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For those who need it

Arriva Transport (working on behalf of Patient Transport Services), like many other NHS provided services, are stretched to the limit. They have limited resources and the staff do a brilliant job under pressure.

Having used the service I think sometimes there is a communication issue, as the nursing staff at GWH and other hospitals say transport is booked and the patient automatically thinks it is coming right away, however there are already ‘jobs’ booked on the system from weeks and days before, not just that day.

PTS serves a very large area, not just Swindon, and travel takes time. It is an impossible task to try to get everybody moved when asked. Patients have to be prioritised and sometimes people just have to wait!

I require a stretcher to get to and from the hospital and couldn’t attend appointments without PTS, but on many journeys that I have shared with other users it is quite clear that people think it is a ‘free’ trip to the hospital service. The system needs to be re-addressed and strict criteria put in place.

It’s quite simple - if you can get out and about, get yourself to the hospital. Let patient transport be used by those who really need it.

Name and address supplied

I love this town

In response to Alan Wilson’s recent letter, I disagree strongly that Swindon is a ‘dump’.

We have beautiful parks, many of our roads are tree lined with beds of flowers nearby. People are friendly and there are lots of activities going on here. I hope you learn to love Swindon. I also think our council leader does a good job too.

MARY ROGERS, Beverstone Grove, Swindon

We bear the cost

I recently attended a meeting of the Central Swindon North Parish Council to raise a point about the two car parks in Chapel Street.

On the two occasions I went to Gorse Hill to park, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, both car parks were full. As I failed to see how this could be just people shopping in the area, I asked if the parish council had any proposals to ease this problem and if they had considered the installation of parking barriers as a means of raising revenue from those people who park more than two hours. I was informed that although the borough council had passed responsibility for various sites and units around the parish, the control of these two car parks had been retained by the borough council.

I did, at the same meeting, ask why at a time when the borough council had passed so much responsibility to the parish, why the parish council had accepted financial responsibility for the toilet blocks, which require refurbishment.

The initial costing for refurbishment was quoted at £3,000 to £8,000, which has now been revised to an astronomical figure of £43,000! It begs the question: does anybody know how to cost anything and why should parish tax payers bear this cost?

TERRY REYNOLDS, Wheeler Avenue, Swindon