DOCTORS are deeply concerned about lack of funding in the NHS affecting patient services. In a major survey just published by the BMA of the views of nearly 8,000 doctors, 97 per cent felt that lack of resources is affecting quality and safety of patient care.
And 45 per cent of doctors are worried about often making a mistake in these challenging circumstances. Meanwhile, 55 per cent of doctors feel that they are unfairly blamed for errors that occur due to systemic pressures in their workplace, in an environment of staffing shortages and lack of capacity across health and social care at every level.
The scope of the workforce crisis needs to be thoroughly examined and safe staffing levels need to be published to hold employers to account.
Despite the clear recommendations from the Francis inquiry five years ago, three in four doctors feel that financial targets still override patient care.
We hope the proposed Health Service Safety Investigations Bill will establish a statutory independent body to provide confidential, professional, safety incident investigation. The BMA has long called for the NHS to move away from its culture of blame and to consider the system as a whole – rather than targeting individual doctors and healthcare staff often doing their best under extreme pressure.
We note the Health Secretary’s commitment to innovating and developing IT services in primary care (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, September 22), but it is vital that such initiatives are rigorously evaluated to ensure patient safety is not compromised.
There is a greater need for basic IT infrastructure to be improved, so that doctors in GP practices and hospitals have timely access to secure electronic patient information to provide seamless and optimal care.
A life in letters
From: Lorna Macdonald, Holmfirth.
WITH regard to the letter from Mrs L Holroyd on the joy of writing (The Yorkshire Post, September 24), I am an old lady and there were no computers when I was growing up.
However I now have a laptop and a tablet for sending emails, but still enjoy writing letters, notes in greeting cards, and postcards. Yes, men do write letters – my father was a prolific letter writer.
During my teens, I toured the UK with various shows and pantomimes. Each week there would be a newsy letter waiting for me at the new theatre, there was always a message for me in Mum’s handwriting at the end.
I met my lovely husband while working in Dundee, I had to return home as I was under contract for pantomime in Leeds, so the last six months of our courtship were by letter and a phone call on Saturday. I moved to Dundee in May 1951, the letters kept coming from Dad and from five or six of the girls I had worked with.
My husband secured a job in India, I joined him in 1953, where our two sons were born. Not only did my father still write every week, but he also kept in touch with my bridesmaid. She called him Dad too. Sadly I have lost them both but I still write to friends. I will always write as I write quicker than I can type!
Will energy plan pay off?
From: Neil Richardson, Kirkheaton.
THE energy section of Yorkshire Vision (September – October) gives the Humber as the benchmark location for offshore wind, and likely to benefit when £200m is invested in a new energy park. Our Government is apparently ready to hand out ‘chunks of cake’ to the regions being considered.
Given a limited public sector budget and expensive national debt, could Lord Haskins of Humber LEP comment on the rate of return for this project, which I assume will be funded in part by new, low cost electricity sources (free of subsidies) in the next two or three decades?
Poor reception for TV cutback
From: Malcolm Shedlow, Leeds.
IT is absolutely disgusting of the Government and the BBC to even think about stopping the free TV licence for the over 75s.
Why is it when organisations want to cut back to save money the first people they think about are the well-off (cough) pensioners?
We get a yearly increase of two or three pounds a week but the increases in the cost of living is far greater than that.
Every year we do in fact get a reduction in our standard of living due to all the price rises, too numerous to mention here.
Pub dog ban is welcome
From: J Thornton, Church Street, Whitby.
HOW delighted I was when I read that Wetherspoons are banning dogs from all their pubs. Good for them.
It’s good that they have consideration for the blind and guide dogs will be allowed, and so they should. I only hope that all other eating places do the same.
Dogs should never ever been allowed to eat in places where people pay to enjoy their meal, it’s totally unhealthy.
Grayling a potential PM?
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
LIKE Andrew Mercer (The Yorkshire Post, September 24), I was struck dumb by Chris Grayling’s being used as front man for Theresa May’s handling of Brexit. Is he also on the chilling list of “favourites” to be the next PM? Discussing this topic, someone used the term “United Kingdom”. This was countered by “Disunited Bonkersdom”. I didn’t quibble!