Reader’s letters - Friday July 03, 2015

Money needs to be used wisely  in the NHS says a correspondent. See letter
Money needs to be used wisely in the NHS says a correspondent. See letter
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Waste in the health service

I recently acquired a medical complaint requiring treatment.

Thus my GP referred me for the necessary treatment.

I recently received a letter from Staffordshire and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit. I was asked to contact the Referral Management Centre (RMC) on a Preston telephone number to ‘discuss the options available to me and agree a suitable hospital or clinic site I wish to attend’. Upon contacting the RMC, I was informed of four clinics which I could use.

Now would someone in the NHS and, in particular, the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, seeing that they are likely to be nearly £47m in the red in this year, like to explain to us ‘customers’ this profligate ‘system’.

Anyone with a modicum of sense would realise that these various tiers of management are both inefficient and totally unnecessary.

We have a tier of management for the Staffordshire & Lancashire Support Unit (with no doubt a sub-tier for just Lancashire), another one for the Referral Management Centre, and there is even a third, when all that is really required is for my local GP surgery to have that list of clinics that I was given by the RMC, as well as the local knowledge that its staff would have, and for them to refer me direct to one of those choices of clinic who carry out the treatment, its nearness to me being an important consideration.

Thus three sets of middlemen are cut out and a whole lot of cash is subsequently saved.

And that third tier of management? The return address on the envelope for the letter is in Bristol, thus no doubt requiring some other management team along with its (topical) minions to work on should the letter be returned to them.

If the NHS was a commercial organisation, it would have realised years ago that such a management structure was both inefficient and, more relevantly, costly to the company and would have been scrapped. Indeed, it may well never have been put in place to begin with.

As one who has contributed quite a fair sum in my lifetime to the NHS, I have every right to demand that my money is spent both wisely and efficiently and not on some profligate, inefficient systems which I see as being totally unnecessary.

Some hard choices will have to be made in order to balance the books. Anyone with a single neuron will see that the options which I have given should be highlighted as worthy of serious consideration for ditching in order to save money because money HAS to be saved, one way or another. Centralisation is not always the most economical thing to do in order to save money.

An NHS Customer

We can return to glorious days

Three cheers for Tony Slater whose recent pro-fracking letter in the LEP (June 30) summed up perfectly what many like-minded local people are thinking.

The examples he quotes, I have no doubts, would have had many heads nodding in agreement. The only example I can add to his profound list is that of coal mining. A far dirtier and much more hazardous and dangerous enterprise than fracking will ever be.

Yet if its initial introduction had met with similar opposition as has the fracking issue, then the UK would never have attained the power base that it did during the 19th and 20th century.

This country now has a great opportunity to match or even surpass those glorious days.

Let’s not squander it.

Let’s remove the short-sighted spectacles from our eyes.

Let’s grasp the nettle and become once again a nation that is to the forefront of technological advancement and reliant on no one for our future power sources.

Derek Rogerson via email

The Lilywhites at the Folies

We emigrated here in 1966 but still support PNE. We received a copy of the LEP from a friend in Preston and the Lilywhites were mentioned lots of times.

It brought back an interesting story of a holiday in Paris in 1951. Three mates booked a tour with ‘frames’ for a seven-day tour of Paris. Included in the tour was a night at the Folies Bergere.

The night before the show we thought we had better find our way to the theatre.

We found it okay and went into a bar in a side street for a couple of beers, a small band was playing and tables were located around the dance floor.

Seated at the next table was a couple, they heard us talking and came over to us. They heard our Lancashire accent and asked could they join us? They said they lived in Blackburn and introduced themselves to us, Barbara Castle and husband Ted.

They supported Blackburn Rovers and asked about PNE. They were also going to Folies the following night. The band was playing a quickstep and Barbara said “come on Ken, let’s have a dance,” which we both enjoyed.

They said before we parted, “look out for us in the theatre and say ‘hello’”.

On the night, we took our seats but couldn’t see Barbara and Ted. However, just before the show started, when it was very quiet, a loud voice shouted at the top of his voice: “C’mon the Lilywhites”.

It was Ted from about six rows behind us. Of course the audience didn’t know what he was on about but we did!

We didn’t see them after the show, but always remembered the Lilywhites at the Folies!

Congratulations to PNE on the promotion. After 70 years of following them, it was good to see them get back on their way to where they belong.

Kenneth Woods, Australia

Scarecrows in Grimsargh

I would like to say that I and many of my co-workers who live in Longridge are loving the scarecrows in Grimsargh, ready for their Field Day.

They are amazing and all the hard work that goes into making them is wonderful. It is great driving through and finding all the different characters and trying to guess who they are.

It is simply brilliant – well done. You do your village proud.

Zena Fitzpatrick, Longridge