Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley (CP 34)

  Charges for treatments, including prescriptions, dentistry and optical services; and hospital services (such as telephone and TV use and car parking) are neither equitable or appropriate. They should be abolished.

The original and Best founding principles of the NHS are that it should be paid for by our taxes and be free at the point of contact, for all citizens in an emergency or otherwise.

Unless "Co-payment" includes a working "voluntary" element, it becomes a preposterous and pretentious pretext designed to benefit the "interests" of those who seek to over-regulate the public, because it's what they normally do. (See 1689 Bill of rights)

 For example; both employees and patients of my local NHS Trust Hospital have "no alternative" other to pay for parking, either because it is removed from their wages or because there are no free car parks on-site.

As employees, we have to write a letter to the car parking people to get them to stop removing this monthly fee. Personally I argued to get my parking fee cut down, because I work part time. Otherwise we have to find elsewhere to park off-site, with no security or run the risk of "routine" penalty.

Creeping regulations! This is a fine example of how this so-called litigation culture is creeping into our lives as free citizens. (It also sounds uncannily like Lord Turners latest idea to "encourage" us to buy extra pensions cover)

 Meanwhile on the wards it is plainly unfair that some patients cannot access the TV service over their beds because they have not the immediate means. Eg patients with no money and no-one to speak up for their rights, and whose journey through the various hospital wards might be very quick.

You should find out exactly whose "best interests" are being provided for, in the case of all these "co-payments" which have crept into the NHS, of late.

I hope you will discover that we can find a better way to redress any inappropriate inequalities which you may find. I have, in my "action research (n of 1)" which is still "in process". This is without recourse to this so-called litigation culture, which is spoiling the lives and jobs of too many (equal) stakeholders in UK Health and Social care.

I am currently trying to remedy similar inequitable and inappropriate burdens associated with my NHS contract and status as a patient in the best way I can find for all equal stakeholders, through "working in partnership".

 I think I have boiled it down to a question of "honour", for the sake of reducing costs all round, in an emergency. To recover our Rights and liberties we should harness the best spirit of "voluntarism", to remedy ridiculous and frustrating inequalities. The "Best interests" of the public are paramount in the Public Services.

Through "honour" we should be able to complement the Best practices of Public Service with private freedoms, by "working in partnership". Through "raising a concern" we can share the risks associated with avoiding inequitable and inappropriate burdens, thus activating our Human Rights and liberties to improve things, where others cannot help.

 Accountability can be used as an instrument of peaceful new deals for equal stakeholders, and as far as I can see the "up and coming" laws, legislations, policies and systems would allow this perfectly easily. If people would only communicate more openly!

 I am wondering if there is some kind of "Hybrid" Law to support such local action. I'm thinking about this at the moment, but as a "common" person it's all a bit strange and difficult, due to cultural and institutional barriers.

However, at this point I want to thank "Parliament" and all who are involved in these wonderfully empowering IT systems, which have allowed me to learn so much about this world and our Public Services, albeit in an awkward and clumsy way.

You might want to contact my good MP Janet Anderson, for a reference.

Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

14 December 2005

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