YP Letters: Abuse of appointments piles pressure on a stretched NHS

From: Mrs W Abbott, Boulsworth Avenue, Hull.

Can patients do more to assist the NHS?

I AM not surprised A&E hospital staff at Hull Royal Infirmary have appealed to the public not to use the service unless it is absolutely necessary (The Yorkshire Post, May 14).

I have not had the misfortune to require the emergency services. However, I have experienced the abuse of the service in outpatient departments, having recently waited the maximum period for a bowel exploration.

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I arrived for my appointment at a local hospital to discover that three patients had not turned up for their appointments. In terms of wasting both time and money, that is three beds which had been prepared and which could have been used for other people on the waiting list if the said patients had had the courtesy to cancel their appointments if they were unable to attend.

I also had a similar experience a few weeks later when I attended the same hospital for a scan. Arriving well in advance of my appointment time I was seen quickly as the patient scheduled before me had not turned up. Until these people who abuse the system play their part in helping our overworked and overstretched nurses and doctors, these problems will continue to rise.

A further longstanding problem is financing the service. Enormous sums of money are poured into the NHS on an annual basis, irrespective of which party is in government and yet year on year we hear complaints the service is under-funded. I am confident the majority of the public do not begrudge the amount of funding the service receives, but a complete review of where – and how – the money is distributed is long overdue. Finally, we are very fortunate to have the NHS in England. Let us all play our part in trying to maintain the service or it is likely to collapse.

From: A Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Harehills, Leeds.

THE way we dish out money works in mysterious ways. The NHS has been cut to the bone, yet we read that the University of Leeds is getting £4.4m – including a £1.75m textile innovation centre. The reasons seem reasonable, yet everything else must suffer. That old saying the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing rings true.

From: Tarquin Holman, Farsley.

OUR NHS is in an under-funding crisis due owing to “limited resources”. How costly are the “outdated” worthless local council elections?