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This week in comments – from watchdogs to smart meters


You’ve been giving us lots of feedback this week – on our new ‘Watchdog not Lapdog’ campaign, our stance on stopping the smart meter roll-out and our latest investigation into nutritional therapists. Here’s a taster…

Costa Concordia tragedy

Has the tragedy put you off cruises? Flapjackman points out that these kinds of tragedies are rare:

‘Let’s hope this incident acts as a reminder to the shipping companies and crews what enormous responsibilities they have! I do not feel this will put people off cruising holidays. The industry may initially have a decrease in bookings perhaps, however I am sure it will recover quickly.’

New financial watchdog – we don’t want a lapdog

This week we launched our campaign for a better financial watchdog – Activist told us why he is backing our call:

‘Yes we need a watchdog that bites. Regulators in both the USA and Britain have failed us and would at best be mewling kittens. The billions should not have been paid out to the gambling and negligent banks. The existing arrangements are like replacing fire engines with petrol tankers.’

And David Jobson took our watchdog theme quite literally!:

‘I don’t want a watchdog. I want a guard dog that barks early and loudly and then bites if the offender persists.’

Had dodgy advice from a nutritional therapist? We have!

With over 260 comments and counting, our nutritional therapists Conversation is our most popular of the week. Scientists, organisations, nutritional therapists and consumers have all made comments. Caroline tells us how she was helped by a nutritional therapist:

‘Following the totally ineffective and in some cases unhelpful advice from GPs I asked a nutritional therapist to help me overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I had clear improvement within a couple of months and have been able to make a full recovery as a result of her advice and guidance.

‘There may well be practitioners who are not well-trained and use more questionable approaches – I would use my own judgment with this in exactly the same way I would look for a good dentist or a good builder – check references and credentials properly.’

But it’s not enough to convince Derek:

‘Until nutritional “therapy” has been subjected to properly conducted double blind trials, no amount of anecdotes will convince me that it is any better than the great swathe of so-called “alternative therapies” which now infest our society.’

Stop and rethink the smart meter roll-out

Dave D welcomed our call to the government to stop and rethink the smart meter roll-out:

‘This is, I am very pleased to say, the first time I have felt that Which? has demonstrated without caveat that they have taken seriously the concerns expressed by so many on smart meters… and it’s a great feeling!’

George Wood thinks better analysis should have taken place before:

‘Smart meters are relatively expensive if you take all costs into account in a roll-out programme, such as the fitments per household and the central collector devices.

‘The simple truth is that Ofgem and DECC should have analysed the roll-out costs thoroughly and then given an honest appraisal to all consumers and given them an option to decide whether they should be installed or not.’

Are some NHS hospitals short changing hungry patients?

One in 10 hospitals spend less than £5 a day on feeding their patients and some spend as little as £2.57. Sophia wants to know where the dieticians are in these hospitals:

‘Aren’t they the experts in nutrition? They should be pounding on the door of the Chief Exec demanding better hospital food, adequate portions and higher nutritional value.’

And Lessismore is our commenter of the week for this insight into their experience of hospital food:

‘Not enough attention is given to the fact that medication has many side effects and may need to be taken before food or after food. There are also those which give you nausea and those which give you a dry mouth, making dry baked potatoes and dry sandwiches particularly unpalatable.

‘It is a shame that people having difficulty like this do not get enough help in hospital with their diet and that there seems to be a fight to get food for the patients. We had to go hunting for yoghurt for my father who was recovering from a stroke and was hungry but there was not enough food on the ward for him at mealtime and nowhere to get any in the hospital.

‘The longed for cup of tea arrives far too hot, but by the time someone is available to help you drink, it is stone cold so gets taken away.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).