Michelle Roberts for BBC News reports 26th February: Most NHS staff deem care ‘fit for their own family’
This is a spurious report. If you asked most Doctors, and especially those who live furthest form centres of excellence, their answers would not concur with the relatively uninformed opinion of the whole organisation.
See previous post: Loving the NHS to death , and Nelson Jones in The New Statesman 21st February 2013: We are in danger of loving the NHS to death who says:
“When Gary Walker broke the terms of a non-disclosure agreement to reveal the impact on patients of excessive target-setting at the United Lincolnshire Health Trust over which he used to preside, he revealed a great deal more. Most obviously, he lifted the lid on a culture of fear of that still pervades much of the NHS, a culture in which whistle-blowers stand to lose reputations and careers, in which silence is commonly bought through the use of legal gagging clauses that break the spirit and perhaps the letter of the Public Interest Disclosure Act. It’s significant that when the BBC put Walker’s allegations to the NHS, the response of the trust’s lawyers was to write to the former manager threatening him with the loss of his £500,000 severance package, rather than to deal with the substance of his allegations.
But what’s equally striking is that the story was presented as one about whistle-blowing, about the morality and legality of non-disclosure agreements, rather than about the horrendous overcrowding and patient neglect that caused Walker to blow his whistle. The fact that United Lincolnshire is one of fourteen NHS trusts currently under investigation for hundreds of excess deaths seemed of less significance than a debate about management practices. And of course it is important. A corporate culture that discourages and punishes whistle-blowing is one in which failures and abuses go unchallenged, one that breeds complacency and in which those responsible are rarely held to account. What is truly shocking, however, is that vulnerable people in our hospitals are spending their last days in squalor and dying needless deaths through dehydration and neglect.
At least it should be shocking. But perhaps, following years of revelations about dirt, mistreatment and neglect in hospitals – elderly patients left wallowing in their own waste, deprived of food and water while staff are sitting in offices filling in forms, beds parked in corridors while their occupants are treated with contempt – such tales have ceased to shock.
It’s now two weeks since the release of the second report by Robert Francis into Mid Staffordshire hospital trust, where almost 1,200 excess deaths occurred between 1996 and 2008, years when the Labour government was pumping unprecedented amounts of cash into the NHS and boasting loudly about having transformed standards of treatment. By any standards, this is one of the biggest scandals of recent years – bigger than Savile, bigger than MPs’ expenses, certainly bigger than the horsemeat saga that has largely relegated Mid Staffs to the inside pages. Bankers can steal your money, the press can invade your privacy, but only the NHS can kill you. Yet no-one has been forced to resign, and at this stage criminal charges seem an unlikely prospect. Yes, there have been ritual expressions of regret. But where is the outrage, where is the raw anger?
The Labour party, which was in government in the period covered by the Francis reports, prefers to talk about the Coalition’s forthcoming.
Universal healthcare is the least citizens should expect. To make the NHS better for patients, politicians, press and public alike need to cultivate a healthy scepticism towards it, not give it unlimited adulation.
“Of 203,000 staff questioned for the 2013 NHS survey, 65% said care was fit for relatives, 24% were unsure, while 11% would not recommend the service.
The survey included GPs, ambulance staff, nurses, midwives and dentists as well as other health professionals…”
There were improvements on the previous year in 21 of the 28 poll categories…..”