In last week’s Letterbox David Hall seeks to blame the last Labour Government for the financial woes at Pinderfields which affect both Dewsbury and Pontefract District Hospitals and of course equates any objectors to being Labour party supporters.
That is simply untrue and most of the general public of all political persuasions are unhappy with the privatisation of the NHS.
Pinderfields was built under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). The building paid for by Balfour Beatty and operated by them for a predictable yearly sum. This sum would have been included within the overall NHS budget for the future years of the contract.
If that sum of money had been guaranteed by the new Tory-led coalition there would have been no need for the massive disruption taking place and budget shortfall which is leading to the present fiasco!
Also if the Tories had stuck to Cameron’s promise of no major restructuring of the NHS made at the time of the election we would not be where we are.
What is more disreputable is the persistent denigration of the NHS which whilst there must be some basis to failures within the NHS does not reflect the overall satisfaction ratings which had been achieved under the Labour Government.
Many of the improvements in waiting times and other measures have been reversed under this Government’s pressures on the finances of the individual hospitals and interference with the former Primary Care Trusts.
An example of this is appointments to see a doctor. Before the coalition it was requirement for a patient to be seen within 48hrs and my experience of this was that it worked very well.
Subsequently after this requirement was abolished patients are now back to delays of weeks – no wonder A & E departments are overburdened. Never mind let’s close one or two of them down anyway!
Finally the Tories castigated the appointment of an unqualified man to chair the Co-op bank yet seem perfectly happy to have Jeremy Hunt in charge of the NHS.
I think that David Hall’s words will ultimately come back to haunt him in the future as this ongoing mess within the NHS develops.