerals and where we want to die is a part of having a good life.

Discussing how we want to be cared for and remembered is essential to achieving ‘a good death’ whatever the circumstance and helps those loved ones that we leave behind. Our members are discussing their plans openly, reflecting the change in public attitudes that we need to see in and across all communities for success and to make good end of life care for all a priority.

Thank you to all our members for your conviction and commitment, and best wishes for the New Year.

Don’t be fooled by speeding reports

from Idris Francis, address supplied

It is most important that local authorities making important decisions on road safety spending should not be misled by widely-reported claims by Thames Valley Road Safety Partnership of 88 per cent to 300 per cent increases in speeding after in Oxfordshire’s speed cameras were switched off on August 1.

The reality of these seemingly worrying figures is that the proportion of drivers not speeding has fallen by only 0.5 per cent or so, from roughly 99.8 per cent to 99.3 per cent. Further, with cameras switched off and only electronic counters in use, no data is available for changes in average or any other measure of speeds.

Decision-makers need to ask themselves one simple question – is it worth spending close to £50,000 a year to prevent one extra driver in two hundred speeding up to an unknown extent, or would it be better to spend the available funds on £1,000 a year vehicle activated signs, each of which provide at least as much benefit as a cameras?