'LABOUR FAILURE' Hastings Observer 2nd Sept, 2005

Derek J.Cole, 9 Anglesea Terrace, St Leonards on Sea TN38 0QS 431617.

Dear Sir,

The monumental failure of Michael Foster's Government to provide properly for the Health Service is spectacularly highlighted not only by the understandable 'disappearance' of the Chief Executive at the Conquest, unable to provide for the needs of Hastings with the inadequate sums available but also by the sad list of war veterans I now represent across the country denied their proper care by the PHS.

As honorary legal officer for various disability groups and in particular the campaign team Error! Bookmark not defined. I have been struggling to secure proper provision for the families of a Prisoner of the Japanese, the Driver of a Sherman Tank at El Alamein, 2 veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic, a member of Fleet Air Arm, a survivor of the N.African landings, a soldier from 14th Army in Burma (the Forgotten Army), a Grenadier Guard, 2 veterans of the bitter post-war anti-terrorist campaigns in Malaya and Palestine, two civilians bombed out in the Blitz and above all a Dunkirk veteran who then served in 8th Army before landing on Juno Beach at 7.30 am.

All of them came home to pay, out of real earnings a mere fraction of today's, income tax at 50% basic 97.5% top rate with Purchase Tax (now VAT) averaging 50%. This they paid to establish the very Health Service which has now abandoned them. The neglect is particular acute in Surrey and Sussex, where we have just obtained the following damning comment from the Ombudsman in a letter of 11th Aug 2005.

'------Several areas of concern .......within the SHA area

------Lack of an Independent appeal stage

------Failure .......to obtain clinical advice .........

------Full contemporaneous evidence.....not always considered

------Poorly explained for decisions to refuse to fund continuing care....

------hundreds of complaints made in recent months.'

Most damning of all, when an undercover BBC 'hospital worker' in Brighton in the Surrey and Sussex SHA area complained of the shocking treatment of the elderly, an official replied dismissively 'this ward is £100000 overspent'.

The Health Service Clem Attlee provided out of the taxes of those I represent is being ruthlessly dismantled by Tony Blair.

Derek J.Cole