AS THIS is my first column I presume my reader will be wondering what he/she can expect in the future. Will I be controversial? – if necessary. Critical? – more than likely! Negative or positive? – probably a bit of both! Only time will tell.

So to business.

Pilgrim Hospital and the local health service as a whole have been on the end of rather critical reports in recent weeks.

A local TV news item detailed criticism of ambulances not reaching targets in their arrival times for patients, but nothing was said about the fact that Lincolnshire is a rural area and I would defy anyone reaching a particular address out in the country on the roads round here within a set time-scale.

Then we had the news about student nurses being ‘withdrawn’ from Pilgrim, allegedly because of poor reports about health care at the hospital although no one – at the time of writing – had actually explained what the problems were.

It seemed a little hasty in my opinion, especially as some students were apparently only a fortnight away from finishing their courses. Presumably that fortnight would have voided everything they had learned in their previous years of study!

There was also talk of the hospital having to ‘save’ even more money to reach its targets: unless I’ve missed the point a hospital is there to provide treatment for patients and no amount or number of targets will lead to a sudden drop in the number of people requiring help.

Never mind, I can see more jobsworths being created to help the hospital out of its troubles so they reach their targets – which will mean even less money at the business end of the job, and giving less treatment to patients.

On another matter...

Just as a matter of interest I wonder if anyone at Lincolnshire County Council actually checks spellings, or do they assume local people won’t notice? An advert in The Standard last week gave notice of a road closure in Firby (Irby?) Street, and a road sign near Norfolk Street advised that an alternative route was down Wiltham (Witham?) Place.