IoS letters, emails & online postings (19 January 2014)

 

Share

I was saddened to read about Joan Smith’s recent experience and that she feels the needs of NHS healthcare professionals are put above patients’ needs (“It’s not difficult. Sick people need doctors”, 12 January).

Even though NHS doctors are confronted with an increasingly challenging and high-pressured environment, our priority is to provide the best possible care. A key blocker is the funding problems that the NHS is facing.

GPs are seeing more people than ever – an estimated  340 million consultations a year. All NHS services are under enormous pressure from a combination of rising demand, falling resources and staff shortages in key specialties. There is little evidence to suggest that problems with GP access are increasing pressure on emergency care.

Joan Smith is right that the government must implement a more robust out-of-hours system. Although four out of 10 GPs continue to work in out-of-hours care, the resources available to the service have remained static for many years despite increases in demand. A system-wide approach is needed, looking at everything from NHS 111 to community care services.

The BMA shares Joan Smith’s concerns that when she called NHS 111 she “got an ‘adviser’... who appeared to be reading from a script.” We have repeatedly warned that removing doctors and nurses from the frontline risked turning the service into nothing more than a call centre. The Government needs to improve the service by making it more clinician-led.

Joan Smith’s aunt’s care was not good enough. We should do better, but we need the Government to stop cutting and allocate sufficient resources to ensure that we really can provide the best care for our patients.

Dr Mark Porter

Chairman, British Medical Association

London WC1

Brian Paddick (“We mustn’t forget what plebgate is really about”, 12 January) suggests that the false claims made by PC Keith Wallis were politically motivated; but that our trust in the police should not be unduly shaken. How can it not be? 

We regarded the policeman as likely to be more honest and honourable than the politician. How wrong we were! By playing down the importance of  “plebgate”, Brian Paddick – an ex-Met officer himself – illustrates just how oblivious the police sometimes are to the high standards of conduct expected of them; and how the spectacle of fellow officers closing ranks to protect their own, further damages their standing in our eyes.

John Boaler

Calne, Wiltshire

It is extraordinary that in the coverage of the death of Ariel Sharon (Special report,  12 January) there was no reference to the wars of 1967 and 1973 when Sharon’s military leadership contributed to the salvation of Israel.

Charles Foster

Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire

I’m sure many of us can agree with the thrust of Sarah Hughes’ piece (“Finally, television dramas that know when to stop”, Arts & Books, 12 January) that too many TV dramas overstay their welcome. But when she says that we, the viewers, should “stop demanding” that every series has a sequel, I feel she should be directing her remarks to those who commission and buy programmes. No, this is all about ratings, marketing and advertising space. Downton Abbey action figure anyone?

Geoff Hulme

Altrincham, Cheshire

I agree with your editorial (“A small triumph for democracy”, 12 January). But I feel select committees need to go further. If they brought in members of the public, who worked within the field the committee was discussing, it is more likely they would get a realistic picture of what is happening on the ground. This would allow select committees to hear the voice of the people.

Kartar Uppal

West Bromwich, West Midlands

Katy Guest (“I’m no toff, but I’d prefer a pro-Oxbridge bias”, 12 January) is right to argue that there’s nothing wrong with a pro-Oxbridge bias when it comes to recruitment. However, it is objectionable to see so many from the top public schools being favoured – it is this that concerns we meritocrats.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2014/January/19

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Engineers / Senior Electronics Engineers

£25000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Henley-on-Thames, this...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Misleading Translations: the next 40

John Rentoul
Syrian refugee 'Nora' with her two month-old daughter. She was one of the first Syrians to come to the UK when the Government agreed to resettle 100 people from the country  

Open letter to David Cameron on Syrian refugees: 'Several hundred people' isn't good enough

Independent Voices
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project