Thursday, 24 January 2013

Where is Magpie?

My friend and colleague, Robin, informs me that my absence has been noted and people are missing me.

Rest assured I am missing 'sticking it to the man' just as much as you obviously enjoy reading my posts, however, I have 2 small children at home and they must be my priority. I'm sure you understand.

The pity of it is that they won't be little forever and I don't want to miss anything.

I leave you with this lovely poem until next time;

Babies Don't Keep

Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.~

..Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Magpie  x

(chant ) "Vote for me - for the L.H.B"

Conservatives ARE awake, after all !!

What a wonderful suggestion put by the 'old boys' of the public school brigade - let's have elections for all positions on the local health boards in future !  Who knows we might end up getting some members who actually know something about health, if not how NHS Wales works ( or doesn't as the case is now ).  I'm staggered that the Tory A.Ms are bothering to try to contribute to our ( already ) redundant system of government.

Of course, the Minister, Leslie Griffiths accuses the Tories of "playing at politics".  What a stupid thing to say, especially as elections will ensure that politics are kept out of the running of the health service altogether.  Churlish as it may be to point out but, the Dear Lady has been role-playing that she knows something about the health service when - in reality - she's one of the party faithful, dragged up from the depths of the parties ignoranamuses as the best of a bad lot, left over to fill a ministerial post.  Her pretence that she has no influence over the Health Boards has worn thinner than a cigarette paper.  Her refusal to let the public know what the budgets are - and precisely where they have failed to stay on target - shows that she probably doesn't know what a budget is, let alone what purpose it serves.  Scraping the barrell ? They must be down to the rotten wood already.

Why do we allow these untrained incompetents to assume roles that they have no idea about ?  Just because your one of the party faithful doesn't make you eligible to manage anying, never mind about a £6bn budget like the health service.  It's not a game you know, old trout, and you've been fumbling and stumbling around long enough now to ensure that the health service is 'mucked up' for decades to come. Am I being unfair ? I think not.Let's consider just a few recent examples ofthe results of the Dear Lady's failures as a Minister.

1.  All Health Boards fail on cancer waiting times - see article Alison Sanders, Western Mail today !

2. Suicide rates up by 30% from 2010 to end 2011.  I wonder what the 2012 figures will show ?  Excuses come in abundance ; it's middle aged men affected by the downturn in the economy 270 males overthe age of 15 took their own lives compared with 71 females.
Oh...there's just one excuse missing... That mental health services have been cut so drastically that the remaining, understaffed services cannot begin to cope with the huge demand for help placed on GPs or deprived families.  Of course, we have no idea what the need for mental health services is as NHS Wales, nor the Universally Inept Health Board have made a Needs Assessment since the Ark docked.  They say "Care in the community is the answer" - trying telling that to an aged mum who gets beaten up regularly by her untreated son.  In addition, the acutely mentally ill are being placed in the community with little, infrequent care, resulting in manias and other breakdowns that can cause damage to the patient or their family. Still, as long as Leslie Griffiths doesn't have to face them - who cares ?

3. Cross-Party AMs in health move petition.

Yes - at last - a cross-party group ( including one Labour AM have written to the Health Minister to ask her to reconsider moving neo natal services across the border.  These plans by the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board are said to be ridiculous, with 'overwhelming opposition.  Of course, the Dear Lady quotes her 'get out 'clause - that she cannot posssibly do anything until the Community Health Council have made their decision over the next six weeks.  No prizes for guessing what the chicken-shit CHC will say when they eventually approve the plans "In the best interests of the health board-SORRY- the patients ( yeah right ).

Well, you've gotta love a stubborn-as-a-dumb-mule female Minister who doesn't give a toss about the patients, or anyone else she upsets ! ( well....haven't you ? ).   R.W.

Monday, 21 January 2013

"You've never had it so good..."

Knowledge is not intelligence - Albert Einstein

This quote certainly applies to my favourite academic, Professor Marcus Longley, who ( for some unkown reason ) is trying to emulate the great Harold MacMillan.  I could hardly believe my ears when the Prof said that "We've all been living in a fools paradise.....", referring to our former years of ( apparently ) languishing in the care of NHS Wales where "money flowed like a waterfall...".  Triumphantly, he says that we've all been brought down to earth with a bump and have to face 'reality' as "the money has run out and we all have acccept the painful changes necessary to achieve a sustainable health service."

What a complete berk, Longley ! How on earth do you keep your job at the University of Glamorgan, being such a shameless, ass-kissing toady ? And to think, you were once jocularly referred to as a 'health economist', I don't know how you sleep nights after misrepresenting the truth to the extent that you have become a ventriloquist's dummy. 

I used to respect you when you were on the side of the long-suffering patients, but now any respect you warranted has 'gone with the wind', like flatulence.  In the past, we have both spoken on the television and the radio in support of the long-suffering health service patients, both pressing for a change to the NHS that would mean shorter waiting times and better care than we have experienced since the year 2000.  What a charlatan you have become !

Don't you think it odd that this academic nit-wit has only just started singing this song, lately ?  How is that we have never heard Marcus ever warn us - or anybody - that we have been 'living in a fool's paradise' before, during all those years as a health economist ?  Isn't it odd that this turncoat has never, ever been reported as saying anything so monumentally stupid as this before ?  Could it be that he has sold his soul for personal fame and gain, by assuming the role of someone who knows anything about health economics, or any form of economics ? We know that he has never questioned the voracity of any of the government's claims of overspend in the NHS.  And since when did he start believing that our health service was a matter of profit and loss, when none of the comparative figures of performance compared to budget have ever been published ?  Some economist - some academic ! 

It's a shame the university doesn't compare his exhorbitant salary to his performance - if it was possible to measure, of course.  In truth, the only 'fools paradise' where money flows like a waterfall is in the life of an academic or a bureacrat, who work like collaborators or quizzlings for their autocratic political masters. Their primary role is to spread the vile propaganda - such as the misrepresentation of facts, used to justify the need for change in NHS Wales, when, in truth, the only motive for change is to cut costs !   R.W.

Monday, 14 January 2013

The NHS Blame and Shame Game

The View of an ‘expert’ patient

If the NHS in Wales is – “ON THE BRINK”, there is only one port of call for the Ship of Shame ( and the crew that are to blame ) – those who are supposed to be in control and their own abysmal mismanagement and incompetent planning for the future of OUR health service.

Make no mistake about this situation – it has been brought about by thirteen years of mismanagement when community hospitals have been closed, over 800 beds have been deliberately cut, and consultations for change were blatantly fiddled, ignoring public opinion.  The Welsh government must take the blame, along with their compliant subordinates and supposedly ‘Independent Advisers’ – all government funded to do their bidding in bringing the current situation about.

Dr Phil Banfield is the only true expert when he says “This is all about money – all we see is cut, cut, cut”.  The changes - made by incompetent Health Ministers and inept Health Boards - have all been calculated to rationalise and centralise services in direct conflict with the rising health needs of our growing population.  We have lost good nurses, to agencies who make a fortune selling them back to the NHS.  We haven’t replaced nurses – specialised and otherwise – or doctors because replacement has been put on hold to the extent that few or no advertisements have ever been made for replacements or new clinical staff.  There has been absolutely no Needs Assessment conducted anywhere in Wales, nor any epidemiological study that would highlight the areas of health care most in need of resources.

Professor Marcus Longley cowardly denies that he was scripted to write the ‘Case for Change Report’ by Leslie Griffiths and her team of cut-purses. Not satisfied with having sold his soul by supporting changes that he has previously stated are not sensible, he is now worsening his betrayal of patients by trying to divert attention away to ‘prevention and enhanced community services’ as being two of the main changes needed.  Putting the problems of sick loved ones back onto their families is not a solution, nor is the undefined Care in the Community the way to deal with those of us who suffer from chronic illnesses. He quotes ‘Together in Health’ – pages of empty rhetoric with no ‘who?’, ‘what ?’ ‘where ?’ ‘when?’ being offered to us, the dumb plebeians.

 However, there are plenty of ‘why’s offered by the so-called expert academic, most of which are to correct the ill-thought-out changes previously made by other Jobs worth bureaucrats. Underlying these patch-pasting ideas is the latest excuse – that we the populace are to blame, for getting ill in the first place, daring to expect health care in the second, and for bringing about the need for change by getting predictable seasonal flu, or sickness and diarrhoea, and for bringing the hospital-acquired infections into being ( as though we were terrorists specialising in germ warfare ).

Finally Marcus Long-nose has the unmitigated gall to ‘clipboard’ the areas that are the principle reasons for urgent, painful change – every single one of them attributable to the incompetence of our government and NHS Wales, who refuse to tell us what the budgets were and are, and why the hospitals and GPs have been ( apparently ) allowed to ignore these business plans, by frittering public money away on doing their jobs ( helping the sick and the deprived ).  He dare not blame his paymasters, as is the custom amongst the fawning independent advisors – such as the Community Health Councils, whose members have one foot in the grave and both hands in the public purse.

Finally, I agree that change is the only remedy, starting with the sacking of every incompetent manager in the NHS and all those in government who know absolutely damn -all about the health service, yet who think that they can role-play with our money and our lives !  R. W.

Monday, 7 January 2013

And the excuses keep on coming......( Yawn )

We're just in the New Year and already the Cardiff and Vale Universally Inept Health Board are trotting out the perennial excuses for long patient queues in corridors on trolleys. Since my predictive post of the 17th December 2012, it hasn't taken the C&V U.I.H.B even one calendar month to start trotting out their lame excuses for their incompetent dealings with emergency admissions.

At the last report ( Echo 4th January ), up to 11 patients at one time were waiting, in a corridor, more than six hours, just to be properly assessed.  And these are Emergency patients, deemed sufficiently ill to warrant immediate attention !  So, a doctor or relative dials 999 because of this and, when the ambulance eventually arrives, the poor patient is rushed to A & E at UHW where they are expected to receive EMERGENCY treatment.  Instead, they are put in a queue of trolleys in the cold corridor, awaiting to be treated with the urgency they deserve. Worse still, they are denied the company of relatives and/or friends because they only add to the clutter-chaos in the corridor.

Dr Richard Evans, Divisional Director of medicine at C&V U.I.H.B, says that the emergency unit is "Under extreme pressure following the festive period..", and, "Our clinical teams are working hard to manage this increased demand" ( probably with the same number of staff from 'normal' days unfairly  expected to cope with three or four times the demand on their services .) 

Now, if this were the first festive period we ever had - bang in the middle of the winter flu outbreak - you might say "Well, how could they have known ?"  The truthful, unpalatable fact is that we've had this situation every bleedin' year for three decades at least, so we might expect the Health Authority to recognise this historical, inescapable fact and PLAN FOR THESE SEASONAL ANOMALIES. But no, we just get our intelligence insulted by pathetic, perennial excuses that are - in reality - the result of poor planning, bad management, and the current trend of 'Trying to Make the Patients Fit the Service'.  Oops ! - did I just use the term 'poor planning' - big mistake.  Recent consultations on changes to our health service ( over the past 15 years ) have shown us that the so-called 'Planning Team' couldn't plan their way out of a cul-de-sac ! Yet, every year, these same incompetent pillocks waste millions of OUR pounds on daft, unaffordable - and always woefully inadequate -capital projects and reorganisation schemes that at are supposed to be Fit For Purpose { whatever the blazes that's supposed to mean ). And - surprise surprise - each one turns out a service that is, smaller, more useless and more inaccessible than its' predecessor.

We'll be alright though, because Minister Leslie Griffiths is on the job saying things like "this situation is unacceptable" and "action must be taken to sort the problems out." Of course, she neglects to offer a "How" ?, "Why", ? "What ?" "When " by Whom ?", or anything that we could take as being constructive or helpful, even.  Doubtless, she will blame the poor Ambulance Trust for taking too long to answer emergency calls because they're all gridlocked outside UHW A & E..  R.W.