Reader’s letters - Wednesday April 22, 2015

Local people in Preston took to the streets for a day of action to save the NHS earlier this year (see letters)
Local people in Preston took to the streets for a day of action to save the NHS earlier this year (see letters)
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Key step to improve NHS

Here we are again in the run-up to a general election, and every party is promising us that things will be just fine if we only vote for them.

The NHS features strongly, with the main contenders claiming it will be safe in their hands and vowing to spend mega billions to stop it falling apart at the seams. Wind back just over 12 months.

The present Health Secretary commissioned a report by Lord Stuart Rose on the state of NHS management.

This is the man who turned round Marks and Spencer, so he has a good track record in spotting bad (and good) managers when he sees them.

He completed the report in record time, but strangely it has never been published. Not surprising really because it is allegedly very critical of the whole system, and cites examples of mediocre managers shunted sideways and good managers going unrewarded.

No wonder the Conservatives don’t want it to see the light of day before May 7.

My personal experiences with the NHS have been very good, but a trip to Chorley A&E a few months ago involved a wait of several hours before treatment. Definitely room for improvement.

My challenge to the next government, whoever they are, is to dig out Lord Rose’s report from the archives and act on its recommendations. Preferably in the same timescale it took him to write it.

Peter Iddon, Walton-le-Dale

How safe is NHS in party’s hands

Every day we hear from Labour politicians and supporters “No Privatisation of the NHS”, “Our precious NHS is safe in our hands”. etc. etc. How untrue those statements are.

For example, during the last Labour administration Gordon Brown used a financial wheeze, (some say fiddle) to keep his government’s borrowing down by using Private Financial Initiative.

This is where the NHS borrowed money from private financial institutions to finance their hospital building programme. In fact between 1997-2010 £8.5bn out of a total of £9.7bn capital investment in hospital building used PFI.

Unfortunately Labour, as it always does, abused the initiative and allowed badly written contracts to be foisted on NHS trusts leaving them to pay massive interest payments over 20-30 years forcing them to choose between care and treatment or debt repayment.

The NHS safe in Labour’s hands, what a joke. Unfortunately if you’re waiting for treatment it’s not funny.

Bernard Darbyshire, via e-mail

A question of debt or deficit

Is it any wonder the average voter is confused and misinformed when not only are we bombarded by MPs and their parties with selective facts and figures to further their political ends, but also have the likes of Mr Ward writing letters which are factually incorrect (letters April 16).

The current government, led by the Conservatives, promised to eliminate the budget deficit (the difference between tax receipts and government spending) not the national debt which is what is owed by the population to the banks, credit cards etc.

Regretfully the government have failed miserably but they have reduced it quite considerably from where the previous Labour government left it.

Whether Mr Ward’s letter was politically motivated or, like most voters, he is just ignorant of the facts, we may never know, but shame on you Mr Ward, a former JP and director of a major UK finance co. for not checking your facts first and shame on you LEP for printing such rubbish.

John Leak, small independent retailer

Candidates cut from one cloth

Another election is nearly upon us and what a selection of candidates the people of South Ribble have to choose from.

The four candidates all seem to have come from the same middle class type backgrounds ,they seem to have spent a lot of time in academia graduating with university degrees gained at the likes of Oxford/Cambridge etc.

Have you noticed how they all like to make a point of this in their election leaflets, we’ve got university degrees we’re superior?

As far as I can find out all four candidates have spent most of their time working in local politics (councillors/political campaign managers), in the law/finance sectors or both, I wonder if any of these candidates have ever been made redundant or had to live off the minimum wage or less? I note all three main parties picked womenonly candidates to stand for election, what happened to picking the best candidate for the job regardless of gender, ethnic background and ability? Oh I forgot this is what they call politically correct positive discrimination, so much for equality, it’s more like blatant sexism to me.

I note that of the four candidates, only one actually lives in South Ribble (but only recently) as for the three other candidates, one lives in Crosby (Merseyside) 25 miles away, one lives in Aughton (West Lancashire) and one who lives in Tarleton (West Lancashire) which is near enough, I suppose?

All four candidates will promise all sorts to get elected but once elected they will just become part of the Westminster bubble, the only time we will hear from them is party conference time or the next election, of course.

Dear candidates, please remember to tell everyone at Westminster where Lancashire is and we don’t wear flap caps or clogs any more, when one of you lot get elected of course? Will I be voting at election time, do pigs fly?

Mr I S Houghton, Much Hoole

Building not fit for rural village

Driving through the lovely village of Catforth today, how horrified I was to see a huge house being built in the lovely countryside, dwarfing beautiful cottages opposite the Running Pump public house, how on earth did the planning office approve it?

Diana Crew, via e-mail