Hospital will retain an 
A&E capacity

From: Dr Karen Stone, Deputy Medical Director, The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

WE write in response to your article “Shift signalled to integrated health and social care team” (The Yorkshire Post, August 16). In paragraph four, you say A&E services will “cease” in Dewsbury which is not true.

Under our plans, patients will still be able to take themselves to A&E at Dewsbury Hospital as they do now – the hospital will keep its emergency department for self-attending patients along with some ambulance attendances under strict protocols. It will see around 70 per cent of the people it does now. Dewsbury and District Hospital is central to our plans for the future delivery of healthcare. We have just opened our Children’s Assessment Unit, which is the first major step for the Trust’s three-year clinical services strategy and is one of many milestones marking our commitment to providing the very best healthcare for people in North Kirklees. We also plan to invest £20m into the Dewsbury site, which will, by 2017, provide new medical and surgical wards, upgraded theatres, a new midwife-led unit, increased outpatient capacity, a new pathology lab and new office and medical education facilities.

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The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fat cats and the pay gap

From: P Donnelley, Kirkburton.

THERE was a disappointing piece (The Yorkshire Post, August 21) which claimed “a gender gap in pay remains very much in place”. This is simply not true but has become a widely accepted and pervasive “urban myth”. There is no gender pay gap but there is a gender average earnings gap, and this arises largely because women have babies and also because a tiny number of predominantly male corporate “fat cats” earn infinitely more than the average worker, male or female.

High cost 
of holidays

From: Nigel Bywater, Morley.

I WAS very surprised to hear Ed Balls supporting the fixed penalty notices for term-time school holidays brought in by Michael Gove. These fixed penalty notices for taking your children out of school for just a few days can amount to a serious sum of money.

The fines for an ordinary family with two children amount to £480 (with a 50 per cent discount for paying early); compare this with other fixed penalty notices.

The fixed penalty notice for shoplifting can often be £100, the same for being drunk and disorderly in a public place and the same £100 fine for use of motor vehicle without an MOT test certificate.

Raising children is a very serious matter, but holidays can be very educational; so why our government thinks that parents should be punished more severely than thieves and drunks is beyond me. There is no flexibility with these new fines.

A 15-year-old with a poor attendance record is treated the same as a primary school child who would not miss little more than play activities. If a child is off school for health reasons, they can catch up with extra work, so too can children having time off for holidays – which are often educational.

Fooled by 
the quick fix

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

I HAVE some sympathy with Mr Bulmer’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, August 19). He pinpoints the over-emphasis on sport and tourism at the expense of manufacturing and real jobs. I agree with him that far too much was made of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire. True, it was a spectator event and gave a temporary boost to the economy but the cyclists soon disappeared over the hill. The long term problems of replacing the old infrastructure remain.

I am afraid we live in the era of the quick fix. I see the solution to the chronic employment problem in rebalancing the education system in favour of practical skills. There is an awfully long way to go before we see a return to real prosperity based on the true work ethic which made this country great.

A machine 
for living in

From: Michael Millbank, Allerton Road, Bradford.

ARTHUR Quarmby asks for the definition of a house (The Yorkshire Post, August 22). In the middle of the last century ,the Swiss-born architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, defined a house as a “machine for living in”. He also eschewed bricks in favour of reinforced concrete. Combine the concept with the material, put them in the hands of a machine maker – an engineer – and Bob’s votre oncle!

Sound advice

From: Granville Stockdale, Kingston Upon Hull.

I DO agree with letter writer Peter Langtry-Langton regarding adverts on television (The Yorkshire Post, August 23) that “TV ad overkill is a turn-off for viewers”. Indeed. But here is a little suggestion that may assist those afflicted. As soon as said items appear, hit the “mute” button on your remote. Every little helps!