Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mid Staffs Hospital is NOT Representative of the NHS!

It suits David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt and the Tory-led coalition government to indulge themselves in the findings of the Francis Inquiry, especially at this time when the government's reforms of the NHS are about to be rolled out nationwide. So many Conservative cabinet ministers and Tory MPs have vested interests int e NHS being privatised.

Call me cynical because I am. I am cynical of everything David Cameron does and everything his ministers do and everything both coalition partners do because the whole lot of them have been found lying on so many occasions that it's impossible to believe a single word they say, if they told me the date I would check it out! Everything this hideous government does holds an ulterior political motive, nothing is done for the good of the people, it is all done for the good of the coalition partners and to try and safeguard their position as the government after the 2015 election.

The way in which David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt have been revelling and indulging themselves in the Francis report findings for their own political gratification is quite shocking! There is no doubt in my mind that this prime minister and this health secretary are deliberately using the Mid Staffs hospital as a battering ram to bash down the entire NHS in order to fully privatise it. This is what the Tories have always wanted to do to the NHS right from its conception, they never wanted an NHS and would have aborted it long ago if they could. It is why Thatcher then Major tried to run down the NHS during the 18 years of successive Conservative Governments. The whole Tory government objective was to prove that the NHS wasn't working and then to carve it up and distribute the lucrative parts off to their Conservative supporting  mates in the private health care industry, they almost succeeded, Labour winning the election in 1997 stopped them in their tracks. To their credit the NHS the former Labour governments left was unrecognisable from the dirty filthy crumbling health care system of the 18 years of Tory mismanagement.
The only way the Tories can now get people to accept their privatisation of the NHS is for them to denigrate the whole system and decry the dedicated staff that work in it and this they set about doing in 2010, aided and abetted by the Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrat party and this is where Mid Staffs hospital and the Francis report comes in very "handy".

When David Cameron stood up in the House of Commons last week to give the government's response to the Francis Inquiry findings, when he gushed and told of his "love" for the NHS, it was one of the most gut churning nauseating false political statements I have ever heard in my life.

Mid Staffs hospital is Mid Staffs hospital, it is not representative of the NHS. Mid Staffs has its problems and seems to me to stem from a deep seated managerial problems and if we are going to apportion blame in the same way the PM and health secretary appear to want to, then we must ask the first question which started the whole ball rolling; "who put non medical managers in charge of hospitals to run them like businesses"?
No prizes for guessing it was the Conservative party and just like we are now wreaking the havoc that Thatcher's deregulation whirlwind of the banking industry has caused all these years later resulting in the UK banking crash, some hospitals are now wreaking the havoc of what the Tories did to the NHS back in the 1980's and 1990's.
I urge a caution on the people that Mid Staffs hospital serves, don't be surprised if the Government decides the only thing to be done is close your hospital and merge you with another. This could be the outcome, so "buyer beware" and brace yourself for the full government response to come next month.

The NHS Pre 1997

There is no avoiding the fact that when Labour came to power in 1997, the NHS was in a parlous state it was almost dead in the water. It had suffered from 18 years of chronic underinvestment, filthy slum hospitals, over crowded, understaffed dirty Accident & Emergency departments, ward closures, cottage hospital closures, hospital infection rates rising, a dearth of modern technology, under staffed and over subscribed radiology departments and physio therapy departments. People waiting years in agony with reduced mobility on lists to have joint replacements, people waiting months to see an oncologist when they were suspected of having cancer, people waiting months to see a cardiologist and people waiting on waiting lists to get on waiting lists for out patient appointments and surgical procedures. Hospitals where Thatcher had closed wards and sacked staff were overflowing and couldn't take anymore emergency admissions. Patients were treated in ambulances in car parks and often ferried to other hospitals for treatment. Special Care Baby Units (SCABU) had no cots and desperately ill newborns were driven miles to the nearest available cot. The same thing happened in Intensive Car Units, beds in these units were closed because there were not enough specialist staff to operate them and critically ill patients were sometimes ferried half way across the country for specialised treatment. People on planned surgical procedures who needed an ITU bed had their operations cancelled as did those on the normal list for routine operations. There were a chronic shortage of nurses and doctors as staff were not replaced when they left and training places were cut. the ironical thing is that when nurses complete their training and they applied to the hospitals for a job they were often turned down as the hospital although needing nurses desperately could not afford to hire them. There was equipment and supplies shortages from incontinent supplies to pyjamas and bed linen. Hospitals had leaking roofs and draughty windows and faulty central heating. The Conservative government forced hospitals to put their cleaning contracts out to tender and all too often hospital managers chose the cheapest tenders and the result of this was filthy germ ridden hospitals and cross infection and hospitals born infections began to rise dramatically.
All this is just the tip of the iceberg, people who worked in the NHS between 1979 and 1997 would know exactly what I am talking about. The NHS had deteriorated to such an extent under the Conservatives that the country really did only have a short time to save it. The NHS needed new hospitals, new technology, hundreds of thousands more doctors, nurses and ancillary staff, it needed existing hospitals refurbished along with new A&E departments and maternity units etc. In short it needed a miracle and billions of pounds spending on it.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Selly Oak Birmingham
One of the 149 Brand New Hospitals the Labour Government had built
The Labour government came in in 1997 and this was the magnitude they were faced with within in the NHS and whereby I do not agree with Private Finance Initiative (remember PFI was a Tory invention), it was impossible to get the money from anywhere else which needed to be spent urgently on the NHS in order to save it from Tory extinction. I wish Labour could have found a different way, but realistically what choice did they have when faced with 4 million unemployed a spiralling benefits bill and an NHS that was terminal, a crumbling education system and a seriously understaffed police service too and no nursery school education and no Sure Start early intervention? The Tories like to harp on about the mess that Labour left in 2010, well, it was nothing compared to the level of debt and mess the Tories left in 1997 and yet the Labour government managed to save the NHS, education, the police and the armed forces and bring down unemployment and provide a nursery place for every 4 years old and provide Sure Start centres for toddlers, without causing distress and hardship to the country's poorest most vulnerable people and build 149 brand new state of the art modern hospitals. and one that isn't that far away from Mid Staffs, the Queen Elizabeth  in Selly Oak, Birmingham which is a huge success story and has its own military hospital unit.

Don't let the Tories lie to you and con you out of our NHS. Don't allow them to give our NHS to their mates in the private health industry.

If Mid Staffs hospital trust was responsible for more deaths than need have happened, then how many unnecessary deaths were the Conservative party responsible for in the NHS between the years of 1979 and 1997? Perhaps we should have a full public Inquiry into that and then Jeremy Hunt could also announce that the police should prosecute the entire Conservative cabinets of those times for conspiring to bring about the demise of the NHS for political reasons? I once witnessed a patient die because she arrested and we did not have the right size endotracheal tube to open and clear her airways, why didn't we have this size in our crash trolley? Because the non medical managers decided that it was too small and we wouldn't need it and it was struck from the list of equipment to be present in the crash trolley,  making no provision for a small adult. So when this dear lady arrested at night, we had to send a nurse running right across the other side of the hospital to the paediatric unit for the right size tube, to try and be met by a nurse from paediatrics running half way with the tube to meet somewhere in the middle in the dead of night like some kind of dark bizarre comedy sketch, only it wasn't funny, we were too late and the lady died. I've never forgotten it and I've never forgotten being forced to inform her relatives that she had died and I've never forgotten the white anger of the futile situation we as staff were placed in. So Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron ought to think on before they open this particular Pandora's box, because I for one know of many unnecessary deaths x caused as a direct result of Tory mismanagement of the NHS and this is going to happen again, with these reforms!

I am not for one nano second saying that what happened at Mid Staffs is excusable because it isn't, what I am saying is, do not tar the whole of the NHS with the Mid Staffs brush, because Mid Staffs is not representative of the NHS, but from what I see, hear and read, this is exactly what this hideous government are pushing for and hoping for, they are going to use this situation to fully privatise the NHS.
Before this government came in the health companies (many who support the Tories financially) were circulating like vulchers and since this government have come in, they couldn't wait to get their hands on our NHS, make no mistake, these people want our NHS for themselves and this Tory led government want to give it to them. Why would they want the NHS if it was really as bad as Cameron and Hunt are trying to make it out to be? They want it because they smell huge profits to be made and they want to extricate every single pound of taxpayers money that they can for themselves and their shareholders.

Why else do you think that David Cameron has named five other hospitals? It is all part of his plan to rid the state of the NHS. At least one of these hospitals, Colchester, has hit back at the claims made by the prime minister and local MPs have spoken out in defence and maintain that the hospital has been wrongly singled out.

If Jeremy Hunt wants someone sacked and prosecuted for Mid Staffs then he should start with Sir David Nicholson, but he wont and he wont because Hunt is a disingenuous turd escaped from a sewage plant. Nicholson of the infamous "Nicholson Challenge" is a staunch supporter of this dreadful government's NHS reforms, so he wont be going anywhere in a hurry and he has the full support of David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt.
The NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson, enjoys the "rock-solid" support of David Cameron and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, according to well-placed NHS and Whitehall sources. He is likely to face criticism in the report, following a public inquiry under Robert Francis QC, as he was the local NHS boss when negligent care at Stafford hospital began in 2005. He was then chief executive of the NHS in England when relatives of the 400-1,200 patients estimated to have needlessly died began campaigning. The Guardian
Hunt is being hypocritical in calling for people to be prosecuted while hanging onto Nicholson, but when did being untruthful and hypocritical ever bother Jeremy Hunt? After all he is the man who deliberately lied to and misled Parliament over the BSkyB bid and it is Hunt who fraternises with Murdoch and who was within 2 hours of granting Murdoch permission to take full control of BSkyB giving him the monopoly on the news in this country!

People now have a stark choice, they believe Cameron and his lies over NHS reforms (remembering that he has already blatantly lied to people faces about it -  "there will be no top down reorganisation of the NHS") before he launched the biggest top down reorganisation of the NHS in its 63 year history, and they allow Cameron, Hunt and the Tories destroy and privatise the NHS, or they stand and fight for it now.

If you are ever in doubt about what this hideous government of liars think about our NHS and what they hope to do with it, look at the photo above, it is self explanatory!

Anyone thinking of voting for either the Tory party or the Liberal Democrats in the Eastleigh by-election needs to remember what I've written here and if they value the NHS they will find another party to vote for, one that has promised to repeal the Health and Social care reforms Act which will bring about an end to our NHS this coming year and there is only one party that has promised this and only one party that can do it and that is Labour.


TJ said...

It was whispered to me more than a decade ago that Richard Branson and his Virgin monster would be taking control of our NHS at some point and that it was 'inevitable'. I was told that at first it will be gradual and before people are able to really know what's going on, Virgin would be woven into the very fabric of our NHS. I laughed at this and blatantly slapped it down as being hogwash. I no longer laugh.

Look what's happening today. Contracts are being handed out left, right and centre. Contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds. I am appalled to see Virgin Care springing up and affiliating with the NHS, it is absolutely repugnant and will chew into the very core of our health system.

Serco is also at the centre of this, make no mistake about that. Great article, thank you.

Gracie Samuels said...

VI agree TJ, Virgin Care is gradually creeping into every region of the country. Another thing, when Virgin care takes over a clinic etc where the staff were originally employed by the NHS, they then become employed by the private sector. So all these jobs Cameron and the Tories keep on about being made in the private sector are mainly just public sector jobs like the NHS reclassified as private sector. It is just another way this government are falsifying the unemployment figures!