Bm@il

Ev­ery week BAR­BARA FISHER looks at is­sues that af­fect us all – the is­sues that get you talk­ing. You can join in by email­ing bmail­bar­bara@po­lice sta­tion

Uxbridge Gazette - - Your Say -

AS we move into ‘flu sea­son’ it’s time for peo­ple with asthma to pro­tect them­selves against the flu virus. New anal­y­sis by Asthma UK re­veals that around 1 mil­lion Brits with asthma are at risk be­cause they’re not plan­ning to get the flu vac­cine – even though 8 in 10 peo­ple with asthma say flu is a top trig­ger for life-threat­en­ing asthma at­tacks.

That’s why Asthma UK is urg­ing peo­ple with asthma to get the flu vac­cine as soon as pos­si­ble to re­duce their risk of catch­ing the virus and prevent a life-threat­en­ing asthma at­tack.

The flu virus can in­crease the in­flam­ma­tion in the air­ways so they can be­come nar­row, leav­ing peo­ple cough­ing, wheez­ing and gasp­ing for breath. This in­creased in­flam­ma­tion also means peo­ple are more likely to re­act to other trig­gers, such as pollen or pol­lu­tion, in­creas­ing the chance of an asthma at­tack. Ev­ery asthma at­tack is po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing with around three peo­ple dy­ing from one in the UK ev­ery day.

Un­for­tu­nately, there are lots of myths about the flu jab not work­ing, caus­ing side ef­fects or caus­ing flu, and our re­search shows this is pre­vent­ing peo­ple from get­ting it. But the vac­cine can’t give you flu, the po­ten­tial side ef­fects are min­i­mal and it could save peo­ple’s lives by pre­vent­ing a lifethreat­en­ing asthma at­tack. Asthma UK’s web­site pro­vides all the in­for­ma­tion you need about flu – visit asthma.org.uk.

The flu vac­cine is avail­able free of charge to any­one with asthma who meets any of the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria: ■ they have been us­ing pre­ven­ter medicine

■ they have needed a course of oral or sys­temic steroids

■ they have had a pre­vi­ous hospi­tal ad­mis­sion be­cause of their asthma.

It can take up to two weeks for the vac­cine to be fully ef­fec­tive, so we are urg­ing peo­ple to get it as soon as pos­si­ble so they’re pro­tected dur­ing the ‘peak flu’ sea­son in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary. Peo­ple with asthma should also make sure they keep tak­ing their reg­u­lar pre­ven­ter medicines for their best chance of stay­ing well with their asthma.

Here are some top tips for peo­ple with asthma to pro­tect them­selves from flu this win­ter:

■ Get a flu vac­cine as soon as pos­si­ble if you’re el­i­gi­ble

■ Take your pre­ven­ter in­haler (usu­ally brown) as pre­scribed

■ Carry your re­liever in­haler (usu­ally blue) with you at all times

We are urg­ing peo­ple to get the facts about flu so they can make an in­formed de­ci­sion by vis­it­ing asthma.org.uk/flu. Dr Andy Whit­ta­more

Clin­i­cal Lead at Asthma UK and a prac­tis­ing GP IT WAS in­ter­est­ing to see Di­ana Lam­plugh in the news again,

She died in 2011 but her name lives on be­cause of her trust set up 20 years ago to tackle the prob­lem of per­sonal safety, par­tic­u­larly for women.

The Suzy Lam­plugh Trust was named af­ter her es­tate agent daugh­ter who dis­ap­peared in 1986 af­ter a prop­erty view­ing in Ful­ham. It felt like a TV drama when it was an­nounced that he had booked his ap­point­ment un­der the name of Mr Kip­per, but this wasn’t a soap opera. Suzy, 25, was never seen again.

Di­ana toured the coun­try with her hus­band Paul to talk to chil­dren in schools about keep­ing them­selves safe. She cam­paigned for bet­ter street light­ing and handed out rape alarms to fresh­ers at univer­sity.

I once in­ter­viewed her and was im­pressed by her dig­nity and com­mit­ment to sav­ing oth­ers from her daugh­ter’s fate by early ed­u­ca­tion.

At that time she was also cam­paign­ing to reg­u­late mini-cabs. The prime sus­pect for Suzy’s dis­ap­pear­ance and prob­a­ble mur­der re­mains John Can­nan, a for­mer car sales­man, who was jailed for life in July 1989 for mur­der and sex­ual of­fences. His pre­ferred tar­gets were pro­fes­sional women.

This week it was re­ported that a gar­den in Sut­ton Cold­field, pre­vi­ously owned by his mother, is be­ing dug up and a garage dis­man­tled.

I do hope this case can be re­solved but, sadly, any new leads will not be fol­lowed by her fa­ther, who died this year.

Can I ap­peal to po­lice to stop an­nounc­ing which crimes they in­tend to ig­nore in fu­ture be­cause of their lim­ited re­sources?

We were told some forces were no longer chas­ing petrol thieves while oth­ers were turn­ing a blind eye to mi­nor bur­glar­ies. Now we hear they may re­fo­cus on core polic­ing, but not fol­low up on things like hate crime.

It’s like say­ing to a class of chil­dren, be­cause we are un­der­staffed, in fu­ture we will not pun­ish any­one who sticks a fel­low pupil’s head down the toi­let. All other crimes will still be in­ves­ti­gated. Hope­fully.

So … if we all de­cided to rob our neigh­bours’ houses while they were on hol­i­day and zoom away from petrol sta­tions without pay­ing, what would it be called? A state of emer­gency? An­ar­chy? Cer­tainly the op­po­site of law and or­der, the rea­son we es­tab­lished a po­lice force in the first place.

They need to pri­ori­tise, but not pub­li­cise what’s dropped off the list.

The fear of pun­ish­ment is still a de­ter­rent for many.

Of­fi­cers are trained and paid to keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe and to pur­sue the per­pe­tra­tors of crime. Not treat the job like a pick and mix counter.

And while we’re at it.

Own up. Who stole

Woolies?

Di­ana Lam­plugh

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