I’ve had almost a hundred letters from passionate Ashfield folk about the proposed cull of badgers. Bovine TB is a terrible disease and last year resulted in 28,000 cattle being slaughtered, with the estimated cost to the taxpayer likely to reach £1bn in the next decade.
However, the decision to proceed with a cull is absolutely the wrong one and the science simply does not support the decision. A cull would be bad for badgers, bad for farmers and bad for us, the taxpayer and that is why I voted against the Government plans. Some of you might have caught part of a debate in the Commons last week concerning the rise in A&E waiting times. It’s an issue that won’t go away and it seems to be a problem for hospitals up and down the country, including our own, King’s Mill.
I got the chance to ask the Secretary of State for Health if he could account for the 255% increase in the number of people waiting longer than four hours in a week last April compared to the same week in April this year. He couldn’t. The Government must stop making excuses and face up to the problems of its own making because dedicated and hardworking frontline staff, patients and their families deserve much better.
Can you help National Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh, who is conducting a review into the way our hospital is run. He’s appealing for members of the public to come forward support him by giving feedback both positive and negative through the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/bruce-keogh-review/Pages/Overview.aspx.
A public meeting will also take place on Monday 17th June from 6-8pm in Lecture 2, King’s Mill Conference Centre, King’s Mill Hospital. Go on and have your say.
I don’t know where we’d be without our health service but volunteers often have a huge role to play as well in taking care of loved ones.
This week is National Carer’s week (10th-16th June) and you might be surprised to hear that one in eight people in Ashfield is a carer, so I’m dedicating this column to everyone who gives so much love and support to people who matter to them the most. You really are unsung heroes. Get in touch if you need any help, advice or if you’d like me to raise any issues about your role with Government Ministers.