Letters - December 21, 2015

4
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HEALTH

Health service faces a winter crisis

I would say to The Gazette letter writer of December 14, who identifies him or herself as a health professional, knowledgeable of government funding of the NHS; if the writer had any understanding of the health profession then clearly would not make such ignorant remarks about the Health Service not being in a funding crisis.

With the NHS on the brink of another winter crisis, figures released recently show that many hospitals including our own, having barely recovered from last winter’s crisis are facing another set to be worse.

A major factor is our creaking adult care system as the elderly are increasingly turning up in A&E as a result of insufficient care at home. Hospitals are struggling to discharge them for the same reason. By October there were 160,000 bed days lost by patients who should not be there, up 105 on last year.

The root cause of this is the government’s savage cuts to council spending.

Austerity has hit local councils hardest since 2010. Government funding for local councils has reduced by four per cent, with the comprehensive spending review announcing another 24 per cent cut. Councils try to protect the vulnerable, but with social care taking up a significant proportion of total spending, the sheer scale of cuts forced on councils, protecting home based health care proves impossible. .

This demonstrates the false economy of Tory austerity; as social care is cheaper than hospital care, council cuts increase pressure everywhere. The NHS is bleeding to death for want of a properly funded social health care system.

Marjorie Nye

Blackpool Wyre and the Fylde 38 degrees.

Campaigning to save the NHS

HEALTH

Caring is not just a matter of numbers

In response to your article in The Gazette about the waiting times and discharge from A&E (December 16), I would like to put to you my personal observations of A&E and Blackpool Victoria Hospital throughout 2015.

Unfortunately, my wife has been in and out of A&E a number of times this year, both night and day. Every time my wife has been in A&E and, on occasion, had to stay in hospital, the staff have been superb and obviously stretched to the limit.

Everyone gets great care and attention, even the drunks. The staff have to deal with the patients, but also the relatives, who sometimes take up as much time as the patients!

The pressure to get a bed for patients moving on from A&E is immense, and this has a massive impact on patients moving on from A&E.

The nurses and doctors really work hard to keep the department going and most work beyond the end of their already long shifts, but always the patients come first.

Let’s not forget that Victoria is also a teaching hospital, and the nurses and doctors have students and juniors with them, passing on skills and knowledge whilst treating the patients.

I would suggest that percentages and comparison figures do not, in my mind, have the black and white impact that might jump off a page when you consider that human beings – nurses, doctors and patients – do not and should not become just a number or percentage point.

Andy Wadsworth

via email

HEALTH

Waiting times show struggle in the NHS

The anonymous letter {NHS not being dismantled by Tories, Gazette, December 14) was amply contradicted in the article by Paul Berentzen on December 16 (Crisis warning as waiting times rise). The anonymous nurse was probably anonymous for fear of contradiction by fellow NHS professionals.

Colin Shrive

Sandhurst Avenue

Bispham

HEALTH

I can’t praise our hospital enough

After being ill for a week with what was diagnosed as a virus, my 42-year- old daughter deteriated considerably overnight.

We called 111, her symptoms were explained and within minutes an ambulance arrived. After a quick consult, she was taken to A&E at Blackpool Victoria where blood tests were done, a CT scan arranged and she was taken to a side room for privacy and to avoid light, which she was sensitive to.

Eventually she was taken to the AMU, again given a room to avoid the light. This all happened on a Saturday.

By Monday she had been moved to Ward 33, again to a side room. She was attended to by nurses and doctors who left no stone unturned to discover the nature of her illness, which was puzzling.

Everyday for 10 days she was cared for sensitively and caringly as she fought an infection which made treatment difficult.

Eventually she came home yesterday, still unwell but much better than she was. The registrar called her the day she went home to talk to her, her own GP today to see how she was doing.

This care for her deserves high praise from a very grateful mum and my daughter’s husband and children. Well done everyone involved and thank you.

Name and address supplied

POVERTY

Food banks are not solution for needy

This letter isn’t going to go down well with some people: food banks are not the solution.

Old Chinese proverb: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for life.

Fact: People need help with budgeting, not handouts.

Fact: Food banks are no benefit people in rural areas.

Fact: Many people on low wages receive less than those on benefit, but still budget within their means.

The only time when someone is in need of food is when they lose their job, and benefit payments are not paid immediately.

This could be overcome by the benefits system making emergency payments.

Kath Almond

via email