YP Letters: NHS bashing demoralising for busy staff

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From: Susan Dennis, Ripon.

WILL the media, and particularly the BBC, please ‘back off’ the NHS? Yes there are locations that are experiencing ‘delays’ for ambulances ‘bed blocking’, and lack of care in the community when they are discharged. All this NHS-bashing must be quite demoralising for NHS employees who in the vast majority of cases will be doing their best.

The word I have not heard is ‘family’ – I now hear an outburst of how busy they all are and it’s not their responsibility – but while the elderly are fit and well they are quite capable of caring for grandchildren with no financial reimbursement, so why not repay that kindness with a little compassion and have them to stay until they are capable of heating a cup of soup? The quicker they recover the quicker you will have your free child care back.

From: Nigel Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

SOME top civil servants convinced Gordon Brown and then Tony Blair they’d thought up a terrific new policy to finance new hospitals called PFI (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, January 10). Who knows what peerages and knighthoods were handed out to civil servants because of it?

Unfortunately, PFI is a failure costing the taxpayer much more than anyone realised it ever would, even those in Whitehall who thought it up for us. It is time for us all as a nation to admit PFI has been a massive expensive failure.

We need to take these NHS assets back into public ownership urgently by nationalisation if necessary. I am not suggesting nationalisation without compensation. But the PFI contracts leasing hospitals and big pieces of equipment to us at huge cost can be brought to an end by a simple Act of Parliament.

A fair price can be paid for those assets taken into public ownership if we want to. After all, isn’t that what the founding fathers of the NHS did back in 1947? Couldn’t many of the financial problems in the NHS be brought to an end this way? Then maybe Whitehall would allow us to keep all our A&E departments after all.

From: Dick Lindley, Altofts, Normanton.

AS we all know, the NHS is stretched to breaking point. Patients are now at risk of suffering serious illness when admitted to our casualty departments. This is so sad, that despite the valiant efforts of our dedicated nurses and overworked doctors, we are unable to manage the system successfully.

It is ironic in the extreme that the whole problem is being made much worse by hospital trusts spending obscene amounts of money on management consultants, presumably to teach the hospital directors and managers how to run their hospitals.

I was shocked to find that the Mid Yorkshire Trust has spent £16.5m of scarce resources on such advice when that money ought to have been used to improve facilities for NHS patients.

Not only are the NHS trusts spending money like drunken sailors, the Government should, instead of wasting £9bn of our money on foreign aid, spend all of that money helping the poor and the sick in the UK.

Charity begins at home.

From: Robert Bottamley, Thorn Road, Hedon.

YOU report that the NHS has rejected claims that it faces a “humanitarian crisis” (The Yorkshire Post, January 7).

With respect, this is not entirely accurate. Reading on, I find that it is not ‘the NHS’, but Keith Willetts, director of acute care for NHS England, who refutes the suggestion. And (as they say) he would, wouldn’t he?

If instead we were to ask the nurses and doctors, I suspect their responses would differ considerably. The argument that the difficulties described by the Red Cross are (at worst) mere winter anomalies – falls at the first fence. Staff shortages, bed shortages, patients left on trolleys, patients being moved (and even discharged) in the early hours of the morning; all these have been issues for a considerable number of years, and irrespective of the season.

Despite claims by the Government, these problems have not been addressed adequately. And it is because they have not been addressed adequately that the crisis described by the Red Cross is overwhelming our hospitals.

From: John N Gibson, Kirkburton, Huddersfield.

WITH reference to your article on NHS consultancy fees (The Yorkshire Post, January 7), the need for consultants proves that the management of the NHS trusts is not fit for purpose. Perhaps there should be a ban on the use of consultants, and senior managers be told to get on with their job.

Defiance for gloomy Sun

From: Chris Whitwood, The Yorkshire Party.

THE lights of New Year fireworks hadn’t even flickered out before the esteemed pinnacle of journalism that is The Sun, launched a tirade against Yorkshire’s own City of Culture – complete with rather dubious sounding ‘quotes’ from unnamed visitors. What more reason did I need to visit Hull?

Such cheap shots are not only symptomatic of shoddy tabloid journalism, but underline the repeated, indeed incessant, damning of the North by capital-centric media.

The centrepiece of the illuminations, which launched a year of events for the 2017 City of Culture, was a breathtaking spectacle of light and sound.

While I am not going to stand in the way of anyone who wishes to boycott the paper, to my mind the most apt way to challenge such spurious articles is to visit our City of Culture for yourself.

The condemnation of Hull is a condemnation of Yorkshire. So as you get off the train and leave Paragon Station, raise your hand in the air, stick two fingers to The Sun in a Kes-inspired gesture of Northern defiance and celebrate our City of Culture because ‘We Are Yorkshire’.