Strolling, NHS workers, being pregnant stress and cats in sunshine

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Redesign our streets to encourage walking

Nic Lee, De Beauvoir Road, Hackney, writes:

During the pandemic, the people of London rediscovered the simple act of walking – the oldest, cheapest, and most environmentally friendly transportation available. It has enabled us to stay healthy, happy, and connected to others.

But many of us still have problems with narrow, crowded, uneven sidewalks. Intersections where cars have priority over people; and growing numbers of fast moving vehicles.

That is why I support the Living Streets Manifesto for Walking – London. It calls on candidates in our mayoral elections to commit to fighting air pollution, transforming our streets for people of all ages and ability, making walking the natural choice for short trips, and ending pedestrian deaths and injuries on our streets.

It’s time we redesigned our streets around people, not cars. In this way, we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of walking and healthier, happier communities.

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We need to protect courageous NHS workers

Dr. Gary Marlowe, Chairman of the BMA London Regional Council, writes:

Frontline doctors are very concerned about the indirect and long-term effects of the pandemic on the health of their patients and on their own well-being.

With more than a decade of underfunding, our NHS got caught up in the pandemic of staff shortages, capacity shortages and scarce resources.

Doctors and other health care workers are tired and exhausted and need adequate time to rest and recover to avoid burnout. Many will need timely and ongoing support from psychological and occupational health services, which can be challenging in many areas. We need a commitment from health leaders that we will have the right support to deal with the backlog.

Patients need to make sure that the NHS is still open and that they can rely on us to provide them with the care and treatment they need. However, state and local health care providers need to be honest with the public that a realistic approach is required.

We urgently need our local health leaders working with frontline workers to set out their plans for how we can move forward to protect the well-being of health workers and to provide patients with the life changing and life sustaining treatments they need and more Minimize deaths due to excessive waiting.

How we can help parents-to-be

Every fifth mother and every tenth father suffer from mental health problems during pregnancy and after the birth
– Photo credit: PA Images

Margaret Gallagher, NSPCC Head of Local Campaigns, writes:

Up to one in five mothers and one in ten fathers suffer from mental health problems during pregnancy and after the birth. In some areas they can access the support they need, in others they cannot. This could be due to a lack of services, finance, training or staff.

Between July and September 2020, 5,175 women in London will have access to the community’s perinatal mental health services. This is probably the tip of the iceberg as many more women suffer but fail to reach the threshold for professional assistance or feel unable to seek help due to stigma.

To ensure that new parents get the help they need during this life changing time, the NSPCC urges people to sign up for the “Fight for a Fair Start” campaign.

The call comes when the UK leads Maternal Mental Health Week between May 3rd and 9th, led by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership.

The pandemic has put even more pressure on families because of the fear and social isolation it has caused.

More than ever, it is important that no parent or baby is left behind and that the services they need are there to support them – regardless of where they live.

Please help by supporting this important campaign so that we can give voice and be heard to all new mothers and fathers.

Pets are also at risk from sunlight

Dr. Sarah Elliott BVetMed MANZCVS (Medicine of Cats) MRCVS, Central Veterinary, Cat Protection, writes:

With Sun Awareness Week taking place between May 3rd and 9th, Cats Protection would like to advise cat owners to be aware of the risks the sun poses to their cat.

Pale colored cats or cats with unpigmented white noses or ears are particularly at risk from the sun’s rays, which can cause sunburn and skin cancer.

Those affected can suffer long-term damage; in severe cases, the earplugs must also be removed to prevent the cancer from spreading.

With a few simple tips, owners can help protect their cat from the harmful effects of the sun. This includes keeping them indoors between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on sunny days, asking your veterinarian for advice on appropriate sunscreen, and making sure you provide enough shade to protect your cat from the sun’s rays.

Additional information: Dangers of sunburn in cats