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Medical staff let down

In your report (SA 26th Nov) “Incredible effort from GWH nurses saved my baby”, it is understandable why Mr Fiocca should feel grateful for the work done by the staff (both British and EU) of the Special Care Baby Unit; though he appears to single out one particular EU nurse.

However, there is no reason for him to feel responsible for, or guilty about (because he voted to ‘leave’ the EU), the number of doctors and nurses leaving the NHS – not only those from the EU, but also some born and trained in the UK.

We, in Britain, have never trained enough doctors and nurses to meet the needs of the NHS; we have always relied on those coming from overseas. But, in former years, most came from Commonwealth countries rather than the EU (as your editorial points out).

The recent emigration of doctors and nurses is due to a failure of successive governments to recognise the proper value of front-line professional staff – in terms of pay and conditions of work. They are all ‘overworked and underpaid’, often hard-pressed to fill gaps in rotas and, so, are constantly stretched and stressed by trying to meet an ever-increasing demand on the service. Thus, morale is low. Hence, it is not surprising that some choose to ‘vote with their feet’ by resigning or retiring early.

This is why there is a shortage of GPs and hospital doctors and nurses both in hospitals and the community. It has nothing to do with Brexit (as Mr Fiocca appears to believe).

Malcolm Morrison, MCT, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Offensive attitude

Once again, I feel compelled to apologise to the many thousands of EU nationals living in the South West after Theresa May vowed to end free movement and stop those from the EU ‘jumping the queue’ when it comes to migration. These are our neighbours, colleagues, friends and family; our doctors, nurses, teachers and care workers. They support our economy and our society. They are not queue jumping, they are exercising rights provided by the European Union.

This was a disgraceful and offensive way to talk about one of the great pillars of the EU, the reciprocal right of free movement. Not only has Theresa May stoked prejudice and division, she has also misjudged the changing public mood on this issue.

A recent Survation poll found that 63% of people now agree that we should be free to live and work in each other’s countries, indicating strong support for free movement when it is seen as a reciprocal right. This is in sharp contrast to the negative framing we witnessed during the referendum campaign and repeated in the prime minister’s speech to the CBI.

The Green Party will always defend the principle of free movement, which has granted us the right to travel, study, work and love across our wonderful continent. And we will always stand by those in our communities from other EU countries who have decided to make the UK their home.

Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green, South West, European Parliament, Brussels

Slow moving traffic

To understand why inertia is the default position on decision making by the Conservative administration in Swindon, one need look no further than its Leader. A case in point is the farcical situation surrounding traffic issues in the town, in particular those which see regular gridlocked queues in the roads surrounding the Designer Outlet and by default in the Bruce Street area (SA 28 Nov).

Coun Jim Robbins is rightly frustrated, as are the residents of the area, but for Leader of the Council Coun David Renard, his political opponents comments are “unhelpful”. Perhaps the proposed £5m park and ride near junction 16 will alleviate the problem; but not today, this week, this Christmas or indeed any time soon. Opening the bus gate will make a difference, but congestion in the area is ‘not just for Christmas, it’s for life’.

I think Coun Renard’s quoted comment sums up the reason why Swindon suffers from a lack of positive decision making. In responding to Coun Robbins he demonstrates his inherent weakness for positivity and states without a trace of irony “I sat in a room with him (Coun Robbins) at the beginning of the year to discuss the issue”. A year later he is still discussing the issue!

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

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