YEP Letters: September 29

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Hospital trusts should stand up to government

Gilda Peterson, Leeds 7

It is a myth that Leeds Teaching Hospitals can make yet more cuts without affecting patient care.

It isn’t even winter and the hospital is frequently scrabbling to discharge patients to free up beds needed for admissions.

It is also a myth that the NHS is unaffordable as the Executive of the NHS Development Authority claims (see Jonathan Brown’s article in the YEP 24th Sept).

The UK is spends less of its gross domestic product on health than almost every country in Europe and has only three hospital beds per thousand population compared with Germany’s 8.3 beds.

The Conservative government is deliberately choosing not to provide adequate funding for what most of us regard as a vital and fundamental service. Not only is health invaluable; a healthy population makes economic sense.

Something has to be seriously wrong when just a few weeks ago Monitor, the NHS regulator, wrote to cash-strapped Trusts, telling them in effect to disregard targets for waiting times and tear up guidance on safe staffing levels.

Then last week an inspection of Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge praised the staff for being hard working, passionate and caring but judged the whole hospital as inadequate because it doesn’t have enough staff and is falling short on targets.

Meanwhile the NHS is wasting up to £10bn per year admin costs putting contracts out to tender.

Tax payers’ money is being siphoned off to private shareholders, exorbitant PFI debts are bankrupting some Trusts and the spending on management consultants to try to make this humpty dumpty world work is now £640m, double what it was in 2010.

Now NHS England is paying a small private US hospital over £12m to jet staff over here several times per year to advise how to apply Toyota style lean thinking to five huge UK hospitals including our own Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. Lean thinking is nothing new to LTHT and we surely have the wit within our own hospitals to apply it where appropriate. That would save £12m at a stroke.

It high time is time to stop and reverse the marketisation of the NHS and fund sustainable, high quality health and social care.

The NHS Bill which seeks to do just that was introduced to parliament by the Green Party with cross party support and is due for its second reading next march.

Let’s work at getting everyone behind this Bill. Meanwhile we need to urge Leeds Teaching Hospital, other NHS Trusts and the local council, whose public health budget has just been slashed, to resist the dismantling of health and social care and stand up to the government.

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Be ambitious and imaginative

Lionel Pyrah, by email

In my view, the Leeds City Region should be the preferred option to receive devolved powers, a cash haul and an accountable, elected mayor.

The West Yorkshire model is too small in comparison with the LCR, which would have Leeds at the centre of a much larger geographical area and population.

It would certainly be comparable with the Sheffield City Region, which has already decided to follow Manchester’s example.

In any forthcoming discussions with the Government, it is imperative that Leeds City Council’s negotiators are seen to be ambitious, bold and imaginative, otherwise Sheffield may well forge ahead in the Northern Powerhouse race - and that would never do!

Realism, not racism

L Goodwill, by email

In response to J Kirk’s letter (September 26), and this will be my last on the subject as personally I prefer not to get into childish spats, wars in various countries, human rights violated in various countries, but do we see all of these countries’ citizens making an exodus to this country or Europe? Nope didn’t think so.

My point was and still is that Europe and the UK particularly cannot cope with mass refugees/immigration/migration, we do not have the infrastruature for such and as regards returning to your country of birth, I’ve worked with enough migrants/immigrants who have told me: “what and lose the life, myself and my family have here? Never!”

Perhaps J Kirk should also remember we are legally bound by Europe to accept any citizen of a European country into this country, and they are entitled to healthcare/education and benefits and can I also assume that J Kirk will be giving said refugees shelter, food and a job to support themselves?, It’s not racism, it’s realism.

Party brought to its knees

Alan Ogden, by email

Now that the Labour Party has handed over its running to its student wing and ex-polytechnic lecturers, does it realise how comically embarrassing it appears to the rest of the population, to see them cheering their new leader?

Do they actually believe they have arrived at a new form of politics that no one has ever witnessed before? Surely Her Majesty’s opposition party cannot be so naïve as to think they have suddenly invented a new way.

What next, Russell Brand to run for London Mayor? How about Charlotte Church as deputy leader?

All joking apart, it’s no joke really to see a once great party brought to its knees by what amounts to a membership who have probably never voted before, and even if they had, would have put their cross against the Monster Raving Loony Party just to make a “protest.”

Tolerance is diminishing

Jack Banner, Meanwood

I am very aware that my tolerance is diminishing as my years are increasing.

According to my long suffering spouse, I take far too much notice of what is said on TV. Tonight was a prime example, an advert for a beauty product. It stated that 100 per cent of 44 people interviewed endorsed the product. What would the other 56 have thought?

Surely percentages should only be quoted when at least 100 people have been surveyed .

Is it me or is it them?

Private Hire Driver Protest through Leeds City Centre...11th December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

YEP Letters: December 13