No amount of money is worth loss of trust
Letter of the Week: Michael Hutchinson, Labour Party council election candidate, Mirfield
It looks hypocritical when Tory councillors express concern about the downgrading of local hospital services, the actions of those trying to run the re-organised system and the very future of our hospital.
It is their government that is causing all these problems in the NHS.
They cannot pretend to have no connection with what their government is doing.
There appears to be a deliberate government plan. First the government causes problems, which local administrators are unable to solve. They are unable to solve them because the government has cut the funding needed to maintain services or it has changed the way things are organised or it over-rides local representations.
If, in the process, it can give public assets to its private sector backers, it does so. That is only the first stage in the government’s plan.
The second stage is to blame local administrators in the hope that people will not realise the government is causing the problems in the first place. Councillors who criticise the local administrators are only assisting the government in that part of its plan to wreck the NHS and deflect blame from government responsibility.
A similar plan is being applied to councils like Kirklees. The government is clearly hoping that local councillors will be blamed for service cuts and not itself, although it is the government that has cut the funding needed to maintain the services.
At least local councillors still have room to expose the government’s machinations and to direct increasingly scarce resources to areas of greatest need.
That degree of flexibility seems to be absent from changes in the NHS.
The only mystery is why some doctors and local administrators should put their reputations at risk by acting as a human shield for the government.
No amount of money can be adequate compensation for the loss of public trust. It is becoming more and more clear that the people appointed to run the new health structures were always intended to be the fall guys.
The most honourable thing they could do now would be to resign.
Who can we rely on now?
From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike
I was pleased to read that Coun David Sheard had resigned his seat on the Mid Yorks Hospitals NHS Trust Board.
He states his reasons as being a conflict of interest, besides having extra work now he is acting leader of Kirklees Council.
Then I read the minutes of the trust meeting in February, to be confirmed at the board meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall.
Mr Jules Preston, the trust board chairman, informed the board, in his letter of resignation Coun Sheard had wished the trust well in achieving its aims, and commented that during his time at the trust, he had seen that the board was committed to serving all the people in its area, including North Kirklees.
I had to read the statement again. This just couldn’t be true.
Was Coun Sheard really saying he was fully supportive of the trust in the downgrading of A&E at Dewsbury District Hospital?
Was he saying he was in favour of the downgrading of the maternity unit to being midwife-led?
Is he supporting the changes to the children’s services? It seems the old Coun Sheard, who would have been leading the fight to keep all of the services at DDH, has turned into a puppet of the establishment.
If we can’t rely on the council leader to fight our corner, who can we rely on?
And how many other councillors share his views?
Staff morale seen first-hand
From: Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dewsbury East)
Having spent some time recently in hospital I have to say that the service provided at Dewsbury Hospital is absolutely exemplary and the care provided by the nurses and porters is second to none.
To put this at risk, Mr Eames, is an absolute travesty.
My stay coincided with the Minister’s decision to allow the proposals for the hospital to go ahead.
Prior to this decision the nurses were asking me my thoughts on the proposals and asking my views, all of whom were very sceptical and felt that the decision was a foregone conclusion.
At this time there was understaffing and nurses working double shifts just to ensure the patients were safe. Fact!
After the decision the staff were left dejected and upset, most saying that the hospital would be shut in two years.
I do not sign up to the fact that hospital will close, but I do think that it will be no more than a medical transit station with all the assets stripped and the land around the hospital sold to the highest bidder for housing to bail out the white elephant that is Pinderfields.
What I am concerned about is the morale of the staff, which often works its way down to the service being provided.
I urge Mr Eames to talk to these people, as they are the biggest investment, to convince them of their part in delivering a health service that meets the demands of the people of North Kirklees.
Not just expecting them to get on with it!
I myself would like to resurrect the meetings councillors had with the trust to ensure the services proposed do not put any lives at risk for our community.
Finally I assure our absent MP that I NEVER supported these proposals, unlike himself.
Such fantastic hospital care
From: Mrs BM Senior, Mirfield
I read with interest about services at the hospital getting less and less.
I attended the hospital A&E in January after falling at home.
I could not have been treated with any more care by the staff. They were wonderful, run off their feet but care was the thing that came first.
Even the doctor got a cup of tea for me.
Why all this fuss when the staff are excellent?
I worked a committee for over 10 years raising money to buy things that were needed on the wards, along with my fellow members.
Why in the first place did we give all those thousands of pounds to help Pinderfields and then it’s not up to scratch?
I suppose the health minister who passed the closure doesn’t know that people pay for the large wages he gets?
Keep up the good work.
From: Name and address supplied
A poem about Batley, written by one of our readers....
They gave Batley a ski slope
And called it Alfred’s Way.
What a memorial.
They took the fine old buildings,
Gave shops with more display.
Batley was growing
Disatisfaction ruled as
Things went down and down.
Ne’er mind a nice new Tesco
Will really make the town
The bright side is if Tesco
Should ever chance to fail
Some hope, there is another plan.
That great big hangar
Will come in handy, man
Wi Tesco and its car park
Runway Bradford Road,
Batley gets its airport
They’ll fly in from abroad
To watch the Rams and Dogs.
Where once the streets resounded
To early morning clogs
Little shops will open
As thet did of yore.
Market now three days and
Full and selling more
Rag trade will thrive again
Historians will sup at
Mungos, Jessops and the like
And talk of knocker-up
(Until small hours)
Meanwhile another rag trade
Will fill the old town hall
Wi fashion shows and courses
Fees 9k per annum
Welcome one and all
Due to this prosperity
House prices all will climb.
When locals can’t afford to buy
In-comers stand in line.
Oh, well. There’s always a downside.
Carry on Batley