February 2024
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The NHS’s real obesity problem is its fat, useless, bloated bureaucracy

Another week, another scandal of poor care in the NHS. And once again it’s the dreadful Staffordshire hospital where around 1,200 patients died unnecessarily from poor care. The chief executive was allowed to retire early with a huge pay-off and full pension and to avoid answering any questions at an enquiry by claiming ill health. Meanwhile the head of the health authority responsible, Cynthia Bower, was promoted to run the Care Quality Commission – the body that should be ensuring good care throughout the NHS. This could only happen in the bureaucrats’ paradise that Britain has become.

There will be many more NHS scandals in the months to come and the usual handwringers at the BBC and Guardian will bleat and moan about ‘budget cuts’ and the NHS needing more money. Yet the NHS budget has doubled over the last 12 years – but quality of care hasn’t improved. Instead, most of the extra money has been wasted on things like a doubling in the number of managers from about 20,000 to over 40,000 and a doubling in managers’ salaries. Meanwhile the number of hospital beds has been slashed. In 1997, there were about 8 hospital beds per manager, now there are less then 4.

In spite of the vast amounts we spend on the NHS, we now have fewer hospital beds per 100,000 people than almost any other European country. So don’t listen to the NHS’s excuses – it is responsible for its own pathetic failure.

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