From: Wendy Storey, Bracken Close, Mirfield.
I am writing regarding the letter from LR Hirst last Saturday (The Yorkshire Post, July 22).
I read LR Hirst’s letter with great interest and empathise totally with all he said.
I grew up in a similar area but in Batley in the late 1940s and 50s and had two family doctors who came out at all times of the day and night and knew all our family and relations.
They seemed to work 100 hours a week as they did home visits, delivered babies and visited their patients in hospital.
When I first moved to live in Mirfield we had a wonderful local doctor, who has now retired, many years ago.
He told me how things were changing drastically in the NHS and within the GPs’ surgeries and it saddened him.
I asked him why he had become a doctor and in particular a GP.
He said he wanted to deal with people in the community and be part of that community and live in the community and had gone into medicine as a vocation as he cared for people and had great compassion.
He asked me if I had read a book by AJ Cronin called The Citadel. It is about a young newly qualified doctor in the 1920s going to work in the Welsh valleys.
He said after reading this book it made him want to study medicine and to be a GP.
He also said that all medical students should have to read this book when training as it gives a great insight into the world of being a doctor. I know that there have been many changes in the NHS and in our GPs’ surgeries.
I empathise with the doctors at times as sadly in this day and age we are told it is all about money.
Yes it may be, but care and compassion don’t always need money and the older I get (I am 71) I feel that my age group and older are sometimes put to the bottom of the pile, particularly where compassion is required.
It all depends where you live and thankfully I have had decent health so haven’t needed the doctors too much.
Our area, as LR Hirst said, had local hospitals and many were given money by local businessmen, shopkeepers and the public and have now sadly been forgotten about.
Finally, there are too many managers and people wanting promotion too quickly instead of doing their job because they care.
If you want a good read then do read AJ Cronin’s book and ask all your GPs to read it too.