Inconsistency undermines NHS quality

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From: Malcolm Naylor, Grange View, Otley.

LIKE the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, when the NHS is good, it is very, very good and when it is bad it is horrid.

It is inconsistency and constant reports of lack of care for the elderly and disabled that gives it a bad name not always deserved. Funds are concentrated on fashionable areas of medicine at the cost to others and co-ordination between social services and Health Trusts disjointed.

Many will have experienced the good and bad that occur. For example, a close friend was diagnosed with a serious illness and the speed at which the NHS sprung into action could not be faulted. But another friend with a chronic incurable illness encounters serious deficiencies in nursing care at home and lack of co-ordination and communication between services. On occasions, the night nursing service for the whole of Leeds has been reduced to one team and the complaint procedure should be more accurately called the “con” plaint procedure for the way it obstructs and covers up failures.

With illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, the NHS excels whereas sufferers of long-term conditions such as Parkinson’s, MS, mental illness and dementia are not so lucky.

For those families who try to manage these illnesses at home the issue of care and nursing services is a constant battle with inadequate support and increasing means tested charges, surreptitiously imposed in preparation for privatisation with a charge card mentality.

A combined National Health and Care Service would address inconsistencies in care quality and NHS/local authority partnerships are a step on the right direction. But the real obstacle is funding.

This Government’s priorities are baling out bankers and funding illegal wars while care of the chronically sick and elderly comes a long way down their list of priorities. The NHS is good for some. Let’s make it good for everyone.

Beyond belief at Christmas

From: V Platt, Hereford Road, Harrogate.

AT Christmas time, Yorkshire Post readers, spare a thought for the thousands of atheists in the country; their children waking up on Christmas morning, no presents around the tree (no tree), because Santa hasn’t been to them. Mummy and daddy have told them that Jesus wasn’t born and there is no such thing as Father Christmas as he is just a figment of God’s imagination (work that one out).

No midnight mass, carols, turkey, pudding, mince pies, no lights, wine, laughing and joking, no mistletoe, no Christmas cards or screams of joy when ripping off the wrapping paper, no children showing their friends what he’s brought them, all because of mummy and daddy’s lack of knowledge and faith.

Same the rest of the year, no Mother’s Day (Mothering Sunday) when members of the breakaway church took flowers back to the mother church, no pancakes for Shrove Tuesday before Lent, no hot cross buns or Easter eggs commemorating the Resurrection, no Whitsuntide to celebrate the founding of the Christian church, no St George’s or St Patrick’s day because there is no such thing as saints.

Yes, spare a thought for them and their children, what a sad unhappy lot they must be – answers on a postcard please.

Driving a way to recovery

From: John Halkon, Hermitage Court, Richmond.

RECENT letters regarding the upgrade of the A64 made me consider other schemes which ought to be in the pipeline if ever we in Yorkshire and the North East are to recover economically.

Many are overdue, some are because of lack of foresight and mistakes in the past.

I expect all will be able to claim inadequate funding and some not meeting the required criteria, and their will be environmental issues. These are my five priority schemes and I expect there are many others which can be put forward for inclusion, and I would argue for consideration by the powers that be, if we are to reverse the deterioration in our transportation system.

My list includes, in some order of priority:

Upgrade to motorway standard remainder of A1 to Scotch Corner.

Remainder of York ring road to dual carriageway.

Complete dual carriageway A64 York to Scarborough.

Upgrade to motorway standard the remainder of the A1 in South Yorkshire to link with the M18.

Complete the remaining lengths of the A66 to dual carriageway from the M6 to the A1.

I know anyone who travels these routes regularly will know the need for these improvements as in addition to easing the movement of commerce they will improve safety and reduce stress.

I do not have hope for anyone of these schemes in the present financial situation for many years and we must continue to press for the work before it all grinds to a halt. I appreciate the need for the development of the railways particularly for the transport of goods, but see no early improvement in that either and we will always have use for the roads.