While the public are being entreated to only use hospital A&E departments when absolutely necessary, figures have been revealed showing that some patients have attended as many as 50 times a year.
As an ambulance driver in the past I can confirm that these centres are busiest at weekends, more often than not as a result of too much to drink, fighting and driving accidents caused by the former. Added to these numbers are those who regularly end up in casualty in a supposedly collapsed state, hoping to be admitted to gain access to a bed and food.
But should we be surprised that these essential services are overworked and overwhelmed? In the first place one has to wonder how many of those seeking medical attention are here illegally and thus not on the register of a GP and secondly when it is sometimes harder to gain an appointment with one’s GP, than it is to seek help at the nearest A&E department?
While it has to be admitted that most surgeries are busy, when appointments are offered days or even a week in advance, what use is that if one is ill?
Also if, near the weekend, say on Friday afternoon one attempts to book an appointment for the following Monday, either in person or by phone, and then told to phone Monday morning after 8am.
What use is that, particularly for an older person, who may have to sit by the phone, attempting to contact the surgery for a couple of hours before getting through, only to be then told no appointments are available for the next few days. Sickness doesn’t work like that.
So unless staff numbers are increased at these overworked establishments things can only get worse; and the problems must be addressed as soon as possible.
Ernest Lundy, by email
Wrong site for a park and ride
IS ELLAND Road the best location for a new park and ride scheme?
No, it is too near the city centre. People use cars for convenience and speed. They like railway stations where there is a good train service. They will leave the motorway where there is already heavy congestion on the ring road. If they miss the bus they will have to wait for at least 15 minutes.
When they approach Boar Lane there is more congestion and the route will become impossible if the trolleybus goes ahead. This scheme is as unpopular as the latter with local people who have more than their fair share of traffic and pollution. It could be a white elephant.
I doubt that motorists have been consulted. I attended the planning meeting and only one councillor dared to speak against it: David Blackburn of the Green Party. He lives and represents Wortley and knows what it is like on the ring road. All the others supported it like sheep, including the chair. It doesn’t give us any confidence.
Miss P Johnson, Beeston
Hub plan’s 7/7 smokescreen
THE PEOPLE planning the so called ‘multi faith community hub’ on Barkly Road, Beeston are using the 7/7 argument as a smokescreen.
Saying it will help bring people together in said area is a nonsense. None of the 7/7 bombers came from that part of LS11 anyway. One came from Dewsbury, one from Holbeck, one from Aylesbury and the only one remotely local to here was from the Beeston Hill area which is the city centre side of Cross Flatts Park.
If they want to use that argument why don’t they propose to build it in the more multiculturally diverse area that is the aforementioned Beeston Hill area. Not the Barkly Road area.
Alan Dennison, LS11
Vast majority don’t want it
IT WOULD appear that the rate-paying citizens of Leeds are again being asked to subsidise the council to the tune of millions of pounds on the whim of a few councillors.
It now seems that millions are being wasted on a trolleybus scheme that the vast majority of people neither need nor want. They were that desperate to get it past the planning stage that they had to issue a three-line whip. Is this how a democracy works?
At a time when the council are cutting services and amenities, millions are in debt, they proposed a scheme that was priced at £250m in 2006 when the original was cancelled for being too costly.
What is the cost now with inflation? It is a scheme that is riding roughshod over an 11 mile stretch from north to south, the only people who will benefit are the contractors and consultants who do not care about the disruption they cause.
Ian Liptrot, Belle Isle
Trolleybus vote is a disgrace
I’VE JUST read that the Labour councillors were whipped into voting for the NGT scheme. I find this an absolute outrage against the people and businesses of Leeds.
A fair vote it isn’t, it’s a disgrace, considering the fact that our council is very much in debt and having to bear more government cuts this year, with a proposed increase in council tax, that they whip a vote to spend more money on a scheme that has been shrunk to just a one route scheme, which is to cost an estimated £76m.
I suspect far more money in reality. It has a whiff of conspiracy to me, and I think many others.
C S Welsh, Leeds
Just 3pc back NGT scheme
REgarding the report that a three-line whip was applied when Labour councillors voted for/against the NGT trolleybus scheme, NGT have stated that the scheme had 77 per cent support, but this was based on a survey in 2009 when the scheme was to have consisted of three routes (one serving St James’ Hospital, a city centre loop, and the A660/Stourton-Adel line), and that the contribution to residents of Leeds would be only 10 per cent of the total cost.
However, NGT are now proposing a scheme which consists of only the A660 line and with Leeds residents paying 30 per cent of the total cost. As a result of this new plan a recent survey, carried out by the North West Leeds Transport Forum, showed that support for the scheme has shrunk to just 3 per cent.
Now, on top of that, we learn that the only reason that the council vote came out in favour of the scheme is because a three-line whip was placed on Labour councillors.
If the scheme is so wonderful, then surely there should be a free vote?
M McGlashan, by email
Adding to bad weather danger
ALL WEEK we’ve been told not to take risks in this bad weather because you might also put other people at risk.
You might divert the attention of emergency services from more needy cases. I’ve heard some people say stupid risk-takers should be made to pay for the misuse of services if they get into difficulty. I’ve heard people say they have no sympathy for people who, for example, get swept away while taking photographs of waves. So what have the clever, know-it-all, never apologise BBC been doing all morning on various news programmes? Showing some moron being pulled along by a car on a flooded road on some kind of surfboard.
“Don’t of course do that yourself” sniggered Simon someone and his co-presenter on BBC News Channel (80), thereby completely sabotaging the seriousness of their message as they did this. Incapable of realising that some moron will watch and then go and do exactly the same thing, thus being a threat to the safety of others.
People like that never kill themselves unfortunately, they always harm others. Grow up both you, the perpetrators of these attention-needing stunts, and those news presenters. It’s not funny and it’s not clever.
T Maunder, by email