From the Revd Francis Pole
Sir, — I cannot accept the statement of the trustees of St Luke’s Hospital for the Clergy (News, 13 November) which suggests that “despite the loss of the hospital building . . . , the honorary consultants still see almost the same percentage of patients as when it was still open.”
While the hospital was being refurbished, my wife’s operation was held back, but then, when the hospital closed, she was told that the procedure could no longer be undertaken, as the consultants concerned undertook operations only in private hospitals, so that he couldn’t offer her an NHS bed.
In my own case, more recently, a consultant who had operated on me twice previously was able to offer me only a “second opinion” for the same reason rather than perform the operation, which — after two postponements — was carried out more locally.
The truth is that the closure of St Luke’s for surgical procedures now means waiting for several months for operations to be undertaken in local NHS hospitals. Because my recent scheduled operation was postponed not once but twice, I was unable to attend the priesting and first mass of one of my former parishioners — a huge sadness.
35 Turnpike Place,
Crawley RH11 7UA