Paid for the job they do

Have your say

HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley is demonstrating how out of touch he is with ordinary people by suggesting that staff working in ‘economically depressed areas’ should not be paid as well as those in relatively affluent districts.

He reckons that the nationally-agreed pay levels which NHS workers receive makes it difficult for the private sector to compete.

That may be so but it is for the private sector to solve that problem, not for Government to interfere with well-established systems that have shown themselves to be right and proper.

A nurse’s job in a poor area is pretty much the same – and as difficult – as that for a nurse in a hospital in the heart of the stockbroker belt.

People should be paid the rate for the job and to argue otherwise is merely to condone and authorise the North/South divide which, from our perspective, is highly damaging and unacceptable.

Andrew Lansley needs to ask himself what the word ‘national’ in National Health Service really means.

Your chance to help a child

WE urge Sheffield people to give great thought to an appeal made by the city council for folk to volunteer to adopt children in care.

These are among the most vulnerable and needy children in Sheffield and their futures could be completely transformed if the current fall in the number of people volunteering to be adoptive parents can be reversed.

The plea comes against a backdrop of scrutiny from the Government, which is setting tough guidelines on the timescale needed to complete the whole adoption process.

While Sheffield has, generally, a good record for matching children with new parents, it can take longer to complete than the recommended period.

But the outcome – with just one adoption failing last year – shows that careful scrutiny is worthwhile and any alterations must be achieved without disrupting this success rate.

Well done Elizabeth

SHEFFIELD flower girl Elizabeth Askham is showing that the pathway to a rewarding career can come from the unlikeliest of sources. For her life is blooming thanks to a love of flowers and a job at a city centre florist. In fact she has shown so much talent that she recently won Best in Show for her floral displays at the nationally-acclaimed Harrogate Spring Flower Show. Elizabeth’s love of flowers was nurtured by her parents and is now opening doors to a creative career. Well done Elizabeth!