ACCIDENT and emergency departments closed. Path labs merged. Nurses sacked. Wards mothballed. Operations cancelled. Drugs rationed.
Doctors told not to send elderly patients to hospital. From these reports, it is more than obvious that the NHS is in financial meltdown and yet, under its arts on prescription programme, it is squandering money funding creative writing courses.
It is a mystery to me why the NHS is involved in arts at all, let alone this particular literary activity.
It is not as though budding J. K. Rowlings or nascent John Grishams are short of opportunities to polish up their skills.
Google in writing groups and you will find scores of them all over the country. Colne has a very active writers’ circle and there are four more within half an hour’s drive.
No doubt the NHS jobsworth who dreamed up this ludicrous idea will respond by saying that reaching out to people and giving them the opportunity to reveal their inner selves through the written word, their health and wellbeing will improve dramatically.
What will improve people’s health dramatically is not wasting money on creative writing classes but spending it on ensuring they have a health service that concentrates solely on treating them speedily, with respect, and in hospitals that are free from infection.