Bernard Ingham has wrong diagnosis for future of NHS - Yorkshire Post Letters

Miriam Deakin, Director of Policy and Strategy, NHS Providers, London.

Bernard Ingham’s call to reform our health service, ‘drastically culling the bureaucracy’ (The Yorkshire Post, September 27), ignores the fact that just 2.7 per cent of the 1.3million NHS workforce are managers.

They play an indispensable role in supporting clinical staff, ensuring the smooth and efficient running of highly complex services and delivering value for money for taxpayers.

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There have been many big reforms of the NHS, none of which has been a magic silver bullet.

Figures show that NHS performance has deteriorated across England during the Covid crisis.Figures show that NHS performance has deteriorated across England during the Covid crisis.
Figures show that NHS performance has deteriorated across England during the Covid crisis.

What the health service needs is long-term sustainable investment, a strategic workforce plan and support to overcome the challenges it faces.

The whole of the NHS is tackling unprecedented demand, including GPs who are seeing more people now than before the pandemic.

NHS staff are working flat out to reduce delays and have made great progress on the longest waits for planned treatment. But they are doing so in the face of avoidable, severe workforce shortages and major pressure right across urgent and emergency care and in mental health and community services. And, as Sir Bernard rightly highlights, there are significant delays in discharging hospital patients largely due to a lack of social care capacity.

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NHS staff and leaders don’t see the NHS as a ‘sacred cow’ that shouldn’t evolve and are passionate about transforming services and improving health outcomes.

Public support for the founding principles of the NHS remains strong and recent ONS data shows continuing trust in the health service. We all want to see high-quality care delivered by an innovative and cost-effective NHS.

Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

For those fed up of rail strikes good news is that the new Transport Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan agreed to meet with rail union chiefs, something her predecessor Grant Shapps refused to do. Whilst no guarantee of a solution it was encouraging that the Minister, who has a. reputation as a listener, met unions.

Also interesting is that the new Minister had previously expressed concern about the ticket office closure in her Berwick constituency. I hope she will be consistent and stop the round of ticket offices closures elsewhere.

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Earwigging in York's ticket office recently it was interesting to see the range of enquiries handled by staff. I shouldn't listen in but the acoustics in that office are so bad it is difficult to avoid. Quite a few questions were from people who'd bought on line tickets and then experienced problems not solvable by computers confirming the human element really is needed on railways.

I've found buying tickets at staffed offices far better than using online facilities and far superior than the ticket machines which are useless for anything but the most basic fares.

So let's hope that the Minister can bring her listening skills to bear on the rail strikes. They have gone on long enough without any serious attempt to resolve matters.

Chris Giddings, Halifax.

It seems that each time the Government makes important policy changes no matter what it is, the BBC News bulletins sound like an attack rather than reporting the issues.

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The recent announcement re tax cuts, etc, has not even been given the opportunity to start before the left-leaning news pundits are interviewing members of the public who quite obviously do not support anything the present administration do.

Impartiality has definitely gone out of the window in my opinion.

Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Leeds.

For some unfathomable reason the Tourist Information Centre in Leeds has never kept bus/train timetables or any other aids to public transport in Leeds and West Yorkshire since it moved from Leeds Railway Station.

The staff now advise you to go to the Travel Centre.

Yesterday I went to the revamped Travel Centre at the main bus station only to find a complete absence of travel information for trains or buses: No timetables and no transport maps.

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Fortunately, as I left the bus station I noticed that the first bus stop I came to was for buses to my destination. I was lucky. How would visitors to Leeds manage?

The absence of such basic travel information makes Leeds a place to avoid for visitors.

I subsequently wrote to the European Broadcasting Union advising them to take the Eurovision Song Contest to any city other than Leeds.