A better deal with nurses
As always the NHS is under the election spotlight with all parties promising to protect and improve this once unique template for national health care, of course it is no longer unique nor the best in the world but it is still pretty good.
The two major parties have both had about equal opportunity in the past do what they now promise and both have, to a greater or lesser degree, failed.
The truth is the NHS will always be under funded, increasing costs and peoples expectations will always outstrip available funding.
Regardless of the obvious false promises of hugely increased NHS funding the questions being asked by political commentators always revolve around where the money will come from, none ask where the 20 000 additional nurses, 10 000 doctors or 3 000 midwives will come from!
As an employer the NHS is a national embarrassment, the dire shortage of nurses is due to the pitiful salaries they are paid, the absurd and dangerous shift regime (12 hour shifts), the stress involved in the ever constant threat of litigation necessitating endless paperwork and the requirements of constant mandatory training and revalidation of proficiency, all this for a take home pay of £9.50 per hour.
On the other hand the NHS pays agencies in excess of £35 per hour to provide nurses to cover the increasing shortfall. Is it beyond NHS management, (who are paid far more than nurses), to realise that nurses leave the NHS in order for earn £20 per hour working for agencies to do the same job, would it not make sense to pay nurses £20 per hour rather than agencies £35 for the same nurse?
It’s all well and good for politicians, when they are fighting for their jobs, to promise better things to come if they get their jobs back, but their promises are only as good as their past record. Who would aspire to be a nurse, a minimum three year degree course, constant on-going training, mandatory 12 hour shifts, including nights and the worry of litigation if T’s aren’t crossed and I’s dotted, all for the grand reward of £9.50 per hour, I doubt even Florence Nightingale would accept the role!
For the same salary, or better, you could become a teacher, (easy hours, long holidays), or maybe a bus driver or a tradesman, better still with the same qualifications you could become a solicitor and earn twice the salary.
Of course for those who don’t have the work ethic you could be a politician and get fabulously rich with no accountability, a pension for life and only turn up for work when you feel like it. The NHS is safe in our hands say all the politicians who, by and large, make use of private health care, if they thought it was so good they would wait in the queue like the rest of us.
Mike McCarthy, Ribbleton
Taking pot shot at game shoot
The Tory party recently held a general election fund raiser at one of the most expensive hotels in London.
Guests paid £15,000 per table and raised £3m for Tory funds. Among items auctioned were a weekend pheasant shoot for eight people - £110,000; a day trip to Santorini, Greece on a private jet for £70,000 and a shoe shopping expedition with Home Secretary, Theresa May. The auction was full of hedge fund managers and big business owners.
The Tories rather than standing up for hard working people are selling pheasant shoots to the super rich. Ordinary families are struggling to make ends meet, while David Cameron dines with hedge fund managers. So there is no austerity for the rich then.
If the Tories are elected in May we will face more of the same - tens of billions more of cuts particularly affecting deprived areas like the North West.
Tony Wilson, Unison NEC member North West Region
Personality not sexuality is key
E J Tilley argues “weird ideas” exist in today’s society that LGBT people “claim as their right to have children, regardless of their physical incapability” [sic] (letters April 10).
He argues “such ‘liberation’ for the children was never requested” and that “when we wholesale abandon the normal ‘mum and dad’ relationship in families things can only get a great deal worse for the children reared in such communities.”
If there is a culture of moral decline within our community that threatens to impact on the social fabric of our nation it is attitudes and intolerances like these. A good parent, despite what Tilley suggests, is not defined by their gender or marital status but by their capacity for love. Our society is not “wholesale abandoning” the concept of marriage as he understands it; a position he has to over-state precisely because the truth isn’t conducive to his predetermined conclusions.
The defence of his argument struggles to extend beyond some poorly conceived recourse to “tradition” founded on the false deduction that society is always best when it does what it has always done; Tilley wouldn’t leave the cave on the justification we’d always lived in the dark.
The few young people I know who have been raised by homosexual parents live in perfectly imperfect families like everyone else, with the same worries, laughs and loves that make our lives what they are. To draw a distinction based on the anatomy of their parents is, well, just stupid.
It is right his opinions are objectionable but they do need to be heard chiefly because they demonstrate how far we have yet to go in fostering a society that is not just tolerant of difference but genuinely accepting of it.
I hope any young gay people across Lancashire who read Tilley’s letter will know he does not speak for our community and that they, like everyone else, have the right to pursue happiness, the hope of a stable family and everything good that comes with it.
Matt Crow, Chorley
Getting cross at political fibs
Politics came into sharp focus for me when my young nephew announced he’d received his polling card but couldn’t decide which liar to vote for.
Joseph Dawson, Withnell, Chorley