YEP Says: When it comes to NHS, patients are the true experts

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CONTEXT is critical when it comes to the National Health Service – and the complaints highlighted by the Patients Association. Though the cases concerned are deeply disturbing, and NHS trusts need to be more responsive and empathetic when serious shortcomings are highlighted, most people are incredibly grateful for the quality of care that they do receive from hospitals in Leeds.

This is reflected by the feedback regularly received by this newspaper as the major political parties trade insults – and statistics – about the day-to-day challenges being faced by A&E units at present, difficulties compounded by shortcomings in GP out-of-hours cover and growing strains in the social care sector.

Most are fulsome in their praise of hospital staff from humble porters to world-class surgeons. They want greater political recognition of the professionalism of the NHS workers and they believe that greater availability of family doctors, or more awareness about minor injuries units such as the facility at Wharfedale Hospital, will help to ease the strain on hospitals.

Perhaps Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – and Theresa May for that matter – should start taking more notice of the people best qualified to comment on the true state of the NHS, namely the aforementioned patients, rather than perpetuating the political ‘blame game’ which is offering few constructive remedies.

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