SIR – You report (July 27) that in draft guidelines, “the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said that trans men who have chosen to breastfeed should be offered” feeding support by breast in the same way as for cis women “.” Some readers will know me as the doctor currently fighting a protracted battle with the Department for Work and Pensions over the use of forced language and transgender pronouns.
I remember learning a lot about the differences between men and women in medical school. I understand that for gynecologists, even more study is needed. How come they can talk about men in labor and call them breast eaters?
Women and mothers are the backbone of a successful society. Breastfeeding is natural.
It is time for all my colleagues in the medical profession to stand up and say what is absolutely obvious, which is that it is impossible neither to change sex nor to belong to the opposite sex. Can women trust doctors and midwives who seem to have lost the most basic sense of biological reality, while holding their lives and those of their children in their hands?
If asked what a woman is, what would the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists answer?
Dr. David C. Mackereth
Hull, East Yorkshire
SIR – In 2021 it was reported that there was a shortage of 2,000 midwives. In April 2022, there was a further net loss of 700 midwives.
This means that on average every maternity ward in the UK is short of 20 midwives. I believe most people preparing to give birth would much rather see the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists prioritizing a campaign for more midwives than preparing guidelines for trans parents receive support for “breast feeding”.
Malcolm John Dickson FRCOG
Morley Green, Cheshire
Cribbins as Emperor
SIR – Eight years ago, in favor of his pal, director Martin Jenkins, Bernard Cribbins (Obituaries, July 29) agreed to play the role of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary in my radio soap opera, Countdown To War: July 1914.
After climbing two flights of stairs to the Brighton recording studio, Bernard sat down, put his script on the table, looked towards the control room and asked, “How old is this guy, by the way?”
“In July 1914, François-Joseph was 83 years old,” I replied.
“Okay,” the 85-year-old Cribbins said, “I’m going to play it young, then.”
Insults to management
SIR – The government faces the toughest problems for many decades, but the two remaining prime minister candidates and their supporters have insulted the public by reducing the debate to trivialities and personal attacks.
The leadership campaign exposed the poor quality of our MPs. I am optimistic, but I am increasingly worried about future generations.
Beverly, East Yorkshire
SIR – If Liz Truss wins and becomes Prime Minister, will she include, in her anti-chatting law promises, those awful “Are you going to step down as Prime Minister?” characters residing in Downing Street? I hope.
SIR – Fraser Nelson (Commentary, July 29) writes that Professor Joe Harrison, chief executive of an NHS hospital, has said the “titanic moment” for the NHS could be August 17.
We have been paying an additional national insurance premium for the NHS since April, on top of regular NHS budget increases, but we are told the ambulance service has failed, GPs and consultants are working part-time or for the private sector and that there are too many managers. This must not continue.
Rishi Sunak might indeed be just the person for health secretary. It needs to bring together the best people in health and other sectors to create a clear strategy, plan to make the NHS what we want and tell the electorate. We cannot afford to waste any more money or time.
SIR – We hear a lot about older people blocking beds in the NHS, and many lamenting the lack of capacity.
I have been trying to get my dad into a private nursing home for several weeks because according to the hospital he is ready to be discharged. The home must do an assessment of the patient before committing to take him on, and is prepared to do so over the phone. His staff have tried, but cannot reach anyone on the phone at the hospital to carry it out. Either no one answers or the person concerned is not available.
We will be paying tens of thousands of pounds a year for this care, but we receive no help from the NHS or social services.
Support for rail strikes
SIR – Could we ask members of the general public or MPs who support the railway union strikers: ‘Are you happy to pay for the wage increase through higher taxes or higher train ticket prices, what would reduce your net income? ?”
The salary increase must be financed in one way or another. Perhaps they would prefer to see a cut in NHS funding.
So-called government money is public money – our money entrusted to the state for our benefit. These points are rarely addressed to supporters of the civil service strikers. Why not?
SIR – The three billion liters of water lost daily because of the leaks that you report (Dossier, July 28) are scandalous.
In my area of Hampshire, Southern Water recently announced that it is committed to reducing water leaks by 40% in 20 years, which means that 60% of leaks will not be fixed for at least 20 years.
Failing ministries and water authorities have a public duty to resolve this shocking situation as a matter of urgency.
Waltham Chase, Hampshire
SIR – We have sleepwalked into a water supply crisis for decades under governments of all stripes.
Several years ago, I installed a rainwater harvesting system on our property. Our water consumption immediately decreased by 70%, clearly illustrating the folly of using scarce and expensive treated water for flushing.
If all new builds were required to install such a system, the unit cost would be nominal and the problem would be greatly mitigated.
Nutley, East Sussex
SIR – My grandmother always took a hot water bottle to bed. In the morning, she used lukewarm water to wash herself, thus saving water and electricity.
Talgarreg, Cardigan County
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