Politicians Devoid of Sense of History; LETTER OF THE WEEK

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SIR - It is sad that the politicians responsible for our health services in England and Wales, namely, Alan Milburn and Jane Hutt, appear to be devoid of a sense of history or humility.

Ms Hutt proclaims her plan for yet another re-organisation as though this will really change things. I write as one who has worked as a doctor in the health service for 40 years.

During this time, I have virtually lost count of the number of organisational changes introduced by both main parties. They have all been of two types.

They have either involved amalgamation of units or their separation. These have been paraded as hospitals, units, management committees, health authorities, boards, trusts and so on. Each time there have been arguments of rationalisation, efficiency and economy.

Whereas, in practice, the same weary faces reappear in yet another re-incarnation, practically always with enhanced salaries and increased supporting staff. Furthermore, and possibly most serious of all, health care workers, including doctors and nurses, spend more time being sucked into a plethora of meetings. Now, Ms Hutt has rediscovered the wheel. Perhaps we may yet see a return of The Welsh Board of Health and local management committees.

It would not be so depressing if the likes of Ms Hutt exhibited a shred of humility. …