One rule for MPs, another for us

Yet again Don Mort and the Wakefield Express expose two warning notices placed on our hospital trust.

Only the Wakefield Express continues to tell the truth about the hospital which our MP’s continue to praise for their own self preservation.

Even before Mary Creagh’s letter of the 16th January which has caused such outrage in the community as expressed in your letters page , I had been incensed by her continuous self praise over the PFI hospital’s in Wakefield which has led to unbelievable profit returns for the PFI company whilst at the same time has left us with massive staff shortages, cancelled operations, a disgraceful record on appointments and at least 200 beds less than the previous hospital before PFI.

Having never seen Mary Creagh or any of the other 3 Labour district MP’s standing in line for an appointment only to be told the appointment letter was incorrect, I decided using the Freedom of Information Act to request what health facilities MP’s receive where they work (Planet Westminster) so there can be no misunderstanding I give you directly the questions we asked and the response from the Information Commissioner.

Is there a doctor in residence (part time or full time) in the House of Commons or attached to the House of Commons?

“A “ The House of Commons engages an Occupational Physician, via a contract arrangement with Guys & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, for 3 days each week.

Is there a medical centre (part time or full time) in the House of Commons or attached to the House of Commons?

“A” Arrangements have also been made with a local NHS practice to provide GP services for any MP who is taken unwell during the working week, and cannot attend his/her own GP at their home address.

What medical provision is supplied to MP’s in session in the House of Commons?

“A”The Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing Service provides support and advice to Members of Parliament on work-related health issues or concerns, via the occupational health team. Members may also attend the nurse-led occupational health clinic situated in the Palace of Westminster if they need first aid or advice if they are feeling unwell during the working day.

If only all the public had access to such care and medical facilities on their doorstep and the means to access/referral to such specialised services without such lengthy waiting times as you and me.

Finally I would ask all of the Wakefield MP’s - when was the last time you used the hospitals at either Pinderfields or Pontefract for anything other than a photo opportunity ? Or when was the last time you or your families spent 4 hours or more on a stretcher in a corridor waiting to be seen ?

Was it not for the reporters and editorial staff at the Wakefield Express most of our communities would never hear the truth of our so called NHS trust.

Paul Dainton

President of RATS.