HEALTHCARE: Concern at wider issue

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The letter from Steve Ratcliffe raised some valid points in relation to A&E cover at North Tyneside General Hospital (News Guardian, January 4), and I would suggest that his views will resonate with the majority of people in North Tyneside.

However, he doesn’t address the wider picture of the downgrading of services and facilities, that being the ‘privatisation’ of healthcare provision specifically in this area, but also regionally and nationally.

The facilities in this area were, I believe, put out to tender during 2015/2016 and the tender from a private healthcare company was accepted in order that it could take over and run these services from late 2017.

However, at a late stage this offer was withdrawn by the business as it did not wish to take on the more labour intensive facilities, as well as those offering a poor return. Remember, these are commercial organisations run for the profit of their shareholders.

The tender has since been re-issued and a further decision will be taken during 2018 in order to award this business, I believe.

The general public probably isn’t aware of this, although the two MPs representing the people in North Tyneside must surely know of these dramatic developments within healthcare provision in our area.

I also happen to think that one of the next items on this local, regional and national privatisation agenda will be the ambulance service.

Jim Routledge

Whitley Bay