YEP Letters: February 5

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Keep meddling bureaucrats off our NHS

Denis Angood, Stanningley

I HAVE just read through the Labour pamphlet “Building an NHS with time to care”. Surely the NHS has been doing that since its inception and doing it rather well? Well it was until the politicians decided to meddle with its machinery.

Hospitals were once run by the Matron, who virtually single-handedly made the business and practical decisions required to run the hospital efficiently.

How many hospitals failed their patients because of bureaucracy then? It was mostly lack of knowledge and expertise that caused fatalities.

Nowadays research, development and technological advances have made diagnostics and treatment so much better. However, the cost of these improvements have to be met. An MRI scanner can cost £2m and every hospital wants one, so who pays?

Everybody knows the answer, but who makes the decision to purchase one for the hospital?

No, it isn’t the Matron, the request goes up and down the tiers of management that now abound. Which party brought in these extra tiers of management and then allowed them to proliferate?

The accident and emergency departments are operating under extreme stress, not just because of staffing issues but because people abuse them.

The compensation culture has a lot to answer for because everyone who turns up has to be seen by a doctor, otherwise the hospital leaves itself open to legal proceedings.

Does everyone realise the cost of a missed appointment, whether at a hospital or GP?

Labour says the other parties are going to either privatise or dismantle the NHS. They promise to increase staffing by 30,000 but don’t say how they are going to achieve this.

Will it be by that disastrous idea of PFI? The next generation will still be paying for the last lot of hospitals built under that umbrella.

Remedies like charging those who attend with self-inflicted problems seem to be a step in the right direction.

What I don’t believe is that any party would commit political suicide by dissolving a national institution which is still the envy of the world, even though it might be in need of a crutch at the moment.

Broadcast rules are just absurd

Richard Carter, Leader, Yorkshire First party

Yorkshire First, the party campaigning for devolution to Yorkshire, is planning to stand a candidate in London in May’s General Election to draw attention to the absurdity of current rules over party election broadcasts which say that a political party will only qualify for one if it stands in a minimum of 89 seats.

Such rules need to reflect growing local and regional interests. Even if we stand in all 54 constituencies in Yorkshire we still wouldn’t qualify for a broadcast. This is absurd.

It could be the case that another party might not stand in any Yorkshire constituencies but because they still passed the minimum number by putting up candidates solely in say, London and the South East, they would nevertheless get a broadcast in Yorkshire.

As the name of the party suggests, Yorkshire First is just fighting seats in Yorkshire. This is in the same way that the SNP contests seats solely in Scotland or Plaid Cymru only in Wales. This does not prevent them from having a broadcast in their respective territories.

Leeds needs Sheffield spirit

Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood

IF LEEDS is to fulfil its promise as an international contender it needs funding and political support. Nether is likely to be forthcoming unless we become connected, more astute and pro-active.

Sheffield has the ‘C Team’ – Clegg, Caborn, Cable and Coe, who without consultation, debate or any pretence of 
even-handedness established it as the North’s centre for sport. Our MPs and councillors have raised no objection or enquiry.

How different Nick Clegg’s splenetic reaction to our proposed arena, when in a quite unprecedented display of blatant bias from a Government Minister, he attempted to endanger our economic prospects to the advantage of his own area.

We now have one opportunity prior to the election to secure irrevocable guarantees from prospective candidates on behalf of their parties (Lib Dems excepted) to deliver us our dues and commit to our cause.

If not, we are left with the ‘Yorkshire Independence’ and ‘West Yorkshire First’ variants. So be it!

Hello? Nurses need basic skills

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall

I AM sure I am not the only retired registered nurse or lecturer in nursing who felt a sinking feeling when reading about Dr Kate Granger’s ‘Hello, My Name Is...’ crusade in the NHS (YEP, February 3).

When I did my training in the much maligned 1970s, some of the first subjects we were taught were basic communication skills and awareness of non-verbal communication.

In the 1980s this became a central part of the curriculum and I remember teaching these skills frequently in small groups using role play and structured experiences.

It has gradually been eroded as a subject. Likewise I have seen a greater expectation that busy ward staff teach these skills when they are already meeting themselves coming back with all their other responsibilities.

Lecturers in my experience now no longer spend anywhere near the amount of time I 
used to spend on wards supervising and teaching student nurses.

Too busy doing academic research perhaps?

What’s the point of working for a PhD if you don’t then have the time to teach such basic skills?

I find it sad and dispiriting.

Red faces in votes scramble

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

President Francois Hollande is the socialist who was going to solve all France’s problems just by crucifying “the rich”.

Now the entrepreneurial brains are fleeing like lemmings, the economy is in freefall and Hollande has a poll rating just above Ebola.

Over here the man leading the Labour Party is being openly compared to Rocky the Rooster from Chicken Run.

Should there be a charity to prevent cruelty to politicians? Or just to prevent them hogging our televisions three months too early?