Why aren’t we protesting like Huddersfield?
Letter of the Week: Wendy Senior, Dewsbury
Last Saturday, while collecting signatures to try to keep all our services at Dewsbury Hospital, Christine Hyde from our group Keep Local Hospital Services Public and myself shared a stall on Dewsbury Market with the GMB union.
We collected 125 signatures in two hours. It is really interesting hearing people’s stories and sharing their points of view.
One lady refused to sign the petition, and there was a young mother who could not attend Pinderfields Hospital appointments for her son as it took her whole day up to get there.
One man told me he could not have appointments at Dewsbury any more as the equipment he needed had been moved to Pinderfields.
The downgrading of services at Dewsbury Hospital is not supposed to start before September at the earliest.
Lots of people told me they would not attend Pinderfields for appointments because of parking charges. It’s worrying if people are missing appointments.
What a mess, thanks to whoever is responsible for the changes.
We used to have brilliant hospitals in Dewsbury and Batley and a small cottage hospital in Mirfield. People only had to travel to Leeds for specialist treatment.
The people I spoke to on Saturday were being sent to Pontefract for cateract surgery.
I also met two ladies who complained about the wheelchairs which they had received for their husbands to use but which had to be replaced for some reason.
The contract to supply wheelchairs was given to a private company by the clinical commissioning group to save money last year.
Since the Huddersfield trust made public their plans to close the A&E department there have been hundreds of people protesting against this decision.
Why aren’t North Kirklees people doing the same?
If these changes go ahead it will be Halifax and Pinderfields, 26 miles apart, with full A&E services.
Impossible to go back
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a driver for the changes to the health service in England.
Health multinationals want more taxpayer revenue from Europe and the government is happy for them to have it from England in the first instance.
If we hadn’t been in the EU, David Cameron would have signed this deal in 2010.
Mark Britnell, one of the NHS bosses, told US Companies in 2010 at a New York conference, that they were opening the NHS up to private (profit) companies.
The NHS would receive no mercy and this can be seen as the Government tries to break the British Medical Association over the junior doctors’ dispute.
The TTIP deal will make it impossible to take back provision of health services into a more universal, cost-effective, accountable system, like we used to have.
Such an honour to get an award
From: Pat Crisp, Batley
What a fantastic night at the civic reception for local volunteers on Saturday at the Batley Town Hall.
It was such an honour to receive awards alongside so many other people who like myself have dedicated their lives to volunteering.
It was so nice to see two young people getting awards for their hard work, it inspires them to do more.
Plans should be abandoned
From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike
The decision by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (JH) to impose his new contract on the junior doctors (JDs) is a deliberate act of Tory dogma, designed to try to show the JDs in a poor light, making it appear as though the JDs would not join in discussions, whilst at the same time JH is portraying himself as the moderate man, the saviour of our NHS.
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
The British Medical Association (BMA), is trying to safeguard patients by pointing out, that JH’s proposals will not provide the cover they need when there aren’t enough JDs or consultants to work the new hour being forced on them.
And that’s before the extra nurses, clerical staff, cleaners and maintenance men have even been consulted.
If JH’s plans are implemented, it will be a disaster for our NHS, and open the flood gates for the private health providers to rush in and look like the cavalry riding to the rescue.
The Tories introduced over 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups, all led by clinicians appointed by the Tories, on the grounds that doctors know what’s best for us.
Then at the same time they totally ignore the fears of the BMA when they tell them the new working hours will be a danger to both patients and over-worked, tired staff.
The BMA must not back down, they have the support of the public and if they have to walk out without cover for emergencies, then that is what they must do.
As an individual, I would be very upset if someone close to me suffered because of the action being forced on them by JH, but the alternative, the loss of our NHS, is unthinkable.
By trying to force this unsafe contract on the JDs, JH has declared all out war on our NHS.
The working class have always been cannon fodder for the Tory masters, and even though we’re not in the trenches like the brave men in WWI, or facing machine gun fire on the beaches like the equally brave men in WWII, as in every conflict or dispute there will inevitably be some casualties.
All the men, and women, who took part in the two world wars fought to secure the freedom of future generations.
Our NHS is the one institution that doesn’t favour the rich over the poor, and it’s up to us to ensure it survives this latest Tory attack and remains for the next generation.
Nothing is too high a price to pay to safeguard the future of our NHS.
JH must think again, and abandon his ill thought-out plans.
Sooner we’re out the better
From: David Walker, Liversedge
I can hardly put pen to paper, I am so outraged and feel betrayed by the so-called ‘leaders’ of our great country.
We have the spectacle of the Prime Minister scurrying around Europe grovelling and pleading with these countries, who let’s face it aren’t fit to lick our boots, for some crumbs off the EU table.
How demeaning for the people of this country. We do not need to be a member of the EU to survive and prosper.
To watch the Prime Minister having to obtain the permission from these countries as to how we spend our money quite frankly makes my blood boil.
I have three uncles buried in France who were fighting to free that continent, two killed in WWI and one killed in WWII.
What a waste of their young lives!
The EU countries should be begging us to stay in for they know that when we leave, the EU dream will fall apart at the seams and the sooner this grotesque organisation is relegated to the dustbin the better for all the citizens of Europe.
How safe do they feel?
From: John Whelan, Dewsbury
It seems the establishment is hell-bent on telling us we are ‘stronger’ or ‘safer’ in the EU.
It’s even gone Trans-Atlantic now, with US Secretary of State John Kerry sticking his nose in this week.
Has Mr Kerry asked the women in Cologne how safe they feel right now with the decisions being made?
Why should they foot bill?
From: Name and Address Supplied
I’m not a member of Britain First and I don’t know anyone who is, but after viewing a YouTube video of a day of action of theirs that took place in Bury Park, Luton, recently and seeing the abuse and threats they had to face, I felt duty-bound to support their event in Dewsbury the other week. I found it a good-natured affair and interestingly, it wasn’t a whites-only do.
And I was surprised at the police presence – big enough to provide a shoulder-to-shoulder guard of honour for the Britain First march from the railway station down to the town hall and back.
I doubt there’d be as many police for a royal visit.
Council leader Sheard said he wants Britain First banned from Dewsbury and for it to foot the policing bill.
But then he would wouldn’t he; Britain First represents everything that Coun Sheard has spent his political career opposing.
That aside, what’s his argument? Why should Britain First foot the bill?
The police were there to protect them, not to protect anyone from them.
The bill should be sent to those that necessitated such a heavy police presence, and maybe they should be banned too.
Angry at some dog owners
From: A very angry rate payer, Mirfield
I see the irresponsible dog owners are out in force again around Mirfield, letting their pooches foul here, there and everywhere.
They should all be fined £100 per mess then have their faces rubbed in it (and I’m talking about the owners).
Shame on you all, you’re disgusting.
Children walk in it, mums wheel their prams through it, then it’s trailed into their homes.
Don’t any of you know that kids can lose their eyesight through your laziness, or are you lot just plain thick?
None of you should own a dog, because you certainly don’t know how to look after one. Clean it up!