Keep surgeons where the people are

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From: SB Oliver, Churchill Grove, Heckmondwike.

THE proposed closure of the Leeds children’s heart surgery unit has caused plenty of outrage and many letters and comments have been published criticising the decision.

Some weeks ago, a letter from a surgeon stated that surgeons should be where the people are. The opposite situation of the people having to travel miles to the surgeons is just plain crazy with all the logistical problems created for the sick children and their families.

As R Hanson said (Yorkshire Post, July 18) three times as many people live within two hours of Leeds than live two hours from Newcastle.

The list of cities and towns 
near Leeds is a sufficient argument, in itself, for keeping the unit open.

Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax, Wakefield, Harrogate, Barnsley, Sheffield, York, Batley, Dewsbury, Otley, Ilkley, Doncaster. Apologies to other smaller towns (including mine).

The objectives of Government with the NHS is quite puzzling.

A couple of months ago, a new IVF unit was opened at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, complete with all the latest modern equipment and plenty of staff. The puzzlement is that it is just a few miles from Bourn Hall, the world’s leading IVF centre for about 30 years.

It would appear that the NHS is giving priority to creating babies while at the same time reducing the essential surgical services needed for the living, sick children.

From: RC Dales, Church View, Brompton, Northallerton.

I WRITE with reference to the letter from the top brass of part of the NHS (Yorkshire Post, July 11) which summarised their opinions by the title: “Heart unit decision will mean better service to children”.

But are they not admitting that there is not enough specialist and supporting staff and equipment: that they are incapable of organisation which could entail moving expert staff around: that the NHS is severely under-funded? Meantime it is not acceptable for there to be no such unit in Yorkshire, and if they cannot devise one now, a target date is required for one to be established.

We had been assured that the NHS would be patient-orientated; moreover it had been established that family support for patients in hospital is an aid to recovery. This is even more important for children when they are taken away from their mothers and find themselves among strangers in a strange place. This could be terrifying, especially if distance precludes visits by their parents (whose anxiety should also be considered).

To give more consultants the necessary experience, to increase the number of consultants and supporting staff and to provide more hospitals with the required equipment will be costly.

But £1.2bn is being spent on negligence claims, plus the cost of an increasing legal department dealing with them. This could be liberated by means of a simple insurance scheme. One hospital, recently in the news stated that they had over a million admissions in a year. Multiply that by the number of hospitals, and a premium of only £1 per capita would yield a huge sum for claims, which the insurers would deal with.

It is time for the politicians and the NHS to match their service with what the public wants, and needs.

From: Ray McGill, Lascelles Hall, Huddersfield.

ARE we being misled by our paid civil servants and council employees? About 600,000 people signed a petition to save our heart surgery in Leeds. This was taken as one objection. The residents of Lascelles Hall signed a petition against an unpopular planning decision – this was taken by the planners as one objection.

The Government want the opinions of the people taken into account but it is obviously not happening. The people taking these absurd decisions should be removed from their jobs.

Missed target on swearing

From: Ms J Deeks, Rustington, West Sussex.

THE Barnsley school’s experiment about showing social intelligence regarding swearing sadly missed the target (Yorkshire Post, July 14).

The foul sub-language given for consideration was written in full, as if it was accepted standard language.

Children see it as being basically standard, use it, become desensitised and go on to use even fouler language.

It was a missed opportunity for eliciting standard English alternatives, extending the pupils’ working vocabulary and making it clear that what you sound like is as important as what you look like.

It should be remembered that foul language is associated with weakness, inability and lack of social intelligence. It is used in public by extreme attention seekers, people losing control, frustrated power seekers who wrongly think it makes them dominant, and people who have never learned to express themselves effectively.

Battle to keep bins at bay

From: Trev Bromby, Sculcoates Lane, Hull.

HAVING sent letters and telephoned Hull Council about bins of all colours, strewn over pavements after bin collections (bearing in mind bins are 
tidily set against walls beforehand), it is time to call for reinforcements, ie all wheelchair users who have been hampered by the thoughtless inaction of refuse collectors, all charities 
for the disabled, including the blind, and all right-thinking people.

Surely it will only take a little time and effort to put bins back against walls and fences?

If the binmen will not do it voluntarily, then they must be compelled to do so by people power or a bylaw. I am sure this blight is not unique to Hull.