Letters - August 25, 2016

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

5
Have your say

A&E closures will hit Victoria Hospital

NHS

Closures part of government plan

The closure of Chorley hospital Accident A&E department, alongside other hospital closures will impact on Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

It is obviously a strategy orchestrated by the government who have no problems in supporting costly projects involving many billions for nuclear power plants and replacements for nuclear submarines, while making and overseeing critical deficits in the NHS.

We are told about sustainability and transformation plans to make billions of cash savings, while NHS funding is falling in real terms and effectively frozen. Government plans remove proper consultation or accountability to the general public, by leaving delegated powers to a handful of managers to deliver “savings” to wipe out their trusts deficits, brought about by government cuts to health services in the first place.

The glaring incompetence of the government to allow the NHS to be starved of funding; the end result being cuts to treatments as the facts of the new structures are revealed, is perhaps something that could yet be tested by legal challenge. In some areas controversial plans for hospital closures have already been delayed, and in many areas there are divisions over implementation.

The government’s determination to continue endorsing cuts to the NHS while investing in nuclear projects will also be an embarrassment to some Tory MPs as their policies for continuing cuts to health services do permanent damage to our NHS. There is no doubt that in Blackpool we will see certain reductions in medical procedures that will be controversial, but the closures of A&E departments, will clearly have an impact on our own Victoria Hospital as the CCG has to make cuts of 6.4 million now. The issues do not revolve around GPs not prescribing cold cures, or medicines for minor ailments. It is fundamentally about committing more NHS funds to train nurses and doctors and keep wards open.

Marjorie Nye

Knowle Avenue

Blackpool Wyre and Fylde Save our NHS Campaign

Charity

Providing sanctuary to cats in need

We are Rainbow Bridge Cat Sanctuary, based at 43 Grosvenor Street, Blackpool.

We look after with love and kindness the cats - who are not in cages, but free to roam with secure netting round the front.

We are asking for help by way of donation of money, goods - ie cat food, wet or dry food, vouchers, flea treatment, wood logs for the wood burner and so on.

This is our 14th year of operation and we really do appreciate and thank readers for all their past help - and so do the cats.

Blackpool Gazette readers are among our most loyal supporters from 16 years, to 92 years young. God bless you all.

Fr Anthony

Rainbow Bridge Secretary, Grosvenor Street

Blackpool

Holidays

School’s in – time to book a holiday!

There’s always complaints from families about the difficulties they face in booking holidays.

And rightly so - the costs in July and August are unbelievable.

There are moves to try and stagger school holidays, to help reduce the costs for families, but with multi-children families, ie a child at senior school and one at primary school, it’s never going to work or be a sustainable course of action.

Demand drives prices up, as it does in retail outlets.

I have no children, but would love to go on holiday in the traditional summer holiday time with friends, and it’s frustrating for all of us.

Instead, I’ll be looking at a last-minute break mid-September.

It will cost peanuts compared to going just weeks earlier, but is not what I wanted.

We could do with a nationwide action plan to tackle the problem with this industry.

I’m sure people going at the height of the off-season could pay a touch more, if it helped level out prices for families – and teachers who are stuck in the same boat – in the high season.

Why not make a pledge, as a country, to not book anything over a certain day next year?

Could that make a difference?

Would it make the holiday companies think differently?

Some sort of consumer action needs to be taken to make life a little fairer for all of us.

Chris Dyson

Commonside, Ansdell

Betting

Betting shops offer safest place to gamble

It is incorrect to say betting shops are located in deprived areas in Blackpool, or anywhere else (Individuals getting into a betting spin – 17th August 2016).

Independent research shows that bookmakers are concentrated in areas of high population density and are predominately located in or close to retail centres and areas of commercial activity. This is no different to any other type of retailer.

Blackpool has a population of over 140,000 people, is one of the major towns in the North West and significant tourist and leisure destination. Of course it will have more betting shops than less populated area, just as it has more pubs or coffee shops or newsagents but even so, betting shops only account for 1.2% of the entire retail units in Blackpool.

What marks betting shops out though is the fact we are the most heavily regulated retailer on the high street, with very strict conditions and requirements placed on a bookies by the Gambling Commission, and local council.

But we actually go much further than that – the ABB Responsible Gambling Code now means gaming machine players can set a limit on what they spend or how long they play for.

Our staff undergo intensive training on how to spot someone who may be getting into difficulty with their gambling, and can even exclude someone in that situation from the shop.

All of those things taken together are the reason betting shops offer the safest place to gamble in Blackpool, and is why problem gambling levels have remained so low for so long.

Malcolm George

Chief Executive

Association of British Bookmakers