Letters - May 5, 2019

Shortage of nurses needs to be tackled

Friday, 5th April 2019, 12:49 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 12:59 pm
The standard of care in the NHS continues to interest readers

A verified piece of research indicates that, between 2010 and 2018, 200,000 nurses left the NHS.

Of these, a staggering 163,094 left for reasons that were NOT to do with retirement.

The number who do retire is still higher than those recruited.

Continuing professional development budgets have been cut drastically.

The RCN state that patient care has been seriously compromised.

The DOH and relevant MPs (none of whom have any qualification in this sphere) of course deny this.

Jeremy Hunt used to wear, and Matt Hancock now wears, an NHS badge.

I wonder do you know what nurses, doctors, paramedics and other NHS staff such as secretarial/administrative and domestic really think of you?

Thought not.

R Kimble

Address supplied

The NHS is currently consulting on possible changes to the law that could make it easier to bring in the big ideas for the health service which are set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

But there’s a huge gap in what they’re suggesting.

The gap is nurses, or rather, the lack of them.

It’s a gap that’s become too big to ignore, it’s a gap that will severely compromise patient care and leaves existing nurses under intolerable pressure unless it is addressed now and underpinned by legislation.

There are nearly 40,000 nursing posts in England that are unfilled.

This has happened because the Government has not taken responsibility for ensuring that there are enough nurses.

This must change.

We are asking patients, their families and the public to join our call for a change to the law to address the shortage of nurses and protect patient care.

Please tell the NHS what you think by completing our online form. You can do this by searching for ‘NHS consultation’ on our website, www.rcn.org.uk.

Carol Popplestone and Glenn Turp

Royal College of Nursing


MPs should sit entrance exams

After the disgrace that has played out in Parliament in the last two-and-a-half years, isn’t it about time there was a serious rethink about eligibility to become an MP?

With a few exceptions, Parliament appears to be full of people who went straight to Westminster from university with no idea of the real world, or people who would struggle to hold down a proper job.

Surely we need some form of entrance exam and in-depth interview to determine candidates’ honesty, integrity and intelligence before they are allowed to stand?

Otherwise we can only look forward to more inept governance in the future.

Paul Morley

via email


Lessons to learn from history

The Chartist Movement was a working-class movement fighting for the right to vote. A petition of 1.3 million in 1839 wanting a secret ballot vote for men aged over 21 was refused by Parliament. When three million signed the petition in 1842, again it was rejected. When six million were said to have signed in 1848, the Clerks in the House of Commons said there were far fewer genuine signatures and it failed. Suffrage was granted to men without property for the first time in 1867.

The online vote to remain in the EU calling to revoke Article 50 numbered more than five million. But ask the Chartists if a vote or a signature on a petition was more important to them, I think they would answer the right to vote. Interestingly the regions which supported the Chartists were the ones that voted most heavily against remaining in the EU.

Since the largest democratic event in the history of the country made that Parliament-given decision, Parliament and parties and the Establishment have refused to enact it. This is despite the fact that, for once, everyone’s vote was valued equally. Rich or poor, we all counted. Politicians use the same arguments deployed two centuries ago to deny that vote because they know better.

Perhaps the parties elected on manifesto promises could explain why they want to turn the clock back to the 18th century and declare that votes and voters in the 2016 referendum are worthless?

Keith Punshon

Address supplied


Cane was more cost-effective

As you pay your rates, you might just ponder that Lancashire County Council is spending £1.1m this year on taxi fares to take excluded pupils to alternative schools).

The cane was much more cost-effective.

Old Timer

via email


Exhausted... but at least it was free

I enjoyed reading about Steve Canavan’s heroic trek up Nicky Nook with his young baby and wife, who has only recently given birth (The Gazette, April 4). Some might question the wisdom of such an endeavour - but it sure beats a park playground, and, more importantly, you weren’t ripped off at an overpriced attraction.

Mike Barker

South Shore