TOM Richmond's column (Yorkshire Post, January 1) describes exactly the situation which obtains in several local GP practices, here in North Derbyshire. John Watson's letter (Yorkshire Post, December 11) reflects similar concerns. Perhaps the Yorkshire Post can run a campaign to stop the absurdities of this.
The very different situation at the surgery attended for many years by my family may be of interest and, it seems to me, taken as a template to improve matters.
Appointments with medics, nurses, phlebotomists etc can be made up to four weeks ahead. Early morning slots, between 7.15 and 8.15am, Monday to Friday, and evenings to 7.30pm, Monday to Thursday, with one of the five partners, are, likewise, available.
However, as is now widespread, weekends are delegated. Urgent matters are fitted in, during the hour from 11am. Home visits are made and requests for a telephone call returned. For more than 30 years we have also been very satisfied, clinically.
From: BM Willacy, Bentham Road, Newbold, Chesterfield.
From: Don Metcalfe, Annes Court, Southowram, Halifax.
I HAVE read Bill Hart's well-argued article on rural pharmacies, unfortunately one size does not fit all requirements (Yorkshire Post, January 4).
I live in Southowram, a village of Halifax. Here, a new pharmacy is being built and the village pharmacy closed. The new pharmacy is to be staffed by the same people as the old unit.
But the siting of the pharmacy is in an already restricted doctors' surgery car park. The narrow entrance to the car park is five yards from a chicane in the busy main road. This chicane is to protect school children on a crossing from the adjacent school to the other side of the road.
This means that twice a day the whole area by the doctors surgery is filled with parents delivering and collecting junior school children. Also the road is one of the busiest in the area carrying all the 40 ton traffic that goes to a very busy well known quarrying business in the area. So what about the old pharmacy? It is modern, very clean and cars can be parked with ease in that area at all times. It is at the centre of the village and by a bus stop which is used by many to collect prescriptions.
Were the local population consulted? Not to my knowledge or we would have pointed out the failings of the new site. So certainly the new development is going to bring further danger to the area and, to use Bill's final words, there will be more unnecessary walks in the snow.
Cost-cutting causes public incovenience
From: Brian V Large, St Wilfreds Close, North Muskham, Newark.
THE saga of the public toilets in Burnsall (Yorkshire Post, December 31) is not a problem to be seen in isolation.
Such is the obsession with saving a few bob amongst councillors, it has become a national problem with no consideration whatsoever given to the people whose needs may be imperative – for example, the elderly, market traders who are there for the day and visitors arriving after a long journey.
Furthermore, it is very seldom solved by such remarkable and public-spirited people as Mr and Mrs Williams of Burnsall.
For example in November, in the company of equally elderly friends, my wife and I visited Skipton, confident in the light of our past experience that facilities were available in the main car park should we need them.
Needless to say, on arrival we found them sealed and boarded up and a coin in the electronic slot contraption which did not work either. We left the town for the countryside and a convenient hedge.
Until several years ago, we used to enjoy a day at Cleethorpes and then the council announced that they intended to close all public toilets including the ones adjacent to the beach and promenade and that visitors should use the facilities in shops and pubs, the owners of which, I am sure, would be dismayed at the idea.
The council further stated that anyone driven to relieving themselves in a public place would be prosecuted. Austin Mitchell MP took up the case but to the best of my knowledge, to no avail. We have sadly felt unable to visit Cleethorpes since that time.
In other towns, for example, Scarborough, Beverley and Holmfirth, public toilets now have an attendant who maintains them in clean condition and a charge is levied for their use which, I am sure, a right-minded and grateful public is happy to pay, as I am.
It has long been my view that local authorities should be compelled by statute to provide and maintain such facilities in every major village, town and city and that these should be open to visitors throughout the working day.
Lazy mothers are to blame
From: Sue Cuthbert, Church Row, Newton on Rawcliffe, Pickering, North Yorkshire.
WITH reference to a letter from Heather Causnett "Diet takes toll of children" (Yorkshire Post, January 4), I completely agree with her comments on the true culprits regarding childrens' poor diets. Lazy mothers.
Being on a low income is no excuse for giving rubbish food. Fast foods are usually more expensive than freshly cooked food.
Her Ofsted friend, who is horrified to see so many children arriving at school having had no breakfast, reminded me of a visit to a primary school in Wolverhampton when I was at teacher training college in the 1970s.
Our group of students arrived at the school in the morning just after a small class of young pupils had been given their breakfast. The headteacher told us that when these children arrived each day, they were so dirty that staff had to take their clothes off them, bath them and put them into clean clothes.
In the afternoon, the dirty clothes were put back on to these poor children.We were told that, had the clean clothes gone home with them, someone in their house would have taken them and sold them or taken them to the pawn shop.
I suppose that nowadays schools would not be able to bath pupils in this way. Some stupid rule would be thrown at them.
Having been a teacher for many years, I've seen too many poor children and wondered why their parents had them when they can't or won't look after them properly.
Giving children only junk food is yet another example of poor parenting. Will it ever change?
Aspirin and blood donors
From: Dr Susan Barnes, Associate Medical Director – Blood Donation, NHS Blood and Transplant, Bridle Path, Leeds.
IN response to David Craggs' letter "Aspirin and blood donors" (Yorkshire Post, January 3), I would like to answer his question about blood donors.
There are two types of blood donors those who give whole blood, and those who donate platelets. Whole blood donors can give blood three times a year and donate 470 mls of blood each time they donate.
Platelet-only donors can give more regularly as the platelets are collected via machine whilst the rest of the blood, such as the red cells and plasma, is returned to the donor immediately.
Platelet-only donation is carried out at certain NHSBT donor suites across the country and not at general blood donor sessions.
The chemical composition of aspirin impairs the ability of platelets, a component of blood that helps to prevent bleeding, to function properly.
For this reason, platelet-only donors must refrain from donating for five days if they have taken any products containing aspirin.
Whole blood donors can donate after taking aspirin and preparations containing aspirin as long as they are well.
We recommend always consulting your GP before stopping or starting any medication.
We need some conservatism
From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.
IT seems to be open season on the coalition and the Lib Dems. The continual opinion polls point to a grisly fate for both but anyone who believes these shallow surveys and the forecasts is naive in the extreme.
I suspect that those in government knew perfectly well that early unpopularity would be their lot, but those who think there will be another general election before 2015 are living in a fool's paradise.
Considering it took Labour 13 years to mess up the economy, fairness demands that their replacement should be given at least five to try to put things right.
Personally, I have never voted Conservative but I do think some conservatism in managing our finances is long overdue.
Bus operators tried to offer their best service
From: Coun Chris Geaves, Chairman, Metro.
AS you rightly point out (Yorkshire Post, January 5), yournextbus was unable to show when bus services were being re-routed or terminated at very short notice due to the recent bad weather. However, Metro was able to use the service to advise passengers in West Yorkshire to go to its website at www.wymetro.com, which was being updated continually with the latest information from bus and train operators.
On the worst-affected days, the website handled up to 10 times its normal level of enquiries, and the West Yorkshire Metro page on Facebook provided regular updates.
While we can always learn from how we respond to these extreme conditions, and we will continue to work with the supplier to make the yournextbus technology better able to deal with them, I think overall the local bus and train operators resolutely endeavoured to provide services where possible.
Bus operators tried to run the best service they could even if it meant using main roads only, in the interest of safety for their passengers and their drivers, while most of the disruption to trains was on long-distance services to London.
Apart from a brief period on the afternoon of December 1 when heavy snowfall meant roads, and as a result bus services, almost did grind to a halt in some areas, the vast majority of services ran in some form throughout the extreme weather period.
Yorkshire Post readers will be aware that I have not been backward in criticising transport operators when I think it is deserved but in this case they and our own staff have my praise for their efforts.
I don't recognise you, Charlotte
From: Beryl Williams, School Hill, Wakefield.
CHARLOTTE Church's personally insulting and arrogant comments about Her Majesty, whatever one's view of the monarchy, should not go unchallenged (Yorkshire Post, January 4).
If she thinks the Queen is to be pitied for being "wheeled out" at such a great age, then clearly Miss Church was herself "wheeled out" at far too early an age, which is why now, at an age when she ought to know better, she is still sufficiently immature as to brandish around her insensitivity and unkindness before the public.
Furthermore, if I were to meet Miss Church myself, I doubt very much if I would recognise her either. But I would certainly recognise the Queen.
From: Stephen Nichols, Leyburn Avenue, Lightcliffe, Halifax.
I REFER to Charlotte Church complaining that the Queen does not recognise the singer. Who is Charlotte Church? Answers on a postcard to Buckingham Palace.
Labour toll of horrible years
From: Alan Carcas, Cornmill Lane, Liversedge, West Yorkshire.
SO Brendan Barber of the TUC and Labour leader Ed Miliband think that 2011 is going to be a horrible year. What about 2007, 2008, 2009, to say nothing of 2010?
Those were the years when, thanks to Labour policies, millions of savers saw the returns on their investments shattered and when pensioners, and the elderly, saw their income from savings decimated, giving them a very bleak retirement.