Black days, bad days, most days, days in the NHS

Two days ago the local daily summed it all up in a rather neat rhetorical question: Are our essential services at … BREAKING POINT?

We are witnessing some pretty awful headlines about the NHs, both nationally and locally.

In October I went to A&E because of a fractured foot, and I have to say the service I received was excellent. Clearly, it is not a universal story of poor service. Equally clearly, though, there are some problems. It says something that whilst I broke my metatarsal on a Sunday I did not attend A&E until more than five days later, on a Friday evening. In part this was due to me not wanting to make a fuss, but part of me was also reluctant to spend hours waiting to be seen.

I do not blame those that work in the NHS. I do not blame those that manage local services. The buck stops with the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. Thousands of frontline staff have been lost since David Cameron became Prime Minister. A&E departments all over the country do not have safe staffing levels.

Conservative reforms have put private profit before patient care. The unwanted and unnecessary top-down reorganisation of the NHS has not only cost billions, it is a distracting those who should be caring for all of us.

We must not forget the role of Liberal Democrats in this sorry affair either; Nick Clegg has been far too weak to stand up to David Cameron, and his party have happily trotted through the lobbies to vote for all that has been inflicted on the NHS


2 Responses to Black days, bad days, most days, days in the NHS

  1. Joe Copke says:

    Well said Julian. What I also deplore is the bleating of your Tory MP about worthy current and past Chairs of Health Trusts who have worked hard to offset the cuts and reorganisations imposed by his Party’s government! Shame on him.

  2. Thousands of frontline staff have been lost since David Cameron became Prime Minister.

    But also they have removed lots of “back-room staff” (a.k.a. the dreaded “bureaucrats”). Result?

    Remember the recent documentary on BBC News Channel that followed an A&E consultant through a shift? He spent very little time actually consulting, but a lot of time on staff schedules, trying to obtain agency staff and doing the bureaucracy that used to be done by the now redundant back-room support staff. I suspect he has been turned into a very expensive administrator; but because he is a doctor, he counts as “front line staff”!

    We hear of nurses abandoning their profession because it no longer primarily involves caring for people but doing the bureaucracy essential to ensuring that proper records are kept, that meals get ordered, that samples go to the labs (and results come back) etc. etc.

    We hear of hundreds of British trained A&E doctors going to Australia to work in a more supportive environment where they can apply the medical skills that they spent years gaining rather than winging low level management tasks for which they have not been trained.

    “Getting rid of bureaucrats” is an easy slogan – but unless you also get rid of the bureaucracy (which is not always possible) you just hamper the front line staff.

    File also under:
    Local Authorities

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