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A & E at Calderdale Royal Hospital
A & E at Calderdale Royal Hospital
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Is this really the future we want for our NHS? A&E and maternity units forced to close, growing waiting lists, cut price services doled out by global corporate giants more interested in profit than people’s health.

I am sure that just like me you have no doubt the NHS is a marvel. I’m equally sure that you’re utterly dismayed to see it being dismantled and sold off. Soon, £20 billion of NHS contracts will be in private hands, and with GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups now forced to put NHS services out to competitive tender joined-up working between different services will be much harder to achieve. Profit first people second. You can’t rely on this fragmented NHS to provide the care you need.

The cracks are showing and the threats are growing. David Cameron’s had to put a £500 million pound sticking plaster to try to fix the damage his government’s reform has inflicted. Had there been no NHS reform we would not need to spend that money.

Waiting lists hitting their highest levels in nine years and now our local A and E is under real threat. Walk in centres and out of hours care is being withdrawn leaving people who fall ill isolated and at risk. The new NHS 111 non-emergency hotline is meltdown. Never mind the providers will still have their profits. They will of course be able to keep up their donations to the Tory party. In 2010 over 13 per cent of Conservative party funding came from private health care firms desperate to get their hands on the NHS. That’s a scandal that’s hard to stomach.

Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, criticised the Government’s response so far as “woefully inadequate”. “David Cameron has left A&E on the brink of a serious crisis. We are already in the middle of the worst year in A&E for a decade and now it looks like the coming winter could be even worse.”

Almost a year to the day since Jeremy Hunt was appointed Secretary of State for Health, research has found that Type 1 A&E units (24-hour, consultant-run units) in England have missed their waiting-list target for 41 of the previous 52 weeks – the worst results in a decade. The research also revealed that in the past year, the number of patients waiting in ambulances for more than 30 minutes to be admitted to A&E has doubled to 200,000.

Now they are talking about losing our walk in centres and even our A and E department. It’s time to stop. The NHS has saved so many of us and now it needs us.


Is this the future of the NHS?

Anthony Rutherford

Finkil Street, Brighouse


State of the footpath



OK, I used the footpath in Rastrick linking Crowtrees Lane and Jumble Dyke rarely, while walking from my house to the doctors or library further up Crowtrees lane. But the owner is wrong about the state of the footpath. It was quite useable and cleared every so often by volunteers. He is preventing pedestrians from using a safer route. Dog urine on his front door is irrelevant!

The safety issue is important for pedestrians, but there are precedents for extinguishing footpaths in Rastrick. An example is that from Foxcroft Drive to Rastrick High School’s all-weather pitch, where the adjacent house owner took it over and closed it. Calderdale support some and ignore other requests.

It all hinges on who owns the footpath? It was access to the demolished mill (1970s) which gave way to housing.


Let’s give Strictly Come Dancing a chance

Patricia Ashton


I read the column last week in which Maggie Woods criticises Strictly for ‘losing its sparkle’. I think she is being a bit unfair, jumping in with a carp before its even started.

Yes, there are more East European pros this year than ‘home grown’ ones. Maybe that’s because the previous series have given some of them scope and popularity to get more work elsewhere (like for instance the spin off stage shows).

As for the celebs, well, in previous series we have wondered who on earth some of them are, (not exactly all A-listers). The bar does seem to have been raised each year so what’s to say it won’t happen this year? Let’s give that a chance shall we?