Readers' letters - January 10

Has the antibiotic policy been counterproductive asks a correspondent?
Has the antibiotic policy been counterproductive asks a correspondent?

Have these factors contributed to a winter crisis in the NHS?

I am wondering if the following factors have contributed to this winter’s NHS crisis:

n The reluctance of doctors to prescribe antibiotics when, for instance, coughing caused by flu is at an early stage;

n The reluctance of doctors to refer patients to specialists at an early stage.

As regards prescribing antibiotics, this is to prevent the development of ‘super bugs’, but one wonders if this policy is counterproductive if it results in allowing illnesses to get worse so that more hospital beds are required to cope with illnesses which might otherwise have been cured much earlier.

As regards the reluctance to refer patients to specialists, I understand this is because of the rules governing GPs’ budgets.

However, one has to ask if the NHS is a free service any more when patients with serious conditions have to pay for an initial consultation and scan before the NHS will take the case on?

If the GPs are unwilling to pay through their budgets, and the patient has limited means, should it be a surprise if Accident & Emergency Departments get overloaded?

Paul Andrews

Address supplied

We voted Out and out it must be

This year will be a pivotal point in our country’s history and it is vital the government ensures that the will of the people, as demonstrated in the referendum, is properly enacted.

We don’t want half measures and fudging which could mean that we leave the EU in name only and are still burdened with their rules. And we would have no MEPs to represent our interests. We voted Out and Out it must be.

We are in a strong bargaining position as we buy around £65bn worth of goods a year more from the EU states than they do from us.

We are the world’s main banking centre and foreign companies are still investing here, and will continue to do so, despite the continuing ‘Operation Fear’.

Next week, the EU Withdrawal Bill is due for its Report and Third Reading Stages in the House of Commons and already a host of Report Stage amendments have been tabled.

Theresa May’s government must be both wary and firm.

The passage ahead through both Houses will be stormy and littered with obstacles and I have grave doubts about the will of our government to actually achieve Brexit.

But there must be no turning back nor making unnecessary concessions to either opposing MPs or the EU.

Historians will look back at this time and judge the mettle of our people by what happens now.

The records need to show that we fought for what we believe in and succeeded.

Paul Nuttall

North West MEP

UK Independence Party

Childhood war memories

Testimony Films, an award-winning TV documentary company, is keen to speak to men and women in Britain who have memories of the First World War for a new BBC4 documentary series, Britain’s Great War: The People’s Story.

The series will feature the childhood stories of centenarians and supercentenarians who still vividly remember family life at the time, alongside archive footage and testimonies from those who fought.

We are especially interested in talking to those who may have lost a loved one at the front or who remember the air raids, the food shortages and the patriotic spirit of the time.

If you – or someone you know– have childhood stories of the Great War, we’d love to hear from you. Please email, call or write to Emily Sivyer,, 0117 925 8589, Testimony Films, 12 Great George Street, Bristol, BS1 5RH.

Emily Sivyer

Assistant Producer

Testimony Films

Study psychiatry for the future

With a good number of today’s youngsters suffering anguish if they don’t have enough ‘likes’ on social media and most of the rest being helped with gender issues, I can see a great career plan for the few sensible kids left.

Study psychiatry because, believe me, your couch will never be empty with all the mental problems today’s youth will end up with.

Paul Morley

via email

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