Senseless hospital cuts don’t put patients first

I HAD an appointment at Hinchingbrooke Hospital on July 4 for a gastroscopy procedure. My appointment was at 1.45pm. I waited for half an hour before I saw the doctor then another hour for the treatment to take place. A nurse came and spoke to me and anot

I HAD an appointment at Hinchingbrooke Hospital on July 4 for a gastroscopy procedure. My appointment was at 1.45pm. I waited for half an hour before I saw the doctor then another hour for the treatment to take place. A nurse came and spoke to me and another lady to tell us there was a delay because they didn't have enough staff on duty. Fortunately for us they found someone to stand in at the last moment.

Then I read my Hunts Post to discover this same hospital is making staff redundant. I find this amazing. I have visited Hinchingbrooke more times than I would wish because of my own minor ailments and taking a friend for appointments.

Patients are hanging around for hours on end: when I took my friend we were there two and a half hours - my friend is elderly and can certainly do without hanging around for this length of time.

In my opinion Hinchingbrooke is not very well administered. You can actually see money being wasted. I myself had treatment over two days when it could have been done in one. Hinchingbrooke appears to be spending a lot of money on its own cosmetic appearance: it looks nice but I'd rather sit in a scruffy waiting room and get fast and efficient service than sit around for hours.

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The staff on the front line are wonderful, dedicated people who are continually put under more and more pressure by some pen-pushing executive who doesn't appear to know very much about what goes on around him. And this is the thanks that he gives to hard working nurses, doctors and staff. It is a disgrace.

Chief executive Douglas Pattisson claims that the welfare of patients is his top priority - the man must be blind because that is not happening. There are clever ways to save money and there are easy ways. Mr Pattisson appears to have chosen the latter.

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People wonder why fewer and fewer people are choosing nursing as a career. Maybe this type of disrespect from management could be one reason.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at Hinchingbrooke for their complete dedication to their job under a lot of pressure and for those that are made redundant I would like to say sorry, even if no one else will.

JAMES WADDELL, Ramsey Road, Ramsey Forty Foot

* YOUR correspondent FJ Dorling (Letters, July 5), misses the whole point about the new treatment centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Yes, the seats are wooden, but any other readers like myself, who have been to the treatment centre several times, recognise it for its speed and efficiency in, firstly, booking appointments with consultants and/or for tests etc, and more to the point, being dealt with extremely quickly on arrival.

The treatment centre, managed on behalf of the local NHS trust by Keir, is modern, clean, bright, and highly organised. Every area is colour-coded to make things easier, with huge screens all over the building, displaying information, announcing patient numbers and calling you to various reception points.

I can accept that people with back problems may find the seating hard, but in reality you are only positioned there for a few minutes.

I would much rather spare cash be drafted into healthcare, as it clearly was, than on less important things. It is after all a treatment centre and not meant to be a comfort zone.

I am frankly more aghast at the reported hundreds of Hinchingbrooke NHS healthcare jobs that are to be cut, and I mean consultant posts and real nursing posts, not just in admin.

As a rider, if FJ Dorling takes a stroll to the front, close to main reception, there is a pleasant cafe area, with more comfortable seating, offering light snacks and drinks at, if I may say so, very reasonable prices. He will also find there one of the large screens telling patients their number is up and which colour coded area to report to.

As a last resort, I suggest anyone simply unable to cope with the wooden seating takes a small cushion.

DAVID BROCKMAN, Bevan Close, Huntingdon

* FOLLOWING cataract surgery recently I spoke to the senior nurse who told me that she had been made redundant that day. I wonder how the junior nurses will cope with no experienced nurses to turn to for help.

The A&E is now closing between 10pm and 6.30am so, if you have a heart attack, you may die on your way to either Peterborough or Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Mrs B RICHARDS, Weir Road, Hemingford Grey

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