Good to admit mistakes

IT WAS always clear that bosses at Ipswich Hospital had made a serious mistake when they tried to reorganise medical secretaries at Heath Road earlier this year.

IT WAS always clear that bosses at Ipswich Hospital had made a serious mistake when they tried to reorganise medical secretaries at Heath Road earlier this year.

So it is good that chief executive Andrew Reed is now prepared to admit the blunder and accept that mistakes will be rectified through a new recruitment drive.

The hospital has been in financial difficulties for some time and everyone accepts that drastic action was needed to help stem the losses.

However these have to be introduced carefully and must not compromise the hospital's essential purpose - to treat the sick and save lives.

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The changes to the medical secretaries' work brought a high degree of uncertainty and concern to the hospital and the patients who rely on its services.

On the wider front, it is a relief to see that Mr Reed feels the tough financial medicine applied over the last 12 months now appears to be working.

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It is vital for the whole of Suffolk that the Ipswich Hospital is in a sound financial shape and able to provide the services that we are all likely to need at some time.

DRUGS are a major blight on society, and it is vital that the criminal justice system uses every weapon in its armoury to fight this evil trade.

The long jail services imposed on John Hume and Gary Bultitude and the success of Operation Academy - targeting pushers who move into Ipswich from other parts of the country - has prompted the police to claim that they are winning the war against the drugs trade on the streets of the town.

That is a very encouraging comment from a force which is well aware of the dreadful damage drugs can bring to lives.

Of course unlike a traditional war, there can never be any total victory in the ongoing battle against the drugs trade.

The fact is that if one dealer is taken off the streets and locked up, another will emerge to fill the need that was being serviced.

But any action to disrupt the supply at least gives society a breathing space.

Everyone will hope this breathing space will at least give some users the chance to break the drug habit and to clean up their lives.

TEN years after we were told “Things can only get better,” Tony Blair's tenure as Prime Minister was finally ending today as Gordon Brown was making the shortest - but also the longest - political move in British politics.

After taking the country to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it might seem a bit strange that Mr Blair is now being touted as being the world's new peace envoy for the middle east.

But after his experience in Northern Ireland, maybe he does have something to offer the world's most troubled region.

One thing's certain. The new prime minister will be very relieved not to have his predecessor sitting on the backbenches behind him in the House of Commons.

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