Pay more for NHS or expect less

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You could not have missed the coverage of the drama and demands that are overtaking the NHS in recent weeks.

At every opportunity the media has shown the unfolding life or death struggles that the staff are trying to avert every minute of the day.

As someone who recently witnessed this over a number of weeks following admission of my uncle into The James Cook University Hospital, it is plain as the nose on your face that the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

The cry to throw more money at it is not the total solution, as the fundamental structures are in need of radical change.

Some of the major issues that I feel need to be addressed quickly, if we are not going to spiral further down into more chaos, are:

Nationalise all PFI contracts with minimum compensation, as was done with Northern Rock.

Merge social and medical care, take it out of the remit of local councils and fund it directly.

Strip out over-payment to temporary staff, remove the loan system, and return the grants and encourage more training of UK staff.

Also limit scales of pay to NHS rates plus six per cent maximum.

Build social, halfway accommodation in the vicinity of hospitals to free-up clinical beds.

Adopt best practice.

French and German systems are world class.

Ensure best prices are achieved for our medicines and prescribe effectively.

Remove Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Currently they are, in my opinion, working against the best for the patients, and are more focused on cost savings.

At points during the treatment of my relative I was moved by the compassion shown to him in his final days.

But it does not mean that the system is working as well as it should or could.

Stop talking about the free health service because it is not.

All taxpayers are funding it and we either need to pay more or expect less.

Chris Gallacher, TD VR,

Chairman,

UKIP Redcar,

Normanby Road,

Middlesbrough.