Friday, 23 July 2010

Madness, utter madness

Apparently the medical experts McKinsey are advising GPs to close hospitals in order to save the NHS money, genius, utter genius. I shall just explain the situation in a bit more detail just to demonstrate the ludicrous nature of affairs.

We have an expanding population which is increasingly elderly, therefore reducing bed numbers safely is not possible. If bed occupancy rates are too high then you increase problems like hospital acquired infection and various operational inefficiencies.

If you speak to anyone actually working on the ground then you would know that hospitals are increasingly stretched already, there are not enough beds to deal with the current workload. This is leading to patients backing up in A&E and managers putting pressure on doctors to discharge patients in a clinically dangerous manner. The system is on the verge of collapsing up and down the country.

Now McKinsey, the management consultants who are paid vast amounts of money for their alleged wisdom are claiming that it is safe to cut bed numbers further, this is obviously not the case if one has actually observed the reality of hospital medicine on the ground in recent months. This 'debt' is also an artificial entity imposed by the market, if the market was destroyed then all the money wasted on its bureaucracy could be directed towards clinical care and not the market fiddling monkeys who will do very nicely from the latest pro-market white paper.

It is certainly possible to save money by treating patients very badly and providing a low quality service that forces sick patients to be inappropriately managed out of hospital. However this is dangerous and unsafe. So as money is frittered away on consulting the morons from McKinsey, patients will be left to die in the community, there will be no beds for them, this is the reality of the new NHS and the failed market based approach that this government persists with.


Julie said...

This is why I get very nervous about euthanasia bills..

Linda said...

My mother was discharged from hospital last Decemeber after a two-week stay following being admitted for breathing difficulities. She was 80years old,suffering from heart failure, seriously disabled and living in sheltered accomodation. They sent her home early on the Friday evening (6pm) despite my protests that she was not fit enough to be home and looking after herself. They said they would pu in place a team who would visit her three times a day. Next morning I got a call from her saying she couldn't get out of bed.
By lunch-time I had to call 999 as she was hardly able to walk two steps without gasping for breath She was taken back into hospital and sadly never came home again.

I know from having worked as a med sec many years ago that Friday is traditionally known as "chucking out time" The docs do their rounds to see who they can get rid of for the weekend as they have less staff on duty. This is when the danger is for the border line patients. If the Docs can get away with it they sent them home hardly half cured.

Less hospitals! We need more. They can't cope with the demand with the ones we have now.

Anonymous said...

Ten years ago when I was a practising hospital social worker we would never have countnanced someone like this lady being discharged on a Friday and the ward sisters would not have done so either. This is appalling discharge planning and if you can stand to, I hope you complain long and hard. I have noted the margins of safety being ever narrowed until there is no margin at all. We had a lady discharged recently 3 days post hip replacment with no care assessment and no service set up - we had to pull out all the stops to find care for her, her family probably never knew how close their mother came to misery at best, and they will never know what efforts social services went to in order to ensure her safety and comfort. We await with repidation the next white paper on social care, presumably they will expect it all to be done by the WRVS.

Anonymous said...


At least the GMC is open for business :). You may like to compliment them again on their performance given the catastrophe caused by them in R v GMC Ex Parte Remedy UK.

Oh, there won't be an OHPA following the bonfire of the quangos or a CHRE therefore you may wish to comment once again on the standard of their work :)


Bolsin4UKH said...

Slow to support

hyperCRYPTICal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


i don't think the problem is new!

why you assume this i don't know,

it will certainly get worse with the further reform

worried anaesthetist said...

The market will operate to depress prices. Lets take a total knee replacement. Avoiding the use of navigation & sealant will reduce the hospitals costs by hundreds of pounds (the former will reduce operation time thereby increasing theatre efficiency by allowing another arthroscopy to be squeezed on). Substitiute the cost of a consultant anaesthetist with a staff grade doing an internal bank locum & thats how hospitals will adapt to the market. Of course standards will drop. Its so depressing to hear the clowns, representing out profession, welcoming commissioning. Doctors pay will be frozen, trainees wont get proper jobs & patients will get cr@p care. Inevitably, we'll see foundation trusts offer co-payment facilities: pay extra & get a decent prosthesis, a drug-eluting stent [instead of a metal one], atorvastatin [instread of simva] or cholinesterase inhibitors [instead of largactil if your in early stage dementia]. Sadly, most of our patients will be too poor to co-pay.

Dino-nurse said...

Yup, the foundation trusts will pretty soon be HMO hospitals. No wonder cameroon wants to "remove the barriers" and allow all acute trusts to become foundation trusts. As for the elderly and frail...we are damned whatever we do...take them into hospital with a chest infection, watch it turn into type 2 resp you try NIV or not? Whatever you do they are weaker than before they came in. Hence they will be unable to go back to anything other than a nursing home and there are no nursing home places...this hasn't changed in a decade. Its only going to get worse :0(

Anavar said...

There should be more articles like this one on the web. Very well written, I enjoyed reading it. Greetings

Anadrol said...

Closing hospitals won't solve the problem. It's like fighting heat with turning down the air conditioning.