LETTER: A hollow pledge?

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DEAR Jeremy Hunt MP, I am writing directly to you to point out the mistake you have made in awarding the contract for musculoskeletal provision to a private health care company in place of excellent staff and facilities at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester.

The prime minister’s pledge to protect the NHS seems hollow.

I have every regard for St Richard’s and Southampton general hospitals.

We are fortunate to live in West Sussex where the NHS facilities are unrivalled and should be protected.

I was admitted in 2013 to St Richard’s with backache.

After an MRI scan I was diagnosed with discitis and sent for a transoesophageal echo.

I had endocarditis with bacterial growth on my mitral and aortic heart valves.

After seven weeks of intravenous antibiotics in a high-dependency ward in Southampton, the consultant was able to deem that I was fit to have open heart surgery.

I now have bovine prosthetic heart valves and my L3 and L4 vertebrae have fused naturally.

I cannot thank the medical and nursing staff at St Richard’s and Southampton hospitals enough.

These are two outstanding hospitals that we are proud of and call on you to ensure that further privatisation of the NHS services does not continue.

St Richard’s needs your support and protection.

Please ensure the continuation of A&E services at St Richard’s Chichester.

Richard Johns

The Byway

Middleton