This so-called crisis in NHS funding is a complete scam as far as I am concerned.

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I believe, the ministry in Whitehall embarked on a plan of closing A&E departments 16 years ago.

Hartlepool’s was one of the first.

In my view, it has been trying to close down or gradually phase out A&E services in 111 different hospitals across England for years.

This so-called financial crisis is, in my opinion, just an excuse to close 50 A&Es right now.

The bureaucrats in London separated our A&E into around 71 major emergency departments and a second division of 111 emergency departments some years ago to achieve their policy objective.

Local councillors on NHS trust boards have been made complicit in the policy by taking part in seemingly superficial innocuous minor changes of name.

One town, like Stockton for example, has been played off against another such as Hartlepool.

Soon Stockton won’t have an A&E either.

The drive and long-term objective behind Whitehall’s policy has always been clear as it’s starved some hospitals of funds.

Whitehall civil servants just haven’t told the rest of us what their real plans are.

Is this a democracy we are living in, or not, may I ask?

Nigel F Boddy,

Fife Road,

Darlington.