For all the concerns raised over Brexit and the wider political uncertainty in the world, there is a more pressing issue right here on our doorstep – the growing crisis in health care provision.
According to the British Medical Association (BMA), the quality and safety of patient care in general practices across England is under threat because rising workloads are making the jobs of GPs impossible. If eight out of ten doctors are saying workload pressures are unmanageable, or excessive, then something is clearly wrong with the system.
It isn’t just the BMA, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with the Government over junior doctors’ contracts, saying this. On the same day its report is published, research carried out by Saga Health Insurance claims that more than half of people over the age of 50 struggle to see their GP on the same day they fall ill.
It is fast becoming a postcode lottery as to whether someone gets to see their doctor quickly. Not only is this unacceptable but it could have serious consequences with a growing number of people attempting to self-diagnose using the internet, simply because it’s easier than visiting their GP.
The BMA warns that shrinking budgets and staff shortages coupled with the rising numbers of patients has meant that many practices are struggling to cope, while GPs want more nurses to help look after housebound patients which will, in turn, alleviate some of the pressure on them.
The problem is the numbers simply do not add up - which goes to the heart of the problems in the NHS. There is not a bottomless pit of money, but at the same time GP practices need the staffing levels and budgets that allow them to meet the rising demand for their services.
This affects every single one of us and it’s a problem that needs an urgent solution. The health of the nation is at stake.
Abuse claims - football to investigate claims
For many youngsters the chance to become a professional footballer is a long-cherished dream, one that can be a passport to a life of fame and fortune. However, the string of recent sexual abuse allegations has not only shocked the sport, but the whole country.
According to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, there are now more than 20 players claiming they were abused, with at least seven clubs – including Leeds United – connected to these allegations.
The Football Association (FA) is investigating historic allegations of abuse and key questions will need to be answered, namely what did the footballing authorities and clubs know at the time and what was done about it?
The FA and its chairman, Greg Clarke, deserve credit for ensuring the safeguards are in place to protect today’s young footballers and at the same time offering its full support to abuse victims. But this requires all the sport’s governing bodies to work together and no stone can be left unturned. It is important to ensure that such heinous crimes cannot happen again and that parents can send their children to clubs safe in the knowledge they will be shown a duty of care that wasn’t always in the past.
The bravery of those that have spoken about their harrowing ordeal is humbling. For to do so in such a public way cannot have been easy. Andy Woodward was the first player to step forward and talk about the abuse he suffered and if anyone deserves to be named Footballer of the Year it is this courageous former Sheffield United and Halifax Town player.
New era launched - Scarborough’s £2m lifeboat
They put their lives on the line countless times to help save others and now the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) team based in Scarborough not only have a new lifeboat, but a new lifeboat station – thanks in part to the generosity of readers of The Yorkshire Post who raised more than £17,000.
The £2m lifeboat – a Shannon class vessel – is bigger and faster than its predecessor and was unveiled on the same day as the seaside town’s new lifeboat station.
Scarborough RNLI has a long and proud history and its crews have received 35 awards for gallantry over the years.
It is one of 237 stations run by the RNLI around the country and is manned by a dedicated team that works all year round and in all kinds of weather.
There can be no better recipients of our gratitude and support than these often unsung heroes who provide such a crucial lifeline to all those that depend on the sea for their livelihood.