Letters - January 10, 2017

A&E in the Urgent Care Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
A&E in the Urgent Care Centre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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HEALTH

We have to fix this health service crisis

It is not an exaggeration to describe Blackpool Victoria Hospital as currently in crisis.

Visiting the hospital this festive season to see an elderly ill relative, I saw corridors full of numerous patients on trolleys awaiting attention and/or a bed, staff run off their feet, and a general air of alarming pressure on the system. Ambulances were having to queue to deliver their sick occupants. As a result they were unable to answer urgent new calls for help.

There is a shortage of staff and, in particular, beds. The latter regrettably places undue pressure on staff to discharge patients, in some cases far too early, in order to free a bed. This is bad in every respect. Statistics show that over 72 per cent of such patients are readmitted within 10 days.

The left-wing mantra which places the blame for this crisis on the government is not only, as usual, prejudiced and negative it is absurd. The key reasons are: an ageing population, a growing population, and the soaring cost of medical equipment of every kind. As medical technology advances, so do costs. Pouring more money into the NHS is always the socialist solution. But we are never ever told where this extra finance is coming from. Let’s be clear, we are not talking of millions needed; we need several billions. Less than this is the equivalent of putting your little finger in a dam breach.

It would alleviate the crisis a little if selfish and misguided people would cease clogging up the grossly overworked A&E with minor problems that could be treated by a plaster or a visit to the pharmacy. To be told by a nurse it has become common for an ambulance to be rung to get to the hospital in order to save having to pay for taxi beggars belief, but it happens. It is a pity there isn’t a charge for those who clog the system with trivial complaints. The deterrent would be significant.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys

ENERGY

Constructive debate is what we need

In his letter “Protest all you like, but keep in the law”, (Your Say, Gazette, January 6) Brian Coope has stooped to childish and negative stereotypes to attack those who want a better world for their children.

Clearly, he has nothing constructive to add on the important moral and practical questions surrounding shale gas extraction. Furthermore he is misleading on a number of counts: Firstly there is no “rent-a-mob” and there are no “professional protesters” but ordinary people trying to protect the environment; and, secondly, the term “gold standard regulation”, so beloved of the industry, is not recognised by ANY of the regulators.

He also omitted to add the Advertising Standards Authority has, in the past, required Cuadrilla to withdraw misleading statements.

Opponents of shale gas want “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” in the public domain. It is Cuadrilla’s responsibility to provide it, but the company has persistently failed to do so. If Mr Coope wants people to respect the truth (as he says at the end of his letter), I suggests he starts by engaging constructively with those who oppose fracking to find out why they object to the process and then asking Cuadrilla all the questions raised by opponents that the company has failed to answer.

Mr Coope has descended to the level of the mob culture he claims to despise and impressively laid bare his intellectual poverty. There cannot be a mature discussion of risks versus benefits when proponents of shale gas show contempt for their opponents.

Dr Stephen Garsed

via email

ENERGY

Protestors are 
well-informed

What a letter in Friday’s Gazette from Brian Coope, about those who object to shale gas fracking. To my knowledge, the objectors are widely experienced, highly qualified people who have taken time to study and understand the dangers of fracking and the threat to communities. They include all sorts of scientists and engineers, medical professionals, farmers and other business people and some with legal and planning expertise. Not “professional protesters”, as Mr Coope suggests.

Any protests in Lancashire have always been kept within the rules, despite the Government changing laws in recent years to try to make it easier to force fracking on the public.

As for the supportive Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace – their experts have been watching fracking worldwide and are aware of hundreds of scientific papers already revealing damage to people and the environment. It is right they should warn us.

I suggest any residents facing the threat of a fracking invasion, would be thankful for the concern and the kindly, freely given support of well-informed objectors.

Muriel Lord

Chipping

APPEAL

We’re a new charity which can help you

We are pleased to announce our new charity HERE 4 U, we recently became a registered charity. All information for contact can be found at www.here4ucharity.org.uk

We are here for those less fortunate than ourselves. We offer different things for different people for a variety of reasons. Some people may struggle with everyday life, dealing with finances, understanding and taking care of application forms or maybe just need a friend that can help them with shopping or company to medical appointments.

Of course, what we can offer differs. We offer one to one support, group support as well as a support line and drop-in sessions. We are a charity so we are also looking for volunteers who can offer a little of their time to help us to try and make the lives of others a little more bearable.

In this day and age no one should feel isolated because we are here to help.

Marc Bentley

HERE 4 U

Unicorn House

Mowbray Drive

Blackpool