Councils should pay NHS costs of failing to grit

LIKE yourselves, I applaud the commonsense action of the Luminus Group’s CEO in sending his workmen to clear snow and ice from the Chequers Court slope (The Hunts Post, December 8).

I deride, just as vehemently, our elected officials who had not the wisdom to make such a snap decision and sort out the details of responsibility later. However, there are other instances of this official ‘snow-blindness’.

On Thursday evening, December 9, I observed a lady of mature years alight from a car in the Rainbow Surgery car park. Her driver had, very considerately, drawn up as close as possible to the footpath. However, as she stepped clear of the car, she failed to notice that the area was sheeted with ice and fell heavily to the ground.

Fortunately, the surgery was still open, and a doctor and staff were soon on hand to render first aid. I understand she escaped with minor, though painful injuries.

The point is that the car park area is council property. The road adjoining the area is gritted as scheduled, but no one seems to have had the wit or wisdom to instruct the gritter-drivers to turn off and grit the car park.

This seems to me to be singularly unwise, bearing in mind that those attending the surgery are, by their very nature, likely to be aged, infirm and very unwell, or mums struggling with toddlers and pushchairs.

A more serious accident must surely be just waiting to happen. I am sure that the same applies to other surgeries in the Huntingdonshire.

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There cannot be more than a fleabite of extra cost incurred in gritting the area but, had the NHS the power to transfer to the council its costs for treating these cases – approximately �3,000 per admission plus treatment costs – the resultant large dent in their budget might concentrate a few official minds on the priorities.