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Questions over closure of place of safety

Is anyone surprised that the “trial” closure of Sandalwood Court, in January, has now been declared permanent by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, endorsed by the Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (SA, November 12)?

But have the full results of the trial been published?

And what were the results – other than it costs less to run the facility in Devizes?

It would be interesting to know the following facts:

How many patients were referred from Swindon (and Salisbury) during the trial period?

How long was it from the time of the decision to refer to the patient being seen by a professional mental health worker in Devizes?

What was the cost of transferring patients in a police vehicle (which would come from a different budget); this would need two police officers as the patient would need an escort as well as the driver?

As your editorial remarked, the ‘value’ of a service for the care of patients with a mental health emergency cannot be measured, purely, in cash terms.

Malcolm Morrison, Retired Surgeon, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Brexit meltdown

I don’t belong to any political party but have been a fascinated observer of the developing political situation.

The Brexit 50 pence coin meltdown is symbolic of the gradual Brexit meltdown itself as reality and disillusion hit home.

Leading pro-Brexit national newspapers have been impacted. Daily Telegraph pre-tax profits fell by 94 per cent last year, Daily Express, sold to the Trinity Mirror Group and the former extreme Brexit Daily Mail editor moved away from its news pages.

There was a massive difference between over a million anti-Brexit marchers converging on London recently and the series of damp squib pro-Brexit protests at missing the 31st October deadline; no one turned up at all to the “huge” one in Doncaster!

UKIP have just lost their sixth leader since the 2016 Referendum.

To add to this growing trend, in the general election the Brexit Party plans to fight the Tory Party for the pro-Brexit vote.

Arguably it is the differing views of extreme Eurosceptics fighting over the shape Brexit should take that underlies this meltdown.

The opportunists like Boris Johnson seeking to exploit the situation, reducing workers’ rights, reducing environmental protection and using the NHS as a bargaining chip in post-Brexit trade negotiations with Trump, add to the general disillusion and discontent.

Andrew Milroy, By email

Poor survival rates

Every year 500 people across Somerset, Wiltshire, Avon & Gloucestershire are told they have pancreatic cancer and are suddenly faced with terrifyingly low survival statistics that haven’t changed in 50 years. Currently, the disease has the lowest survival of other common cancer such as prostate, breast or bowel cancer with 93 per cent of people die within five years of diagnosis.

Other cancers have seen huge improvement in survival which is proof that Government action, research funding and public awareness can save lives.

This Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, our charity has launched a new campaign to open the public’s eyes to pancreatic cancer and call on the next Government to create the first dedicated national plan to address this cancer emergency.

Please take a stand with us by visiting:

If you are affected by pancreatic cancer and need support please visit or you can contact the Pancreatic Cancer UK Support Line and speak to any of our specialist nurses (Freecall: 0808 801 0707).

Dianne Dobson, Specialist nurse, Pancreatic Cancer UK

Fears over 5g

I read the small piece in the Adver (November 7) about 5G. It said no objections were raised at the council’s planning meeting and that the plans for 5G is Swindon will move forward.

Despite the Government insisting that it is safe, there have been no independent studies to show it is and many scientists insist that it is dangerous. Microwave communications are already affecting our biological systems and 5G will be time times worse.

Benefits - download a video in 5 seconds - WOW. The price - increased risk of cancer, lower sperm count, miscarriage, dementia, anxiety, sleeplessness, nosebleeds, headaches from the disruption caused to cell metabolism. plus a bonus of complete surveillance of your home.

It will not only affect us humans, insects including pollinators will be first to be affected and of course small animals and birds etc. S

I urge the council to rethink and at least apply a moratorium, do the decent thing and apply precautionary principle while the safety of this new technology is independently tested.

Linda Croucher, Eldene

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