It’s been going on for some time, but citizens have been ignoring the issue because the majority are “well”. Disabled and elderly users of A&E will have known this “unfortunate truth” for some years now, as they witness the slow meltdown of health through short termism, and perverse behaviours. In this “post truth” world the language of avoidance and obscurement is important….. The decline in standards is the result of the perverse incentives inherent in misguided performance targets throughout the UK health systems. Knowing the rules of the game keeps managers in post, and gaming the system gives them advancement. They have to move on quickly however, before their fake performance is exposed.. The staff have responded with disengagement, and from doctors to nurses, from psychiatrists to dentists, the “goodwill” has disappeared. When will patients ask for private A&E – as they have to for dentistry?
NHS hospitals have been accused of trying to “spin their way out” of the growing winter crisis after a leaked memo revealed that managers are being instructed to play down the scale of the problem.
Yesterday figures showed that record numbers of patients in ambulances are being turned away from Accident and Emergency units because hospitals are so busy.
But the Daily Telegraph has seen an NHS memo telling health officials that the “most important thing” is to avoid language such as “black alert” – the phrase used to denote the most serious level of emergency…..
The charity said volunteers and staff had been helping patients get home from hospital and called for more government money to stabilise the situation.
It comes as a third of hospital trusts in England warned they needed action to cope with patient numbers last month…..
In the Times there is comment by Janice Turner on her mother’s recent care: “The NHS is in need of emergency treatment. (My mother was sent home from hospital at 92 after a fractured leg at 11.40 at night.. but to a nursing home well aware that this may happen.)
Ambulance trusts have been accused of routinely manipulating 999 response times by using a loophole to claim that they reached life-threatening emergencies in less than ten seconds.
Ten of the country’s 11 trusts have taken advantage of NHS rules allowing them to log ambulance response times as near-zero if there was a defibrillator within 200 metres of a patient, and someone nearby was trained to use it.
Chris Smyth reported earlier this year on the perverse incentives in dentistry: The great dental rip-off- Thousands of teeth needlessly extracted as surgeries accused of putting profit before patients and Dental fees leave patients with toothache clogging up casualty, on which he says Toothache patients cost GPs £26m a year
Hunter Davies in the Sunday Times opines: Paying thousands for dental work is extracting the Mickey – Now ‘open wide’ applies as much to the wallet as the mouth, my visits to the dentist are twice as painful
The letters in The Times on the dental contract are here: dental-contract-letters