Poorer for regionalisation

Comment was carried in your last edition relative to the NHS, at one time envied throughout the world, (Berwick Advertiser, April 5).

Sunday, 15th April 2018, 09:00 am

We had a very good, bustling and most dedicated team working here. Unfortunately, Ernest Pearson, who was head of Berwick Infirmary, is long gone, as is Mrs Y Frank, the then administrator.

Nowadays, since ‘regionalisation’, a well-founded establishment has been somewhat reduced, but it still has much to be said in its favour.

This, it is felt, could be drastically improved upon given less external intervention by so-called political figures and those associated with them, as well as by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Having experienced one ‘blue light’ dash to a facility at Cramlington, and thereafter to Freeman Road in Newcastle, a most unforgettable experience I cannot erase from my memory bank as it was a nightmare after losing about two pints of blood, I’d prefer being treated at Borders General Hospital for, as the old Scots’ song describes it, “the soft lowland touch of The Borders” is clearly evident by dedicated care, kindness and understanding, with a sense of humour to aid recovery.

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Living in Berwick, despite having a TD15 postcode, I am denied this, and although I have a cardiogist, stroke consultant and wonderful staff all ready and willing to help, if an emergency ambulance is called to my home, some ‘law’ dictates I must go to a hospital whose remit is that of Northumberland. Democracy?

School attendance figures were released in the same edition.

This is something which could not have happened in my days at The Parade, and later Bell Tower County Secondary, where my education terminated in 1957 after I made a concerted effort to deliberately fail my entry to the nearby Berwick Grammar School. A step of retrograde possibly?

After reading a Sunday newspaper recently, my eyes were well and truly opened as its headline was “Patients flee NHS waiting list”. I know the feeling as I’ve waited over two years for a stent.

I paid my usual visit to St Andrew’s Church in Wallace Green where, at least, I have true friends; to be honest, I was elated.

Earlier that week, a lady with a walking stick stopped me in West Street and urged me to continue writing my letters to your newspaper. Mrs J paid tribute to my efforts and I told her these were appreciated and, indeed, something of a tonic.

Berwick still has a lot going for it and is, most decidedly, worthy of a visit.

Eric Allen