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Review health service

I see that “Health chiefs have welcomed a 10 year plan for the NHS” (SA 9th Jan). Well, “they would say that, wouldn’t they”? Politicians, QANGOs and senior managers think that making plans will solve all problems; but, in my experience, their plans rarely produce the desired benefits – either for patients or for the front-line professional staff who care for them.

Of course it would be nice if we had better GP, mental health services and ‘care in the community’. But, why are such services currently lacking? Because there is a shortage of professional staff to meet the demand. And why is there such a shortage? Because successive governments have failed to provide proper funding and terms and conditions of work to be able to ‘recruit and retain’ such staff.

I also see that the new plan aims to “reduce the number of NHS trusts in deficit” (of which our GWH is one) – having them all “balancing their books” by the end of the year 2023/24. But why are so many trusts in deficit? Because their funding (and the system of funding) is inadequate to meet the demand.

What is needed is an independent review of the whole process of providing health and social care – including the management structure (currently top-heavy with unnecessary managers and administrators) and its system of financing. It needs to be independent because it is a political hot potato that no party dare address.

Why do we need such a review? Because things have changed out of all recognition since the birth of the NHS and the creation of social services. The population has increased, as has an increased proportion of elderly people, many of whom live alone; so there is an increased demand for many of the modern effective, but expensive, treatments which have only become available in recent years.

Malcolm Morrison, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Picking their moment

Can anyone explain to me the point of five days of for and against debates where it appears most of the speeches are made to no more than 20 or 30 people, two thirds of whom are texting or on their Ipads (or as I was watching today at 4pm, one member picking his nose). Are they trying you get to change their minds?

No one in power is present or in the least interested in hearing the opinions of a random backbencher, so why bother?

George Herbert, Stanton Fitzwarren

Already have best deal

The last month in Parliament has been a national embarrassment. When Theresa May pulled the vote on her Brexit deal, she only delayed losing this vital vote.

The truth must not be forgotten. No matter the Brexit, any Brexit will leave the UK weakened and the public poorer.

For the livelihoods of people right across Swindon, there is no deal better than the deal we currently have as EU members.

As the Liberal Democrats have championed for the last two years, the future of our country should be decided by the people. The people must be given the final say on Brexit, including the option to remain in the EU.

Stan Pajak, Liberal Democrat Swindon Council Group Leader

In a state of limbo

WHEN he was prime minister David Cameron said: “Even if there is one vote in it that is a majority”. To his horror there was over a million and a half votes in it.

Theresa May said: “Brexit means Brexit” and “No deal is better than a bad deal”.

After long debates in Parliament Article 50 (notice to leave the EU) was triggered. Leave 494, Remain 124 and 32 not voted (one even had a headache after all the debating).

And we have now reached a state of limbo. What is wrong with our elected MPs? I am sure the voters of all shades are asking the same question.

This just goes to show that once MPs are elected the Manifesto is kicked into the long grass and they think “Five years pay at £67,000, expenses, first class travel, subsidised food and drinks, free parking in London and a Gold Plated Pension. I have missed a few perks but then I am not an MP and I do not have researchers to work for me.

Please Google “EU Treaties from 1972”. Read the first heading “EU Constitution”. A one page summary. Read the third heading “A List of Most Notable Treaties in Regard to the EU”. And the fourth heading “Treaties of the European Union” (Wikipedia).

Now make your own mind up!

Mr DN Simpson, Graham Street, Swindon

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