Doncaster Voices: How to ensure NHS stays free to Doncaster people?

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Welcome to Doncaster Voices, your weekly forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words with name, title & photo to chris.page@jpress.co.uk. Your views may appear here next week when subject is ” How best can we protect Doncaster’s elderly in winter weather?”

DR DAVID CRICHTON, CHAIR NHS DONCASTER CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP

The NHS was created in 1948 on the idea that good healthcare should be available to all. Then minister of health, Aneurin Bevan, said it was based on three core principles - that it would meet the needs of everyone; be free at the point of care; and be based on clinical need.

I believe we all have a part to play in making sure the NHS remains free.

Health and care organisations across Doncaster are working closely together to avoid duplication, so we get the best value for the ‘Doncaster pound’ and can keep providing as many services as possible.

Patients and care users also have a key role to play by continuing to value current services. Keeping appointments helps use precious resources in the most efficient way so the NHS – which celebrates its 70th birthday next year – can continue for many more years to come.

RICHARD WELLS, WELDRICKS SUPERINTENDENT PHARMACIST

We can help achieve this by ensuring people visit right healthcare professional at right time. NHS doesn’t have an endless supply of money. Inappropriate use of resources places huge financial strain on A&E departments and GP practices. Common cold or need to access emergency contraception don’t warrant a trip to GP or A&E, diverting valuable time and money from those with serious illnesses or life-threatening injuries. Health technology - electronic prescriptions and specific apps enabling people to manage their condition themselves - already facilitate more cost-effective care to ensure resources remain free to needy. Those in employment who can afford to access a GP through some pharmacies for a charge help free up resource and generate extra income to support those with no other option.

COUN NIGEL BALL , DMBC PUBLIC HEALTH CABINET MEMEBER

The NHS was formed in 1945 to provide free at the point of need health care and medical treatment for the people of Britain and it continues to serve our country well. We all need to do our bit to ease the strain on NHS services, especially during the winter months. This includes making the right choices when using NHS services and making best use of the local pharmacy, not just relying on the doctor or hospital A&E department. We should all make sure that we turn up for our doctor’s appointments and cancel them if we’re not able to attend. Making sure that we correctly use any medicines prescribed for personal treatment is also important. As well as relying on the NHS, everyone has a responsibility for their own health. The Your Life Doncaster website www.yourlifedoncaster.co.uk provides resources for everyone to look after themselves, focusing on keeping the community well, safe and connected.

DOUG WRIGHT, KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC DONCASTER & BASSETLAW

If Doncaster people want NHS to remain free they should stop the privatisation of the NHS. You can start by demanding Doncaster Council stand up and oppose the new NHS privatisation vehicle, Accountable Care System (ACS) which is scheduled to start in April 2018. Since last January, Doncaster Council have agreed to ‘follow the direction of travel’ of the ACS; (originally STP) which means doing nothing to question it, never mind stop it. They are presiding over the future demise of its Better Care Fund, which moves resources out of NHS into Social Care and Community Services; failing to expose the secret and probably illegal implementation of ACS in private meetings, by over fifty mainly unelected NHS officials in Sheffield called SYB Collaborative Partnership Board. Opposition to ACS’s is Labour Party policy. Tell ALL your local Councillors that a free NHS should continue. Otherwise future generations will have to pay for private care!

MARGARET HERBERT, DONCASTER RESIDENT

Yet again I think a Friends of Doncaster Hospital Group has to be formed. Before free treatment there was a group I believe, called, “Doncaster Hospital Comfort League” I have several photos of these people including one of my Aunt,

who was Mayoress in 1935. They raised money, helped with the cleaning, and comforting of patients. For many years there have been book sellers on the wards. One of the big problems appears to be in A & E and perhaps local GPs

should be encouraged to give more opening hours for minor accidents and to relieve pressure on this particular department. It is very difficult to see how the NHS is to get more money out of the Government but maybe they should

get their priorities right whilst I am all for progress I do not think the new High Speed Train, which is going to wreck so many people’s homes, is really necessary for the short time it saves and the ever increasing cost.

BILL MORRISON, EAST DONCASTER DEVELOPMENT TRUSTEES CHAIR

Our National Health Service is under considerable strain and throwing money at it is not an answer, so what is? We must as a nation face harsh reality and stop playing host to non payers. Costs should be reclaimed from foreign nationals who visit, take advantage of our service and then return home. How do we stop them doing this, well I would withhold passports until payment is made or at the very least until a firm commitment is made on repayment. Immigrants coming into the country should have similar response from the NHS. Only the most critical should be treated as a humanitarian gesture if they have not lived and worked here for a period of at least three years therefore contributing to the system, it’s time for talking and hand wringing to stop and hard choices made and adhered to. No doubt I will be called racist etc but in truth I am a realist facing the facts. Moving on to the home grown problem of benefit recipients, and I am talking about those who have never worked or contributed, they should be made to contribute out of their benefits towards health care, their children should get free care (their time will come) but we cannot go on giving when the money pot is diminishing fast. The Health Service was created for the common good of the nations citizens but we are now caring for the world and we can’t, not anymore and not for non contributors.A&E suffers from a cash drought and this could be helped by making those injured as a result of alcohol, drugs or violence particularly at weekends paying first for their treatment via their credit card, drinking to excess, drug taking and violence are not accidents but self inflicted stupidity. This would not apply to their victims who would get treatment as required, the perpetrators, make them pay. The knock on effect would save thousands if not millions nationally.

* *If you would like your voice heard, get in touch, email chris.page@jpress.co.uk with 150 words, name and title and a photograph of yourself. Next week’s subject is: How best can we protect Doncaster’s elderly in winter weather?

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