A Physician Consultant’s Day shows the benefits of working in person

SIR – As a retired consultant doctor who spent 38 years working in hospital medicine, I found it discouraging to read that a large percentage of consultants want to perform virtual rounds in order to avoid burnout (report, May 19).

There are so many benefits of having the consultant on the ward every day, including: team building, diagnosing serious accidental medical conditions that the doctor-in-training might not have noticed , help with unexpected emergencies in the ward, and – not least – direct interaction with patients. Often, one could bring hope and even humor to seemingly hopeless situations through experience.

Before the introduction of this new way of working, a thorough scientific evaluation must be carried out. Otherwise, the public might get the impression that this is just another profession that is more interested in itself than in the people it is there to serve.

Dr. David Walters
Burton Bradstock, Dorset

SIR – I wonder where the term “work/life balance” comes from. My bet would be on the United States, whose slogans are undoubtedly increasingly adopted in this country. If it’s local, I guess The Guardian or the University of Cambridge.

But since when was work no longer part of life? Of course, “balance” in life is between work and leisure.

The problem with admitting this would be that those who seek to adjust the balance would implicitly admit that they expect to have more free time and to work less for the same money.

James Stythe
Pewsey, Wiltshire

SIR – As a young planner dealing with people’s demands 50 years ago, I learned the job working alongside and being mentored daily by more experienced planners who sat in the same office as me.

In turn, when I was a senior planner, I mentored and trained junior staff. I also had immediate access to highways, conservation, design and legal advice from people working in the same building. I would simply meet the person with the document or plan I wanted to discuss, and we could figure out the best way forward.

Delays and errors have been avoided, knowledge gained and better planning results achieved.

As a manager, I would let staff members work from home on odd days if they needed to do something that required undisturbed concentration, but that was the exception, not the rule. Working from home has a role to play, but it is limited and should be used sparingly.

RT Britnell
Canterbury, Kent

SIR – I’m retired and I’ve been doing crafts in the garden. Recently, a neighbor who was working from home appeared and took a work call while hanging out the laundry. Multitasking at its best.

Dave Alsop
Churchdown, Gloucestershire

Exceptional tax on exceptional profits

SIR – An internal government poll found that the idea of ​​a windfall tax on oil and gas companies is “very popular” (Letters, May 19).

What did they think people would say if asked about taxing someone other than themselves, especially a corporation? Most people would regard this as free money and would not understand the consequences, which would discourage investment and limit future growth.

Why does this government not understand that almost all tax increases are bad for the economy and that it should focus on lowering taxes by eliminating waste and inefficiency from most public bodies, by improving public sector productivity?

Adam Richold
Findern, Derbyshire

SIR – I am generally not in favor of windfall taxes, but there is a good and obvious justification for reasonable payment by oil companies to compensate motorists for the artificial and unjustified high cost of petrol and diesel. A reward is due.

Lorimer burn
Guilford, Surrey

SIR – I will believe that this government takes the cost of living crisis seriously when it suspends all “green” taxes.

Politicians of all persuasions seem more concerned with Britain reaching net zero by 2050 than solving the real suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable in society. It wouldn’t solve the crisis, but it could make a real difference in tackling fuel poverty and is under government control.

Ian Holiday
Shalden Alton, Hampshire

covid money tree

SIR – I recently audited the accounts of a village hall and was amazed to see that it has continued to receive Covid grants this year. The government has also not requested reimbursement of the large sums received in 2020-21.

Party halls across the country have to sit on millions of pounds. If this money was returned, it could be used to help people who are struggling to pay their bills.

Richard Howard
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

two pilgrims

SIR – Like Frank Brittain (Letters, May 18), I was intrigued by Bernard Heath’s obituary (May 14).

In 1966, a friend and I retraced David Balfour’s route through Scotland in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and saw the Ben Alder Bothy, near Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Cave.

We passed a cyclist on the way and on arrival saw in the guest book that he was the secretary of the Mountain Bothy Association and lived at 7 Jim Lane, Huddersfield. We had forgotten the name – Bernard Heath – but remembered the address.

Tony Jefferis
Ulverston, Cumbria

Two ball football

SIR – The suggestion of a two-ball football match (Letters, May 19) has the potential to entertain, but I would make an adjustment.

With two balls scoring the same, players are likely to game the system and eventually go back to one. I suggest that one ball (red) scores two goals and the other (white) scores one. The objective of the game would then change depending on the probability and score rate. The bends would be particularly interesting.

John Berger
Eynsford, Kent

Who to vote for?

SIR – As always, Allister Heath (“Elite groupthink is driving Britain into a nightmare of inflation, idleness and rage”, Commentary, May 19) hits the nail on the head – at a exception: “The revenge of the electors, when it comes, will be pitiless.”

Who should we vote for? “Green” Social Democrats posing as Conservatives are no longer an option, but voting Reform or Reclaim would risk handing over a Labor party still Corbynist in its bones to government, and complete the destruction of our country.

The cynical members of the Cabinet know this but continue on their way to self-annihilation, taking us with them. There is no Thatcher in waiting that I can see, no truly conservative heir to the throne.

Like many, I had high hopes for Boris Johnson after the bland horrors he pulled off. What a fool I was. Do things really have to get worse before they get better? It seems so, like a disease that just has to run its course.

Nigel Price
Wilmslow, Cheshire

math makes fun

SIR – Jemima Lewis (comment, May 19) and her daughter might like to know that there are other, more “friendly” avenues for math.

After five agonizing high school years of math, algebra, and geometry, I was allowed to move on to a secretarial course, where I learned about bookkeeping. Numbers suddenly made sense and became fun. A grade A pass in my GCE was the result.

Lindsay Gaskel
Moorooka, Queensland, Australia

Fold control

SIR – Soap the folds of trousers (Letters, May 17)? When tried in my artillery regiment, the “shadow” on each side lifted the Sergeant Major’s hair so much that any disbeliever was led to the bathhouse, where he had to remove the offending garment , wash it, then wear soggy pants for the rest of the day.

The practice was short-lived.

Ron Gidens
Caterham, Surrey

MR – Like Chris Yates (Letters, May 17), I soaped the trouser creases of my CCF army uniform. There was an unfortunate consequence – when it rained on the parade, the folds frothed.

James Collier
Byfleet, Surrey

Why Map Reading is Still an Essential Skill