Further cuts for the NHS?
SPELTHORNE MP Kwasi Kwarteng has been recorded in a meeting saying ‘everything should be put on the table’ when considering how to reduce the financial deficit, suggesting that spending on the NHS should not be ringfenced. While deploring his intention, residents must at least applaud his honesty in putting forward so politically toxic a measure that his safe Tory seat will be at risk next May, for the strain under which our local services struggle is already unacceptable. The Herald & News (December 4) warns that doctors at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital endure A&E under provision – 320 daily attendances at weekends is obviously unmanageable. Diagnosis, indicated by blood testing, is running at only three-fifths of the necessary level. Lives are at risk. A shortage of nurses is the explanation. In cases of dementia requiring residential care, not even one placement is available in Spelthorne. There is ‘private’ placement in the constituency at £1,200 per week. Does Mr Kwarteng advocate further cuts to the NHS staff in pay or numbers? His government refused the 1% increase urged by the independent pay commission, which forced an unprecedented strike by midwives, carers and ambulance crews. It behoves our MP to specify the cuts he has in mind so that constituents can be well informed before voting. HAROLD TRACE Parkland Grove
Ashford former staff from Duncroft School in Staines have been cleared of any misbehaviour with regard to the assaults carried out on children from there by Jimmy Savile. You also report, quite correctly, that two Surrey police officers are under investigation for the way they conducted the investigation. However, two other outstanding questions remain to be answered: 1. Why did files relevant to the enquiry vanish? 2. Why did Michael Gove, during his time as Education Secretary, not include Duncroft in his list of locations where Savile carried out abuse? Answers are needed on all these issues before this tragic episode can be laid to rest. ANDREW MCLUSKEY Diamedes Avenue
Stanwell The sous chef at the time was a Chris Whittington and after 40 years we would like to make contact. Chris lived in Whapshot Road, in Staines and we wondered if any of your readers be in a position to assist in locating him? Please email if you can help. MAL PARKER New Zealand malrobparker@gmail.