Ipswich: Don’t tell us how to behave!

AN MP has hit out at “NHS bureaucrats” sending out “patronising” advice over the festive season.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer raised the issue after being inundated with a series of e-mails offering advice on everything from avoiding the perils of “slippery slippers” to how to deal with a hangover.

He has now called for NHS staff to put their precious resources into something more useful.

“I’m not quite sure why we’re spending money on all this when times are so difficult,” said Mr Gummer. “People are grown-ups – they know how to behave and they don’t need to be told.

“If they want to get drunk and have a hangover the next day, it’s up to them. It’s traditional around this time of year.

“We don’t need to be bossed around by bureaucrats. There are bigger and more important things to be worried about at the moment than sending out press releases.”

Mr Gummer suggested people make up their own minds about how to spend the festive season – provided they are not driving of course.

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A recent release sent out by the NHS Suffolk team on New Year’s Eve offered advice on getting over a hangover.

Health improvement manager Daniel Chapelle advised: “Undoubtedly the best way to avoid a hangover is to drink sensibly. However, if you have woken up feeling terrible then it’s likely you haven’t followed this advice.

“When you drink your body loses fluids, so it is important to rehydrate yourself by drinking bland fluids such as water, soda water or isotonic drinks.”

But a spokeswoman for NHS Suffolk defended the advice.

“We, as a culture, drink too much,” she said. “And anything we can do to encourage people to think a bit more carefully about how they drink is a good thing.

“We have got to give people the information they need and if we’re getting to the public through this medium, that can only be good.

“We always say we don’t want to be killjoys, but if people drink responsibly there will be fewer people in A&E and the police won’t be picking people off the streets, and there will be less liver damage further down the line. It’s a really sensible thing to try and encourage people to think a bit more.”

n Do you think it is important for the NHS to issue this advice? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.