YEP Letters November 15

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Pothole repair cash is ‘a pittance’

Terry Watson, Adel

The Chancellor has promised £420 million for councils to spend on repairing potholes. This is a pittance and works out about £1 per pothole.

British drivers spend £1.7 billion every year repairing damage to their vehicles caused by potholes and those infernal speed humps. No doubt Leeds City Council will spend most of this money on their ridiculous obsession with traffic calming measures. The 20 mph limit introduced all over Britain is just another ludicrous waste of money which is just ignored by drivers because there is no one to enforce it, and is totally unnecessary.

Our council enjoys spending money. How many millions were wasted on guided bus lanes?

Winter crisis in NHS spreading to every season

From: Dr Rob Harwood, British Medical Association consultants committee chair.

LAST month, emergency admissions hit a record high while the number of patients waiting more than four hours to be seen was almost 10 per cent higher than last year.

These statistics represent what happened in hospitals during a relatively mild autumn before the added pressure associated with much colder weather hits.

This is further evidence of what the BMA has been saying for some time – we are no longer experiencing just a winter crisis in the NHS, it is now a truly year-round crisis. Analysis we released this month showed A&Es performed as badly this summer as four of eight recent winters.

Hospitals and healthcare providers cannot afford to assume that measures to reduce admissions will be enough to beat this year’s winter pressures when the figures show that demand for services is increasing at a rate far higher than many had anticipated.

While the Government is due to announce its £20bn spending plan for the NHS in the coming weeks, it is unlikely to meet the immediate needs of patients this winter, and if not invested appropriately will fail to address the worrying scenes unfolding in our hospital corridors and GP practices throughout the year.

NHS cannot keep pace with demands on it

Niall Dickson, chief executive, NHS Confederation.

BEHIND these numbers are real patients, many in pain and distress. They should make us all reflect.

Patients rightly expect shorter waiting lists but the NHS cannot keep pace with the demands on it.

The truth is we face some tough choices and this is a service that cannot do everything.

Our biggest threat at the moment is raised expectations. And the biggest challenge is to develop new types of care which will help support patients in their own homes and in the community, and so relieve overstretched hospitals and, more importantly, reduce suffering.

It seems likely we are about to face yet another difficult winter and the reality is come winter, spring, summer, or autumn, the NHS has not been able to meet key performance targets since 2015.

We welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to investing in primary and community care, but the immediate funding for social care on which so much depends remains grossly inadequate.

And we need to start this debate with some realism about what the NHS can and cannot do.

Channel 4 move can’t compare

Alan Marsden, Penrith

Two hundred jobs courtesy of Channel 4’s move north is scant fare for the city of Leeds which used to be home to Yorkshire Television.

In 1980, 1,100 staff worked at Yorkshire Television, a centre of excellence for the production of single plays, situation comedies, drama serials and ground-breaking documentaries until Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson decided to destroy ITV out of ideological malice.

Northern ITV is, in the prescient words of the late Ray Fitzwalter (creator of World in Action), “The Dream That Died”.

Thousands of jobs at Granada, (once dubbed the best TV station in the world). Yorkshire, Tyne Tees and Border TV were snuffed out in an act of pure vandalism.

C4 move’s symbolic power

Jenny Eaves, Balby.

The news that Channel 4 is establishing a base in Leeds is wonderful.

While it may not be entirely accurate to describe it as the station’s new headquarters, given most of its staff are staying in London, the move has real symbolic power that will put Yorkshire’s creative industries on the map.

It will also hopefully help bring the case for a Yorkshire devolution deal to greater national attention.

Keep control freaks away from meat

Peter Horton, Ripon

I SEE that the control freaks are at it again, this time wanting to put a tax on meat.

These unbelievable people are claiming that such an imposition could prevent 222,000 deaths a year and save over £30bn in care costs.

How can they possibly produce such figures on the basis of their research when there is an infinite variety of people and a wide spectrum of diets and reactions to diet?

The World Health Organisation targets processed meats and then says even unprocessed meats are “probably” cancer-causing; not a very precise statement to support these apparently precise figures. Reading the labels of many processed foods other than meat reveals a bewildering array of apparent chemical ingredients which must be more suspect in health terms than a piece of fresh, natural meat properly cooked.

This is where the WHO should turn its fire.

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