Its getting more serious.. Reform or die

Reform or die: the only NHS prescription

The Sunday Times 11th August 2013 reported:

“Too often in the 65-year history of the National Health Service the  politicians running it have reached for the easiest palliative — more money — to ease the discomfort….”

Too true. But there is no mention of a new philosophy in this leader, and the reason that the NHS was founded – “In place of fear”. Patients are regaining fear because our politicians and the media refuse toi address the really big issue.

The Sunday Times’ Jon Ungoed-Thomas  reports 22nd Sep. 2013:

“NHS coughs up £1.2bn to lawyers”.

MORE than £1.2bn has been earmarked by the NHS to pay lawyers who pursue compensation claims against hospitals.

The NHS Litigation Authority, which is responsible for handling negligence claims made against health service bodies in England, has revealed that about one-fifth of a £5.8bn provision for unresolved clinical compensation claims against the NHS has been set aside to meet legal costs.

No-win, no-fee lawyers have been blamed for the escalating legal costs of compensation claims. The proportion of legal fees paid out to claimants’ solicitors in relation to the damages received by the patient has risen steadily in recent years.

In the last financial year the ratio of claimants’ legal costs to the actual damages paid to the patient was 44.3%, compared with 33.2% five years ago.

The Daily Mail also reports this story:

Spending on NHS bureaucracy has almost doubled in four years, research shows.

Nearly £1.2billion went on administrators and clerical staff in Primary Care Trusts in 2007/8, a rise of 81 per cent since 2003/4.

The total is nearly twice as much as the £700million the Health Service spent on anti-cancer drugs last year, with some patients being denied life-prolonging medication.

This NHS funding squeeze will kill the system

reports Colin Leys 20th September in The Guardian

It is a cruel illusion to pretend the NHS can keep providing good services while its budget is slashed. Tax rises would help

BBC News’ Nick Triggle reports 23rd September

No action over Stafford Hospital doctors and Katherine Murphy of the Patients Association says:

“The general delay in holding individuals to account for failings at Stafford is outrageous.

“Years on, and after huge numbers of avoidable deaths, we have still only just scratched the surface of holding the nurses, clinicians and managers to account for the failings that occurred.”

This is correct. The “game” being played by managers is impossible to win. Everything for everyone for ever is unsustainable and without rationing the players know they are losers. SO how do you protect yourself? By spreading responsibility so wide that n0-one person can be blamed for anything systemic, and making sure there are scapegoats for the more specific tasks.

20 September 2013 Nick Triggle Health correspondent reports for the BBC:

Power to the patients. “Patient power is definitely in vogue.

Tuesday saw the launch of the new hospital inspection regime. The revamped process involves patients sitting on the teams that go into hospital and regular public meetings at each site that is visited.

Meanwhile, the results of the new PLACE programme – inspections which look at the non-clinical aspects such as cleanliness, building design and food – were also released this week.

As part of the changes made to the previous regime, lay representation on the inspection panels has been beefed up. Half of the members now have to be patients…..”

In August he asked: “How many reviews does the NHS need?”

“NHS reviews are getting a bit like buses. Miss one and you don’t need to wait long for another to come round the corner.

A month ago there was the Cavendish Review into healthcare assistants, and then two weeks later the Keogh Review into mortality rates, which led to 11 trusts being put into special measures, was published.

Now it is Prof Don Berwick’s review on patient safety.

All three were commissioned off the back of the Francis Inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal….”

The Times reports September 2013 :

Cancer drugs fund ‘to be extended’ until 2016

Thirty NHS trusts ‘set for deficit’ By Adam Brimelow

Charities warn government over ageing population

And finally the problems in Swansea Hospitals are printed here in full from The Times 28th September 2013. Bullying and cultural degradation – as predicted by this author.Heart patients die waiting as surgeons bully staff at Swansea hospital

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