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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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Savings tips for NHS bosses – why stop at microwave food?

SIR – So health bosses think it is a good idea to have microwaved food for the patients, even though the Government is actively promoting the cooking of fresh food as a more healthy option than processed foods, which in many cases are high in cholesterol. SIR – I am a resident of Bigrigg, near one of the main A595 roads en route from Whitehaven through to Egremont.

Should the health bosses be allowed to impose this on the more vulnerable in society when it does seem to go against the grain of current thinking and government policy?

The cynic in me would suggest that instead of a radical and innovative means to providing essential vitamins and minerals to aid recovery from illness, it is designed as a cost-cutting exercise, with patients taking the full assault. If this be the case, I can suggest some savings that would not be too hard to implement.

Buy a bike for each ward with a superior dynamo which could power the wards and the microwaves; great savings on the electricity bill.

Do away with the physiotherapy department as their patients could man these bikes and pedal themselves back to full mobility, and provide an essential service.

Buy paper plates and plastic cutlery from Poundland; clear savings on washing up, and no breakages to replace.

Employ “cowboy roofers” to provide all the necessary drips for the hospital (obviously only when it rains).

Millets could provide the tents for any “in-Tent-sive” care units, a great saving on buildings.

Discount Camping could supply camp beds for the patients, near to the ground – so easy to get in and out of.

Drugs could be bought off eBay, some fantastic offers to be had there.

Aging population? Get all the over 60s in hospital to knit squares to be sown into blankets for the beds while they eagerly await their microwaved gastric delights.

Flat pack furniture from IKEA: patients could assemble them while on the road to full recovery, saving a fortune on the current cost of furnishings.

And if all else fails, an idea that has not been fully explored before (and I believe is the future initiative of those in charge) – move all essential clinical services to Carlisle.

There’s an old adage: “You have to think like a criminal to understand them”. I wonder if it works the same for fools and idiots? The jury is still out on that one.

Michael DOYLE

Rosebank, Hensingham

SIR – Can I pass on the following advice to the person at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust who wants to bring in microwaved meals to West Cumberland Hospital: “If you swap your microwave meal for a home-cooked alternative, you can save in calories and cash.”

It’s from the NHS Livewell campaign website.


Church Street, Whitehaven

I travel to work at approximately 6.45am Monday to Thursday and 7.45am on Fridays – and I am appalled at the amount of dangerous motorcycle riders there are on the road.

I have witnessed nearly every day dangerous manoeuvres by bikers from the junction/turn-off for Moor Row all the way through to the Black Smith restaurant at the end of the village at Bigrigg. I have seen motorcyclists doing wheelies on the long straight just past the Captain’s House pub. And I have also witnessed on numerous occasions motorcyclist manoeuvring in and out of cars on stretches of the roads where you are not supposed to overtake.

Only this morning, on my way to work in Whitehaven, there was a motorcyclist who was approaching in the opposite direction who overtook two cars directly adjacent to the little village church. This is a stretch of road where there is no overtaking allowed. I had to take drastic manoeuvring action by braking hard and swerving violently towards the pavement in order to avoid the motorcyclist.

It is only a matter of time before someone else is killed on this stretch of road due to the negligence of motorcyclists on the road.

I have very rarely seen any police cars along this stretch of road monitoring the traffic, given that there have been a number of accidents along this stretch of road in recent years, involving motorbikes, cars and cyclists and even pedestrians.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not all motorcyclists as there are quite a lot of sensible ones on the road, but there are also a lot of dangerous riders too.

Some motorcyclists appear to think they have their own set of Highway Code rules which are different from other motorists, and for whatever reason they appear to abuse the road and road signs as well as traffic when travelling along the stretch of road running through our village.

I would ask the police to monitor the traffic situation, especially with motorcyclists, from the junction at Moor Row through to the end of our village at Bigrigg.

Christopher SPEDDING


SIR – How very silly of Coun Elaine Woodburn to comment the way she did on the closure of the fish factory at Hensingham (The Whitehaven News, May 24) – quite different to the comments she made when Copeland Council were making redundancies not that long ago.

Coun Woodburn has absolutely no experience of running a business, and as such is not in a position to comment on the same. Young’s fish foods are a very large company and it was fairly common knowledge when they took over the factory it could be touch-and-go. That’s why at that time the previous owners had put the company into receivership.

Quite apart from criticising Young’s, she should be thanking them for the extra months of work they gave to the employees, however futile that has turned out to be. Of course it’s sad when anybody loses their job, and my sympathy goes out to those people who have been made redundant – I’ve been there – but according to those same people, they were treated well by Young’s.

What makes her comments more galling is that this is the same woman who promoted the spending of over £5million on the Pow Beck Valley project for a rugby pitch before she even found out if there was a road into the place – really good business there! The million-pounds-plus wasted on that project would have kept the fish factory going for years to come.

Coun Woodburn and the rest of her council would be better directing their energy on getting some decent roads and infrastructure, making access to West Cumbria a lot easier. This is the reason companies are leaving the area and will continue to do so. If a company isn’t making a profit it is going to make changes – and that is exactly what Young’s Seafood did.


Richmond Hill Road, Whitehaven

SIR – Perhaps the good people of Whitehaven and district will boycott any products of Young’s Sea Food Ltd (their name will be quite visible on the packaging).

Name and address supplied

SIR – Over the past 12 months Sellafield Ltd has made great strides on our journey to excellence.

This has been the most successful year in recent memory for our reprocessing plants, and we have also made significant progress with our decommissioning work.

We have achieved some important milestones, with the decommissioning of the Windscale Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor – the first UK nuclear plant to be successful decommissioned – and the beginning of the process to remove fuel from Calder Hall. We have had the first retrieval of fuel for the Pile Fuel Storage Pond since the 1960s – five years ahead of its schedule. We also exceeded our target for treating plutonium contaminated material through the Waste Treatment Complex.

And we have done this while achieving savings of £182 million by working more efficiently.

While we are proud of those achievements, we recognise that we have fallen below expectations that we set for ourselves with regards to the Evaporator D project.

Evaporator D is a complex and challenging construction project. It will provide replacement capacity for the site’s existing evaporators, which play a pivotal role in our mission to safely clean up Sellafield, consistent with the priorities set by the NDA.

There have already been a number of milestones completed, including delivery of pre-built modules to the site by sea, which, on a project of this scale, have been significant achievements. However, we have also encountered some challenges which have, disappointingly, adversely affected the overall progress of the project.

We have moved decisively to strengthen our project management capability to ensure that these problems are not repeated. We have appointed a new deputy managing director who will take specific responsibility for the project management directorate, with experience in project management across some of the most complex environments in the world.

We are also strengthening our capability, with project managers at Sellafield Ltd undertaking extra accredited training while also implementing an extensive reconfiguration of the directorate to ensure our workforce have the tools they need to deliver world-class performance.

Following the completion of our comprehensive review, we now have a firm understanding of the issues the project has faced and a clear, underpinned, path forward.

The review identified two fundamental issues which have had detrimental effects on the project. Firstly there was an overly complex seismic design in the plans, which led to issues in the construction phase; and secondly there have been some supply chain quality issues, ranging from basic materials not meeting specification, to manufacturing flaws.

We have learned from this and are actively addressing the lessons from it, both for ourselves and the supply chain.


Nuclear Management Partner’s Managing Director for Sellafield Ltd

SIR – I hope the young people on pages 1 and 14 of last week’s (Issue 9) Learning magazine were only posing for the cameras and were not about to work with the equipment shown.

There is plenty of evidence held by the Health and Safety Executive of the horrific injuries which can be caused by inappropriate clothing being worn whilst working with machining tools. I learnt my elements of workshop practice at secondary school in the late 1950s where such dress standards would never have been tolerated and buttoned-up overalls or bib and brace were the norm.

It’s good to see young people enjoying their apprenticeships like this but I hope the employer can reassure us on this important matter.



SIR – With reference to the article of May 3 (“Stash of the finest rum discovered’’) there are certain inaccuracies which we feel have to be addressed.

Firstly, the firm of Robert & Henry Jefferson were still trading in Whitehaven in 1991 and we certainly did not lose or misplace six barrels of rum as implied. The rum in question is certainly NOT the Jefferson’s unique blend which we had until we ceased trading in 1998. Although The Rum Story acquired the Jefferson trade mark they did not acquire the ‘recipe’ for the Jefferson’s unique blend.

Secondly, to the best of our knowledge and despite extensive searches by interested parties, we believe there has never been any provable link between our family and that of President Thomas Jefferson. And finally, regarding the claim that ‘the family spirit recipes’ were destroyed in a fire, had the writer bothered to contact us they would have been told that this is total nonsense.

Miss Constance E JEFFERSON Frizington

Miss Elizabeth D JEFFERSONSt Bees


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