Gazette letters: Queens’ Hospital, Action Team, road marking, business rates, Andrew Rosindell and dog phobia

PUBLISHED: 10:48 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:48 20 March 2017


Romford’s Queen’s Hospital. Picture: KEN MEARS

Hospital staff rightly proud of care and compassion

Kate Baker, of Colchester, writes an open letter to Matthew Hopkins, of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust:

I came to be a patient at Queen’s in December 2016 from Colchester A&E after an emergency CAT scan, which was a benign brain tumour.

Firstly, big thank you to whoever cut my hair for my EVD drain operation. I’m very proud of my hair so when I surfaced to find a BIG strip gone I was freaked. That was until I realised that it had been blended beautifully with the parting of my hair.

This person took the time to think about how to cut it when they didn’t have to. Consequently, the emotional fallout has been reduced thanks to their common sense.

I would also like to thank Sahara B ward.

The six days there were some of the most positive and pleasurable I have had to date. They were extremely busy but they all stayed positive, professional and were a real joy to be looked after by.

I would like to extend a personal thank you to Louise. She was extremely kind to me when I was struggling to sleep one night.

In a twist of fate, Louise managed to organise me to be moved into my own room, which accelerated my recovery.

She didn’t have to arrange for me to have that room, but through exercising some empathy she knew it would help and I am eternally grateful to her.

Then there are the smaller, but equally important thank you’s to the Sodexo catering assistant who always made my visitors tea; Janis in Health Records, who compiled all my records; and the nurse on Sahara B, who kindly updated my hospital records due to the heavy workload of the ward clerk.

And last, but not least a huge thank you to Mr Vindlacheruvu. Between him and his surgical team they performed a highly skilled operation that just leaves me in awe.

There’s the fleeting thoughts of what could have happened if I hadn’t gone to Colchester A&E when I did or what if I hadn’t arrived at Queen’s in time, even the complications that could have arisen following the surgery that will never be; simply because of him. And that is why he will always be my hero.

I hope that you are proud of all your colleagues because they are truly remarkable and represent everything that is fantastic about the NHS.

Their hard work, commitment and compassion means that I will always think the world of every single one of them.

Still a lot to be desired at Queen’s

Peter Harve, Wood View Mews, Romford, writes:

I see that Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Queen’s Hospital, is congratulating himself on getting Queen’s out of special measures.

On reading the Care Standards current report Mr Hopkins so called success still leaves a lot to be desired.

Four out of five requirements.

Safe - requires improvement

Effective - requires improvement

Responsive - inadequate

Well led - requirements improvement.

Unless the report is read none of these issues are mentioned. Why all the self congratulating? He is merely doing the job that he has been more than well paid for and still has areas that need improvement.

He has now completed three years as chief executive, so no doubt like the rest of them he will now resign and move to another NHS trust.Three years seems the usual time for the majority of chief executives to stay at one trust before moving to another.

As for the recruitment manager at Queen’s and her plan to send 10 polluting coaches round the area costing thousands when the hospital has a perfectly good recruitment website beggars belief.

As for Queen’s failing to attract permanent staff because it was a failing hospital, this does not seem to deter the locum and agency staff who are on inflated salaries.

Nurses’ workload is too much

Rodney Driscoll, Nelson Close, Collier Row, writes:

I am so glad Mr Hopkins, chief executive of Queen’s Hospital, is feeling so pleased with himself about being out of special measures.

What he needs to do is live in the real world and go down to the rheumatology clinic where the nurse starts at 6am to try and get through her workload.

She is full of good intentions but is totally overwhelmed, which does not help my wife.

The new doctor there was running two hours late. She, too, is totally overwhelmed with her workload and also has problems with her communications.

I am now writing to Mr Hopkins to see what is doing about it. I do not think he should wear the West Ham tie but the whole kit.

Tories wrong – post office is not closing

Cllr John Wood, St Andrew’s ward, writes:

An entirely new species has just been discovered by residents in Havering – particularly in the Hornchurch area.

It’s very strange though, because this new species only ever seems to come out of its hibernation just before the local council election and that’s about every four years!

It doesn’t matter how hard you search you will never find any of this new species around the ward until this specific time of the cycle. But when it eventually does surface it spreads propaganda like nobody’s business!

This new species is called The New Conservative Action Team!

This so-called action team suddenly comes out of hibernation and tries to persuade residents that they will fight their corner by starting a propaganda campaign against the closure of our High Street post office! If they had even bothered to read the Recorder article recently or check with the Post Office itself they would know that the High Street post office is not closing.

The vast majority of the post office network is run on a franchise basis (over 11,300) and they are currently in the very early stages of finding a new franchisee to take over the High Street branch.

Residents will still have access to all the same services currently being provided in the High Street and may have even more.

For propaganda to be effective it must be believed. To be believed it must be credible. To be credible it must be true.

Well done on the right turn ban

JTM France, Hornchurch, full address supplied, writes:

It is very good to see that the two “no right turn” cameras in Western Road between Junction Road and the Liberty Bell roundabout are now fully operational.

The two No Right Turn signs are correctly marked, properly erected and not obstructed and have been in place for many years. Plus Ahead Only is marked on the carriageway.

But inconsiderate drivers still choose to ignore them, giving other road users abuse should they comment on their driving.

There is no excuse or defence for turning right.

Well done Havering Council.

Sense prevailed over rate appeals

Cllr Clarence Barrett, Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association, writes:

Following on from my letter in last week’s edition about Business Rates Appeals, I am pleased to say that the government have now dropped the criteria of whether an appeal is allowed based on “the valuation is outside the bounds of reasonable professional judgement” to a test of just “reasonable valuation”, which is pretty much the current method.

If the initial proposal had gone ahead, valuations could have been out by up to 20 per cent and, at the stroke of a pen, a business would have been with saddled with paying too much rates, even though it was recognised to be wrong!

Thankfully, common sense has prevailed.

Sapphire Jubilee not a surprise

Mervyn Hughes, Toppesfield Avenue, Wickford, writes:

Am I the only one who is surprised that a Royalist like Andrew Rosindell has only just realised that our wonderful Queen is celebrating her Sapphire Jubilee this year?

Surely these things are normally sorted out long before our diaries go the printers?

Those more cynical than myself might suggest that it was his attempt to divert attention from the Brexit debate in the House of Lords!

Help to overcome fear of dogs

Adrian Burder, chief executive, Dogs Trust, writes:

Many of us either own a dog or will meet one when out and about, but your readers might be surprised to know that research from Dogs Trust has shown that one in three children is afraid of dogs.

We are offering free advice to help families, and anyone who regularly comes into contact with dogs, improve their understanding of man’s best friend.

This includes tips on how to approach a dog safely and how to respond when a dog approaches you, to pointers for parents who have a child who is scared of dogs.

Thanks to funds from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Dogs Trust is also running free workshops in schools.

Visit for more information.

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