Now we must not disturb the doctor

From: Mrs M Kitson, Woodside Road, Low Moor, Bradford.

WITH reference to Tom Richmond’s column (Yorkshire Post, February 23) on the NHS, I fear we will see continuing distancing of the public from GPs in particular, we are told “See the nurse”, “See the chemist”, see anyone except the very clever doctor who cost a great deal to train and cannot be disturbed.

I am still annoyed my granddaughter would not be seen by our GP as she was a “temporary resident” – evidently the practice does not now treat “temps”. Anyone visiting from abroad will, presumably, have to travel back home. The local walk in centre would not see her as we have a BD postcode. No wonder, as a last resort, people turn to A&E departments. Contacting the practice to find out their policies is futile – no response.

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My daughter’s GP in North Yorkshire was very surprised at the attitude of Bradford’s practice. They treat their “temps” all the time – a tourist area – and feel a professional obligation to do so. Why is Bradford so different, and what next, pay to treat?

From: H Marjorie Gill, Clarence Drive, Menston.

LIKE thousands of others with breathing problems, I use an inhaler twice a day called Spiriva Respimat. This consists of a cartridge the size of a small battery, which is inserted into an instrument used for spraying the dose contained in the cartridge to the back of the throat of the patient.

There are doses for 30 days in each cartridge. The dispenser is very complicated and must cost a large amount of money, I would estimate about £10 each. To an ordinary mortal like me, it seems incredible that the cartridge cannot be replaced and the dispenser used indefinitely until the patient has no further use for it.

Is it just incompetence on the part of the NHS procurement official? There must be thousands of these dispensers discarded every month, so why hasn’t the General Medical Council, or the Health Minister given an appropriate person the task of checking such wasteful policies for the benefit of the taxpayer?

From: Coun Steve Shaw-Wright, Labour Group Leader, Selby District Council, Doncaster Road, Selby.

ON March 31. Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) will be abolished and replaced by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

At local level, practices will be members of the Vale of York Commissioning Group and the financial effect will mean that there will be £2m less than expected. Of the four commissioning groups in North Yorkshire, the Vale of York will have the lowest level of funding.

It is known that the present Out of Hours Doctor Service Contract is being terminated. This will be replaced by it going out to tender.

The future position of the New Selby War Memorial Hospital is uncertain. With less overall funding available it is likely that one of three options will be determined. This could mean a reduction in hours or closure of the minor injuries unit, a ward closure or reducing the hospital to a nursing home-type hospital for the elderly. It is time the community was told of the true position. There are other concerns that might affect more rural parts of North Yorkshire.

Fired up over waste costs

From: Julia Livesey, Chatsworth House, Boroughbridge.

WILL North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) please explain why they have agreed to pay AmeyCespa a gate fee of £129 per tonne to incinerate the county’s waste whereas waste is dealt with for £29 per tonne in Holland? At present, part of the justification given for the AmeyCespa contract is value for money. This is clearly totally incorrect.

In addition, it is proposed that commercial waste will be charged £60 per tonne. Why has NYCC agreed to the taxpayers effectively subsidising this? Although I understand that there may be some form of revenue sharing between AmeyCespa and NYCC, there is at least one incinerator nearby that is occasionally willing to take waste at no charge simply to make up the volume necessary to keep their fires burning, a necessity to avoid extremely toxic dioxins being expelled into the air. Commercial users will, of course, opt for the cheapest alternative.

Bearing in mind that there has been an increase in the amount of recycling within the county, what is the amount of waste that NYCC has agreed to provide under its contract with AmeyCespa and what is the penalty (cost to the taxpayer) if NYCC is unable meet this amount?

What is it that NYCC is not telling the electorate?

Jobs cuts and vanity projects

From: Mrs S Galloway, Stirrup Close, York.

JAMES Alexander, Labour leader of City of York Council, blames the reduction in Government grant for the loss of 240 jobs, closure of elderly people’s homes, increases in car parking charges and council tax, cuts in road maintenance, road safety, street sweeping and waste collection.

He then rubs salt into the wound by asking volunteers, those same people who have to endure a council tax increase, to run libraries, allotments and community centres and sweep their own streets.

And what do residents get in return? A council leader who spends his time tweeting about his forays to London and overseas at our expense, “vanity projects” such as Wi-Fi provided in the city centre, an Arts Barge, and a city wide 20mph speed limit to name a few unnecessary projects which have seen interest payments on borrowed money double since Labour took control of the council.