Gazette letters: Homerton hospital, London Fields and herbicides

Homerton Hospital

Homerton Hospital - Credit: Archant

We are very concerned about the pathology lab at Homerton Hospital which is under threat of outsourcing and privatisation, write Dr Coral Jones, City and Hackney BMA; Nick Bailey, Hackney Keep Our NHS Public; Sasha Simic, shop steward Usdaw C133 Central Books (PC); Bronwen Handyside vice-chairwoman, Unite London & Eastern Region; Dave Davis, secretary, Hackney NUT; Lee Ray and Karen Lyn, joint secretaries, Hackney Unison.

This will result in a worse service and cost more than the in-house option, which provides an award-winning service. It may also result in the loss of a highly skilled and valued workforce.

The Homerton Hospital Trust signed a contract for a new pathology building in August 2014, at a cost of over £6m. In May 2015 work ceased when the building company went into liquidation and the Trust was not covered by insurance. There are questions whether due diligence took place prior to awarding the contract to a company whose public accounts showed it was already in debt.

The Trust has since appointed consultants LTS, at unknown cost, to look at options including privatisation/outsourcing. There is very real worry amongst staff and the public that LTS will influence the Trust to favour this option.

We call upon the Trust to reject the option and to undertake public consultation about plans for pathology. A public meeting will be held with the governors of the hospital on Thursday at 5pm.

Can’t the Homerton Hospital introduce a standby system like the airlines operate for spare seats to use up the no show appointments that cost over five million quid each year? writes Charles Webber, full address supplied.

It’s surely not rocket science to send patients a text saying “statistics suggest 12 people will fail to show in (x) department tomorrow, if you could come in we will endeavour to see you before your appointment scheduled six months from now”.

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Those who opted in for standby would know to be flexible, with the pay-off that they get seen many weeks quicker. I read these stories and those of managers being paid fortunes – and wonder for what exactly?

Rita KrishnaI urges Hackney Council to close streets in London Fields for the sake of residents (Hackney Gazette, April 21, p8), writes Cheryl Carman, Richmond Road, Hackney.

As a resident, I do wish people outside my neighbourhood would not jump on the bandwagon assuming all road closures must be good for the environment and us.

The 13 road closures proposed do not tackle the main traffic routes through our area. Indeed, they are planned for quiet roads. By closing them, additional traffic, and hence pollution, will be diverted down the already busy Richmond, Queensbridge and Whiston roads.

These closures are to facilitate a Quietway for cyclists. Unfortunately, neither the council, cyclists’ and other outside groups nor the few residents of Middleton Road lobbying for the closures sought the views of the wider London Fields community before plans were drawn up. Had they done so, we could have all put forward proposals to reduce the traffic on the roads where its volume is highest. We could have also agreed on a road, such as Albion Drive, with a quantity of daily traffic low enough to take a Quietway.

I am accused of being a petrol-head for opposing the apparently green issue of road closures. Let me explain I cannot hold a driving licence for health reasons. I oppose these road closures because they do not tackle our area’s real traffic problems.

Instead, with the hallmarks of a glamour project to further local political careers, they would significantly change the character of our neighbourhood, making it into an exclusive enclave – the antithesis of Hackney’s diversity.

It is very disappointing the council are not choosing to take a more enlightened approach to go pesticide free, writes Esther Adelman, full address supplied.

The London Fields meadow is being prepared for sowing again. If the council used a native perrenial and annual meadow seed mix, they would save a huge amount of money and not have to spray glyphosate to kill the grass and out compete the wildflowers.

In 2014, the council spent £11,000 on non-native seeds.

My understanding is they have to re-sow these again and again which wouldn’t be necessary if using the mix suggested above.

The council could save money and not use “probably carcinogenic” herbicides if it adopted a traditional hay meadow regime.

Hackney Council – work with nature, not against her!