Letters - Monday, October 19, 2020

See letter from Dr Barry ClaytonSee letter from Dr Barry Clayton
See letter from Dr Barry Clayton
Schools should stay open for half-term

The closure of schools for several months this year resulted in a serious loss of learning by students. The failure of many schools to provide regular home schooling exacerbated the situation.

The decision to put back GCSE and A-level exams next year by three weeks has been criticised by headteachers and unions for being inadequate. Too much teaching time they claim has been lost. How true.

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Given this, was it necessary to close schools for half term?

Do teachers this year really need a two-week break? Students most certainly do not, they need teaching to catch up on time lost.

In a similar vein, why cannot the Christmas holiday this year be reduced to one week?

If teachers are really concerned about their students they ought to embrace these suggestions with open arms.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys


Don’t blame GPs for flu jab mess

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The Government has been encouraging all over-65s to go to their GP practices or other outlets for a flu vaccine. Furthermore, it has widely publicised that it is making flu vaccines available to those in the 50-64 age group.

Fortunately, as we are in our 70s with medical conditions, my wife and I have already had ours (and very efficiently too).

However, as a member of my GP practice’s Patient Participation Group, I have had early sight of a newsletter shortly to go out to all patients in which the practice is having to explain why it has run out of supplies and does not have enough vaccines for all over-65s, let alone the 50-64 age group – and it is not their fault. Nor are they alone, as they are aware of other practices in the same position.

The practice has to order vaccines a year in advance, so in September last year, when Covid-19 was not in sight, it ordered supplies of two types of flu vaccine (one for over-65s and one for under-65s which have to be different and come from different suppliers).

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The practice always orders some extra but not too many, as it has to pay for all doses and excess doses have to be destroyed at the practice’s expense. You can imagine with the Government’s PR machine going full belt encouraging all over-65s to get vaccinated, that the take-up has been much larger than anyone could have anticipated. On top of that, the 50-64 year-olds are also ringing up to ask when they are going to be called.

Medical staff and nurses already under excess pressure because of Covid-19 are being inundated with calls for vaccines which they cannot get hold of.

What a mess!

The Government raises expectations, creates the extra demand and pressures on GP surgeries, then does not even tell them what it is planning to do to meet this demand it has created.

These are our frontline NHS staff and the Government needs to keep them on side in the current crisis. Instead they are being kept totally in the dark at this most difficult time.

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They are also leaving them to field all the calls from the frustrated and angry people led to believe they are going to be vaccinated and now can’t be, at least not in the immediate future.

Mr E Naisbitt

address supplied


Listening to a large bag of wind

I enjoy the invigorating sounds from bagpipes, even at funerals.

However, at the end of the day, health, financial and emotional problems are not solved by sounds from a bag of wind, which is a bit like listening to Boris Johnson, who is not all ‘Bull’, but simply ‘Boris & Bagpipes’.

W. G. Geraghty

via email