Would the last person to be sacked by the Trust, please return the lightbulbs!


The Daily Telegraph today reports how one NHS Trust, The Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals, is so strapped for cash that lightbulbs are being removed form the corridors in a bid to save money. Secretaries are being asked to weigh babies and nurses and midwifes are working for free or below the minimum wage. Locally, St. Ann's is close to full closure, beds and operating theatres are closing at the North Mid and the A+E at Chase Farm will soon close its doors. Closures, cuts and soaring MRSA cases are the hallmarks of today's NHS. Would the last person to be sacked from St Helier's please return the lightbulbs - they will be working under the next Conservative government.

"24 hours to save the NHS?" - if there is a Hell, I hope you rot in it, Mr Blair. And take David Lammy with you!

8 comments:

Ellee said...

Locally, the NHS is asking some hospital staff to buy their own pens and told them not to post those post-it stickers.

David Allen said...

The sooner our NHS is de-nationalised the better. The dead hand of state control is wrecking it. Truly independent hospital trusts, local pay scales, abolition of all intermediate tiers of bureaucracy _ I can dream!

kevin fowkes said...

I agree.

I was living and working abroad for 4 years (3 years in Norway and 1 year in USA) and when I returned last year I could not believe how much the NHS had deteriorated. You really notice the difference if you haven't visited an NHS dentist in this country for 4 or 5 years.

A nationalised health service is becoming unsustainable in this day and age and it will only get worse. We need a more privatised/liberalised system with an adequate safety net of coverage for those who are short of money. It's the only sensible way forward but probably won't happen for many years yet, until the unsustainability of the current system becomes impossible to avoid

David Allen said...

Kevin _ and change "probably won't happen for many years yet," _ it certainly won't with the conspiracy of silence from the media as to how OTHER countries manage their healthcare. The story always goes: "it's the NHS or the American way" _ suitably larded with horror stories from the US of the bleeding and wounded poor. These EU-lovers are the first to make international comparisons when it comes to (e.g.) 'prison population per capita' i.e. when it suits their liberal agenda) but actively conspire to deprive people of news of things like the various (social) insurance systems which deliver healthcare far more effectively in many European countries. But, for some peculiar reason, Brits tend to come over all Marxist when it comes to healthcare _ woe betide that it should involve anything other thna total state control....

kevin fowkes said...

Hi David, long time no see, hope you are well.

Yes I agree with you.

From personal experience the US healthcare system has its faults, chiefly the lack of any coverage for 40 million people. This causes appalling suffering for many poorer people and actually increases costs because people with no health coverage dare only go to the doctor when their condition has got so bad that they have no choice. Lack of preventative care for the poor therefore increases the amount of chronic illness and actually increases the cost of everyone's healthcare premiums.

However to fix this problem it is not the case that the only alternative is a monolithic NHS style nationalised system. As you say, the media and Labour party here are misleading us when they claim this. What is required is a kind of "national insurance" scheme that guarantees adequate healthcare coverage to the elderly and poor within a liberalised system of competing providers. Actually the US is starting to go down this road on a state-by-state basis, already there is a successful such scheme in San Francisco for example.

The Norwegian system is a good one (helped admittedly by massive oil revenues). There is national coverage but there are affordable charges made for low-level doctors and dentists appointments. The charges are high enough to deter people from needlessly going to the doctor and clogging up the system but they are low enough not to prevent people from going to the doctor when they really need to.

All good jobs have private healthcare schemes attached to private hospitals yet the state system remains good for unemployed, students, elderly etc, and is certainly not a "second class" alternative. It us worth remembering the Norwegians are almost the healthiest people in Europe.

My own experience of being in hospital in Oslo last year after slipping on ice (!) and injuring my back was very positive. By contrast my dentist friend in the US and my doctor friend in Norway both say that in their respective countries the British NHS is held up as an example of a nightmare way to run a health system in a developed country.

David Allen said...

Ah! So you ARE the Kevin Fowkes I used to know before you buggered off abroad :-) Hope to see you ere long.
I absolutely agree with your post above _ we really need some kind of national debate on this informed by an accessible 'How others do it' public information campaign. O! To be a writer on Holby and the other 'hospital porn' programs for C2s.......

Darkersideofbridgetjones said...

It does your head in -- all this business. I've decided to get private health care with Bupa. I don't want to take any risks. The head of music was telling me that last year she found a lump in her breast, she went to the doctor and they told her she would have to wait six weeks to see a consultant and then a further six weeks after that for treatment. So, she promptly packed her suitcase and went back to Austraila for a month. She was seen by a consultant straightaway. Thankfully it was not cancer.

Anonymous said...

Same experience with my elderly next door neighbour - 8 months of "you're a mystery to Haringey PCT" then one week in a private hospital and they diagnosed and operated on a growing lump (also not cancer) between her liver and kidneys - had she not been fortunate enough to be able to afford private health care she almost certainly would not be with us today!