A land fit for Heroes
One of the most decorated British fighter pilots of the Second World War has sold his medals, diaries and other memorabilia partly to pay for a hip replacement operation for his wife who faced at least a six-month wait on the National Health Service.
Sqn Ldr Neville Duke, 83, the Royal Air Force's top-scoring ace in the Mediterranean theatre who set a world air speed record of 728 mph in 1953, put the collection up for auction rather than subject his wife Gwen to months of pain and discomfort while she waited for an operation.
Hospitals have been told to delay operations to reduce debts faced by primary care trusts,...
A letter leaked to the Times reveals hospitals within Harrow Primary Care Trust, which is reportedly facing an £8-12 million deficit, have been told to delay surgery.
The document, written by Dr Ken Walton, chairman of the trust's professional executive committee, tells GPs it has "reluctantly" asked hospitals to "do the minimum required to meet national targets".
It says: "This means that patients sent for outpatient appointments will only be seen at 10-13 weeks (national target 13 weeks) and elective surgery will be delayed until the sixth month (national target six months)."
In a statement, the trust defended its policy.
It said: "Harrow PCT is taking action to control its expenditure that will not affect the quality of care given to its patients.
"All patients in Harrow will be seen within national targets."
Similar practices are also reported to be taking place to save money at trusts elsewhere in the country.
Proud of the NHS? Proud of Britain? Proud of the Snodgrasses who think as long as "targets" are met that delays "will not affect the quality of care given to its patients"?