Meanwhile Dr Rant predicts a riot, and has copyrighted several prophetic prophecies for the new year. I suspect that Dr Rant's prediction number 4 will be wrong, the conservatives are showing precious little sign of producing any decent health policy: in fact they seem remarkably intent on deliberately not steering too far away from Labour's ideas, as any gap leads them open to attack. The Tories seem to prefer to keep away from disussing real policy changes that might actually do some good, as they would rather score points by criticising Labour for their indisputable incompetence. It's a real shame because it wouldn't take much to improve Labour's management of the NHS.
The Devil's Kitchen talks a lot of sense in dismantling Labour's pathetic record on hospital acquired infections:
"Virtually all of these factors have been contributed too and massively worsened by the government's incessant interference and meddling with the NHS. A chronic underinvestment has left buildings and infrastructure outdated and unable to cope with modern infection control needs. Top down targets have led to the excessive movement of patients and the catalysis of infection spread. Falling acute bed numbers over the last ten years have led to bed occupancy levels rising to too high a level on average, a known factor in increasing hospital acquired infection. Centrally imposed deficits gave led to the financial pressures that result in key front line staff being laid off, while wards are left dangerously short staffed. While endless political interference in the structure of the NHS has resulted in reorganisation after reorganisation, a situation where no one knows their role, and consequently a system of no responsibility and
The government has let hospital acquired infection multiply out of control in recent years because it has simply not addressed the root causes aggressively enough. These ideas of fining failing trusts are completely misconceived and would make a bad situation worse. In fact several causal factors are still being worsened by direct action from central government, so the idea of central government fining people for things that it is directly contributing towards is nothing short of idiotic, while the fines would only accentuate the problems by worsening the causative financial pressures on the trust concerned. We currently have a situation where there is no accountability or responsibility, and if there was I have a distinct feeling that several of the people being held to account for this mess would be of the political variety. The politicians should be fining themselves."
Indeed, the government should be fining themselves and they most certainly should not be getting an above inflation pay rise. In fact it would be much better for democracy in general if politicians were paid much less, as this would attract many less career politicians into politics. I would much rather be ruled by wealthy individuals who were involved in politics, who did not depend on their political income at all. They would be far less corruptible than the current bunch. Just think of one Tony Blair, his financial situation meant that he had to keep certain people happy while in office so that once he had left office, he could earn enough cash to pay for his luxurious lifestyle and multiple houses. Cut down MP pay I say and end the era of the corrupt career politician. MPs should be men with experience of life outside politics and they certainly should not be so easily corruptible.