Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

BREAKING: Horror of NHS laid bare for all to see

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Families of patients who needlessly died at Stafford Hospital

A public inquiry into the failing at Stafford Hospital which saw 1,200 patients killed by nurses and doctors in appalling conditions is going to demand sweeping changes to the NHS. Since the inquiry began, many more NHS Trusts have been exposed of inflicting immense cruelty towards patients who are meant to be in their care.

Inquiry Chairman, Robert Francis QC will allude the Labour Party have blood on their hands. Francis firmly points his finger at Labour’s top down targets which, he says, led to vulnerable patients being left to starve to death on their hospital beds as management targets took priority That is no exaggeration. It happened in Alexandra Hospital to 86-year old Patricia Bridle.
The vested interests may moan about the Lansley reforms, now being implemented by new Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt but they may be nothing compared to those being demanded by the Francis report.
Managers, nurses and doctors could start with one simple reform: actually give a damn about the patients you are treating!
The problem is if you take away any fear of being sacked from nurses and doctors for not showing compassion to patients under their care, and instead they are put in fear of losing their job because they don’t meet an artificial management statistic then soon the worst aspects of the human condition appear: cruelty and torture of your fellow human beings. 
In my view, the NHS is a fatally (literally) flawed institution which needs not tinkering with but broken up and reassembled, allowing the forces of free markets and private competition to drive up standards. This does not mean those who couldn’t pay for healthcare would go without: they would still get NHS-standard treatment paid out of a ring-fenced pool of public money but everyone else would be forced to have insurance and could then choose to have treatment with any private hospital or clinic they like, regulated only by the Department for Health. The cost to the taxpayer would be massively reduced. It works like this in Continental Europe so why not in Great Britain? 
But who would pay for the insurance you ask: on the whole, employers. Just as company pensions are seen as a right for employees, so health insurance would become. The upshot is companies and individuals would no longer have to fork out anywhere near the £100 Billion (or £3000 a second) it costs us each year and we might end up being cared for rather than tortured to death in our old age.

Author: gavinmaclure

IT professional; political blogger, former Conservative councillor

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