HAS THE PUBLIC LOST FAITH IN THE NHS – There can be no denying that our beloved National Health Service (NHS) is a shambles.
I cannot recall a single day in the last year where the NHS hasn’t hit the national press, of which none of it has been good news.
It has to be declared that the NHS is in a very sorry state of affairs and it does appear that the public have lost faith in the NHS.
Today is like any other day at the news desk of meebal.com; there are reports of deaths, murder, politicians with their sticky fingers in the till, rising crime, problems with the EU and yes of course yet again, the NHS is taking centre stage on a number of daily newspapers.
This time the NHS is taking another media beating over a report that lays bare the crisis in a number of NHS hospitals, maternity units and GP surgeries.
According to the report no less than a quarter of new mothers were abandoned by their midwives during labour and some were even left to give birth on the corridor floors.
In another area of the report it details the number of serious mistakes being made; mistakes so serious that strict procedures are in place in order to ensure they never happen and yet in some NHS hospitals, these fundamental mistakes are occurring more than five times a week.
Apart from these issues the report also goes on to detail the public’s dismay over trying to book an appointment with their GP; such is the debacle that many patients have all but given up trying.
The NHS watchdog’s report comes just days after detailing a catalogue of failings including drugs that are out-of-date and even maggots infesting consulting rooms.
The public might have thought that the NHS administration would have cleaned up their act after the horrific report of the Mid-Staffordshire affair in which 1,200 people died due to neglect.
However, what the public is witnessing is nothing less than the collapse of the NHS and when you look closely at what goes on, it is clear that those in Government are far more interested in protecting their friends and family members who administer the NHS rather than the patients that rely on it.
This was clearly displayed after Sir David Nicholson was deemed responsible for the Mid-Staffordshire crisis and despite overwhelming public sentiment that he should resign David Cameron refused to ask for Sir David’s resignation and even supported his on-going tenure.
The NHS watchdog report now identifies yet another 12 NHS Trust Hospitals failing to meet acceptable standards due to under-staffing and managements obsession to meet unrealistic government targets that are putting patients lives at risk – yes it appears far more important to meet cost cutting targets than it is to save lives.
At the Colchester Hospital, the police have now been called in to probe claims that staff fiddled the figures in order to cover up that some cancer patients were waiting up to six months before being granted access to treatment.
Yes it just appears that the NHS faces one scandal after another and despite all the administrators, public committees and watchdogs none of them are able to come up with a solution to stop the abuse of patients and more importantly the lives put at peril each and every day.
Of course the politicians have again been quick to jump on the bandwagon declaring that they are mortified at the reports.
The ugly truth is that most politicians are scared to raise the issues, for none want to be seen to be criticising the NHS and therefore the abuse continues unabated.
With regards to the investigation into maternity units the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found an alarming number of new mothers, who elected for a home-birth, never received support from a midwife as they simply failed to turn up.
The CQC even noted that many midwives were unable to use or read machines that are designed to monitor a baby’s heart beat; something that should be a standard skill for a midwife.
What it is really shocking here is that the Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has openly admitted that NHS staff frequently confides in him regarding the dilapidated state of health care and yet he has done little or nothing to tackle the problems.
You might now be asking yourself why we need a Health Minister or indeed executives like Sir David Nicholson. When you scrutinise the situation further you might also be asking why we need the CQC; after all they too have been accused on numerous occasions of working alongside NHS executives in covering up the truth.
The reality is that far too much of the NHS public funding is spent on administration and all those in high-paying positions care only about job security which means hitting government targets.
Of course if you hit the dizzying heights of management such as the position held by Sir David Nicholson then you become untouchable; yes even the Prime Minister will protect your job despite public outcry.
The population of the UK is growing at a vast rate and may well explode come 1 January with the Right of Free Movement. Such growth will continue to put a massive strain on the NHS and unless the Government is prepared to prop up the NHS with even more billions of taxpayer’s money then it is likely that things will get a lot worse; it could well transpire that we see the NHS collapse within the next few years.
Jeremy Hunt is of course insistent that the Government wants more transparency in order to improve the services of the NHS. This is a commendable notion however transparency in the eyes of the Government simply equates to creating more administration positions that waste more public money; it’s no better than trying to borrow your way out of debt but that appears to be the only solution Jeremy Hunt can conceive.
So what is the solution? We could consider that it’s time to hold a memorial service for the NHS and lay it to rest by privatizing the health care system. Certainly the British don’t want a system similar to that of the U.S for that in itself only fuels the greed of the insurance companies.
However, there is no reason why private companies cannot take over NHS hospitals and manage them for a profit; it worked well for Hinchingbrooke Hospital when Circle took it over and it remains one of the best run hospitals in the UK.
Another idea would be to weed out the dead wood and drastically reduce the number of administrators. The solution to this would be to announce that from a certain date all administrative staff, excluding doctors and nurses, would be required to work on minimum wage – if it’s good enough for millions of other workers in the UK then it should be good enough for NHS administrators.
The result would be a mass exodus; certainly the likes of Sir David Nicholson would be heading out the door.
With the cost savings we could in fact pay our Doctors and Nurses more and attract more of the same into the profession.
You cannot, and should not, put a price on a human life but the Government, despite increased spending in the NHS, is not saving lives; in fact more and more people in the UK are dying each year due to the failings of those running the NHS.
Currently, and regardless to public opinion, the administrators, watchdogs and above all the Government will continue to run our once beloved NHS into the ground.