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Triage not a new idea

Your article (SA March 22) about the number of patients attending A&E at the GWH (300-400 per day during Jan/Feb) and the failure of staff being able to meet the 4-hour target, provides further evidence of the pressures put on our NHS – both locally and nationally.

Sadly, it also quotes several paragraphs of management-speak from our local associate director of operational performance at GWH outlining perfectly worthy aspirations about hoped-for improvements but with no concrete, practical plans.

One suggestion is to scrap the four-hour A&E target with the new regime treating the sickest patients first. This, of course, is what is known as triage – and has been practised in all good A&E units since the Second World War. However, one of the main reasons why the number of patients attending A&E has increased in recent years is because of the shortage of professional staff in the NHS – due to its being unable to recruit and retain such staff.

Because there is a shortage of GPs, many patients cannot get an appointment for several weeks; so, many take themselves to A&E. Because the 111 emergency line is largely a tick-box questionnaire it has to refer any doubtful cases to A&E or the walk-in service.

Hospitals, too, are short of professional staff so patients have to wait to be seen. Once seen, they may have to wait for a bed on a ward because there are too many patients who cannot be discharged because there is inadequate care in the community (the so-called bed-blockers). And this is due to a shortage of social workers and community nurses.

Malcolm Morrison, Retired Orthopaedic Surgeon, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Let young have a say

A.Collins refers to all remainders as fascists, isn’t that like the pot calling the kettle black and even Mogg resembles Hitler. Article 50 should be revoked without delay. Over 3 million have signed the petition and counting. The conservatives brought all this on themselves and split the country down the middle.

Theresa May in her infinite wisdom called a general election even though she had a majority and lost out to Labour. She had to bribe the DUP with billions of people’s money to keep her in a job and is still doing so.

Whatever deal we get it will be the working people who will have to pay for the government’s mistakes. The very people who were conned by Farage/Johnson &Co. to vote leave will be the first to suffer. The MP’s will continue to be millionaires and will gain financially.

It might be beneficial if we leave without a deal, it is inevitable that we will want to join the EU again after everyone sees that leaving was the biggest mistake ever made.

The referendum in 2016 was not legally binding and can be revoked by the government. The other option is to have another vote and let the young people of the country have a final say on whatever deal is put forward. It is their future that matters and not the future of the old codgers including myself who send letters to the Swindon Advertiser.

Patrick O’Shea, Highworth

A doomed experiment

Brilliant,’Better out than in’ (SA March 25), a spot on assessment from David Collins.

It takes a French professor to see what the Remainer brigade, politicians and public alike, fail to see, that UK plc will fly once released from the shackles of the doomed experiment, commonly called the European Union.

Remainers dire prophesies have always proved to be wrong.

The EU’s economy is in the doldrums, whereas the UK has been powering ahead with people in employment at a record high, unemployment at a record low, wages rising, inflation low, record tax receipts for the exchequer, the national debt falling and the sun is shining. With a national emergency now hovering over our heads, it is galling that Jeremy Corbyn, plays politics to attempt to precipitate a General Election.

In times such as these, when we need strong leadership, we are saddled with last chance salooners in all three main parties, none of which are likely to be in position in a few months time. However all is not lost, ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man or woman’.

Henry Smith, Peatmoor

Cost of government cuts

I received my council tax bill today - £1800 for a band D property.

So why does it keep rising? Sorry if numbers bore you, but I have just pulled out the figures from 2006/7. The biggest costs were children’s services and social care at a combined £60m. Costs were offset by £44m received from central government.

The current costs are £100m for children’s services and social care naturally you would expect the government to have increased it’s contribution.

Well no because since 2010 we have had Tory austerity, which means government grants have been slashed and costs must be raised locally, Now we receive £9m, going down every year. So when Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland claim austerity is saving money, your council tax bill shows the truth.

Howard March, Tudor Crescent, Swindon

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