Norwich and Norfolk are not having a good time of it at the moment with regards to our healthcare. The loss of beds, wards and some whole facilities has hit hard both locally and around the county. All opposition parties are, quite rightly, up in arms at Labour's cuts to the NHS.
However, more worrying is news tonight that the UEA plans to cut lecturer numbers at the school of nurisng and midwifery because of a fall in student nurses numbers. Now, I know that staffing decisions must be left to the UEA, but the implication is that fewer people are training for the medical profession which will have a corresponding impact on healthcare in the locality.
Many UEA students stay on to live and work in the area - myself included - and no graduates are more welcome than those who work in our NHS. Yet with fewer coming through it may be that local providers have trouble getting staff in the future - maybe 5 or 10 years down the line.
UEA midwifery students delivered both of my children and they were both excellent - a credit to the university and the NHS. We need more of them, not less.
Is this part of a national decline, in which case what are the government doing about it?
Or is it part of a local decline, in which case what are UEA doing about it?
Either way, another blow to the NHS.