Hospital subdued

AS a long-standing patient at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, I am compelled to express my views about what is happening to staff there. I have received treatment in both Rowan and, until its closure, Poplar Wards. The nurses and staff working there were all mag

AS a long-standing patient at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, I am compelled to express my views about what is happening to staff there. I have received treatment in both Rowan and, until its closure, Poplar Wards. The nurses and staff working there were all magnificent - kind, hardworking and dedicated.

The new treatment centre is, I agree, an improvement on the old building, but it is the staff who are important.

On July 5, I attended the treatment centre for chemotherapy to find the atmosphere very subdued and depressed - not at all as it is normally.

The reason is that the first of the 200 redundancies had been announced, including three good, hardworking nurses in the department that I attended. It is particularly appalling that, as I understand, a large tranche of redundancies will take place just before Christmas. Ironically, while driving to the hospital, I heard the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, saying that the Government was putting millions into new local centres. Where will they be?


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For me and many others Hinchingbrooke is local and affords excellent medical service. I certainly do not wish to have regular treatment at Addenbrooke's or Peterborough, if that is an option.

I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by Merry Raymond (Letters, June 28). Why punish frontline staff? In my experience, if there is a weakness at Hinchingbrooke, it is with the administration - changes in appointment times not notified, conflicting appointments on the same day, seemingly needless replication of patient details and other minor instances are among some of the irritations I have experienced in recent years. Too much bureaucracy that often appears ineffective. Perhaps the chief executive should turn his attention in that direction.

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I do not have much faith in expensive management consultants either - have the NHS upper management ever conducted a cost benefit analysis on them?

VAL KIRK

Great Raveley

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