HEALTH: Losing our professionals

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I read recently that a hospital in the south had told elderly patients to wear a pad as the nurses were too busy to help them to the toilet.

Less than one hour later I was phoned by a young mother very distressed as she had been told by Alnwick’s Hillcrest Maternity Unit that the bed she had booked for the holiday period of Christmas to New Year in the summer was now not available as the health authority was changing the arrangements to 9am to 5pm, with a call service only through the night.

This, it said, was being done to ensure the safety of mothers.

It should tell that to Arnold Walker, who, concerned that the maternal mortality in Britain was the worst in the civilised world, modernised the obstetrics to the service we have today.

The overnight call service, it said, was on a first come, first served arrangement.

Our Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust apparently thinks it is an improvement to leave us with a service with little night cover from Edinburgh to Newcastle, a distance of about 150 miles.

Nationally, our Government needs to wake up fast as Britain is bleeding over losing its professional people.

Doctors, nurses, teachers and university people are walking out, either retiring early or going to Australasia, the USA or to Medecins Sans Frontieres in Africa and India. They are fed up with the lack of respect from the patients and the Government, as well as the media.

The young are leaving the banking arrangements too.

Dentistry went private here some years ago for the same problems.

Mother Mary, help the young mothers who are having the next generation this Christmas.

It should also be understood by our NHS that it has just been announced that infants under a month old should not travel in cars for over 30 minutes as they are at a greater risk of cot death following such activity.

Already most journeys out here and in the Borders are longer so leaving to go home after a morning birth at Hillcrest makes that a danger to our babies too.

Anne Wrangham,

Alnwick