Letters, August 14: Questions over Lister award nomination, and where’s the trolley gone?


Letters - Credit: Archant

Correspondents have points to make over award nomination for Lister Hospital, and facilities for patients

How much did this rescue cost the taxpayer?

The news that the Lister Hospital’s Treatment Centre – formely the Surgicentre – has been nominated for an award (Comet, August 7) strongly indicates the East and North Herts NHS Trust which runs the hospital has turned this troubled facility around and they deserve congratulations.

However, there are as yet unanswered questions about the £8.7million cost to the taxpayer of recovering the failed service from the contractor Carillion.

Our local trust had to cover a shortfall of £2m which contributed to tipping them from a £2.1m surplus to a £1.9m deficit while the NHS paid £6.7m directly to Carillion.

As Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland had various confidential discussions and negotiations with the Care Quality Commission regulators, Carillion and the government’s health secretary Jeremy Hunt he ought to be able to explain how these large sums were agreed and how failure came to be rewarded.

Mr McPartland owes the patients and taxpayers of Stevenage a proper explanation of events.

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Patrick Newman, Chancellors Road, Stevenage

I’ve finally got a date for long-awaited op

Being registered disabled and unable to drive, I was saddened to read that the ophthalmology department at Lister Hospital has been nominated to receive a national award – I only hope that the people responsible for tabling this proposal are seeking suitable treatment for severe memory loss.

I have been waiting for almost a year for cataract surgery and after many fruitless and expensive visits to ophthalmology and cancellations too numerous to mention, I lodged a formal complaint and even wrote directly to the NHS Trust chief executive Nick Carver and got nowhere.

It took a letter to my MP to get a reaction and an appointment for surgery in September.

Mr Carver tells us that being nominated is a true reflection of the achievements to date, but this is an insult to those of us who have had to suffer from the effects of gross inefficiency and rank bad management.

Ted Gammon, Knebworth

Hospital’s treats trolley goes missing

A patient I was visiting at the Lister Hospital told me that he hadn’t been able to read his daily newspaper for a week, because nobody had come round with the trolley which sells newspapers, sweets and other welcome treats.

I was surprised, so I went to buy a paper for him.

On making enquiries at WH Smith, an assistant told me that they had to suspend this service because of a shortage of shop staff.

My friend was full of admiration for the hospital staff, the cleanliness of the ward and the quality of the food – but having a newspaper can make such a difference to some people during the long hours in a hospital bed.

I am sure that WH Smith is keen to serve the community, but perhaps this is one drawback of entrusting some services to an enterprise which is mainly in it for profit?

Aren’t volunteers allowed to do it any more?

Steven Green Hitchin