Gransnet forums


Outrageous: NHS delaying operations to save money

(26 Posts)
eggmayo Fri 29-Jul-11 14:31:46

I heard on the Today programme this morning that the NHS has been delaying people's operations so thatt they don't have to do them. Apparently people will go private if they really need the op or they'll just die first(!!!), saving the NHS the trouble.

I am completely outraged by this. the idea that boards of people who are put in charge of making sure people get the care they need have been so cynical in their decisions is making my blood boil.
how on earth can this be in the best interests of anyone? And of course it's all because of the massive cuts that they've been forced to make. Please tell me I'm not alone in being angry.

effblinder Fri 29-Jul-11 14:47:10

Is this true? I just can't believe anyone would do that... Can't see anything on BBC. off to do some research (googling).

effblinder Fri 29-Jul-11 15:04:54

Ok, found this:

I agree, eggmayo, this does sound crazy. We need less pen-pushers and Managers in the NHS and more front-line staff who can actually make a difference.

I can't believe that Andrew Lansley has the nerve to get in on this argument. To me, this shows that we need less competition, not more. The core service needs to be improved so that everyone can be treated with the respect they deserve.

rosiemus Fri 29-Jul-11 15:22:32

That is terrible.

I'm thinking back over people I know who've been on waiting lists for operations. How lucky they were to get operations before they really deteriorated.

If I knew anyone who hadn't received treatment in time, I really think I would be apoplectic.

Supergranny Fri 29-Jul-11 15:23:47

This is what happens when it's all about targets - people chase the target and not the right outcome which is helping people get well. And you need tonnes of managers to monitor whether the targets are being met. I wish they'd just let medical professionals get on and do their job - would lead to far more efficient and in this case considerably more morally correct outcomes.

grandmabet Fri 29-Jul-11 15:35:24

In yesterday's paper was a bit about hips, cataracts and knees operations being postponed until the pain is so severe it would prevent people from working. So those of us who don't "work" are again to be penalised. It also talked about the levels of pain - this is so fallacious as one person can stand a lot more pain than another. But the cuts are coming so someone has to suffer. What does anyone feel about IVF treatment being available on the NHS? Is it a severe pain to want a child yet not be able to have one without medical interference? I despair!

eggmayo Fri 29-Jul-11 15:41:35

oh I so agree with you supergranny.

I wish we could stop all this silliness of 'targets' when we're talking about people's lives.

putaspellonyou Fri 29-Jul-11 15:55:07

Just because we don't work, we don't need to see or walk? How useful to know.

IVF is a weird case grandmabet, because i think they only allow a certain number per area on the NHS or something (not that that system makes any sense at all).

Someone does have to suffer from the cuts but why should it be people waiting for operations? I would rather management took a hefty pay cut to ensure that people's lives weren't endangered. And if they had any sense of decency, managers and consultants who are paid too much should think that themselves.

JessM Fri 29-Jul-11 16:06:37

I thought this was bad journalism. They were talking about some Trust and Routine Operations and a wait of a few more weeks. Claiming that patients might die while waiting for these routine operations was wild sensationalism worthy of the tabloids not the BBC news. If NHS trust have an annual budget they have to stick to, then making people wait a bit longer for things like varicose vein operations is unlikely to finish anyone off. They have to manage their budgets and plan for the number of ops. that they can do in a year.
But we can anticipate that waiting lists will lengthen. They came down (in England) considerably under the last government. But they were longer in Wales I think - I remember my aunt waiting a lot longer for her hip-op than she would have done in England. But under budget restrictions they will rise. I think we have just seen the golden age of the health service pass us by.

northerngran Fri 29-Jul-11 16:14:33

that's interesting, jess. I can see what you mean. I hate it when the news gets sensationalised so you just don't know what to think any more.

But it's still an unnecessarily opaque way of treating people. It's the sort of manipulative selling technique you'd expect from a cheap flights operator, not the National Health Service which these people have contributed to.

I can see there's a playoff between budgets and waiting times. I just hope that someone sorts this out before this becomes the norm...

crimson Fri 29-Jul-11 16:22:42

grandmabet; I understand the point that you're making, but I feel the pain of childlessness is a pain beyond belief. It destroys lives and relationships.

JessM Fri 29-Jul-11 16:24:37

This govt have said the don't want to be "target driven" . It is a fairly transparent cover for cost cutting I think and we will see people waiting longer for referrals to cancer specialists etc.
But targets can be problematic. Under the previous regime you had a situation where there were tight targets for routine ops. We used to hear stories about hospitals scheduling lots of tattoo removal ops and such like because they were easy hits on the list. If you could do 10 minor ops or one major one (a hip or something) in an afternoon.... then which was better for the statistics.
It is a really hard job managing the health service, that's for sure.

effblinder Fri 29-Jul-11 16:38:42

grin JessM! these kind of stories just make you wonder.

Yes it's hard. But we still need to question why because otherwise people in power won't have the impetus to change and develop.

effblinder Fri 29-Jul-11 16:39:12

I DID NOT MEAN grin obviously. I meant shock

Charlotta Fri 29-Jul-11 21:30:50

A cataract Op doesn't take much longer than a tattoo removal OP and enables old people look after themselves and remain independent. My aunt paid for one hip to be done while the other hip was on the list and was finally done on the NHS a year later. Worse, it all depends on WHERE you live.

helshea Fri 29-Jul-11 22:08:59

My dad just had one cataract done, and the other in three weeks, and waiting time was almost non-existent..

susiecb Sat 30-Jul-11 08:01:03

I worked in NHS management for years and this is nothing new they have been massaging their figures all the time - we just dont hear about it!

Annobel Sat 30-Jul-11 08:30:33

When I was due to have my hip replaced, I wrote to the hospital and very politely asked if they could defer my op for a week because I wouldn't have any help at home until then. So they put me to the end of the list. I protested vigorously and, having investigated, found that I knew several of the governors of the Trust whom I then contacted. I got an apology and my op when I wanted it. But I fear for those who can't play the system which is maybe why I was a local councillor and nowadays am a CAB advisor.

Charlotta Sat 30-Jul-11 10:36:35

Annobel, this is terrible but it happens in all large concerns. I was once waiting for my broadband update connection and just happened to meet a young women who I had taught some years before. I told her how frustrated I was and as she worked for Telecom, I got my connection immediately afterwards.
This is just socalled networking but it does not belong in the NHS! My brother died because of NHS negligence and maybe because we did not know the right people.

Annobel Sat 30-Jul-11 12:38:38

Even if you don't know influential people, someone you know maybe does, or the names may well be on a web site. I am probably shameless!

crimson Sat 30-Jul-11 13:41:02

I think sometimes just being a pain in the wotsit can help...being quiet and polite isn't always the best plan. It does worry me though that they just hope people will go private..but isn't that often done in nhs hospitals using up beds that nhs patients should have?

susiecb Sun 31-Jul-11 11:48:51

crimson I think you are right - when I worked in NHS management it was acknowledged that the system ran on complaints. You know what they say ' the squeeky wheel gets the oil!'

Annobel Mon 01-Aug-11 17:11:53

It was because I had so much pain that I was a pain! It was one of the best days of my life when I was able to dispose of my walking stick

mamanC Wed 17-Aug-11 20:29:08

My daughter is caught up in NHS waiting lists and her health is deteriorating before our eyes. A GP admitted to her today that the clinics are cloggged up with people who don't need to be there, blocking access for those like my daughter who really do need help. The ins and outs of the why's and wherefores are too complex for Joe Public to easily grasp and so act as a smoke screen, allowing the system to fall apart. Those of us caught up in it see the chaos and feel utterly helpless. So tomorrow I will dare to ring the consultant's secretary to try to get someone to listen and act. Bet Joe Public isn't allowed anywhere near the Hallowed Ground tho,and no doubt a parent's fear for her child's health will be brushed aside. The GP read the riot act to the hospital today, so I'm hoping she might have rocked the boat a bit. She confessed to feeling worn out after she'd done it and my daughter remarked that if that was the case, then she would understand how exhausting it is to be the patient caught up in a system that isn't working. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do please?

Heather Thu 18-Aug-11 13:00:45

not exactly strictly on the original topic but my daughter was recently referred to physio ... she had a TELEPHONE appointment where she was waving her arms around trying to explain to whomever was on the other end of the line (how do we know it wasn't the cleaner???) where her pain is ... and then she has been sent some leaflets explaining, with diagrams, the exercises she is to do and the words "if it doesn't hurt it's not working" !

Any wonder we're all concerned at where our health service is going?