This morning I re-blogged a BBC article entitled NHS A & E departments ‘left unsafe by political meddling’. I received a very detailed response from John Gelmini which I am sharing below because I think that John’s comments are very much in the public interest. Personally, I agree with the broad thrust of John’s argument but not necessarily every detailed point.
Do you agree or disagree with John?
NHS A and E departments ‘left unsafe by political meddling’ – Remedial Action – John Gelmini
The NHS was unsafe to begin with and has not been fit for purpose for years.
Sir David Nicholson who should have been sacked is to be allowed to retain his £2 million gbp pension pot despite all the deaths at Mid Staffordshire and despite the 120,000 people who die every year because of botched operations and the 70,000 people who die at the hands of GPs due to misdiagnosis and the 450,000 who die faster than they need to because of the Liverpool Care Pathway(the real life version of “Logan’s Run” where anyone over 35 was designated for a rapid death.
Someone yesterday actually said on television that Sir David Nicholson, the man who torpedoed the Lansley NHS reforms along with David Cameron,”Was going to be a hard act to follow”.From what I have seen of Nicholson in action practically anyone could have done better but that is typical of the Establishment incompetents who run UK PLC for the indifferent men in the shadows.
A & E has been misused for years by patients who cannot be bothered to look after their own health due to overeating and drinking on an empty stomach (we have the fattest woman in Western Europe average of size 16 and growing and the 4th fattest men) plus a diabetes and dementia epidemic.
The Government has failed to cut NHS managers whose numbers have grown by 225% since Tony Blair came to power and whose numbers had risen by 189% since Margaret Thatcher came to power and was replaced by Blair.
On my quarterly visits to my doctor’s surgery I notice how full the car park is.Invariably it is fullest just before a half term, just after a holiday and just before a Bank Holiday.I know many of the people there and at least 50% of them are malingerers wasting the doctor’s time on things which they can handle themselves and which would not be a problem if they walked briskly, followed a sensible pattern of eating, ate earlier, drank less, managed their time and had a more balanced personal philosophy coupled with greater self-discipline.
It is these people and others like them who make further demands on the NHS and clutter up A & E plus preventing people who are genuinely sick from getting proper medical attention thus resulting in more people ending up at A & E.
The previous Government compounded the problem by failing to negotiate properly with the BMA over the out of hours contract and paying the GPs too much money and the Coalition has failed to renegotiate.
The public are also to blame because too many of them make wrong lifestyle choices (watch any fish and chip shop queue for a week and you will see the same people night after night) and then expect the NHS to deal with them whenever they have a headache and if the GP’s surgery is closed, rather than deal with their own problem they turn up at A & E.
What is required is an adult conversation between the public, the medical profession, local authorities and the Government about lifestyle choices, the costs of Adult Social Care, NHS managers(how many and what type), diet, nutrition and exercise.
Out of that should emerge:
–Variable taxes on foods
–Preventative strategies whereby people take control over their own health thus reducing the need for GP and A & E visits in the first place and for so many people (25% of the pensioner population), to need Adult Social Care plus A & E visits when they have falls etc
–A flat NHS structure with just 4 layers from top to bottom
–A new more honest approach to Adult Social Care administered within the NHS and matched by reductions in the numbers of local authority employees and heads of Adult Social Care
This should include care options in Thailand , Goa and the use of robots in care homes as happens with German and Japanese Adult Social Care recipients plus aggressive “re-enablement for those who remain
–A new out of hours contract for GPs
–An understanding on the part of the public that THEY are responsible for their own health apart from genuine accidents,disasters,force majeure events
–Tax breaks for private medical treatment and Private Medical Insurance
–More honesty about healthcare costs–At present the public thinks that everything should be free and is not prepared to say what it is willing to pay.
The Government is equally unprepared to engage and the medical profession and the Health Service Unions muddy the water
Sadly, I do not think that any of the players is up for this sort of adult debate so the issues will fester until something breaks.