Insurance against NHS mistreatment

From: RC Dales, Church View, Brompton, Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

NEGLIGENCE claims against the NHS now cost over £1bn! To this is added the cost of an NHS legal department to deal with the claims. If the £1bn plus were available to bring front line staff levels to a proper adequacy, a main cause of the claims (overworked, stressed medical and nursing staff) would be minimised.

So what could be done in the public interest? The public are only too well aware that human error in present conditions is unavoidable, and on admission to clinics or hospitals they are taking the risk. Therefore, on admission, they would sign an understanding that the legal defence Volenti non fit injuria would be applied and claims would not succeed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To compensate the unfortunate, however, insurance coupons could be purchased (as there are millions of admissions the premium would be small) to cover the eventuality, underwritten no doubt by the strong British insurance market.

Patients on benefit could have their benefit increased to cover the cost. The insurers would have a diminishing risk as NHS staff levels improve. Maybe lawyers among your readers will comment, and NHS executives and politicians could be invited to make their reaction known.

From: M Hellawell, Cross Lane, Scarborough.

THERE was a time when the NHS was regarded as the best. Those who were doctors and nurses regarded it as a vocation. Training was very structured and thorough – done on the wards with a spell of district nursing included.

Matron was the supreme boss. Why was this system changed to a scheme of university degrees (much more costly) and really a poor substitute? There was not a need for the three-figure salaried trusts to run the NHS, many of whom were not medical experts. In came the tick lists, out went common sense and compassion. There is no wonder we have a department-laden NHS going nowhere, and one after another failed government initiatives.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It’s time to scrap the university degree and put training back on the wards – that for starters would save a lot of money. It would also allow the type of person who maybe can’t go to university, who would make a first class nurse to enter the profession – the auxiliary nurses of old.

Finally, let the hospitals get on with it without government interference – and bring back matron.

Evidence and the RSPCA

From: Gavin Grant, RSPCA Chief Executive, Wilberforce Way, Southwater.

In response to your article “RSPCA’s hunt vendetta” (Yorkshire Post, February 23), we would like to point readers to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve’s recent parliamentary comments.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “If somebody is acquitted, it does not necessarily mean that the prosecution was wrong in principle.”

In this case, the RSPCA was clear that there was sufficient evidence of an alleged offence of interfering with a badger sett.

The RSPCA’s case was that “digging” took place at the set. However at the opening of the trial concerns among experts did appear as to whether such “digging” technically constituted a breach of the law.

Consequently, and entirely appropriately, the RSPCA offered “no evidence” and the case was dismissed. Our legal costs are estimated at £3,500. It should be noted that prosecution is always the last resort and taken to prevent animal abuse and to ensure that laws designed to protect animals are upheld.

Memory of great deluge

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

From: DA Hollingsworth, Parkside Terrace, Cullingworth, Bradford.

On Monday, June 11, 1956, there occurred a tremendous thunderstorm which developed into a cloudburst, affecting a small area around Cullingworth and the moors to the west.

I was nine years old at the time and was really scared.

It started at 6pm and continued for 105 minutes producing six and a half inches of rain – probably more than Boscastle. This was accurately measured at a Bradford Corporation Water Works reservoir in their gauge at Hewenden, just half a mile from the village. According to the meteorological office, this fall of rain has never been beaten for the whole of the British Isles.

As I recall BKS Airlines – as they were known in the 1950s and 60s – flew piston-engined Dakotas on a flight path over Cullingworth en route to the Isle of Man, Belfast etc. Would there be any retired pilot or (co-pilot) who remembers seeing this weather, as I say between 5.30 and 7.30pm? I understand aircrews carried cameras, correct me if I am wrong.

Church overlooked

From: Sylvia M Barnard, North Park Road, Leeds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thank you for the splendid photograph you published on February 25 of the view from the roof of the new development “Trinity Leeds”. It shows a diverse and fascinating architectural landscape, and although I heartily dislike some of the modern buildings inflicted on our city I find the Trinity scheme itself (as far as one can see it at the moment) quite attractive.

However, there is nothing in your caption to explain to any stranger – why “Trinity”? Perhaps you should have pointed out that the glass and white arms which stretch to Boar Lane clasp the sad, soot-blackened hulk of Holy Trinity Church, built in 1722-7 and a Grade 1 listed building.

Couldn’t Leeds City Council, in giving planning permission, have made a point of requiring the developers to have the church cleaned? I confess an interest as Thoresby, the Leeds historian, mentioned in 1724 that one of my ancestors, Christopher Watkinson, merchant, had “generously sent £200 towards building the new church” – a deal of money in those days.