The ferreting award for the most stupid, dangerous and idiotic NHS target ever has to go to the Trust which is bribing the Ambulance service not to take patients to hospital. This is unfortunately no joke. Money should not come into clinical decisions like this and it will only result in more needless deaths as a result of the under trained being pressurised into making reckless clinical decisions for which they have not been adequately prepared. This is rather similar to the equally dangerous scheme that was bribing GPs to not refer patients on to hospital specialists.
David Fisher had a history of heart trouble, he collapsed at home, but thanks to the bizarre system of targets and payments he was not greeted with an immediate ambulance, his call was downgraded in urgency and he was fobbed off with a telephone helpline. Untrained idiots on a phone line won't cure cardiogenic shock, so Mr Fisher was left to die at home. The dangerous way in which non medically trained people are now being empowered by protocol is beyond belief, it really is.
The market that we have is a disgrace, we now have an epidemic of managers to oversee this barbaric rationing of care, we are spending more and more money to avoid actually treating patients, this money would be better spent actually dealing with medical problems, not hiding from them via payment systems and tonnes of meaningless paperwork. The number of managers in the NHS is now 84% greater than in 1999, that is one hell of a statistic. Even Kafka would have trouble writing a book on the bureaucratic nightmare that is today's NHS and its dysfunctional network of SHAs, PCTs and Whitehall monkeys. No wonder private firms are using think tanks as a dishonest way of bribing politicians so that they can get greasy hands on this easy money as the NHS is sold off bit by bit. Cooperation is being replaced by dysfunctional competition, doctors like myself are fuming and patients like David Fisher are needlessly being left to die thanks to the substandard services on offer. The managers and politicians presiding over this shambles should be shot.