What a plethora of health stories this week - it seems that nothing stays static in NHS Wales ( except the patients who are left in ambulances, or on trolleys, or patients - languishing on waiting lists - awaiting surgery, or some vital diagnostic test - for very long. No waiting at this blog, anyway.
Cameron and Hunt rebuked over NHS spending claims ( 'I' 5th December )
David Cameron and the Health Secretary have been publicly rebuked by the government's own statistics watchdog for misleadingly claiming that spending on health had risen since 2010. Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, concluded that spending on the NHS was actually lower in real terms than it was in 2010. Mr C's pledge that to protect health spending from public sector cuts has been central to the government's strategy of proving it can be trusted on the NHS. But in a damning letter to Mr Hunt, after a complaint by the Labour party, Mr Dilnot concluded that the claim was untrue. UNTRUE ? - you mean they lied to make themselves look good ?? Oh deary me, whatever next ? If you can't trust the government, who can you believe ?
Although the UK-wide figures included Wales, surely this can't mean that the Welsh government are doing the same or, at the vety least, contributing to this deliberate misrepresentation - surely not ????
Hospital Care Scandal
In an excellent letter to the Echo last week - commenting on the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Ann Clwyd MP's husband at UHW - Nurse Alison Spurrier gives a very balanced view of the likely cause in the lack of care received by husband Owen Roberts. After carefully stating the proper approach to such palliative care, Alison gives good reason as to why the fault lies in "A lack of leadership". Indeed her plausible explanations are eloquently stated, bravely showing that her words should be taken seriously from her, as she is is a senior nurse of some standing. There is no doubt about the sincerity and truthfulness of her letter, but I also see that 'leadership' is not fully defined.
In my opinion, this lack of leadership is a fault running all the way up to Board level, revealing a lamentable lack of manergerial control, from the top and down through the subordinate layers of management. Thank goodness for the fact that, in her position as an MP, she will ensure that the proper corrective measures will be taken at every level of the hierarchy of the Cardiff and Vale Health Board, including NHS Wales.
Well done, Alison, for standing up and speaking out ! Sadly, there are too many cases where patients and/or their families complain about being badly let down by the NHS.
Health Bosses 'must ensure enough staff on wards' - Echo December 11th 2012
In a pathetic display of 'Stating the obvious' and ' Mixed messages confusing everyone ', our Dear Leader, Leslie Griffiths, Minister for Health and Social services, tells us that "Health chiefs must make sure they have enough nurses on their wards to ensure dignity, care and compassion for patients.". Nurses say that they are under tremendous pressure due to short staffing levels causing poor morale. But, the Dear Lady responds that "It's really important that nurses do not feel like that. Dignity is so important in care and it is not nice to read stories where this is not happening." Shock, Horror, Probe !!!! Is she serious, or at least a tad insincere in what she says, or does she think that we ( the public ) and the Health Boards are so monumentally stupid that we forget about her insistence that Health Boards MUST be wthin budget by the end of the year ???
So, exactly how many nurses are we short, and who the blazes is going to pick up the tab for hiring all the extra nurses needed to ensure that that these so-called standards of care and compassion are met ??? If she had half a brain or ANY meaningful experience of running a health board ( or even a ruddy clinic ), she might just twig that you can't have the penny and the bun - i.e. you can't cut costs to the bone and still run an organisation that's fully staffed. Ergo, I'm guessing that a short-term fix will be muted ( more agency nurses, again ), before we are returned to the status quo of expecting our nurses to do more with inadequate resources, again. Really, you couldn't run a kid's party with that mentality, much less a £1bn plus, complex organisation like a hospital the size of UHW.
Personally speaking, I'm fed up to the armpits with all this insincerity, and intolerable B.S. ( business statistics, of course ). R.W.