Driven to distraction not the clinic

From: Gary Morris, Town Street, Guiseley, Leeds.

IS a doctor’s surgery plush premises more important than patient care?

Recently my health has drastically declined with severe abdominal pain and concerns for my pancreas, liver and kidneys. I sought the medical advice of Guiseley & Yeadon Medical Practice (Netherfield Road Surgery, Guiseley,) the pain was so severe. Another blood test was recommended. However this would be scheduled for April 26 unless I could manage to attend Wharfedale Hospital, Otley, where I could get a same day blood test.

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I am single and on a small fixed private pension that barely pays the bills, and unable to drive due to the recent severe pain.

In hope I attempted to contact the NHS for support with transport and was abruptly informed that is the responsibility of your GP practice. Sadly I was declined such support as “We do not do that!” Neither PALS nor NHS Direct would assist as it was the “practice’s responsibility”.

I was given another alternative to somehow make my way to their “Yeadon Community Health Centre” some two miles away, and which runs the Guiseley practice. Not having the finances, nor support I had to walk on crutches while in severe pain, starting two hours early and having stop every few yards to rest before continuing.

When I finally arrived, I thought I had walked into the headquarters of a national bank it was so plush and big. As you can imagine the long painful exhausting hike on crutches in my present condition certainly did not help my poor worsening health.

When is a doctor’s surgery far more important than patient care?

It is deeply troubling that the NHS and this practice fail to support a very ill, disabled person with the simply task of transportation for an important blood test.

Bridging loan controversy

From: AW Clarke, Wold Croft, Sutton on Derwent, York.

NO sooner does the Government write off £150m of the debt on the Humber Bridge, thus enabling the tolls to be reduced for users who live in a “low paid” area, than the board have set about plotting ways and means of finding opportunities to increase the prices and also to remunerate themselves (Yorkshire Post, April 24). We now know of this thanks to a Freedom of Information request from a Hull business man. As a former resident in the area and also a user of the bridge, I have an interest in the costs imposed on drivers. I happen to think that, as the bridge is part of the road network, the costs should fall on the appropriate responsible authority, ie the Government via the Highways Agency.

There is no question of the users of the M25, or any other motorway, having to find the money for the construction of those roads but those of us who have close proximity to a wide river crossing are penalised for living there. There is also the question of haulage companies and industry which may be deterred from “cross river” commerce due to extra costs.

Being in a depressed area will not be helped if opportunities are further limited by the tolls imposed by the Humber Bridge Board. There is also the issue of the expense of the remaining debt which, it appears from your report, is likely to fall on the surrounding councils’ taxpayers even though most have absolutely no use for the bridge.

It is high time that the Hull City Council, who were mainly responsible for lobbying for the bridge those many years ago, set about finding ways to persuade the Government to give a break to Humberside and dispose of the debt completely.

MP’s caravan tax shocker

From: George McManus, Chairman, Beverley and Holderness Labour Party, Whins Lane, Long Riston.

LIKE many people, I was shocked to hear that Greg Knight MP voted with the Government when the blocking motion was proposed against the imposition of VAT on static caravans.

I understand Greg’s thinking on the issue and accept that he is an honourable man. In his defence, he says the Government may change its view based on evidence as it is revealed during the consultation.

He should be aware that this Government has been motivated by dogma and ignored the evidence when imposing draconian legislation on the NHS, government spending and wider fiscal policy. The economic policy being pursued by this Government is based on dogma and not on evidence and we are all suffering the consequences. The numbers of police, nurses and doctors are falling. Waiting lists are getting longer and crime is going up. The economy is stagnant while jobs are being lost to foreign competitors in areas like caravan manufacture.

If Greg is hoping for a change in this approach, I’m afraid he will be sorely disappointed and the vulnerable will suffer most along with thousands of unemployed caravan workers.