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Let’s hear from doctors

Steve Hemmings is quite right to castigate the bosses at Integral Medical Holdings (IMH) for their lacklustre performance and overseeing a chaotic call handling debacle. However, I think he is wrong in apportioning blame to the Clinical Commissioning Group, who really are a toothless pussy cat.

Executive Nurse Gill May states that the “principles behind the changes were right” which demands the question “for who?” to which I am sure the correct answer is, the doctors who sold their businesses to IMH and then signed lucrative contracts to provide ongoing clinical services while not being responsible for the administrative side of the business; a very clever move on their part.

Gill May’s comment that the fiasco has “been a tremendously bumpy ride... But we have to stick with it” is the sort of comment one has come to expect from someone not affected by the issue and demonstrates quite clearly that she needs to consider the words of Einstein who said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.

The reality is that whatever principles were behind the plan, they clearly need to be reviewed and changed. Although in truth I feel sure the only principle involved was one of reducing operating costs, thereby increasing profits and as for patient misery, well that’s just a by product of progress and change to the doctors sitting in IMH offices in Manchester.

What I do find disconcerting is the silence of the doctors who formerly owned the surgeries.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

We will be a colony

I was disappointed with Robert Buckland’s view of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. He states that the deal will protect the integrity of the ‘Union’ and end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). I can only assume he has not read the withdrawal agreement, for it states the exact opposite.

On the 1st April 2019 the clock starts ticking again, we have two years to do a trade, security, customs deal with the EU. This will not be possible, two years is not long enough, so the UK will fall into the ‘backstop’ and what does this entail? Article 3, part 1(a) of Annex 2 of the Northern Ireland protocol states that the whole of the UK will align our tariffs and rules with the EU. We will be a colony of the EU from this point on. This also means that should the EU agree trade deals with other countries, those countries will have access to our markets but there is no reciprocal duty on those countries to allow us access to theirs because the deal is for EU states only.

And we cannot escape, a five-person panel will be set up to decide if we can leave, two from the UK, two from the EU and an independent. This panel will refer back to the ECJ, the ECJ will still rule (this is explicit in Article 15 of the Northern Ireland protocol).

The Conservative government is about to sell our sovereignty to the EU whilst paying at least £40 billion for the privilege. We cannot allow this to happen.

John Lilburne, Caraway Drive, Swindon

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