Readers' letters - December 6

A care system run by accountants

Friday, 8th December 2017, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:13 pm
So what is an NHS Accountable Care System (ACS)?

A care system run by accountants

So what is an NHS Accountable Care System (ACS)? It is not a National Health Service. All areas are different, the biggest of all postcode lotteries. Money for health is going to the south. So, in the north, we already have the worst health outcomes in England with a massive underspend per year per head of population, compared with the south. Yet, over the last five years, we have seen further disinvestment at a time when we’re also being asked to make substantial £1bn savings. An ACS is a stepping stone to an accountant-led care organisation, delivering what is known popularly as cuts.The Sustainability and Transformation Plan looked at the dismantled NHS, assessed the number partners and NHS providers in an area, worked out what they do and called it an Accountable Care System.The plan is to sew them all back together in the Accountant-led Care Organisation bag, where the companies will have the most power, due to their superior finances, and letting them all fight it out together or ‘negotiate’, who does what for how much. There are the rent extractors with hedge fund involvement, alongside hospital trusts, some of whom are making deals with US multi-nationals already, plus asset strippers, alongside charities which are run more like businesses than charities. Whose NHS is that?Christine Hydevia email

politicsNot so special relationship

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The i newsletter cut through the noise

To receive a barrage of gibberish from Donald Trump every morning is hardly news. Not is an attack on close allies or actions which encourage racist groups.On November 29, Trump did all three in a foolish broadcast to his 43.6m Twitter supporters.Prime Minister May was the next target for a White House missile because she had dared to criticise him . The President’s actions again reveal his true inner traits as does his two books which no one appears to have read.Trump’s inability to do a simple check led to him endorsing a hapless bunch who share the President’s views on Muslims. On several occasions he has delivered equivocal responses on issues like a recent white-supremacist march in Charlottesville. Britain First now clearly believes it has a brother in arms. Unwittingly Trump’s actions have significantly helped May. He has united bickering MPs. He has also promoted interfaith dialogue. Should the President pay a state visit to this country he had better come in disguise and land in the Palace gardens by helicopter.We would do well to shed this nonsense about a special relationship. It doesn’t exist. Our relationship is based on shared intelligence and diplomacy. America needs both. The relationship is one that has always put each country’s national interest at the forefront of its foreign policy. So-called shared values are of secondary importance despite an avalanche of speeches by politicians on both sides. They sound great but are wide of the mark.Dr Barry Claytonvia email

childrenCaring without any fuss

I write regarding the case of the plastic reindeer head in a shopping centre, which prompted a six-year-old boy to ask his mother “Did Santa kill his reindeer?” The mother’s reaction was to complain and the head was taken down.In comparison, I recollect a supervised gym lesson at school 65 years ago. A nine-year-old fell over playing the game of Monkeys Paradise. When he burst out crying, the master called him over, looked him up and down to see no physical damage was done, then said: “Did I give you permission to cry?” “No Sir,” replied the boy. “Then don’t cry until I give you permission,” said the master.The boy stopped crying and ran back to his group and rejoined in the playing.In both cases, there were probably two very caring adults but one knew how to resolve a problem with no fuss and drama. I know which adult I would prefer to look after my child.David H Rhodesvia email

environmentSand martins’ habitat lost

While on my regular walk along the beautiful River Ribble this morning, I looked across the river near the golf course towards Mellings Wood and couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a massive digger digging the banking away and covering it with sods of grass.That’s one of the last few places where the sand martins nest these days and this year there have been a lot. They have put grass sods on it for about 40 or 50 yards, where the sand martins’ nests were. Hundreds, if not thousands, of sand martins flew from these nests. There are now only a few places left (across from the pipeline) where they can now make their nests. Now that’s another place lost. What they have done it for, I don’t know. Name and address supplied

developmentToo late to keep faithRe: Market Walk, Chorley. Keep faith? It’s too late for the shops and stall holders. This ill-thought plan is killing Chorley. All it has done is send people to Preston, Blackburn, Bolton, Middlebrook and Wigan. Maurice Holland Astley Village