Parking problem
Dear Editor,

Since the Longparish playground was renovated we have seen an increased number of cars parking along and on the road adjacent the park creating some perilous problems. 
With multiple parking areas available it has been baffling as how people think this is acceptable. If you’ve ever driven down the winding Longparish Road you’d know there are several spots where the bend in the road creates blinds for on coming vehicles or crossing pedestrians. 
It is a dangerous mix when a car or cars are parking in the bends forcing cars to drive in the oncoming lanes. 
There have been dozens of near misses over the past five so months, but no one can seem to get the point across to these individuals. 
With the speed limit marked at 30mph it would be devastating if a child were to step out in front of a car. 
Parking is available at the Plough, The Church and the Village Hall. 
An off-road path is accessible from all of these locations. There is designated Disabled parking available in front of the park (off-road)
Name and address supplied

Hustings event
Dear Editor,
Readers of The Andover Advertiser are invited to attend a special free public husting, 7pm on April 20 (Tuesday), to ask questions to the candidates standing in the upcoming PCC election.
Voters from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be heading to the polls, on Thursday May 6, to choose the next Police & Crime Commissioner for the area. A powerful job that comes with a salary of more than £86,000.
Whoever wins will oversee a budget of more than £300m - but will also face a projected £16.5m deficit by 2023/24.
The final list of candidates is available on the Hampshire PCC website.
The public husting event is being hosted by The Institute of Criminal Justice Research at The University of Southampton and the Hampshire & IOW Neighbourhood Watch organising committee.
Previous voter turnout has been disappointingly low (2016-29 per cent, 2012-15 per cent) and greater voter participation is being widely encouraged to ensure better democratic accountability of the successful candidate.
Questions from the public are encouraged and can be submitted once registration is complete. Full details can be found on the Facebook page
Enquiries can be sent to: 
Joe Dukes, Andover

Delivery target
Dear Editor,
I was shocked to see the report in the ‘News in Brief’ section of the ‘Andover Advertiser’ on April 9 that Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust  (HHFT) is seeking to address a ‘goal’ for caesareans. 
I sincerely hope there is a misunderstanding in the report. Targets for caesarean section have no place in safe, consent-based NHS maternity services.  
HHFT is a highly regarded trust and it would be disappointing if this report is true. It would be very helpful if it would issue a clarification.
I am writing in a personal capacity, but I have been a research officer for a  service user/family maternity charity for over 15 years. 
I am on the government’s Maternity Transformation Stakeholder Council, and I have been a member of the NICE intrapartum guideline development group and I am a collaborator on two major NHS funded research programmes focused on reducing maternal and neonatal harm.  
I have written to NHS England more than once about this issue and they have confirmed there are no caesarean targets. 
There is no problem with trusts auditing the clinical judgements made when caesareans are offered. 
They must equally audit where caesareans are not offered, and the woman or baby suffer harm. The aim is to provide informed consent around interventions and offer them when they are safe.
Caesareans should be offered when they would benefit the mother or baby i.e. when there is a clinical indication or where the mother makes an informed decision to give birth by caesarean.  
They should never be restricted because of ‘targets’. It is immensely dangerous and can lead to brain damage and death in babies and serious harm to women because it risks ‘tilting’ clinical judgement and denying choice.  Litigation claims for brain damage and obstetric harm in the NHS are the highest of all specialisms. 
Many trusts have the misguided belief that caesareans cost more. In fact, taking litigation into account, the reverse is true. Most brain damage, although rare, arises as a consequence of complications of non-caesarean birth.  
I would suggest trusts who attempt to reduce caesareans on the basis of a misunderstanding of their costs also review their equality policy. Penny pinching on women’s health is not acceptable. 
Maureen Treadwell, Stockbridge

Hospital response
Dear Editor,
An error in the March 2021 board papers referenced a ‘national benchmark’ for caesarean sections, this is not the case. An article reported in the Andover Advertiser subsequently stated that the “Hospital trust has not hit caesarean target for last year” and “failed to meet its target for every month since February 2020”. The maternity services at HHFT do not set targets around the number of caesarean sections performed each month.
The maternity services at the trust has an internal measurement to predict the number of elective and emergency caesarean sections in the coming year, and a ‘traffic light’ system is used to code each months data in line with the accuracy of this estimation.
Tracking this activity helps us to identify trends and understand the needs placed on our services, which informs how we can continue to provide the best possible care to the women we look after. At the moment, we are seeing an pattern of more caesareans taking place, which could be for a variety of reasons.
We are currently reviewing how this indicator is calculated and used, and are undertaking a series of focus groups as part of this work.
Our maternity services include a birth centre at Andover War Memorial Hospital, which women may choose if they are first assessed by their midwife to have a ‘low risk’ birth. Women with a higher risk of complications are cared for by our teams at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, which is where all caesarean sections take place.
“Providing the best possible care to our women and their families remains our top priority – each next step is decided based on clinical need and supporting those in our care to have the best possible experience.”
Julie Dawes, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Editor,
Blue Cross pet charity is appealing for the community to support their shop in Andover which is delighted to have reopened on April 12 with the latest easing of Government restrictions. Blue Cross shops raise money for the thousands of unwanted, abandoned and sick pets cared for by the charity’s rehoming centres and hospitals every year. The shop is calling out for pet lovers to consider joining the local team and for donations of good quality items.
Volunteer opportunities range from sorting and displaying stock to helping customers, serving on the till and helping out with window displays. Time commitment is flexible.
Every donation really helps us raise vital funds to help the sick, injured, abandoned and homeless pets in our care. To make a donation please contact the shop to arrange a time to drop off the items and please wear a face covering when inside.
To find out more about volunteering, visit the Blue Cross shop at 60 High Street, SP10 1NG, call 0300 777 1621 to speak to the team or go to  
Mark Corbett, Head of Fundraising and Retail