RECENTLY there has been much media interest in the problems that the NHS is facing, but I am writing to highlight an excellent service available to the people of Ryedale.

I recently had a bad fall down stone stairs in York and following assessment at the emergency department at York Hospital, I was referred to the community response team in Ryedale, which is a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals and generic support workers.

I was seen at home the day after my accident by an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist for help with my mobility problems and then visited daily by a support worker to assess my progress. I found I could not praise them too highly for their professionalism and care.

The community response team started three years ago as a joint initiative between the health service and North Yorkshire social services.

The team supports people following discharge from hospital and also to try to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, especially among the elderly population.

This, albeit a minor part of our NHS, is working well in Ryedale, not least because of the dedication of its staff as is to be found in emergency departments and all other areas in our local hospitals.

Integrated working between health and social care has been discussed for many years and is finally seen as being essential in the current health care needs of an ageing population.

Our Government appears to be acknowledging this now as Jeremy Hunt is now Minister of State for Health and Social Care but what is needed is action and more funding.

One positive step locally is that the integrated community services will, from April 2018, be jointly funded by Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group and North Yorkshire County Council.

Jeanette Anness, Settrington

Get voices heard

I READ, with horror and dismay, the plans for INEOS to frack beneath North York Moors National Park.

Make no mistake, this is not about securing our nation’s energy supply. In an article published in The Times newspaper on December 31, Tom Pickering freely admits that the shale gas extracted from our beautiful countryside will be used by INEOS as a feedstock. Essentially this means that INEOS plans to industrialise Ryedale, clog our roads with hundreds of chemical tankers and reduce our house prices in order to produce cheap gas to make even more plastic to further pollute our seas and oceans. In short they wish to devastate our community to maximise their already considerable profit.

Please don’t take my word for it. Carry out your own research. Fracking has left an insidious legacy wherever it has been carried out.

Arrogantly, large companies like this take great delight in communities like ours shrugging our shoulders and asking ourselves, “what can we do about it?”. This is precisely how they want us to react.

I implore your readers to make their voices heard. The pen is mightier than the sword. Let’s collectively defeat this industry by fully engaging in the democratic process. Together, demanding representation from our democratically elected councillors and MP.

May I take this opportunity to encourage all of your readers to attend the public meeting on Friday, February 9, at St Peters Church Hall in Norton. This will include a presentation on what fracking is and the dangers posed by it. It is specifically aimed at an audience who have little or no knowledge of the fracking process.

Bryan Barrett, Norton Town councillor

Misinformed writer

I NOTICE the Gazette & Herald seems to favour correspondence about fracking from a contributor in Allerston.

Apologists for the fracking industry are common enough and no doubt all round opinions on the subject are worth hearing. Once, maybe twice. But no more, especially when the content is so often misinformed prejudice.

In a recent letter (under the title Headline Grabbing) the letter writer displayed an elementary misunderstanding of science. The letter attacks the results of a research paper on the health risks of living near frack sites because it qualified its own reasoning, results, sampling and methodology. All good research qualifies its results.

The research points out that it is difficult to say with certainty the specifics of causality, as is the case with assessment of most medical conditions with multiple causes.

Like almost all scientific research, it deals in probabilities and not certainties. Science works on systematic doubt and best available evidence. To attack a study for this type of rigour is about as misguided as suggesting there is such a thing as alternative facts.

Robin Bunton, Appleton-le-Moors

Spot the difference

IF you like playing games of spot the difference, try comparing the plan for access Gladman submitted to the planning inspector at the appeal with that currently being presented.

The inspector rejected the plan he saw as dangerous. I cannot see any difference in its position or traffic flow. The one change proposed to the recycling arrangements make them more dangerous.

The detailed landscaping proposal for the site omits a tree screen for existing properties and reduces the amount of children’s play equipment. The public consultation period has been extended to the end of January.

If you are not happy you can make your objections to Ryedale House quoting 17/01449/MREM.

A Gray, Kirkbymoorside