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Grantham Journal letter: Some praise is due to struggling NHS


Brian Bruce clearly has a selective memory when it comes to our NHS.

In his recent letter there is not one word of praise for the service but various criticism. An organisation that sees/treats over one million patients every 36 hours is occasionally going to get things wrong but, while there is always room for improvement, overall, our NHS is doing an excellent job under very trying circumstances.

Nowhere does Brian Bruce mention the problem that after four years of unprecedented cuts, NHS Providers, which represents over 90 per cent of hospitals, recently stated “we can no longer achieve the impossible and we have now reached the point where patient care is at risk.” This at a time when our NHS needs more resources; not less.

Some of his quotes have been trotted out frequently by Conservative spokesmen and their allies in the Daily Mail and others as part of a campaign to undermine the basis of our NHS and soften us up for more privatisation. Recently, Michael Portillo was asked by Andrew Neil on This Week, why at the last election the Conservatives had concealed their intention to reorganise and privatise our NHS. His answer was that if people had known what was planned, they would not have been elected. By any known definition, that is deception and should they not expect to be trusted with our NHS again.

Brian Bruce questions where the money would come from to fund more GPs, nurses and midwives etc. I have a suggestion for him - tighten up the rules on aggressive tax avoidance/evasion. It is wrong that companies with links to offshore tax havens should get public service contracts if they are not prepared to contribute to the cost. Likewise, it is unfair on genuine UK companies that have to compete with those who avoid/evade contributing to the needs of society.

To help him know about links to political parties by private health companies, the following are just a few who donate large sums to the Conservative Party - Virgin Care, Circle Holdings, Serco and Medacs. I wonder why? Might the payback be that, between them, they have landed NHS contracts worth £billions?

It is in the DNA of the Conservative Party to privatise everything that moves, including in this parliament, the air sea rescue service, the blood plasma service, the national crime forensics laboratory, chunks of the prison service, and they are trying to do the same to the probation service.

They attempted to sell off some of our most treasured ancient woodlands but were thwarted by public opposition although now parts of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales are up for sale.

There’s not a lot left really, except our NHS and the BBC.

Paul Jones


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