Your Letters

Why are these consultants needed? 

Letter of the Week: Peter Claydon, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Here’s yet one more disappointing example of the way in which the NHS is going.

The North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has responded to the announcement that its chief executive, Chris Dowse, will be retiring, six months down the line, by bringing in management consultants to advise on succession planning.

At the last North Kirklees CCG governing body meeting earlier this month, Jayne Brown of the Good Governance Institute outlined in an interim report options for replacing Chris Dowse.

The options were all blindingly obvious, so it was difficult to understand why it was necessary to bring in an outside consultant to articulate them.

And, worryingly, with over two months of Chris Dowse’s notice period gone, there were hints that there might not be time to implement a long term solution by the beginning of April 2016.

To an innocent observer a more practical approach to succession planning might have been for the North Kirklees CCG governing body to have, two months ago, canvassed the opinions of the 28 GP practices that are members of the CCG, agreed a strategy and then set about implementing it with speed and vigour.

Instead, time has been wasted and it may now be necessary to have interim management arrangements in place next April.

I wonder, perhaps, if those interim arrangements could be satisfied by bringing in ... another management consultant?


Prayer room row rumbles on

From: Name & address supplied 

Dear Sir,

I am not writing this letter objecting to anyone’s faith, or what they are taught or believe, but I was rather surprised that parents could even consider bringing legal action against the school that educates them, for not having a prayer room for Muslims.

First and foremost, Mirfield Free Grammar School is a Christian school and parents and students are told that it is not a faith school when they first start their education there, and no prayer room has ever been provided for any religion, so why, once again, precedence should be given to Muslims?

Both my son and grandson have gone to that school, and no prayer room was provided.

Most of these students come from Batley who are complaining, taking places from local scholars.

Chairman Akooji Badat, of the Masjid and Madresa Noor-ul-Islam in Batley, considers the conditions are horrible because of no prayer room: If so, why does he not find school places in Batley for his flock?

I can tell Mr Badat when I served in the Middle East, I saw a lot worse conditions where Muslims prayed.

In The Press on December 4, there is an advert with a picture of Dewsbury Town Hall draped in the Muslim flag.

I agree with Mr Lockwood’s definition that Dewsbury is now an Islamic town.

My wife’s grandfather  worked in India for 25 years, part of which is now Pakistan. When Muslims first came to Dewsbury in the late 50s they settled in Westtown, which, like Danny Lockwood, I considered my home.

My wife’s grandfather’s very words were: “Now it won’t be long before they take control”.

Look around your town, his words are coming true!


Thanks to all concerned

From: Adele Latham, Batley

Dear Sir,

We would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to midwives and staff at the Bronte Tower triage delivery suite, who were truly exceptional, caring and considerate during my niece Natasha’s recent 29-hour labour and subsequent C-section.

She could not have received better care anywhere and is now the proud mother of a beautiful little boy.

Thank you to all concerned.


A Bronte celebration

From: Imelda Marsden, life member of the Bronte Society, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Next year, in 2016, there are several notable anniversaries starting with the Queen’s 90th birthday on  April 21.

There is the bicentenary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth 200 years ago on April 21 1816, Shakepeare was born on the April 23 500 years ago and the late former Prime Minister Harold Wilson was born 100 years ago.

We are to celebrate Charlotte Bronte’s birth in North Kirklees by filming where she stayed and visited in Dewsbury, Mirfield and the Spen Valley with one of her cousin’s descendants.

The film is to go on a DVD, which will go worldwide. Profits will go to the Hollybank Trust in Mirfield.

It would be great to see  books of all the Bronte siblings’ stories that they wrote as children.

Also Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men books. Roger was born and lived in Cleckheaton, and it would be great to see these children’s books sold in the Red House and Oakwell Hall museum shops.


What next for our NHS?

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

The recent Clinical Commissioning Group ‘engagement’ in Batley Town Hall was an exercise in keeping participants moving round the stalls!

They’re still intent on spreading the myth that we all have long-term conditions which are complicated to treat, in spite of research which indicates that everyone uses the health service more in the last two years of life, whether that comes at 55 or 95 years old and insurance companies are ready to maximise profit from the largest population of healthy over-55s ever.

Also it was stated that mental health has ‘parity of esteem’, which it may be in theory, but not in practice according to the presentation by the mental health trust during their engagement event in the spring.

Contradictions in the health service have never been more apparent.

In spite of a record number of private companies drawing profits from it, the bosses at NHS England are calling it a social movement.

Local ‘not for profit’ companies are falling over themselves to withdraw money from it for initiating ‘self help’ groups and yet there are around 80,000 volunteers in the NHS.

Conservative estimates are that ‘the market’ costs the NHS £4.5bn, but it could be as much as £10bn.

None of this is for patient care. What next?


Help services cope at Xmas

From: Rod Barnes, chief executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Dear Sir,

As a vital emergency service that provides life-saving care and treatment to people across Yorkshire and its many visitors throughout the year, the Christmas period is a normal working week for many of our staff.

To ensure patients receive the care they need our staff will be working in the emergency ambulance service, including those handling 999 calls in our two Emergency Operations Centres, and the 24/7 NHS 111 service which provides advice and help for those people who have an urgent healthcare need.

During December so far we have been experiencing rising demand and our emergency service has been very busy responding to everything from heart attacks and strokes to road traffic collisions and alcohol-related injuries.

Our NHS 111 service has been providing advice on common ailments such as winter-related illnesses, headaches and minor injuries.

As the festive period is usually a challenging time for the NHS and emergency services, I am writing to your readers to ask them to do what they can to alleviate the pressure on our services.

This includes behaving responsibly, looking after friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable at this time of year and staying safe, whether at home or out and about on the roads or busy town centres.

This will help to avoid the need to call an ambulance – something no-one wants to do at this time of year.

Please ensure your medicine cabinet is well-stocked so that you can manage common health conditions at home, make sure you have sufficient prescription medicine to last over Christmas and the New Year and remember to pack your medication if you’re going away to stay with friends or relatives.

Take extra care when you are out and about, keep warm and ensure you drink responsibly when celebrating.

Only call 999 for an ambulance in an emergency when it is obvious that you or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and needs time-critical help.

We will always respond to patients needing vital medical assistance, but we find on many occasions that our staff are called out to deal with patients whose needs are less urgent.

This means that emergency ambulances can be diverted away from patients with potentially very serious conditions.

People suffering from minor illnesses and injuries should consider more appropriate services for their needs such as visiting their local pharmacist or GP, attending a walk-in-centre or minor injuries unit or calling NHS 111.

Whilst the majority of people do use our emergency service appropriately, some callers do need to be reminded about the importance of making the right choice about their healthcare needs and the NHS Choices website provides helpful information and advice on many common conditions, treatments and local services –

We also have a dedicated ‘Choose Well’ page on our website which contains details of local walk-in centres and minor injuries units across Yorkshire and the Humber, in addition to the NHS 111 service provided by the Trust. You can find the page here or by clicking on the Choose Well link on our homepage at

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff who have worked hard over the last year to care for patients and to those who are working over the festive period for their continued dedication, compassion and professionalism during what will be our busiest time.

It is very much appreciated by our patients and their families. I would also like to wish you and your readers a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

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