Readers’ letters

A reader writes an open letter to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt
A reader writes an open letter to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt
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A letter to Jeremy Hunt

An open letter to Jeremy Hunt

Have you ever spent time on a Medical Assessment Unit (MAU)? If not, why not?

Both you and the chief executives of your so-called ‘Trusts’ really do need to see and experience exactly what goes on in these situations.

I have experienced this for myself again, recently.

I cannot fault the dedication and hard work of the NHS staff working under pressure in these areas.

The MAU in our local hospital at times resembles that of a war zone.

It is not at all uncommon to see trolleys and ambulance crews lined up in the passageways, waiting for beds to become empty, so that they can transfer their patients, some with life- threatening situations, and then to get back out on the road again.

Is it any wonder that ambulance response times are getting harder and harder to meet? You need to experience this.

The A&E department at Chorley & South Ribble Hospital was closed in April of this year, ‘for patient safety’.

It has now been stated that this will be reviewed in April 2017.

This is unacceptable.

Those now requiring A&E services have to travel an additional 15 miles to the north of Preston. This involves a journey on motorways, which are often gridlocked, subsequently causing drastic, if not fatal, delays.

Following closure of the Chorley & South Ribble A&E, severe handover breaches at the Royal Preston Hospital went up from just one in May 2015, to 141 in May 2016. An extra 24 ambulances a day are now taking this journey, and on at least one occasion, 16 ambulances were queueing to hand over patients.

Can this really be called ‘Patient Safety’? I think not!

Put quite simply, the NHS is NOT working!

You, and all those involved in Government, need to take a long hard look at just how the NHS is funded. Further cuts, in the name of austerity, will not work, and privatising is not the answer.

Additional funds MUST be forthcoming from somewhere.

Not everyone will agree, but these unpleasant facts must be faced, including clearly identifying those who are not eligible for treatment, ‘free at the point of need’, ensuring that such people pay at the time of treatment.

Hard decisions have to be made, not behind closed doors, as has been done by our local ‘Trust’, when closing our A&E unit. It must be open to public debate, and soon.

Graham Archer, Chorley

Listen to the fracking experts

Business owners and residents will have heard that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued a draft ruling against an anti-fracking leaflet produced by Friends of the Earth, saying its claims were “unsubstantiated.” Friends of the Earth and campaigners opposed to fracking have been making these claims about water pollution and adverse health effects for years.

I heard them myself in June last year at County Hall when I appeared before the development control committee to speak up in favour of Cuadrilla’s shale gas exploration plans, and I recall how the council’s planning officer said that a sizeable number of the written objections it received were based on template letters provided by Friends of the Earth.

To think that our local elected representatives may have been swayed to vote against fracking on the grounds of unsubstantiated claims is very concerning, as is the likelihood that many local residents will have been frightened by them unnecessarily.

The potential impacts have all been studied by experts such as the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive to name a few, all of which conclude the risks are low and capable of being properly managed. I was always minded to believe them, and would suggest others do likewise in light of this ASA draft ruling.

Tony Raynor, St Annes

Return of the Dinosaur

I wondered how long it would take Labour’s dinosaur Neil, now ‘Lord’, Kinnock to intervene in Labour’s leadership contest. But what value can you put on what Mr Kinnock says with his record of failure – with not one but two elections lost, and his deranged outburst at one conference of, “We’re all right, we’re all right!”

Also, his personal integrity, like so many other Labour grandees, undermined by calling repeatedly for the House of Lords to be abolished, and on record as stating he would never enter it – that is until a place there and associated money was offered.

The history of Labour from 1945 shows only three of its eight leaders ever won an election, those being Attlee, Wilson and Blair, with Callaghan, Foot, Kinnock, Brown and Miliband all losing big time. Just because Mr Corbyn is unpopular with the Neo-Con element of the Parliamentary Labour Party does not mean he would be rejected by the wider electorate.

DS Boyes via email

Flying in to Rigby City

With so much being developed by Simon Rigby for Preston the city of Preston, all we need now is for him to build an airport and then we can have people saying as they land in, say, Manchester, “I just flew in from the Rigby City. The Rigby City is mighty pretty!”

There again I hope that his aparthotel takes off, so much so that there is a high demand for rooms and thus it can be said that there will be a room with a queue. Preston needs entrepreneurs like Simon Rigby to show Preston city councillors how the place should be run.

Neil Swindlehurst, Walmer Bridge

Birds picking up the worms

To Nicola Adam, in your column (LEP September 30), you said that the word ‘bird’, when referring to a female, came at number one in the list of terms that women would like to see obliterated from the English language. I was guilty of using it in my younger days until I was asked (by a girlfriend) if I knew why women were called “birds?”

When I said I had “no idea”, she promptly replied, “it’s because of the worms that we pick up.”

I never used that term again.

Malcolm Boyce vie email