YEP Letters: January 18

Picture by  John Giles/PA Wire
Picture by John Giles/PA Wire
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Who’s to blame for dental problems?

R Kimble, Hawksworth

There was an interesting item on BBC Breakfast about the parlous state of many children’s teeth with examples given of teenagers needing dentures.

Naturally the government carries some responsibility and of course parents. I see children on the school run eating crisps and drinking fizzy drinks for breakfast. I see them buying energy drinks in shops. Some only seem to drink fizzy drinks. And eventually, as I expected, the talk got to the responsibility of teachers. Here we go again.

They’re expected to be nutritionists, mental health promoters, fitness trainers, discipline setters, police, paramedics and on and on these days, then? The recent breakdown in society is entirely their fault and not the Tories’? Give them a break.

The parents are to blame, no contest, that and the loss of NHS dentistry.

Time to demand a properly resourced NHS

Dr John Puntis, Leeds Keep Our NHS Public

Dark winter nights are traditionally the time for sharing myths and telling tall tales.

For example, in relation to the NHS winter crisis, the government insists that health care is well financed despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Those ideologically opposed to public services blame inefficiency, while a few incriminate migrants. From its foundation up to the year 2010 the NHS always received an annual funding settlement that took account of growing pressures from such factors as an increasing population, more elderly and chronic sick, and new treatments.

This rising demand was met by a 4% annual funding increase; reduced for the past eight years to only 1%.

The Government states correctly that it is giving the NHS more money, while obscuring the reality that a 1% uplift represents an unprecedented funding squeeze, building to a deficit of £22bn by 2020.

Together with cuts in social care this is the reason for the current crisis, with hospital overcrowding, cancelled operations, missed targets and staff shortages.

Although the world’s sixth largest economy, the UK spends much less per head on health than Germany or France – and less than half the US or Switzerland.

Internationally, NHS efficiency is widely recognised, for example by the US Commonwealth Fund that compares different health systems in advanced countries.

Health economists generally look at the NHS with amazement at how much it delivers for so little. While the NHS is efficient, the current market in health care is both costly and unnecessary, and of no benefit to patients. Care for overseas visitors is estimated at around 0.3% of total budget.

The Government recently introduced charges for migrants, but the cost of collection is proving to be greater than the income generated.

The real objective is getting us used to the idea that charging for health care and denying some people treatment is normal.

NHS cuts are a political choice, and we could choose to spend more and prioritise health for everyone.

It is time for the British public to sweep away the myths and demand that we return to a properly resourced health service before we find ourselves in a land of permanent winter.

Carillion lessons not learned

Coun Peter Gruen,Cross Gates and Whinmoor Ward

The only surprise about the demise of Carillion is that there is any surprise.

This fall into liquidation, not even administration first, is not sudden. It follows at least three formal profit warnings, a collapse in the share price and intelligence from within the industry. Anyone with even only a passing interest in financial news should/must have been aware and therefore concerned about any ongoing contractual matters.

Possibly the most significant development is the announcement from the accounting watchdog that it may launch an investigation over the audit of Carillion. In the meantime the resulting disruption and chaos across many public sector services cannot be under estimated. But our colleagues in the private sector are also vulnerable and at risk. Government needs to answer the question why so many of its departments continued to let new contracts when all the signs screamed danger.

Apart from worsening the situation considerably, it also sent out wrong messages of confidence to others up and down the country.

Lessons appear not to be learnt, when we are told today, that another big organisation is ‘under a watching brief’. What does that intend to signal?

I fear the coming days will be dark and difficult for the huge supply chains and so many employees.

We should not forget that behind all those businesses stand individual people and families wondering if they will be paid money owed and can survive.

Staff were ‘kind and caring’

Mary Boyle, by email

I am an 85-year-old lady and I tripped over loose paving outside the St Vincent De Paul Charity Shop in Kirkgate, Wakefield on Thursday January 11 at about 10.45am.

I broke my arm in two places and my nose.

The shop manager Tina Lawrence and volunteer Donald Gaunt were really kind looking after me until an ambulance crew came from Castleford.

The trio – Jo Lambert, James Marsh and Dave Austerberry – were fantastic in looking after me.

I was treated at a very busy Pinderfields A&E where I was offered great care and courtesy despite the staff being run off their feet.

I would specifically like to mention locum registrar Dr Raj and Dr Joshua Niven for their treatment of me.

All the staff, from the porter to the most senior nurses, were so reassuring to me and 
helped me cope throughout the day.

At a time when the NHS and our health and charity sector workers are under increasing pressure, everyone was kind and caring and brilliant ambassadors for their organisations and I cannot thank them enough.

Heads we lose on devolution

Hilary Andrews, Leeds

IS it only me who would like to get all the chiefs of the different Yorkshire authorities and bash their heads together until they realise that they are depriving Yorkshire of money that we could all do with to further our economy as the biggest county in the UK? They should all work together to make One Yorkshire great.

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