Consider everyone’s needs when planning hospital services

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From: Reg French, Selby.

As a former Chairman of Selby Hospital’s House Committee and member of the then Hospital Management Committee, I have serious concerns at the possibility of the closure of the minor injuries unit and possible reduction of the number of patient beds in use.

When a disastrous fire took place in my term of office, consideration was given to closing the hospital and transferring services to the York Hospitals. After a campaign led by myself and colleagues on the committee it was decided to restore the fire damaged areas and keep the hospital open.

In the recent past a retrograde decision was taken to close the minor injuries unit during the night and I raised that issue with the Board member for Selby.

The difficulties will now be compounded and many of these have already been highlighted in the media. Roads to York are congested, there is the cost of travel, the difficulty and expense of parking at York Hospital, as well as the time factor.

It would also be interesting to have information about the plans to “redesign” patient transport services as this may mean a reduced service for those who rely heavily on the service, such as the elderly and the disabled.

I appreciate the funding arrangements for PCTs are disadvantageous as they are skewed more heavily to the south of the country rather than taking into account those areas like North Yorkshire with a high level of the elderly. However that is not a legitimate reason for the possible cuts which may in any case result in an overall increase in cost to the health service, for example via increased numbers of emergency and urgent calls to the ambulance service and consequent attendances at the emergency department at York District Hospital.

One final point; I made the case to the Trust Chairman that when the new hospital was planned, it provided for the same number 
of patient beds as in the old hospital and pointed out that, while care in the community is something to be welcomed, Selby and District is going to be the fastest growing area in Yorkshire and the Humber, and as such it is more likely to require more beds for those who cannot receive community care.

From: Peter Liddle, Mickley, North Yorkshire

As an elderly chap living in rural North Yorkshire I have just had the privilege of a hip replacement operation in the Government-threatened Friarage Hospital, Northallerton. The skill and care with which all of us on our ward were treated impressed me hugely. I know that through our national self-perception of guilt over our imperial legacy we must commit a portion of our scanty resources to countries that were once part of that empire and that in addition we must contribute to the fundamentally flawed and demonstrably failed European project.

But that, within our own confines, a hospital serving a wide community so well should be in such peril seems crazy. I should remember that those whom the gods plan to destroy, they first make mad.