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SENTINEL: Hospital funding, John Adams Way crash, Post Office, library plans

Sentinel

Sentinel

Our Sentinel column runs the rule over the news in Boston and beyond...

*Once again the financial health of our hospitals in under question - with the trust in charge of the Pilgrim reportedly needing to find £6 million down the back of the proverbial NHS sofa. The trust has just - rightly in Sentinel’s view – forked out £4 million on new nurses to ensure it can actually look after patients properly so now appears to be giving with one hand while having the other snapped off. It may be austere times but what does the constant cycle of costcutting, followed by subsequent investment do in the long term? Surely being in special measures ought to see those holding the purse strings sending people in to help? Ex trust boss David Bowles is right to say that until the long-term funding formula is sorted we’ll be stuck in this sorry cycle with the patients and staff being those left to suffer.

*The subject of hospital funding brings into focus one of the more frustrating stories of 2013. Having got then health minister Andrew Lansley to come down to Boston, shown him the maternity unit and convinced him of the need to replace it, seemingly a faceless bureacrat didn’t pick up the baton from there and stick the application form in. The people of this area were badly let down by that decision given that, at that time, there was money available for the re-build (it went elsewhere in the county). Heaven knows when, if ever, we will get another chance at such a multi-million pound investment especially given the apparent financial constraints facing the trust. And who is accountable? Well, conveniently the decision was taken before the organisational overhaul of the NHS meaning that Sentinel heard a fair few ‘that department does not exist any more’ responses when checking out the story last year. We’re told that the Pilgrim’s maternity unit is pretty busy these days, let’s just hope that saves such a vital service for the town and that we’re not left to double regret missing out...

*How lucky it was that the woman hit by a truck on John Adams Way on Monday was not more seriously hurt. While thoughts are inevitably with soemone who seems to be a pretty frail lady you have to feel for the truck driver too. The police say he is not under investigation at all and it appears, to Sentinel at least, that he may well have been unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’d be wrong to speculate but it does appear he did all he could to avoid a collision. It’s hard to imagine what he must have been thinking.

*Sentinel is not one to suggest that the Post Office move into WH Smith is a done deal but would bosses slap in a planning application if they weren’t reasonable confident of getting their way?

*They say curiosity killed the cat, well it certainly perks the interest of plenty of folk in the town judging by the fair number out to see last Saturday’s high tide. Thankfully it seems the defences have held up well and the onlookers kept their feet dry...

*It’s good to hear that folk in Kirton are looking to keep the library open, let’s hope it works whichever we they set it up. In fact if it is a success it’d show up those at County Hall who claimed running the libraries was no longer viable...the perfect riposte.

*Will the move to halve the size of a new substation planned for Bicker Fen help ease fears of those (including the MP) who oppose it? Sentinel thinks it is unlikely. Nice try though...

*Speaking of opposition...looks like there will be some more voices against the Quadrant development at a meeting at Wyberton Parish Hall on Tuesday night. It’ll be interesting to see just how many people join the apparent calls for a referendum. Kick off is at 6.30pm and it is one fixture Boston United could do with winning.

*Sentinel was sad to read this week of the death of Simon Hoggart. Whatever your political persuasion or taste, the Guardian writer’s acerbic observations of the often-ridiculous actions of the politicians in the Commons were a joy to read. It’s a shame to lose such a great journalist...

 

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