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Reality of NHS austerity

We write in response to the column by Robert Buckland MP (SA ,March 16) in which he says that the NHS is well prepared to deal with incidents like the Coronavirus.

Our dad who sadly passed away at the beginning of this month suffered a stroke in 2010, and over the last ten years he needed much medical treatment including a number of stays at the GWH, and we both watch in utter dismay how Tory austerity decimated the NHS.

We saw our dad ambulanced to hospital and kept on a trolley bed in the A&E department for up to ten hours due to the shortage of hospital beds, this after waiting four hours or more on several occasions for an ambulance. On one occasion last autumn such was the shortage of ambulance staff in Swindon, the ambulance crew who brought him home from the hospital was drafted in from Cannock, Staffordshire.

The shortage of medical staff meant that some doctors and nurses were working when they should have been on rest days, there were many instances when they were working when they should have been on leave, some were working 14-hour shifts in order to maintain a decent level of care.

News reports tell us that the government are hoping 60,000 ex NHS workers will be tempted back to work in hospitals to deal with the pandemic. Reports also tell us that NHS staff on the frontline of the pandemic are forced to buy their own protective equipment and reuse disposable items due to NHS shortages. This Mr Buckland is the reality of the NHS after ten years of austerity which you supported with great enthusiasm.

Martin and Mark Webb, Swindon Road, Old Town, Swindon

We’ll meet again

You report (SA, March 19) that Dame Vera Lynn, the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart’ during World War Two (and now aged 103), was encouraging us all to find the same wartime spirit of everyone pulling together as they all faced a fearsome common threat.

One of her wartime songs seems appropriate in our present ‘war’ against the coronavirus – for all those who are having to face isolation from family and friends; it was called “We’ll meet again”! And the words went: “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when; but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.” And we should also “Keep smiling though” – another of her songs.

Malcolm Morrison, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Dedicated Adver agent

Could we through your paper say a big thank you to our Adver paper boy, Rob Friend.

He has been polite and friendly over the three years delivering our Adver. Today we received a note from him, as did all his customers, offering help with or going shopping for his elderly customers through these difficult times.

Having been newsagents ourselves we know paper boys work in all weathers. You do not get many young men doing that these days. Well done Rob.

Alan and Chris Shrive, By email

Stop the pussyfooting

After the general election the government promised to listen.

The people are crying out for enforcement with the greedy people, panic buying at supermarkets. But yet they still go on television pussy footing around,asking people to restrain from panic buying. For goodness’ sake think of the vulnerable in all this.

But the government are just as much of out of touch as ever, our elected representives should remember you promised to listen .

Roy Small, Haydon Wick

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