Don't forget the unsung heroes

MEDICAL secretaries really are among the unsung heroes of the NHS.They may not be the people on the front line, actually dealing with patients, but their role is vital in ensuring that doctors and nurses treat the right people at the right time.

MEDICAL secretaries really are among the unsung heroes of the NHS.

They may not be the people on the front line, actually dealing with patients, but their role is vital in ensuring that doctors and nurses treat the right people at the right time.

Without their specialist work Ipswich Hospital would grind to a halt - and such vital members of staff should be treated with respect.

Ipswich Hospital has well-documented financial problems and it was inevitable that the restructuring that was needed would lead to some people feeling let down.

However it now seems that the morale of everyone involved in this important work has been damaged - and this in turn is having an effect on the operation of the hospital.

Patients are experiencing difficulty in sorting out appointments and there are reports of patient records being mislaid and computer failures leading to six-week backlogs.

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All this administrative chaos needs to be sorted out fast. There are real fears that in the hospital's drive to save costs, the general efficiency of the organisation suffered.

What is now needed is an urgent review of the changes over the last few months - and swift action to ensure that any problems are quickly put right.

AFTER the appalling events in Ipswich which shocked the world last December, it became clear that action needed to be undertaken in the town to drive away kerb-crawlers and try to close down the seedy sex-trade in the red light area.

The police and the borough council have now drawn up a prostitution strategy and have started a clampdown on kerb-crawlers which has already resulted in several arrests.

However it is difficult to understand why Ipswich's initiative has not been recognised by the Home Office - especially after ministers were falling over themselves at the end of last year to express their horror at events in this part of the world.

The excuse that including Ipswich in the trial programme for the Home Office campaign would bring unwanted media attention seems very lame - after all the media attention of the last six months the town would certainly be able to cope with the small amount of extra attention such a move might encourage.

The suspicion will settle in many people's minds that someone somewhere in the Home Office overlooked Ipswich when looking for pilot areas for this new policy - and after last winter's events that would be unforgivable.

VICTOR Doe was a real Ipswich character - an old-style barber whose Norwich Road shop was used by generations of men who wanted a short back and sides.

Traditional men's hairdressers have been on the decline for years, replaced by trendier salons. But many people would not consider going anywhere other than a traditional barber.

Mr Doe was a real link with a traditional world - and his death really does mark the end of an era.

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