Letter: Why we still need Bart's

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The Independent Online
Sir, Diane Coyle ("Government accounts to get the private treatment", 24 October) raises some interesting points.

Firstly, St Bartholomew's Hospital is not closed but is very much alive and active, albeit with many beds (and the accident and emergency department) closed as a result of government policy. It continues to inspire trust and affection in its patients as it has done over centuries.

Like a Turner painting, what Bart's (or any good hospital) has to offer by way of caring for the "whole man" - body, mind and spirit - cannot be quantified by Resource Accounting, as human beings are all so diverse.

Unfortunately, now that Bart's is run by the Royal Hospitals Trust the staff are gagged. The doctors and nurses who see such high standards being eroded by all this central management are unable to speak out for fear of losing their jobs.

ANN TOMS

London SW3

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