Gransnet forums


(563 Posts)
Iam64 Wed 03-Jan-18 19:19:36

The situation we're in this week with the NHS, cancelled operations, frail and ill patients sitting in queues of ambulances outside A and E, etc etc.
The health secretary and PM are insisting they planned well for these pressures. Every doctor/nurse Ive heard interviewed is saying the situation is desperate and that the issue is lack of resources.
Local Authorities funds have been devastated so patients who could be discharged home if social care was available remain in hospital. People stay on trollies in A and E rather than being discharged because there isn't a Consultant available to confirm they ca go home.
Does anyone have a sensible suggestion about how this situation can be improved. I don't see how it can improve without more money, we need to train and support our medical staff.

Iam64 Wed 03-Jan-18 19:21:49

Apologies, I do realise there have been a number of discussions about the NHS recently but the discussions on social media/news/ today make me believe this government has to be held to account. I'd be interested to hear if others disagree

jura2 Wed 03-Jan-18 19:27:07

Agree totally- and repeat:

"That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."

Noam Chomsky,

the technique is very simple, and it works, every time.

paddyann Wed 03-Jan-18 19:28:15

does anyone know the numbers of people in A and E who waited longer than 4 England and Wales .I have the Scottish ones

Luckygirl Wed 03-Jan-18 19:54:54

Well for a start the politicians must stop lying. Every time those working on the ground say it is in chaos, we get TM completely denying this.

"........his [Hunt's] thanks [to NHS workers] were echoed by Prime Minister Theresa May, who also denied the health service was in crisis.

"The NHS has been better prepared for this winter than ever before," she added."

It makes you despair. How can they bash blindly on refusing to believe the evidence of everyone else's eyes? It is true of education as well.

What also exasperated me was that Hunt generously offered to suspend fines to hospitals for having mixed sex wards for the next 2 weeks - fines!!! - how does that help? How does that improve the availability of funds for patient care? And the same happens on the railway.

Outsource and fragment = lose accountability and loyalty. This in turn leads to services crumbling.

I am beyond angry about all this.

jura2 Wed 03-Jan-18 20:43:10

It is clear that, apart from the current shameful debacle with the NHS - all health systems in the world, even in the richest countries - are already or heading, for big trouble. It will require huge discussion and debate in all those countries and societies - with an ageing population, and hugely expensive treatments and drugs available for most conditions, and the huge rise in neonatal care, etc- no system will be able to cope- and choices will have to be made.

How can we go forwards - and again, not 'just' talking about NHS - I just do not know- It is a hugely complicated issue, with no easy choices either.

lemongrove Wed 03-Jan-18 20:53:46

The NHS will have to face changes, it cannot continue as it is with so many demands put upon it.We have all agreed this before, it is getting ever worse, though some areas are better than others ( for varying reasons).
Hunt apologised to anyone who didn’t manage to get their ( non emergency) surgery, never known a Health Minister to do that, something at least. Every Winter puts extra strain on hospitals and always has.

lemongrove Wed 03-Jan-18 20:55:17

I think the time is going to come that the NHS and all it offers, will either have to be slimmed down or it cannot be totally free at the point of demand.

durhamjen Wed 03-Jan-18 21:08:45

A trust in Surrey, Hunt's patch, is sending children home so adults can have their beds.

There's a 38 degrees petition which already has 35,000+ signatures to stop the crisis by giving the NHS the money they asked for.

glammanana Wed 03-Jan-18 21:14:14

Iam64 I totally agree with regard to the lack of funding from Local Authorities and people being kept in hospital through lack of social care,my neighbour has been in hospital for the last 7 weeks whilst her family have tried to get her placed as she cannot return home without support,her daughter is in a full time job and can't help as much as she would like to so for 7 weeks she has been kept on a ward along with others in the same situation,I worry if anything seriously wrong happens to either me or hubby would we get the correct care in the correct amount of time at the present time I somehow doubt it.

Luckygirl Wed 03-Jan-18 22:00:55

I used to work in hospitals as a SW and the whole issue of hospital discharges is fraught - I in fact ran a research project on the subject.

The authority I worked for actually set up a joint authority between health and SS precisely in order to try and stop the "competition" situation that arose at the interface between the two services. It did not last long and soon disintegrated, because the whole system is so fragmented in the way it is funded.

The reality is that you cannot set targets for discharges (especially of elderly people) if decent alternatives are not available. The provision of social care is a total mess: private homes poorly monitored; care at home with 15 minute slots - I help my OH to dress and undress - there is no way it could be done in a dignified respectful way in 15 minutes.

durhamjen Wed 03-Jan-18 22:03:07

A very long article to read, showing why we are in the situation we are in.

whitewave Wed 03-Jan-18 22:13:45

Is there any doubt that the NHS has gradually got worse since the Tories came to office and since 2010.

So my conclusion is that’s without sufficient funding and strong support of the core principles the NHS will never survive.

The question is whether this is deliberate on the Tories part.

durhamjen Wed 03-Jan-18 22:28:21

Read the taxresearch article.
It is deliberate, no question about it.

"One paper published by the Centre for Policy Studies is particularly notable in this respect. Written by John Redwood, then (as now} Conservative MP for Woking, and Oliver Letwin, who had then to start his House of Commons career, it was entitled 'Britain's Biggest Enterprise: ideas for radical reform of the NHS' and was published in 1987[ix]. In a quaint reminder of the way things once were, the very obviously type written text remains available on the web. It is laden with barely veiled attacks on the NHS, behind the usual expressions of support for the NHS’s long suffering employees encumbered, as they were, by having to work in such a hostile system. But what really matters is the prescription it made for the direction of NHS reform, which it recognised could only be achieved in piecemeal fashion. The incremental goals would, it suggested, be:

Establishment of the NHS as an independent trust;
Increased use of joint ventures between the NHS and private sectors;
Extending the principle of charging;
A system of 'health credits';
A national health insurance scheme.

Looking at the NHS in England it is clear that the first and second goals have largely been achieved and are now deeply embedded within its structures. In social care charging is similarly profoundly embedded. So too is the concept of a 'health credit’ becoming more commonplace in some aspects of NHS service[x]. That said, whilst it is still appropriate to note that options three and four are far from complete, it is not unfair to say that they are works in progress. In that case the concern that an insurance system remains the direction of travel, as expressed by Professor Stephen Hawking[xi], appears to be entirely realistic in the circumstances. The neoliberal assault on the NHS is very real."

Iam64 Thu 04-Jan-18 08:55:03

The issue of funding arguments between Health and social care is long standing, despite many attempts to resolve it. Thirty years ago, social work teams had direct access to the l.a. Home care and residential services. I’m not suggesting it was a golden age but there were links between hospital and area teams and easier access to services than is often the case now. Meals on wheels didn’t just deliver a hot meal every day to frail elderly people, the provided a friendly, well known face. If there was no reply, the area team would phone relatives or go to the address. These services were not inexpensive and could no doubt be streamlined but we did share a sense of responsibility and community.

I agree with those who believe this government is running down the NHS with the aim of privatisation. I would like to see a system of taxation that is used to fund effective health and social care services. It can’t be impossible, those of us who have worked in these areas know that much groundwork has gone into attempts to combine. The issue continues to be competition for funding.

Teetime Thu 04-Jan-18 09:06:29

Over the last 15 to 20 years the NHS has been subject to continual reorganisation and increased bureaucracy which has placed an enormous burden on all sectors and staff. Added to that is the creeping privatisation of the NHS with as far as I can no improvements to care. At the same time clinicians have made enormous strides in new treatments and clinical innovation. Government needs to turn its attention from ever more mad new management ideas and constant reorganisation to clinical outcomes as the driver for investment and change and make a concerted effort to reduce bureaucratic overload.

whitewave Thu 04-Jan-18 16:39:17

Two main reasons for the NHS being in crises.

1. Investment has dropped by as much as 50% particularly in equipment.

2. A huge lack of recruitment.

Causing third world conditions, people are seeing conditions that people haven’t experienced in their working lives, conditions are worse now than they have ever been.
400,00 people now waiting longer than the target time.
Targets are simply no longer being met for A&E, elderly (that’s us folks) are dying as a result because the appropriate care is no longer quickly available, as was previously available.

All caused by the evils government’s plan of austerity.

durhamjen Thu 04-Jan-18 17:27:26

One main reason - Jeremy Hunt.

Cold Thu 04-Jan-18 17:45:42

Jeremy Hunt also co-authored a book in 2005 calling for the "de-nationalization" i.e. privatization of the NHS - so is it really a big surprise that the "crisis" is happening while he is in charge

durhamjen Thu 04-Jan-18 17:58:55

I think he's gone back into hiding again after criticising Blair on twitter.

whitewave Thu 04-Jan-18 18:03:59

Worse NHS Secretary in history eh?

Yes most would go along with that, but really it is the worse government in recent history isn’t it?

Sixtylooming Thu 04-Jan-18 18:26:04

Unfortunately, the only way to solve this is higher taxes to pay for it. It really has reached the point that it is unsustainable as free for everything. The increase in demand, treatment and health issues cannot be absorbed by the current funding. To introduce charges will be unpopular and no government wants to do that. I work in the NHS and have done for nearly 40 years. I am proud to be a front line NHS worker, but the pressures now are near intolerable with peoples expectations and the capacity we have to deal with. Look at Australia's health care system, part private, but it works..we need something like that. You can see a GP on the day you phone, get an MRI with a couple of days and results back with the GP quickly. They do pay for some of their health care, but boy it is more efficient than we have. People in the UK just have to accept that if they want a better service it has to be paid from somewhere....

whitewave Thu 04-Jan-18 18:48:25

sixty I suspect that the majority of people in the U.K. also think that the NHS needs to be paid for, but the point is we have never been asked if we are willing to cough up more.

whitewave Thu 04-Jan-18 19:03:12

Hunt claimed that there was crises in the NHS during labour’s term in office.

In fact there was just one in winter 1999/2000 after which the Labour Government made the decision to increase the funding to European average, and the NHS plan was introduced.

Lazigirl Thu 04-Jan-18 19:42:10

I do not see that going down the private route, which the present Government is hell bent on doing will solve anything. As far as I know there is no evidence that private health care is more efficient or cost effective than the NHS. It is just an idealistic solution. Our NHS was judged by Commonwealth Fund Thinktank to be the best, safest and most affordable (ahead of Australia as it happens). It just needs better funding.

To post you need a valid nickname and password. Log in if you are a returning member, or join for free.

If you have forgotten your nickname or your password, you can get a reminder.