Great Yarmouth Mercury letters

Staff at JPH are doing their best

AS the senior leaders at the James Paget University Hospital, we would like to apologise to the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney if the recent troubles have caused concern and doubt about the quality of care.

Although the report of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) focussed on care and dignity of older patients, the resulting media interest could easily have given the impression of concerns about the entire hospital and its services.

Although we took very seriously the points made by the CQC, we must take responsibility for not getting to grips with the issues as quickly as we should have done and that some improvements are taking a while to complete.

You may have seen that last week the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, visited the JPUH to see for himself what is being done.

During his visit, Mr Lansley was thorough and probing with his questioning, but he also spent a great deal of his time listening and absorbing feedback from staff and patients at this hospital.

His verdict on the visit should be a big boost to the morale and confidence of the James Paget staff, and also the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney. He told a hostile media that the James Paget University Hospitals staff, “have done great work, are doing great work today, and will do great work in the future”.

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We were frank with Mr Lansley and admitted that the CQC had seen things that we had not, and agreed that the changes we were required to make were not swift enough. But we believe that while there is still a way to go, we are now making good progress.

One of the biggest challenges facing the NHS is how we care for the increasing numbers of older people in hospital. At the James Paget we have a higher proportion of elderly patients than most other hospitals in the country.

Elderly patients often have quite complex medical conditions that can be coupled with some form of cognitive impairment. But despite the pressure this puts on our staff, they deserve individual healthcare delivered with kindness, compassion and dignity. Occasionally we do not get this right for some of our patients, but please be assured we are improving the consistency of care for everyone and that this has been recognised.

For the majority of patients the care at the Paget is excellent, but it is totally unacceptable if even one patient does not receive the very best care. However, we are only human and sometimes we struggle to meet this, even though the nurses, doctors and all staff are doing their utmost.

The CQC report was a salutary lesson to us. Despite all the checks and balances that we have in place throughout just about every area of the hospital, the CQC found inconsistencies.

As a result of the CQC inspection we have implemented a host of new initiatives to try and make sure that consistency of care is given to all our patients, especially the elderly.

The Secretary of State was clear that “patients should not be concerned that they will get anything other than high quality care” at the James Paget University Hospitals and we are sorry if recent events have given you cause for doubt.

WENDY SLANEY, chief executive James Paget University Hospital


trust chairman

First class care at hospital

OVER the past few weeks I’ve seen many things written about the James Paget Hospital and I thought it right I should post my view being that I’m of a younger age.

I’m 21 and last summer I was treated for a freak but severe pulmonary embolism which meant I had to spend a week in their CCU ward. The care I received was first class, all members of staff I came into contact with were brilliant with me and I came away from it feeling much better. I felt respected and well looked after at all times and the care I got was echoed throughout for the older patients I shared my ward with. I’ve been back frequently over the past year for scans and blood tests and still find the treatment I receive wonderfully thoughtful. It’s so sad to see the hospital that has treated me so well come under-fire so often. From the nurses on the ward to the daily cleaners it was a pleasure to be looked after by them all. I’d like to think that all the opinions posted on the JPH are from current and previous patients but sadly I doubt that’s the case.

So to those working at the hospital who are also part of our local community, you’re doing a good job for a suffering national service.



Listen to us plea over prom plans

I AM writing to add my voice and thoughts to the many that have already been made concerning the additional parking proposed for the promenade at Gorleston.

The point has been made that it will be detrimental to the unique appearance of the sea front – but that is not all it is about: that it will be inconvenient and potentially dangerous for pedestrians – particularly children – but that is not all it is about: that it will restrict the weekly running of the Park Run, a national initiative to improve peoples health – but that is not all it is about: that it will cost money which a “cash strapped” council could spend on other more deserving causes – but that is not all it is about.

What it is now about is wider than all of these single issues. It is now about whether the borough council is prepared to listen to the many dissenting voices and whether democracy is something which means anything to them. All of the members of the council need to reflect on the growing number of examples nationally where out of such apparently small issues, major ones grow.



Too late to save ‘old’ Gorleston

I HAVE been reading the comments about the car parking on Gorleston seafront with great interest and Mr Durrant and Mr Cooper have done a great job of standing up for local people on this and other issues. But, and here comes the big but, to talk of preserving old Gorleston as she was in a bygone era is I am afraid nothing but a dream. When I moved here over fifty years ago, good old Gorleston and the surrounding area was full of characters. You had the lovely old links pub, the popular Gorleston swimming pool, even if it did leak. The Elmhurst holiday camp was yet another place to provide jobs and somewhere to go, also of course the Hive Garage, the Station Hotel and a very good railway system, even if it ran on steam. We also lost several farms including Crow Hall Farm, or Bunns Farm as some local people called it, along with the old barn that was going to be preserved but was burnt down. Wood Farm has just gone, the Shrublands had gone a few years before I moved here and the Cliff Park estate a few years after, and I have barely got started on this issue. Gorleston is just like everywhere else now and perhaps it should be renamed urban overspill.


Butt Lane

Burgh Castle

Letter recalled wartime song

DENNIS Durrant’s letter of last week brought to mind the old wartime song, Three Little Sisters, made famous by the Andrew Sisters with the line, Go Tell it to The Marines.



Heritage should be celebrated!

I NOTICED last week that Brandon Lewis’ column, From the Commons, was headlined “Celebrate our Borough Heritage”. Whilst on page 4 there was the report of the imminent demolition of our historic jetty. You couldn’t make it up!



Majority want to preserve prom

CONCERNING plans to extend car parking onto Gorleston’s Lower Promenade, council leader Ames was quoted last week: “I’m aware of the strong feelings from both sides and we will take people’s submissions into our evaluations.”

Against the parking proposal, we have had 50 letters in October’s Mercury editions,11 more on November 4, together with news of a protest rally of over 500 people and a petition of well over 600 names. In favour, we had Cllr Burroughs saying he quite liked the idea (early on) and unconfirmed rumours that some traders nearby had initiated it. How do these last two constitute a “strong feeling”? Is there invisible support out there somewhere?

In its absence, there is no “evaluation” to be made. The far from silent majority need to be reassured their wishes to preserve their promenade will be respected.


Victoria Road,


Scrap prom parking plans

COUNCIL leader Steve Ames’ statement to the Mercury: “I’m aware of the strong feelings from both sides and we will take peoples submissions into the evaluations,” seems open to question. There have been numerous letters to the Mercury over the last four weeks giving very good reasons why the proposal should not go ahead. Where are the letters in support? If feelings were so strong for the proposal, why did not he and local councillors have the courage to accept the invitation to attend the Saturday morning rally? This would have given them an excellent opportunity to extol the virtues of the proposal, because it is clear no benefit has been recognised by the overwhelming majority.



Where were our councillors?

ONCE again our council leader and other councillors were missing from the second demonstration on the Prom against planned parking there. The residents of Great Yarmouth are now up in arms over this council’s bungling, not only the planning of the Prom car parking, but the pier parking and other schemes against the majority. What makes me laugh is that most of the councillors for the Prom parking don’t live here, or I am sure never visit this area.

I am angry. Are these missing councillors grown responsible men, do they not see what is happening to this once beautiful seaside town. Do they not realise the potential we have here, do they not realise what they have let slip through their hands by not talking to local experts about the pier and the harbour, two vital parts for a prosperous Great Yarmouth and its surrounding areas. If they are business people, do they not realise you have to speculate to accumulate.

To all councillors, who I hope read the Mercury, we need new faces, with good ideas, who know they are not experts, but will ask for help when needed, who pull as one, and don’t party political broadcast, and whose only thought is how to bring back work to this area, now. This council has wasted years and a lot of money to bring prosperity to this part of Norfolk. May, is not to far away, and I hope people have long memories. We need people who care not only for Great Yarmouth, but also it’s people.


Yallop Avenue,


Church is more than a building

“CHURCH”, says Jill Carter in her letter last week, is a building used for public worship. Yes, this is what it largely came to mean after the days of the first apostles, especially from the 4th century AD onwards. But in the New Testament, “church” (from the Greek, “ekklesia”) means an “assembly” or “congregation” of “saints” (holy ones). For example, “Now when they [Barnabas and Paul] had come and gathered the church together” (Acts 14:27). And Paul writes, “Greet the church that is in their house” (Romans 16:5). You can’t “greet” a building!

So, following the New Testament blueprint, God’s “church” is made up of human “stones”, being spiritually built together into a holy temple where His Spirit lives (1 Peter 2:5; 2 Corinthians 6:16). How then does Jesus, who never changed His teaching, view those who meet “in a church”, “go to church”, or give their “church” a name?

And agreed, the words in Deuteronomy 12 are Moses’, but he was God’s spokesman. So these too are God’s eternal Word.


Albemarle Road


Money will help those in need

WITH this year’s Annual Appeal now complete we want to publicly thank the many local people who believed in The Salvation Army by supporting our Annual Appeal to raise funds for our social services work across the country. We also give a special thanks to our volunteer collectors and all those who gave their time so willingly to our fundraising appeal. The general public in Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area have been so generous and as we have come to expect, done themselves rightly proud. In total, we managed to raise �3479.48 this year which will go directly to help those most in need in the many various Salvation Army centres, projects and programmes around the UK. To give you an idea of the value and impact of everyone’s generosity the monies raised by the people of Great Yarmouth could for example be used to provide;Food and shelter for over 1150 people battling homelessness; almost 700 older people with lunch and practical support at one of our day centres; over 385 night’s shelter for a family made homeless by domestic or financial crisis; around 315 people struggling with addiction to spend 24 hours in one of our detox centres; a week’s care for over 115 frail older people at one of our residential homes.

Everyone’s support will really make a difference in the lives of those most in need and I have no doubt will be used to not only bless but transform the futures of many, many people.

There is still the opportunity to make a donation should you wish to throughout the year. Our charity shop at 167 King Street will be happy to receive this or you can call into our Citadel (next to the library) or post your donation through the door. We would also welcome any fundraising ideas or those wishing to raise money on behalf of The Salvation Army. If you would like to know more visit


Great Yarmouth Corps

Tolhouse Street

Something fishy about JPH saga

THERE seems to be something very fishy about this JPH affair. Members of Parliament, local councillors and others have all asserted that front-line staff are not to blame for the crisis. So was it the chairman who placed food out of reach of patients? Of course not.

Why Brandon Lewis and others should attempt to white-wash front-line staff is a mystery. Why were they afraid to state the obvious? Equally puzzling is why front-line staff and their managers were not immediately replaced. Is it possible that influential forces are protecting this incompetence and if so who are they?

It looks as though Mr Hemming has been the victim of a witchhunt especially since there have been so many reports about the high standards of care in this hospital.


Elmgrove Road


Pier going same way as the jetty

THE articles in last week’s Mercury about various aspects of our port really does highlight that our aspirations for full employment through a successful long-awaited outer harbour, has in fact turned into the biggest liability possible, every area is suffering through the inefficiency of our council and defunct port authority.

Mr Freeman is desperate in his assertions that all is well. He states the work is in progress to narrow the entrance to alleviate swell because small ships cannot handle it. Is that a fact? The 18,000-ton grain ship Draco left the harbour to moor in the roads, it found the open sea much safer. What about the piling barge Svanan - is Mr Freeman classing that as small at 25,000 tons, when it left the outer harbour for the safety of mooring at sea off Sheringham?

I do believe in February it was reported that Yokohama Fenders had been ordered - nine months later they are still coming. What difference will it make? Well it will be a softer bump, less chance of ships being damaged, but the swell lifting a ship onto the softer fender will aggravate the movement, and also the ship will be a further three meters from the quay.

Not forgetting Hopton beach; at the moment the loss may be conjecture, but it is uncanny how the loss has progressed. Pre 1960 our wooden pier allowed the sea to flow though, Gorleston to Lowestoft the beaches were wide.

When in 1960 the solid pier replaced the wood Gorleston lost its beach. In 2008 the outer harbour was built Gorleston beach grew and Hopton declined.

And as for our poor old Pier in the hands of the new owners, like the Inner Harbour it’s going the same way as the Jetty, ready for the scrap heap.


Burnt Lane


Everyone should have a voice

WITH reference to the amusing view expressed by R Olley (November 4th), every other group within the town has a voice in the Gt Yarmouth Mercury, surely Christians too should enjoy equality of opportunity and I applaud the editor for showing respect for diversity.

In that spirit, it would be great to see contributions from our non-Christian neighbours, muslims, jews and other religions who Pope Benedict spoke of recently as ‘sharing equality with Christians’. These groups are in the town, deserve (and it would be great to see them share) an equal voice. What better medium that our very own good ‘ole’ GY Mercury.

On that note, I commend the Mercury for its excellent article ‘We will remember them’ of the bravery of our men and women who in numerous conflicts have won for us the price of free speech. The inset picture (page 7) illustrates the Royal Anglians using what appears to be the new L115A3 8.59mm (338 calibre) long range rifle which is accurate to 1,100m (0.7 mile). If I am wrong, perhaps someone could enlighten me.


Beccles Road


We can follow our beliefs

WHILE agreeing with the sentiments of R Olley and his observations, he doesn’t have to read the rantings of I assume, Mr Barkhuizen?

However, obviously having done so, ‘welcome to the forum’. Mr Olley does make a very valid point in his observations namely that there are several different types of churches.

By that I assume he also means that there are many different beliefs/religions for people to follow of their own free will.

The ‘rantings,’ as R Olley accurately puts it, of a minority (of one?) ‘Bible Bashing Gaggle’ reminds me of a zealot, similar to those who conducted the inquisition many years ago against all those that did not believe in the ‘one true faith’. Happily in today’s enlightened world, in this country at least, (but for how much longer?) we are all allowed to follow our own beliefs without hindrance.

To Mr Barkhuizen I quote Matthew 7-1-3.


West Caister

Great Yarmouth

Memorial to Rev Colin Weale

MANY of you will remember the Rev Colin Weale who sadly passed away at the end of March. It may have been when he took the funeral of relative or friend, or in his regular visiting of the John Grant School, or just walking down the High Street in Caister with me after we had said Morning Prayer together. In fact Colin was involved in the life and work of the Parish of Caister for over 17 years, from his retirement here, until only a few months before his death.

Now that a little time has elapsed, the Parish Church wishes to create a suitable memorial to Colin. After much discussion we have decided that a communion chalice would be the best way to mark the almost sixty years of his priestly ministry. Our aim is to commission a chalice to match, and use alongside, that given to the parish by the Rev Robson when he left Caister in 1924.

The appeal has been launched in church with some success but we would like to invite any of you whose lives were touched by Colin’s ministry to give something in his memory. Whilst we will soon have enough funds to buy the basic, off the shelf, chalice a larger fund will allow us to commission something better and unique to Caister to be used week by week in our church.

If you would like to contribute please send donation either to the Rector at the Rectory, Caister, NR30 5EG or to the church treasurer Mr Brian Johnson.


Rectory Close


Good experience at the JPH

AMID all the negative comments regarding the James Paget Hospital, I am writing to say that I recently had a good experience when I was on ward six. The doctors and nurses and all the staff were extremely thorough and courteous and couldn’t do enough for you. The ward and all the other areas were very clean and the meals were very good - no complaints - one satisfied customer.


Wight Drive


Don’t spoil Gorleston prom

OVER 40 years ago myself, my son and all my family used to enjoy almost every day in the summer school holidays down Gorleston swimming pool or the paddling pool or boating late. Then the swimming pool was taken away but still we enjoyed what was left, including the beach. It is a great place to take your children and grandchildren even now 40 years on every weekend I go for walks with my dog along the prom meeting lots of people with their children on bikes, scooters etc. A safe place for little girls and their dolls prams. Now the council want to take it away for a car park. Totally out of order. Do the councillors ever take their children or grandchildren along Gorleston prom for a day out, or even a stroll? Maybe not otherwise they would not even consider making it a car park. Come on all you office pen pushers. Think about the local people who use this area 365 days a year not just six weeks in the summer.



Parking plan has been a shock

COUNCILLORS can be in no doubt what a shock the proposal to ruin Gorleston’s beautiful lower promenade by allowing parking has been. Should the scheme go ahead, how are councillors going to face their constituents?


Marine Parade


Hospital is doing a great job

WE must put a stop to this unjustified bad publicity of our Jamkes Paget Hospital. I would like to record my own experience over several months treatment (from April 2011) culminating in a major operation in October. The care in all departments was first class. The food was hot, plentiful and tasty. I would like to know if any of the inspectors, ministers, politicians etc have had any treatment or a hospital stay - I think not! Well done James Paget you are doing a great job.



View prom plans at Town Hall

ONCE again I would like to express my thanks to all those people - over 200 in total - who turned out on a cold, wet and miserable Saturday morning to add their voices - and their signatures - to our group objections to the proposed application plan to turn part of the lower esplanade into a car park, which goes to show the overwhelming level of concern shown by Gorleston residents.

Can I urge all those who would like more information, to view a more detailed plan which is now on file at the planning office in the Town Hall.

Julia Bolch

Gorleston Chamber of Trade

We can do better than prom plans

HAVING attended the recent meetings on Gorleston lower promenade it was good to see the strength of feeling responding against the proposed plan to destroy a lovely part of this prom by turning it over to a car park.

As an old Gorlstonian of the 50s and 60s I played here as a child as did my children and now my grand children. I feel I have to now speak up to ensure future generations can also enjoy this unspoilt by the omnipresent vehicles. Apart from the danger of free flowing traffic past the front of the shops frequented by children and others crossing to and fro from the beach. Then there would be the ugly sight of vehicles at this point would create noise and air pollution perpetual door slamming increased litter etc.

Why on earth the council have let the pier and subsequent lack of parking there get in such a mess is difficult to understand. Well let’s fix this problem instead of trying to destroy part of the prom and use the allocated money to fix the pier. Hopefully we can do better than this proposal and I am sure we can.


via email

Agenda over prom plans?

WE had another excellent attendance on Saturday November 5 at the meeting to protest about car parking on Gorleston Prom.

Surely such a reaction from local people and the numbers signing the petition against the car park plans, both residents and visitors, who all want Gorleston to remain unique and unspoiled, must make the council realise how wrong they would be to go against the wishes of so many, or could there be a hidden agenda? Is there something they are not sharing with the voters they represent?


West Avenue


Construction is across current

READING page 24 of the Great Yarmouth Mercury dated November 4, concerning the collapse of the Cassions at the Outer Harbour site, causes me to wonder if these people are for real. Will they not realise they have put a construction across a current flowing trench, a corridor between the South Beach and Scroby island. Now, by increasing the size of this obstruction they are increasing the power of the current which is now causing it to race even stronger into an existing trench, running east to west off the coast at Hopton which unable to go any further than the cliffs in this area causes turbulence and scouring. Standing at the end of the pier at Gorleston looking south will show the direct route this current has been guided into.


Gonville Road


‘Old folks’ have priorities wrong

ELEVEN on the eleventh, the time of Remembrance for those who paid the ultimate price for our country and our freedom in the two world wars, but also a time to remember those who have given their lives in conflicts since then and for our young men and women who are still giving their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom from terrorism that we have today. On Sunday at 11 o’clock there will be just a few people at the war memorial in Ludham which stands in the graveyard of St Catherine’s Church yet in just seven weeks time Ludham Parish Council will expect 300 to 400 people to turn out at it’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display which takes place in the same graveyard around the same war memorial and all with the blessing of church officials. The thing to remember here is it’s not the younger generation that’s encouraging this level of disrespect; it’s the very people who keep blaming the young for everything that is wrong in our society today and for having no disrespect. Surely it’s the old folks who have their priorities wrong here.



More spaces are not needed

WE do not understand why the council needs to provide an additional 26 parking spaces on the lower prom at Gorleston, even when those thousands who flock here in August to attend the Annual Cliff-top Gala manage to find a space to park somewhere within walking distance of the sea front.



JPH is hospital

to be proud of

On 25/2/2002 my son who has severe and multiple learning difficulties was admitted to the James Paget Hospital until 15/4/2002.

During those weeks I was allowed to be with him daily because he cannot communicate in any way. The staff were wonderful and it was a great experience to be with him on hand.

When later I attended Mencap National Assembly I was proud to relay to other delegates the high standard of care that Great Yarmouth JPH staff had shown to someone unable to do anything for themselves. Since then whenever I have known of friends who have learning difficulties and are in hospital I visit them and can honestly say the high standard of care continues for they are in the hands of people who care a great deal for all their needs.


Burgh Road