June 2024

Nobody dares piss on the NHS’s parade

(Friday blog)

Oh what joy! Oh what happiness! Hallelujah! The NHS, our national religion, was 70 years old yesterday. There were even church services giving thanks to God for the creation of our great NHS. At such a time of national rejoicing, nobody dares become a party-pooper. Nobody dares suggest the NHS isn’t the “envy of the world”. Nobody dares piss on the NHS’s parade.

Nobody dares mention how poorly Britain performs on 5-year survival rates on the main cancers. Out of 27 advanced European countries, here’s the UK’s position:

Lung cancer – 21: colorectal cancer – 17: colon cancer – 12: prostate cancer – 16: breast cancer – 14: pancreatic cancer – 20: brain cancer – 21: stomach cancer – 24.

Hmmm. Not so great. Unfortunately our mainstream media tends to not mention these rather unfortunate figures as to criticise the NHS is akin to blasphemy.

But what about survival rates for other common conditions like strokes and heart attacks?

Here’s how we compare on mortality rates for the two main types of stroke 30 days after admission:

Two to three times as many people die from strokes in our hospitals than in many other similarly advanced countries.

And here’s how we rate on mortality from cardio-vascular disease per 100,000 of the population:

Much worse than Portugal, Italy and France. Though, while mortality rates for cancers and strokes are clearly driven by the quality of healthcare provided, the above results for cardio-vascular mortality may have as much to do with diet and lifestyles as with the quality of medical care.

Given the £150bn a year we hose on to our beloved NHS, how are we doing on the number of hospital beds per 100,000 people?

So, given the appalling outcomes listed above, you might be wondering where all our £150bn goes.

Here’ a hint: when New Labour first came to power in 1997, the NHS (England and Wales) had around 200,000 hospital beds and 25,000 managers (8 hospital beds per manager). By the time New Labour were replaced by the Coalition, the NHS (England and Wales) had around 140,000 hospital beds and 43,000 managers (3.2 beds per manager).

Moreover, NHS managers’ and executives salaries have massively increased siphoning off much needed money from front-line services.

There are many dedicated and skilled medical staff in the NHS. But, unfortunately, the NHS suffers from an almost terminal condition – managerialism. Like so many of our public services, the NHS is being destroyed from within by the new priviliged, parasitic ruling class of useless, over-paid, over-pensioned managers.

(Today’s blog is dedicated to the Chief Executive of my local hospital where I was once an elected governor until I resigned in protest at issues I cannot mention for legal reasons)

6 comments to Nobody dares piss on the NHS’s parade

  • William Boreham

    A German GP working in the NHS puts her finger on another topic rarely discussed.

  • A Thorpe

    That needed to be said. The part of the service I saw was sickening (pun intended).

    What the NHS will say to some of these figures is that it shows how efficient they are. What I want to see is the NHS giving us a costing for each treatment we receive. I suspect we would all be shocked. We don’t get the information because it would probably show the private sector is cheaper.

  • Andy

    It’s a financial black hole, swamped by foreign invaders. But it’s a sacred cow and nothing will be done until it collapses.

  • Mr J G Fields

    You are dead right. Do not criticize the NHS.
    I will. Two personal examples. One, I was in for one week
    to have a camera up the bum. Bed comfortable, food good,
    company great. Procedure cancelled four times, come back
    as an outpatient.
    My wife was in for three weeks. I won’t mention two or three things that happened on the ward. Trouble, Crohn’s
    disease. She was discharged and sent home. She was still
    leaking from her back passage and not eating. I obtained
    a wheel chair. I pushed my wife together with all her
    clothes and Zimmer frame for 250 metres. We looked like a
    Pickford’s removal van. I was 85 and no help.

  • Stillreading

    Words of wisdom indeed from the doctor writing in the Daily Mail article. She’ll probably receive a visit from Plod accusing her of racism……. As someone whose profession was in health care and several members of whose family are currently employed by the NHS I can attest to the plethora of managers as opposed to front line staff. I know for a fact that our local midwifery service is severely understaffed, with one midwife routinely dealing with several labouring mothers, all about to deliver, at the same time. Add to this the right of every labouring mother to request, indeed demand, every bizarre, medically unproven, method of delivery she may desire. If the midwife, in the name of safety of mother and child, is reluctant to comply, she may face charges of incompetence or prejudice or transgressing treatment guidelines or some other nonsense. Midwives frequently have to attend home deliveries when they KNOW and have told the mother, that she and her baby are at risk and ought to be in hospital, but the mother’s will prevails, then, if the worst occurs, the midwife is found culpable. Last evening I watched the BBC programme where various well know people worked for a while in the NHS. Michael Mosley, who left the NHS for journalism many years ago followed an aspiring facial maxillary surgeon, a woman, for a few days. This young doctor’s hours of duty were excruciating. She was on active duty for around 18 hours, with the prospect of repeating that the following day, ad infinitum one assumes. No Manager would work such hours, neither would he/she have the weight of responsibility this young doctor bore. We saw a procedure in which an artificial heart valve was inserted into a very elderly woman. The procedure took place under local anaesthetic. The cost of the valve ALONE, a simple-looking device composed of spring-loaded wire mesh and plastic, cost, we were told £15,000. Why? The entire procedure cost the NHS £50,000K. How? In what manner were these costs evaluated? Added to the justifiable treatments routinely carried out on people who have become ill through no fault of their own, we have the problems generated by the grossly obese, the idle, the self-indulgent, who will as they grow older develop illnesses directly attributable to their chosen life-styles, but who will demand that “something is done”. We need in the UK a bit of straight speaking about who is entitled to what and when. Anne Widdicombe spoke good sense on this. If you want to see what GPs have to deal with every day, watch “Behind Closed Doors” on Ch 5. (May be off air at the moment, but will doubtless return.) It’s a revelation!

  • Theresa O

    I can’t compare the NHS with other health system, but I am certain that these ‘five-year survival rates’ are useless for that purpose. See:

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