LETTER: Trust spent £6.6m. on doctors

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IT’S a while now since I last wrote a letter to the Express and I really had no intention of writing until I saw the headline on the front of the paper on April 5th “£10m.”

I do have to say that if the paper had been dated April 1st, I might have thought it was an April Fool’s Day joke, mind you, it still gave me a laugh. Because it was given such prominence, I feel I ought to be allowed fair comment.

Mr Birtwistle says how appalled he is at this dreadful waste of money and how he has spoken to many – this could mean two – nurses who cannot get full-time work and he can’t understand why the Trust is not employing them.

Then we turn over the page and see an article written by Dominic Collis headlined “MP blasts Trust’s waste of money.”

Mr Birtwistle goes on about how it makes no financial sense at all and how, in his opinion, it’s a prime example of the Trust being totally out of tune with the wishes of local people. All this is aimed at the nursing staff, not one mention of doctors, surgeons and other clinicians, yet he was given the facts he asked for.

It must be true because they are required to divulge accurate figures if asked under FOI rules, so in truth it turns out the bulk of the money has gone on doctors, who are often working in awkward areas which makes it difficult for any hospital to recruit permanently. That cost £6.6m., in actuality only £110,000 was spent on agency nurses, spent only where there is a requirement for temporary nursing staff cover, covering for sickness and other legitimate reasons for being off work.

There is of course the obvious thing about all this, but being a Lib-Dem, he doesn’t let little things like obvious problems stand in his way. This is more than an electioneering exercise and how can we tell that?

Well, one little thing he forgot to mention. We are talking here about the Trust spending £10m. in the last financial year, are we not?

We must be because you say so in the article. This covers the period 2010/2011, it was his party in power then, not only that, he himself is a junior minister in the treasury, so is he attacking his own party here, and indirectly himself?

MRS NICOLA J. TUSTIN

LEAMINGTON AVENUE, BURNLEY