SIR I read with interest Olivia Utleys column on weddings (commentary, February 16). Our daughter is getting married on May 29. She and her fiancé haven’t planned a big day, but wish they could enjoy their wedding.
We are quick to condemn the young like snowflakes, but how many of the older generations would emerge smiling from the experience they had trying to organize the most important day of their lives? The immunization program was a success: can we let the young people benefit?
Kingston Lisle, Oxfordshire
Army size matters
SIR Con Coughlin (The Size of Armies Matters Less Than Its Deadly Impact, Commentary, February 17) rightly applauds General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Armed Forces, for his focus on modernization and transformation using l space, cyber and drones.
However, it is simplistic to think that these capabilities should lead to a dramatic reduction in the already small number of uniformed personnel.
Let’s look at the maritime domain. For decades, it has been clear to naval planners that the best way to wage a hot war at full capacity is to use minimum-crewed automated submarines, ships, and aircraft using long-range intelligent missiles and torpedoes. scope. Indeed, in the 90s, I worked with the American satellite and the targeting program refining precisely this capability.
Below the level of the hot war, things are not that simple. For example, what about the need to board ships for inspection and provide men to bring those ships back to port? Sinking illegally operating fishing vessels is easy but difficult to accept. The same goes for aid to civil power and disaster relief. The military is under similar pressure.
Admiral Lord West of Spithead (Lab)
SIR MP Simon Clarke is wrong to say that EV owners could not travel from Lands End to John OGroats with confidence (Charging point blitz needed before gasoline car ban, report, February 2) .
My family did it last October in a fully electric car. We were even able to recharge our batteries while enjoying the scenery at John OGroats an option not available for gasoline vehicles.
Cllr keith williams
SIR A few years ago I asked the then Bishop of Oxford what he wanted to give up for Lent (Letters, February 18).
Dating, he replied.
SIR A great friend of mine who was an Anglican priest argues that something more needs to be done during Lent rather than giving up something.
With this in mind, I will repeat my Lenten observances of previous years by increasing the custom of laborers working day and night in Scottish distilleries.
How the NHS coped
SIR Think Tank Reform is wrong to claim the NHS was a national Covid service in the first wave of the pandemic (one in six could be on NHS waiting lists by April, a report suggests, telegraph .co.uk, February 17).
Last year, hospitals treated 242,307 patients with Covid, and nearly a third of patients who needed hospital treatment for Covid since the start of the pandemic were admitted last month. Despite significant pressure, the NHS performed more than six million elective treatments in 2020 and 18.7 million A&E consultations. More than two cancer procedures have been performed for each patient treated for Covid. In the first wave, general practitioners held 102 million appointments, with more than 10 million urgent tests and checks across the health service.
The reform also indicates that private sector contracts were hardly affected by the NHS last year, but in fact the sector performed over 1.8 million non-urgent diagnostic tests, by appointment and procedures, including hip, knee and cataract procedures on NHS patients.
It is also wrong to say that slow progress has been made this summer in reducing waiting lists. Data released last week shows wait times for elective surgery fell by more than 40% between July and the end of the year.
The reform is right to raise concerns that patients have not shown up for NHS care as easily as before the pandemic. That’s why in the first wave the NHS ran a campaign to encourage people to do this and we’ve seen it pay off. More than 200,000 people were referred for cancer screening in December – 13,000 more than in December 2019. A&E admissions have also exploded, increasing by more than 50% since the peak in April.
I would again like to encourage people to come forward for NHS care when they need it. Contrary to Reforms’ claims, the NHS is there for you whether or not you have Covid.
Professor Stephen Powis
National Medical Director
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