I get worried when I find myself appreciating Mike Wood; in Parliament he spoke denouncing plans to privatise the probation service – how do you privatise the justice system?
Of course, I remember he bothered to produce a plan for house numbers in Kirklees for the Local Development Framework – not that he went that step further and spoke in the council chamber. Now he writes to state what the real problem is with Dewsbury and District Hospital, we may want a local hospital, but it could not attract doctors or clinical staff.
(I do wonder if that is because the hospital has management problems that make the place dangerous for patients and thus for doctors?)
I found myself turning to Malcolm H Haigh, The History of Batley to remind myself that from in the 19th century where the workhouse provided for many people their only health service in Batley Government Inspectors reported how they were overcrowded in 1870, 1877 and 1884 due to fever.
Then you can read that people subscribed to build in 1876 a local hospital in Dewsbury where people were admitted at their doctor’s discretion. However, Batley people were treated as poor cousins and given secondary treatment, so mill owners helped fund a cottage hospital for Batley.
If Batley could fund a local hospital then, I find myself asking why we now cannot have even a hospital in Dewsbury. Yes, modern medical technology is expensive, but surely the area can fund a maternity and accident and emergency unit.
I can understand that specialist units have to be more regional because there are not enough people with the ability to be specialists and the shear cost of equipment means units have to be regional or even further a field.
Then I worry, just how deep are the problems in Kirklees? Our Local Economy Fact Sheets are late this year, so has Kirklees improved from 2011, it must have surely with all the foreign languages I keep hearing...they are not coming here for the £70 a week or so Job Seeker’s allowance, it will hardly pay our energy bills.
Child benefit? Then someone said to me, there may be more jobs, but they are part time. In 2004 there were from the Fact Sheets for that year, 55,900, well in 2011 there were only 52,691. Male part time work hardly changed, in 2004 there were 12,929 in 2007 12,928. We just don’t have enough jobs.
Yet all this may suggest that the area is not as relatively wealthy today as it was when it built the old hospitals.
Some may not like it, but when the state does things for all the best reasons the result is a waste of money and a disaster and has been since the Second World War. The challenge for Mike Wood is can he put together the right group that can produce a case for the hospital? Well someone with brass has to.
Manor Farm Drive