Reader’s letters - Wednesday February 25, 2015

Is Jamie Oliver to blame for decline in classic British food, one reader thinks so
Is Jamie Oliver to blame for decline in classic British food, one reader thinks so
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Cost of different services

Your article on GP funding per patient was misleading (LEP February 18), let me explain why.

You told readers with that East Anglia GPs receiving £382m and Lancashire’s receiving £165m. Lancashire had around 240 GP practices and East Anglia had 295 GP practices, but the type of GP practice and what services they provide is far more complex, as I’m sure any GP will tell you.

The funding formula pays for many elements, so rurality issues, size of practice and other medical services aside, there are two broad types of GP practice where the funding impact is huge, dispensing and non-dispensing GP practices.

You wrote with that funding across the UK (but in fact England) was £136 per patient comparing with Lancashire’s £121.77. But dispensing GPs across England receive on average £186.37 per patient, and non-dispensing GPs £126.54 per patient.

Critically, of Lancashire’s 240 GP practices, there were only 13 (5.4 per cent) dispensing GPs whilst East Anglia had 161 (54.5 per cent) therefore attracting far more money per patient.

You wrote that only Greater Manchester GPs received less funding per patient. But they have even fewer dispensing GP practices than in our county – just two from 513.

Many of Lancashire’s GPs are in urban areas and not very far from chemists. In other rural areas that is not the case. That is why Lancashire has only a handful of dispensing GPs and East Anglia many more.

So when comparing like with like against our predominant non-dispensing GP practices alone, the gap between England’s average per patient and that of Lancashire suddenly narrows.

Talk of a north-south divide evaporates as non-dispensing GP Practices in Thames Valley and Kent and Medway receive less that in our own fine county.

Peter Malpas ,chairman of Chorley Conservative Association

Nothing beats a British roast

Why is it becoming impossible to find restaurants and pubs who serve classic British food? There is a place for international cuisine but, it seems, no longer one for the delectable steak and kidney pie or a plain steak.

Perhaps the fault lies with catering colleges who turn out chefs trained to the ‘nth’ degree in Mediterranean cuisine but unable to rustle up a tasty roast and veg without the addition of wine, redcurrants or garlic.

Properly cooked, British cuisine is up there with the best and needs nothing to either enhance or disguise its taste. Jamie Oliver et al take note.

Arthur Wilkinson, Blackpool

The living wage puts jobs at risk

Your article on wage levels in South Ribble misses two important points (LEP February 23).

If employers are forced to raise pay then it is almost inevitable they will have to cut back on their workforce and make people redundant; and thus South Ribble will lose its enviable record of the lowest unemployment rate in the north west.

Secondly, low paid workers will lose benefits such as working and child tax credits so their net income will be exactly the same as before the rise.

Margaret Clark, Longton

Keep NHS for nationals only

Tony Wilson of Unison is wrong when he says UKIP will privatise the NHS (letters February 14). UKIP are the only party who will be able to run the NHS within its budget, that is because it knows what the letter N in NHS means, it means National, not European HS or World HS.

The British have paid all their lives for this service, it should not be free to people pouring into the country every single day.

P Ward, Leyland

Spending on go green policies

I’m delighted to see we now recycle 50.5 per cent of waste in South Ribble, the best rate in Lancashire and one of the highest in the UK and is almost twice the rate of the ‘greens’ in Brighton.

Changes to local recycling have improved these collection rates significantly with residents help since the Labour/Liberal years when in 2006 only one third of waste was prevented from going to landfill.

Local Conservatives are set to invest £1m in the council’s fleet of waste vehicles following on from a recent £800,000 investment in six new waste collection wagons, which have helped to improve operational safety and security for the collection teams working throughout South Ribble. An additional investment of £250,000 was also made in low emissions road sweepers, ensuring the council keeps our roads and villages clean.

Local Conservatives have also put our parks and open spaces at the heart of their plans, ensuring a clear and green borough and pledge to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds over the coming years into our parks and open spaces.

Paul Wharton, Conservative candidate, Farington East Ward, Leyland

Praise for high care standard

The NHS has, for quite a while, been getting a very bad report for different reasons. Just for the record, over the past few years, I have had a quite a number of procedures done and I have had first class care and treatment, let us give NHS personnel, etc the praise they deserve.

Waiting times, in all the country’s hospitals, doctors, school etc are being swamped by immigration, the government are to be held responsible for the state of the NHS, not the surgeons, doctors, nursing staff, etc.

J Simpson, Preston

Disgusted over cut to support

I’m disgusted with the DWP over the story about Ava Jollife’s benefits being cut (LEP February 21). The family are UK nationals and work for a UK company.

I feel had this poor little girl had come from an Eastern European country the DWP would be falling over themselves to help and assist her.

Paul Wignall, via e-mail