Take Two

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PRINCE Charles is visiting Barnsley for the first time today, then?

The lad doesn’t know what a treat he has in store, does he?

Let’s just hope officials don’t take him to nearby stately pile Wentworth Woodhouse. As a bloke whose homes include Buck House, he’s probably not used to looking round a gaff that makes his own look small.

COULDN’T agree more with proposals to charge patients for missing hospital appointments, as proposed by Nick Clegg’s advisor Norman Lamb in The Star yesterday.

The revelation that doctors and nurses were stood up on more than 96,000 occasions in Sheffield is a disgrace.

Not just because of the cost – although that’s estimated to be in the millions – but because of the wasted time which could be spent treating someone in genuine need.

“We recognise that most people do not deliberately miss their appointments,” said Richard Parker, of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. “Often they simply forget or the date and time is no longer convenient.”

Well, frankly, that’s simply not good enough, is it?

If a time’s not convenient what’s wrong with having some courtesy and calling to reschedule? And if you’re forgetful, instead of disrupting everyone, buy yourself a calendar.

Of course, there are exceptions – nothing is black and white when dealing with health – but how unfair it would be to see cuts in care because of missed appointments.

PERSONALLY, I’ll never be able to forgive Professor Brian Cox for inflicting Things Can Only Get Better on us - but I was delighted to read in The Star last week he’d picked out a Peak District beauty spot as one of the best places for stargazing in the country.

And delighted too to confirm – ahem – he’s absolutely right.

I spent an hour or two at Surprise View, near Hathersage, during the summer and the night time views were genuinely astounding. Recommended. By The Diary and Brian.