Letters - September 12, 2016
HEALTHService is facing a crisis once againThe increasing crisis within our NHS is of concern to all, but particularly to patients on a lengthening waiting list. A&E departments are under severe pressure, staff shortages abound. Most trusts are running out of funds. Plans have been prepared to '˜reconfigure' frontline services. Historically this means '˜cuts are on the way'.
The pledge that patients with cancer should be seen within two weeks was shamefully abandoned some time ago.
Waiting times for knee and other joint replacement ops have already in many areas increased, meaning constant pain and worry for many patients for longer. There’s a shortage of beds and the funding for health care compared to the average in other Western countries suggest we are falling behind other countries once again.
We are seeing history repeating itself, crisis years due to neglect are returning. Our NHS is again underfunded, and facts now show we are dropping below Western Europe’s average investment in health care.
In 1997, after 18 years of Thatcher and Major, the NHS was in a dire situation. Underfunded hospitals, many of which needed to be replaced or upgraded were delayed; the situation had become untenable.
When the Labour party was elected they pledged to bring the financial spend on our health service up to match the average in Western Europe. At that time, as a director of an NHS trust, I remember how the increase in funding meant trusts could then undertake an expansion of services to meet the needs of patients.
Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Health, has written that “Conservatives have always supported the NHS”, claiming Winston Churchill voted in 1944 to support it. That ‘may’ have happened. What is fact is that the Tories voted against its introduction, and against Labour governments who increased NHS expenditure.
Chairman Blackpool North/Cleveleys Labour Party
We must match EU spending on health
I recently listened to a very earnest spokesman who explained the new strategy for the NHS was aimed at saving millions of pounds.
I reflected that we seem to have come a long way from the days when the NHS was set up. Then, the objective could have been stated as saving millions of lives.
Surely, that should be the main objective.
It’s about time we returned to the real world.
Let’s not try to launch a seven-day NHS unless we provide enough money.
Let’s try and match our European neighbours in the amount we spend on our health service, and most importantly, with an ageing population, let’s not pretend we can reduce expenditure.
Name and address supplied
We cannot rush the Brexit negotiations
It is evident from recent letters that a surprising number of people clearly believe that leaving the EU is akin to leaving a sports club or not renewing your railcard. Hence, the demands to get a move on and suspicions that the PM is rowing backwards.
The sheer complexity of leaving, plus the negotiations necessary to cement new trade agreements, is clearly not appreciated. On average, a single major trade deal prior to us joining the EU has, since 1945, taken up to three years. The legal requirements alone are incredibly complicated. The negotiations require huge expert teams of civil servants to administer. They are currently being sought and put together.
When David Cameron held the Referendum he believed the result would be to remain in the EU. Thus, there were no detailed plans to deal with the consequences of a vote to leave. Months would have had to be spent on an exercise which it was firmly believed would not materialised.
Theresa May, therefore, and her colleagues are having to start from scratch. They have a blank slate on which to formulate a sound solution to the single most complicated economic and social issue facing this country since 1945.
Another myth, one that persuaded many to vote Leave, is that leaving the EU will end the migrant crisis. It won’t. The reason is because we cannot access the single market unless we agree the free movement of people. We cannot have a bespoke arrangement that is different from the remaining members of the EU. We cannot pull up the drawbridge, and it would be economic madness not to access the single market. This is the single most complicated problem facing us. Boris Johnson was wrong when he said you could have your cake and eat it. But then he has been wrong over many things.
It is no use crying out for immediate action. We need to await a solution that has been carefully thought through and is in the best interest of our country. It will take years.
Churchill once said it would be wonderful in politics “if wisdom could be made to spread as easily as folly”.
Dr Barry Clayton
Festival should be a cause for shame
I read your article about the Chinese twinning deal between Sanya and Blackpool (Gazette, September 8).
Well, after reading about the appalling Chinese dog meat festival, NO trade should be carried out with these barbaric people. How long till they want to do this here? They should be told NO DEAL till this inhumane barbaric practice is stopped! Or maybe the ‘humans’ ( can’t even call them animals as it is even below them) doing this, should be boiled alive like the poor defenceless dogs are.
Hang your heads in shame, China.