Scandal of four million people on NHS waiting lists: Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Professor Keyvan Moghissi, Clinical Director, Yorkshire Laser Centre, and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon.

THE Shrewsbury & Telford Hospitals NHS Trust is the latest in a series of the hospitals implicated in cover-up of negligent treatment of patients, leading to the death of mothers and babies.

Appalling, unbelievable and shocking is the reaction in the mind of all citizens, even if not on their lips. This news has leaked at the same time as that of statistics showing that the number of patients waiting to start treatment at the end of February 2019 was 4.14 million. Of these, 1,983 were waiting more than 52 weeks.

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I argue that it is equally appalling, unbelievable and shocking to have over four million patients on a waiting list. This figure does not take into account those referred by GPs to hospital services for investigation.

Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock (right) have been told to put the care of patients before targets.

How many of the four million, remembering the unknown number of those awaiting to be diagnosed, have already died or will die before being treated or diagnosed?

No one seems to be asking. The waiting lists, the manner they are managed and the body dictating priorities are nothing short of – in Winston Churchill’s famous aphorism – “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

In the 1970s and 1980s, before the umpteenth reorganisation of the NHS and prior to the culture of contracting and subcontracting portions of our NHS to private companies, the waiting list and priorities of admission to hospital were within the remit of hospital consultants, with whom GPs or patients could communicate to decide on priority.

All changed with the reorganisation of the NHS in 1980s, notably the “mother of all reorganisations” following the Griffith report and the introduction of monetarism and managerialism in the NHS.

A leading Yorkshire doctor has accused politicians of exploiting the NHS during the general election.

Healthcare is not a business. Building new hospitals or the pledging of money to be poured into the service cannot change ethos or work magic in creating doctors, nurses and other health care workers. There are too many cracks in ethics and management to go back to the basics of putting patients’ care at the centre of the NHS rather than it being a political tool.

From: Jack James, Baildon.

EVERY politician should read Tom Richmond’s column (The Yorkshire Post, November 26) exposing Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson’s empty words on social care and their broken promises.

What will be the impact of the December 12 election on the NHS?