Want to help save physio and allied health for nursing home residents? How to write a short letter to the editor

We URGENTLY need as many people as possible to write letters to the editor to stop the #deathofalliedhealth !


On October 1st, 2022 there will not be ANY mandated funding for physiotherapy and allied health. This means that vulnerable older people will go without the vital physio and other allied health services needed to stop them falling, being in pain, prevent them going to hospital, developing pressure injuries and die before their time. Our mums, dads, grandparents and friends who’ve worked hard all their life to build the country we are in now deserve better!

Unfortunately both major parties have yet to commit in any way to what is need to save physiotherapy and allied health which is apalling. Politicians and government are all aware of how vital allied health are, and what will happen if its not funded, which is the end of allied health as we know it in nursing homes. You can read all about how they are aware, and current policy positions here ( https://www.alliedagedcare.com.au/who-is-supporting-the-call-for-allied-health-to-be-funded-and-mandated-in-nursing-homes/ )

The reason this has come about is not from lack of awareness from politicians and government, its from a lack of care. And the only reason they are getting away with this is they feel that the public don’t care enough about this particular aged care issue (even though a lot of people do care about others such as nursing staffing levels, pay rates etc which we also support). Allied health has been forgotten almost entirely, and we are not on the public radar enough despite our campaign efforts, such as 20,000 people signing a senate petition, and high profile support of our campaign from Danny Green, Tracy Spicer and David Campese.

We URGENTLY need as many people as possible before the election on May 21st, and afterwards as well whoever gets elected, to keep fighting for the physio and allied health older people need!

(to see a live countdown timer of how long we’ve got until the death of allied health we are trying to prevent, and other information on our campaign head to www.alliedagedcare.com.au/doac )

PLEASE before its too late write a letter to the editor. Its short and easy, and you don’t have to be an expert. You can do in under 5 minutes and it will make a world of difference to keep the allied health issue on people and politicians radar.

Where to find your letter to the editor to submit via email (can write in word first then cut and paste)

Head to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_Australia?utm_campaign=AN-ACC%20Information&utm_content=208049057&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&hss_channel=lcp-17980786

Tips on how to write a letter to editor below if you feel you need help (with examples from our stop #deathofalliedhealth in italics feel free to use and adapt to be your true voice)

Thanks to Oxfam below for this great information from https://www.oxfam.org.au/get-involved/campaign-with-us/writing-a-letter-to-the-editor/ Please support Oxfam like we do, and make a donation at their site to help end poverty


Be timely and topical

If you are responding to something that appeared in the newspaper, you need to send your letter to the editor that very day or, at the latest, the next day. Sending a letter on Thursday about an issue that appeared in Monday’s paper is a waste of time because it will not be published. Media moves quickly and if you wait a day or two, the news outlet may have already moved on to another topic.

If you are not responding to something, but writing off your own bat, think about whether there have been any related issues in the paper or on the news recently. If you can tie your letter into a current issue you will have a better chance of getting it published.

Right now this is all about the election – so find an article as recent as possible on the election (doesn’t matter if before or after) , and respond to that. In the future could pick a story on health, federal or local politics. Regardless of article, when responding mention you think the bigger issue is lack of funding for allied health

Top tips (see more detailed in Oxfam guide below

  • 150 words or under (and under 100 best)
  • Try to stand out with something that cuts through
  • Make it unique to the community and area you live, refer by first name to any older people you know in nursing homes, or nursing homes in your area (www.agedcareguide.com.au)
  • Write in word and spellcheck and edit first
  • Make sure words LETTER TO EDITOR are in title
  • Respond to a RECENT (last couple days) article good to be on aged care, health, politics
  • Try to use the words “Physio and allied health” a lot of people don’t know about other allied health so we use physio and that to give people the idea as physio is well known
  • The main facts you can consider mentioning are a) Physio and allied health aren’t funded after October by either major party Labor and LNP
  • b) Residents only get 8 minutes a day of physio and allied health now, the Royal Commission recommended 22 minutes. The Morrison government only funded 2 seconds a day, and Labor not at all yet.
  • Done? EMAIL your letter not post it links are here to newspaper in your area https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_newspapers_in_Australia?utm_campaign=AN-ACC%20Information&utm_content=208049057&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&hss_channel=lcp-17980786
  • Send it on to friends/family via email and socials (and sent to us too we’d love to see! Jump on our socials and post a screenshot or email Info@alliedagedcare.com.au )



“This article mentions the key election issues, but I can’t see what I consider the biggest issue – that nursing home residents soon won’t be getting physio and allied health! Neither major party has committed to funding or mandating vital physio and allied health. As someone who lives in (INSERT AREA) I’m really concerned about the many people in our electorate after October 2022 who will be left in pain, have more falls and hospital admissions. And we will all end up paying for that. Older people in (INSERT AREA) deserve better from our elected officials”

Keep it brief

To give your letter the best chance of being published, keep it under 180 words – less than 150 is even better. This example below is 89 words TITLE – LETTER TO THE EDITOR RESPONSE TO ARTICLE (INSERT)

“A good article but it doesn’t mention what my family and friends and I think is much more important – that neither major party is committing to funding physio and allied health for nursing home residents after October. The Royal Commission said the 8 minutes a resident a day they get now is inadequate, and recommended 22 minutes. The Morrison government agreed to this recommendation then only funded the equivalent of 2 seconds a day. Labor has yet to commit to any funding at all. Older people need allied health.” 

Keep it simple

There simply isn’t space in a letter to the editor to cover more than one topic. If the issue is complex, select a couple of key points and write about those.

Tailor your letter

If you write the same letter and send it to five newspapers, with five different types of readers, you risk it being published in none. Editors look for particular things in the letters they publish. They also don’t want to publish a letter that may be published somewhere else. Choose a paper and read the letters to the editor section for a couple of weeks to see if you can pick up at the style and tone of the letters that get published.

Typed or handwritten?

Most papers don’t demand typed letters, but it certainly helps. Use a standard font in a readable size. Don’t use bold or italics because the paper will most likely remove these. Sending your letter by fax or email is obviously faster than postal mail and more likely to result in your letter being published. If you send a letter by email, the staff will not have to retype your content, making it easier for them and more likely that they will choose your letter. We recommend email -friends and family can help if you are only able to handwrite

Be logical

Your letter needs an opening, middle and end. Begin your letter by briefly stating the argument you are making. The middle part of your letter is where you can set out the points you want to make and provide any evidence to back up your case. Close your letter by restating your position, making a pithy comment, or leaving the reader with something to ponder.

Refer to the original article

If you are responding to an article or letter published in the newspaper, make sure you refer to it at the outset. The correct way to do this for articles is to cite the title of the article and the date on which it was published. For example, the first sentence of your letter might look like: “The fact that Indigenous people continue to die 17 years younger than other Australians (‘New report highlights life expectancy gap’, 25/7) is simply unacceptable.”

In the case of letters to the editor, you should refer to the author of the letter and the date of its publication. For example: “Andrew Hewett (Letters, 16/8) makes a strong case for helping our Pacific neighbours adapt to the challenges of climate change.”

Grab them by the…

Newspapers receive hundreds of letters to the editor every week. If your letter doesn’t grab the interest of the sub-editor in the first two lines, it doesn’t stand a chance of getting published. Be pithy, sharp, funny, even snide – just make sure you get their attention.    TITLE – LETTER TO THE EDITOR

I sure hope the politicians in this article don’t have to go to a nursing home when they get older! Because after October they won’t be getting physio or allied health if they are in pain, fall or need to get moving. Its a complete disgrace that both major parties have ignored allied health funding. Our mums, dads and friends built this country, they need physio and allied health as a human right. We all get old eventually and will need help (even the politicians ignoring this at the moment)

Get to the point

Remember that if the information isn’t essential, you don’t need it. You aren’t writing an essay, so you don’t need to cover every angle, rather, you are crafting a clever and concise couple of sentences which must inform and have impact.

Advance the argument

Ask yourself whether you are saying something new, or simply re-hashing arguments that have been made before. A letter with nothing to add to a debate is unlikely to be published.

Back it up

Are there facts and figures to back up your argument? Or do you have a short quote from a prominent person you could use? Either of these will add weight to the argument you are making.

Don’t get personal

Don’t attack the editor, the newspaper, or the authors of previous letters. Venomous letters rarely get published. You can express anger in your letter, but try to focus that anger on the issue rather than a particular person and don’t write anything which could get you sued!

Edit and proofread

Finish your letter and put it aside for an hour. Look at it with fresh eyes. Do the arguments make sense? Is it written logically? If you are worried about your expression, spelling or grammar, get a friend to look over it for you.

Follow the rules

All newspapers set out guidelines for what they want a letter to the editor to look like and be accompanied by. Make sure you write ‘letter to the editor’ in the subject line. If you have written 200 words but the paper you are sending it to expects a maximum of 175 words, you need to do some editing.

Make sure that you include your name, address and a daytime telephone number with your letter. The paper does not print all of this information but may use it for verification.

And finally, don’t give up!

Newspapers receive far more letters than they have space to publish. Don’t give up if your letter doesn’t appear. Keep writing because persistence often pays off. Also, don’t forget to check out the online editions of the newspapers as sometimes letters which didn’t make it into the paper are published on the web.

Uico Heading Element@2x

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