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Senior journalists + editors at Spotlight  BBC SW

Dear Jenny Walrond and Justin Leigh,

I noted your broadcast 6-01-19 -  A&E at RCH overwhelmed.  12 hour waits for some.  A DGH not able to take acute admissions so looking at DGHs elsewhere.  Consider the youngster with symptoms and sign of acute appendicitis.  In the ambulance **.  Prompt diagnosis - saved from peritonitis.  (Female - risk of infertility)  Whilst there are urgent 'phone calls out of the county.  Consider the despair of any one with real physical or mental illness waiting, waiting.

And last night 7-01-19  ?all SW DGHs on '''opal four''' !!- in place of the more obvious 'black alert'.

Last week - patients at Plympton - difficulty in registering with GP, and Sherford 'new town' no glitsy surgery yet.   The CCG, responsible for the provision and standards of the medical services failing but 'considering' options - after the families had moved into often shoddily built homes - your report.

You greyed out Independent candidates, as did ITV.  On my election annexe -


From a Fellow Doctor in Torbay

Dear David
In brief, I support your campaign to re-open more hospital, community and social care beds and facilities.
In my world of caring for the local population's sickest patients, we are frequently hamstrung in our efforts by the lack of the above facilities.
I am in no doubt of the negative impact on NHS patients of healthcare policies in the last decade.
Best wishes for your campaign for a better NHS.
Consultant - Torbay

Under Core Issues -

Health and OUR NHS

OUR NHS is on its beam end BY DESIGN. Money is only part of many answers. No 12 hour shifts for any NHS servant – especially nurses. Meal breaks sacrosanct – therefore more professional staff – RGNs etc. ‘Back to nursing’ schools lead by carefully selected tutors – with mileage allowances etc. Bursaries to be given to nurses etc who return to the NHS IF they claim such. New ‘whistleblowing’ contract for all servants of OUR NHS – inviolate. Compare with airline pilots.

Morale and esprits de corps to be restored to OUR great NHS by all means. Some present ‘care’ is grossly negligent; standards have fallen very badly.

OUR NHS has been set up to fail – by the ‘neo-liberal’ conspirators in each of the three main parties –starting with Margaret Thatcher LG, OM, DStJ, PC, FRS, HonFRSC and Sir Nicholas Ridley, Baron Ridley of Liddesdale, PC through Milburn, Lansley, Cameron/Clegg and the many.

Public Health

Take out of County Council hands. A sub-ministry of the DoH. The epidemics of obesity, alcoholism, drug and gambling addiction etc to be studied by the best minds, ways forward tried and very carefully monitored.

Advertising of gambling to be banned, and that of alcohol greatly curtailed with industry agreement.

Sexual health to be taught in schools by professionals (nursing, medical – especially bacteriologists in parallel with Open University programmes.

Barrier contraception to be promoted outside of constant relationship. HPV vaccination of boys – actual and propaganda for, to be removed.

AND at the root this  -

Conservative Party’s Economic Reconstruction Group

In his report to the Conservative Party’s Economic Reconstruction Group in 1977, Nicholas Ridley wrote that:

"...denationalisation should not be attempted by frontal attack but by preparation for return to the private sector by stealth. We should first pass legislation to destroy the public sector monopolies. We might also need to take power to sell assets. Secondly, we should fragment the industries as far as possible and set up the units as separate profit centres."

For truth David

You portray all this as 'pressure'.  You do not speak of the context and the history.

Beds halved in numbers in 30 years.  The least beds per capita in Europe and yet a sickly population.

Today I spoke with a fellow orthopaedic surgeon in Exeter.  ALL operations cancelled this week.  Many hundreds waiting in pain and disability.    33 surgeons, many very skilled and world renowned, twiddling their thumbs.  With 8 other surgeons I fought for the survival of the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital in Exeter.  Bulldozed in 1994 under a Tory government.  All the failures accurately predicted by us.

You reported the steady closure of almost all the Community Hospitals.  You broadcast 20 secs of my complete opposition based on my long and conscientious experience in the service.

DGHs are now like pressure cookers.  As they heat up there is more and more random molecular motion - Brownian.  What I described c. 1990 as 'all process and no thought'.

GPS are highly trained - 5 years before they enter GP.  Via the 2006 contract, they now hardly take any part in the management of acute diagnoses.  BUT, there are acute illnesses in the elderly especially, which should be managed locally by GPs in CHs.  A good example - urinary infection in the elderly female > ascending pyelonephritis > bacteraemia and even septicaemia.  Gram -ve organisms.  > Delirium.  I reckon that about 20% at least of acute illness could be dealt with in this way, saving some of that 'pressure' on the DGHs.  And then there is the other end - increased difficulty in discharge - often of the elderly with some dementia.

Consider - myself as chairman then c. 1990, of the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital (bulldozed against strong opposition by 9 surgeons under the Tories)  I arranged for the frail and often single dwellers to be booked into a CH as they were admitted for THRs etc.  They were transferred to the CH near their home on Day 5, thus freeing a bed for the next Thursday operating list on my firm.  3 lists every Thursday without fail.  NO overflows from medical wards.  I asked that the sisters came from the CHs to meet with our sisters to learn the ropes, and that happened.  NO possibility of that now.

As senior journalists you omit the causes for these catastrophic failures in our medical services.

You omit the central fact that the April 1st 2012,  'Health and Social Care Act', widely seen as destructive, removed the statutory obligation of universal care from OUR NHS.  What you report from the Royal Cornwall Hospital is exactly that.

You need to interview local MPs on this.  Try Mr Stride, or Ms Anne Marie Morris, though both do not answer constituents' letters.  You must interview 'Trust' chairmen.  But most of all, interview Dr Paul Johnson, CE of the Devon CCG QUANGO, which drove the closure of the CHs and which is responsible with 60% of the budget, for the medical services.

You are describing, with the food banks, ascending homicide rates in Greater London etc, a broken Britain.

This is no surprise.  Both Foreign Secretary Raab, and 'topple Assad' Johnston cannot speak any truth about a clearly defined war crime, the assassination of General Suleiman and his party.  It is not just the NHS which is on its beam end, it is Britain.  I say that with mixtures of sadness and anger, having, for instance, spent thousands of hours opposing CH closure and for a lawful, moral foreign policy.

for truth

David Halpin  MB BS FRCS  01364 661115   > my web site