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NHS is just great

I have been reading in the Adver about the long wait in Swindon to get a doctors’ appointment, and I have no doubt that is the general situation.

However there are exceptions, may I let the readers know of my personal experiences.

I had a bad fall a few weeks ago. I hit the deck and my elbow and shoulder blade took the full impact.

I was black and blue for weeks. I am a great believer in not going near the doctors unless it is absolutely necessary. Some may call it the old school syndrome. But I had been in so much pain and can hardly move my arm or get a good night’s sleep.

I decided to phone Kingswood surgery, Park North, at 8.30am. I have been registered with them for 48 years and no complaints.

I stated on the phone that it was not an emergency. I had an appointment at 9.30am.

The doctor examined me and referred me to Great Western for an X-ray any time between that morning and 4pm.

I arrived at GWH at 1pm. I was called in and had my X-ray. I left the hospital at 1.20pm. Now if that is not the NHS at its world beating best, I don’t know what is.

The same doctor, when my late wife was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s would insist on making a house call rather than have us dress her and carry her into the car to go to the practice if we were concerned about her welfare.

A doctor colleague saved my life with his diagnosis of my cancer in its early stages.

The NHS is a vast organisation and it is inevitable that mistakes and delays to treatment will occur

But there are two sides to every story.

This is the other side I am giving from my personal experience. I am sure many of our readers could tell of similar cases and the dedication of the NHS staff towards their patients.

Bill Williams, Merlin Way, Covingham

Universal credit woe

Re ‘Universal Credit makes a mess of so many lives...’(Adver, February 6)

Ian Duncan-Smith arrived with Universal Credit, his master plan, but also took on Osborne’s enormous austerity cut in his budget. Very quickly IDS showed his grasp of detail was strictly limited.

Alarm bells rang in the Treasury but Smith was not stopped.

Merging six benefits into one does not does not simplify things, because they must all still be separately assessed. Human lives are not simple or stable as the Adver article illustrates.

UC has had a devastating effect on claimants suffering from mental issues.

Duncan-Smith’s requirements are that UC applicants must apply online. However, the poorest fifth have no internet.

Many are poor readers and the official forms spin the heads of even Citizen’s Advice Bureau experts. The lengthy forms of course exist to deter applicants.

The likes of Duncan-Smith do not understand people’s living on the edge.

“Half of people waiting for their first Universal Credit payment are fighting to keep a roof over their heads” says a recent CAB report.

Time was when Tory fear of rebellion, trades unions, or rising crime was a check on neglecting the downtrodden. Not any more, anything goes.

The movie “I, Daniel Blake,” sums up the inhumane system that is Universal Credit perfectly.

The Tories carry their ideology like a virus.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

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