Deserve the best

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I support the idea of free speech, but before articles such as last Thursday’s Viewpoint are printed their accuracy should be investigated.

I’m a member of the Hallamshire staff, but I speak on a personal level. I cannot speak for the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust.

I understand that patients and visitors may be temporarily disturbed by the work, which is now coming to an end. But this represents a huge improvement to services the hospital will be able to offer. Should the people of Sheffield not expect gold standard treatment in hospitals equipped with state of the art facilities? The author is incorrect that these are neurosurgical patients.

While the old hospitals he describes may have been acceptable in their day, in this age they would be completely unacceptable. People rightly expect to be treated with dignity, in appropriate surroundings, by suitably qualified staff and to receive the best possible care, including patients on this particular ward, many of whom have longstanding conditions and have been known to staff for many years.

My main complaint revolves around the derogatory term the writer uses to describe patients. The ward treats patients with neurological conditions, such as MS, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease (patients undergoing brain surgery are not treated on this floor). The ward does not normally treat patients with mental health disorders, unless they result from their primary condition. We do however treat a number of patients with learning difficulties.

It beggars belief that any compassionate person should describe any patient as a ‘mental patient’. A patient with a long term neurological condition has no less right to make their own decisions than any other. They make their feelings known, as do their families and carers and they are all equally listened to. A person may look different or communicate differently; this does not give anyone the right to call or label them ‘mental’.

I’m appalled you ran an article with such wording.

H Hale, Deepcar