The NHS

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The NHS

Postby Charlie » 06 Feb 2013, 18:08

"I think we've learned from this" - an NHS figure on the radio this afternoon.

What are we to make of the Mid Staffs report?

In the wake of the scandal and the subsequent public enquiry, it seems that no one will be held accountable for what happened at that particular hospital. The report featured almost three hundred recommendations for the NHS to implement, but not one person was named on the report - as a result no one will face any consequences. There may not even be a single resignation.

If somebody ever did finally deign to resign, I wonder what the odds would be of this high-ranking figure getting a nice fat payoff? I reckon that they would be roughly the same odds one would have given Captain Clueless at the BBC last year. After all, his incompetence was not enough to stop him waltzing off with over 400 thousand pounds from the public purse. After this latest whitewashing, the families of the hundreds of people who died in that hospital just want accountability and what do they get? Nothing.

"We're not looking for scapegoats" said one person today. That sort of misses the point - after all, isn't a scapegoat someone who takes the blame for others? Surely what people want is accountability from those responsible!

Some have said: "Well, no one single person is responsible. It's the current system - it's the current culture which needs to change". I suppose these people are right up to a point, but though the culture does need to alter, if one believes that to be the sole reason, it lets off each individual who let patients sleep in their own excrement stained sheets - to name just one example. Possibly worse than that, it also offers a kind of expediency to those who turned a blind eye to such goings on. The climate of fear was such for the whistleblowers that this case could feasibly have never come into the public eye in the first place, and it's worth remembering that many of the staff involved have been moved or promoted to other senior jobs in the NHS.

Maybe one can dismiss those calling for accountability as the "Mr Angry" types who bay for blood as an outlet for their sheer frustration and nastiness, but I doubt anyone could give me one reason why this fetid mess isn't a searing indictment of this country and its state institutions.

To flip it on its head: what would one actually have to do to get fired in that hospital?
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 06 Feb 2013, 19:01

I could not agree more. I listened to the news on PM today and, on the one hand, could barely believe what I was hearing. But then I reflected that, yet again, we didn't need multi-million pound inquiries to tell us about the state of things, we just need our eyes and common sense.

I think it is fair to say now that the NHS is in crisis. The details in today's news were shocking. Our social services have become, for the most part, a combination of elite leftist self-serving bureaucrats and ill-equipped third world lower level staff. In other words, a politically correct living nightmare.

How to undo the work of Labour over the last twenty years? It's going to be hard. High standards must be insisted upon. For example, a high standard of native English among switchboard staff, to protect themselves as much as everybody else in the hospital. Sack half of these revolting self-serving unnecessary managers and put the money into attracting better educated and better equipped native medical staff (I would not be surprised if tube drivers, whom no-one ever sees and who essentially just have to work levers, earn more than nurses do). I have been told first hand by a consultant surgeon that the NHS has far too many middle managers, most of whom are useless.

But most of all, as you say, bring back accountability. Even the BBC asked the man responsible for this report why he has not named names. His reply seemed to be that the problem was too widespread - from top to bottom - and it would have taken up another whole report just to list them. That's not how war crimes tribunals go. They dig, dig and dig more until then find the right people and bring them to account. The way they are going, the current government are ensuring that they themselves will be dealt with in this manner due to their negligence (each and every Labour politician who did this to the UK in the first place should, of course, also be brought to account in the future). They need to find and punish the inadequate staff.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 06 Feb 2013, 19:31

p.s. To address your final question, "What would one actually have to do to get fired in that hospital?", the answer is now chillingly clear: you'd have to be a whistle-blower.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Jonathan » 07 Feb 2013, 12:00

Gavin wrote:p.s. To address your final question, "What would one actually have to do to get fired in that hospital?", the answer is now chillingly clear: you'd have to be a whistle-blower.


Ha! I was looking for something clever to say, but I'll never be able to top this :)
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Re: The NHS

Postby Elliott » 07 Feb 2013, 16:45

Right on cue, Theodore Dalrymple has an article on the Mid-Staffordshire scandal. Interestingly, it's in Standpoint; apparently only his third in that magazine.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Charlie » 07 Feb 2013, 20:00

That's a brilliant article - not that I'd expect anything less of course!

I'm sure that as I watch Question Time this evening, my blood pressure will shoot through the roof as the assembled politicians try and explain it all away.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 07 Feb 2013, 23:47

Jonathan wrote:"Ha! I was looking for something clever to say, but I'll never be able to top this :)"


Thanks Jonathan, but I've got to be honest and say that that particular one-liner came from my mum! She said it as we discussed this matter after I had written my post. I should have credited her in the first place.

My mum is usually distinctly inclined to excuse people their wrongdoing (I think it is the only way some people can deal with the world), but on this she was bang on. She worked in the NHS for quite a long time so saw it from the inside. I suppose she often felt she had to keep her mouth shut on pain of losing her job (which was part-time).

Clearly the NHS is in need of a complete overhaul. This atmosphere of fear of doing the right thing is appalling. It was largely brought about by Labour's "targets" it seems. There is actually a good article in The Telegraph today by Alison Pearson on this debacle. I read it in the hardcopy but it is online too.

By the way, on a complete aside, they're currently giving The Telegraph away free with shopping at Waitrose (if you have a card) and with bottled water at WHSmith (I picked mine up at London Euston).
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 08 Feb 2013, 00:10

Yes, what a brilliant article from TD. I think he came across as quite angry in that. Outraged, as we all are, by the inhumanity and corruption rife in the NHS and the self-preservation of the disgusting bureaucrats and craven politicians - especially as this is an organisation in which he has spent all of his working life. I thought his second paragraph was particularly well written - and well written for Dalrymple is well written indeed.

It was interesting to see how critical he was of Mrs Thatcher in there too. I notice again how TD rarely commends or criticises people as a whole, but rather their actions, precisely. Doubtless there are policies of Mrs Thatcher's to which he did not object. As for Mr Blair, we'd probably have to look a little (or a lot) harder.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 08 Feb 2013, 00:22

Great post on The Telegraph:

ac wrote:"Words fail me - we need some kind of revolution in this country. Bankers can blatantly manipulate Libor and no-one goes to jail. 1200 people DIE and no-one goes to jail. Yet someone makes a revolting joke about April Jones on Facebook that only a few people see and he goes to jail. A youth calls a police horse gay and he is threatened with jail.

If I ever find a relative of mine in the condition described here I will be calling the police and if nobody is arrested I will be taking matters into my own hands."
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 08 Feb 2013, 22:07

Charlie wrote:I'm sure that as I watch Question Time this evening, my blood pressure will shoot through the roof as the assembled politicians try and explain it all away.


I had the misfortune to catch the beginning of Any Questions earlier. Some proud self-described "radical feminist" on there concerned about scapegoats in this NHS crisis nearly made me sick. Dyno-Rod needed: first the NHS, then the BBC. Parliament a close third.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Damo » 11 Feb 2013, 15:41

That was an excellent article by Mr Dalrymple.

This I find makes for another good read.

You are no longer human


In a public statement launching his report, Mr Francis began by saying: “Many will find it difficult to believe that all this could occur in an NHS hospital.” No, quite frankly, I don’t. Stafford may be an extreme case but it is by no means an atypical feature of our rationed, managerial-conscious and patient-negligent ‘much loved’ NHS.

The point is, as Moore also says, this dreadful bureaucratic monster was never about patient care; it was about taking charge of delivery by centralised diktat. It was for people who produced the service, not those who received it. The truly shocking thing is we now see that those like Nicholson, effectively responsible for the death of hundreds of people, can escape blame for fear of ‘scapegoating.’ Could this happen in any country that is not called Cuba or North Korea? It has happened in England. It must be of some benefit to have a former communist in charge.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Rachel » 19 Feb 2013, 03:08

Here is an article by The Guardian detailing how the health care system works in other countries: Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-ne ... any-sweden

It's the first time I have seen an article comparing the NHS to somewhere other than the USA or a third world country and that makes a change. It's quite a good article.

The only thing it says that I very strongly disagree with is that it says "how similar the administration of these countries is to the UK's pre-1974 NHS structure..."
No it definitely isn't.
Pre-1974 you did not swipe a smart card when you saw a doctor, then paid a fee which was returned to you in a few days. You also did not see referred specialists on the state healthcare within a few days with little or no waiting list.
I bet they just said that because it's the left wing Guardian newspaper so they have to make out that the NHS state monopoly was great at some point and could be again.

The healthcare system described for Belgium and France sounds very similar to the Israeli one with cards being swiped when you see a doctor and the "mutualiti" choice of health funds to join.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Rachel » 20 Feb 2013, 05:46

Here is a blog post on the Staffordshire hospital and the NHS. The comments are even better than the blog post. The blogger's wife trained to be a nurse.

http://ukcommentators.blogspot.co.il/20 ... et-it.html

My personal opinion is that while the NHS state system is rotton from the top down. The second more major problem is that the doctors and nurses are not trained as well as they should be. I think the doctors training in particular is worse than the nurses.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 02 Mar 2013, 18:17

I've had a question for some time about the NHS, and it's this:

Apparently medical school is very difficult to get into, there are very few places, etc. If this is so, why is our NHS so massively staffed by foreigners?

I can't understand it. Like this, it's one of the things I wonder about in modern society.

London is, as we know, more than half non-"British white". I'm not sure I have ever encountered a British GP in London. All of the ones I ever saw were foreign, and the names on all practices were foreign. I once encountered some British trainees when I went along for a test in a hospital there, but they were incompetent and the consultant (angered) had to carry out the procedure again himself. Some British consultants can be encountered, but many consultants are not British.

So that's my question. I can believe that many unskilled Brits might regard themselves as above working in the lower levels of the NHS, or might have had their potential jobs taken by Labour's vote importing from the third world. But if places in medical school here in the UK are so sought-after, why are so many NHS doctors foreign?
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Re: The NHS

Postby Gavin » 22 Mar 2013, 19:42

I'd just like to put on the record, as it were, that I (like TD, I'm sure) am actually pro the NHS and pro benefits under certain conditions (for example, someone has lost their job, they need some help for a certain period, they have every intention of working again as soon as possible). I'm just strongly against the abuse of either. This seems to me a moral position. Thus it is actually immoral for the Left to pay insufficient attention to such abuse by end-users or indeed to corruption among those who are supposed to be providing the services.
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