Saturday, 27 February 2010

Mid Staffs and the systematic failure of targets

It was no surprise that our esteemed leaders have tried to pin all the blame for the appalling standards of care at Stafford Hospital on the local NHS managers, this was to be expected, the fact that many hospitals around the country are also compromising standards of care in exactly the same manner as a result of the systematic mismanagement of the NHS is not something that Gordon and his friends in government will mention.

The gross failure of the top down centralised control of the NHS via a depraved culture of targets, bullying and intimidation is the real reason for the shocking standards of care in certain hospitals such as Stafford. This is touched upon by some of these letters to the Guardian on the topic, obviously the cowardly morons at the top like Gordon Brown will always try to pin blame locally, this is despite the clear fact that local managers have their hands completely tied, they have no choice but to obey the top down diktats from Whitehall or else. Dr Grumble hits the nail on the head with his analysis of events in Stafford:

"If there is one lesson to be learnt, I suggest it is that people must always come before numbers."

This above statement is Staffordshire inquiry. The problem is that everything the government has done in terms of NHS reforms from targets to the privatisation of services has resulted in numbers always being prioritised instead of people. This talk is hollow, so so hollow. There are so many examples of the top down nature of the NHS and how this harms patients, the way in which the Baby P whistleblower has been treated sums this up perfectly, sadly there are just so many other examples. The Witch Doctor's excellent summary of the coverage of the Staffordshire scandal is well worth a prolonged read.

The latest example of this corrupt top down agenda of reform is the bullying used to force through a program of 'polysystems', basically a way of trying to shut down yet more local hospitals and shunting their work to various private firms. The 'polysystems' reform will lead to less cash for hospitals, this will then result in hospitals being forced to squeeze standards to stay afloat, meanwhile patients will get a much poorer standard of care in attending various new substandard services delivered by primary care providers. The aim of this is to save money and privatise, no wonder standards of care will suffer, again the top down orders will be forced through, local managers will lose their jobs if they refuse, the numbers are prioritised again ahead of the people. Some things never change, centralised power and local blame, numbers before patients.

The BMA explain exactly how corrupt and ineffective the government's reforms have been with their 'Look after our NHS' campaign. Diane Abbott has tabled this excellent early day motion the same topic, if you have time to copy and paste this short letter and send it to your MP then please do, it only takes a minute and the more MPs than sign up to it the better:


As one of your constituents I am writing to ask you to support and sign up to Dianne Abbott’s EDM 889.

COMMERCIALISATION OF HEALTHCARE PROVISION (EDM 889)“That this House believes that for the NHS to provide high-quality, comprehensive healthcare for all, free at the point of use, it must be publicly-funded through central taxation, publicly provided and publicly accountable; is concerned about the damaging effects that commercialisation of the NHS is having through market reforms including the use of independent sector treatment centres, imposed GP-led health centres and polyclinics, the transforming community services initiative and expensive private finance initiative projects; further believes that public money should be used for quality healthcare and not profits for shareholders; further believes that the NHS should care for patients through co-operation and not competition; supports the British Medical Association's call to abandon the market in the NHS in England; and urges Government to restore the NHS as a public service working co-operatively for patients, not a market of commercial businesses competing with each other for financial gain.”The founding principles of the NHS are under serious threat and it is therefore imperative that Parliament holds a debate on this very important matter. I am grateful for your consideration of this request and would appreciate a reply if possible.

Yours sincerely...........

Simpy copy and paste and send it to your MP:


Anonymous said...

Do you think the Conservatives will do better and reverse all the privatistions, abolish polysystems .. etc?

Garth Marenghi said...

In a word......No!

A that is the problem with our so called democracy, there is no genuine choice on these important issues.

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