Saturday, 30 March 2013

There are Lies, Damn Lies and NHS 'Statistics'

"Patient Safety at Risk in A & E Crisis"

No less than 24 A & E consultants have signed a joint letter to Minister Mark Drakeford, reporting the risk to patients from overcrowded, under-staffed units and insufficient beds.  This, they assert, is the direct result of A&E department closures with the reduction in acute beds. These brave consultants have stated that emergency units are  "seriously overcrowded, on their knees and leaving patients at risk". Already, death rates are higher in Wales than in any other part of the UK, and further reductions to only 4 or 5 A & E units ( to cover ALL of Wales ) will inevitably increase these rates. The consultants rightly state that financial pressures on health boards, make them close acute beds in order to save money.

Will the contents of this letter force the Minister to rethink these closures and strengthen all A & E units with more ressources ?  I very much doubt it - especially in view of the First Minister's recent statements that there will be no change to any of the proposed closures and/or relocation of services.

Yet, the pantomime of 'making services stable safe, and sustainable' continues to confound staff and patients equally, as there are no credible explanations of the need for change being offered, other than the obvious intention to cut costs by reducing all health services in Wales. This pantomime was laid before the public in a series of meetings ( inadequately advertised and poorly attended, as a result ) led by Dr Graham Shortland, over a period of two weeks in November. Indeed, the Medical Director, NHS Wales was very unconvincing with his half-hearted presentation that concluded on 27th November 2012, with questions about the future provision and accessibilityof Paediatric, Neo Natal, and A & E services pouring in from all attendees. The answers to all questions were woefully inadequate, predicting doom and gloom for everyone who failed to accept the changes. Needlesss to say, no one believed the preamble that claimed that these changes had been agreed by 300 consultants meeting on a regular basis ( yeah, right - you may see two or three together, but 300 ? - give me a break ! ).

Now we await the dates for the Public Consultation meetings that will be conducted by the Community Health Councils, with their usual incompetence that will produce complete support for all of the changes - and to hell with what the public have to say - as per ruddy usual !  Consequently, we will all be bullied into living ( or dying ) with these changes, by our autocratic government, who will continue to protest that it's all our own fault.  Already, it is a long-established fact that most fatalities amongst victims of heart attacks ( Myocardial Infarctions, if you please ) occur before the poor patients reach hospital. Reducing the numbers of A & E units will, inevitably, cause these deaths to increase.  Meanwhile, you may be sure that all of your elected officials and their bureaucrat subordinates will be treated in private hospitals at our cost . That's fair.....isn't it ???     R.W.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

"The Fuehrer insists - "Democracy is Not an Option"

NHS Reform a Must - First Minister tells his party that NOT acting is the biggest danger

Carwyn  Jones repeats his dictate that "Doing nothing is not an option", and we ( the party faithfull ) must not allow ourselves to be led by any argument against the changes to the NHS.  "Do not listen to reason" he insists, "and, above all, do not take the concerns and opinions of the electorate into consideration".  And so, the Talibanesque Cookbook is made known to we stupid Plebians, who don't realise that healthcare has nothing to do with Hospitals, doctors and medicine - it's all about not getting ill in the first place.  From now on the words cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, alzheimers, etc do not exist, they are to be striken (?) from our language".  Ayotolla Jones commands that all medical books and journals are to be burnt in the centre of every town, and medical schools are banned. And so, the 'Dear Leader' follows the example of Stalin who famously said "People are the problem - No people, no problem". The only way the need for healthcare can be reduced is if the population is reduced, and - an absolutely essential requirement - no more immigrants - who sap our public services with their insatiable greed.

In future, any citizen displaying any signs of illness will be transferred to the Leper colony on Anglesey, where they will be refused food and water.  Subsequently, death will be considered self-inflicted because they have been living unhealthy lifestyles.  Even citizens with Acne, Dandruff Halitosis and Athletes foot will be subjected to mandatory isolation.  All other citizens will be periodically assessed for their physical fitness. Anyone failing to achieve , and maintain, Olympic qualification standards of fitness will be punished, regardless of their age. All we need now is to follow through with the Great Plan - reduce the population - starting with the mentally ill, old and the vulnerable, then, gradually increase the death rate by using demography to help strip away healthcare and treatment facilities.  Ten to fifteen years later you're looking at the modern model for autocratic cost control ( Sssssssimple - in Meerkat language ).

 In view of this justifiable cynicism, these are the unanswered questions that show that there has been no evidence of any need to change our health services.

First Minister, I ask yout to answer all of the following questions that arise from your governments failure to provide adequate healthcare for the citizens of Wales :-

  1. Why do we need to reform our health service now, after losing over 800 hospital beds and other essential rural services ?
  2. Where is the evidence that any and/or all parts of the health service need to save millions of pounds in expenditure ?
  3. Where are the published results that show irresponsible overspending - and in which areas and specialities ?
  4. From the start to the finish of any financial year, please publish the actual month-by-month performance of all Health Boards for primary and secondary service.
  5. Simply put, even for a barrister - why is change necessary and who decided what that change should be ?
  6. Why do you - a politician - think that you know what's best for the people of Wales, with regard to their healthcare needs and - again - where is the evidence to sup[port this theory ?
  7. Why has there been no Needs Assessment carried out in any/all parts of Wales ?
  8. If ANY epidemiology study has been carried out in the last decade, why hasn't this been published, in order to highlight the ares of concern ?
  9. Why are death rates of inpatients higher in Wales than anywhere else in the U.K. ?
  10. How much of our money has been wasted on 'health tourists' and asylum seekers, and why ?
  11. Who gave you a mandate to decide who lives or dies in Wales, from lack of healthcare or inaccessibility to reduced, centralised health services ?
  12. Given that the public do not support these changes ( e.g. closure of Accident and Emergency departments, relocation of Neonatal units ), why are you refusing to cancel them, especially as you have no competence in the area of health, whatsoever and you were supposed to have been elected to obey the wishes of the electorate ?
Also - Why do you persist in supporting so many proven lies made by the NHS e.g. "We are adhering to all National Service Frameworks", "We always obey the statutory regulations for Public Patient Involvement; "All of our consultations have been conducted fairly and honestly; "The Community Health Councils ARE the voice of the people";  "The status quo is not an option"; "Existing services are not 'fit for purpose' and not sustainable"; "All the budget figures are in the public domain" ( they are not, even after FoI requests) etc etc ad nauseum ???

After supplying the requested answers, would you please commit your government to Openness and Transparency in all matters relating to our health service.

Yours etc...

Will the media publish these questions ????

Of course they bloody well won't !    ( I told you I was a cynic, didn't I ? )    R.W.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Cuts, cuts and more cuts - is there anything left for healthcare ?

Shock as Cardiff & Vale NHS ( ? shouldn't that be 'Health Board ?' ) reveals need to make £58m cuts over the next 12  months - S Wales Echo 22.03.2013.

"Why ?" - someone must know, surely ? or does Peter Law swallow all of the information put out by the LHB and record verbatim every word of complete BS ( business statistics, of course ), dutifully without questioning anything ? The Welsh Media have become the propoganda department of the Welsh Government, giving uncritical support to all the truck-loads of horse feathers that they want us dull citizens to believe.

Nowhere in this lame article does it state what the budget actually is for 2013/2014, or why cuts should be made when the new fiscal year couldn't possibly reveal any anticipated shortfalls - yet - or else ( logically ) why this secret budget wasn't £58m lower, in the first place.  It's just another case of ensuring failure by giving impossible targets so the Minister can claim that "It was all their fault", when the intention was to make the hospitals unworkable.  Frankly, I am fed up with these over-paid fat-cats insulting my intelligence with meaningless figures that are produced at a whim, without ANY explanation as to how they were arrived at. If anyone in government wanted the NHS to succeed, they would have the doctor's running the show and setting their own budgets which would be clear, honest and transparent, at any time during the fiscal year.  As I have said before "Companies don't plan to fail, they fail to plan".  However with the NHS, they DO plan to fail and - as with capital programmes, they couldn't plan their way out of a cul-de-sac - the proposed relocation of Rookwood and the building of a new hospital for Adult Mental Health, being two prime examples.

Getting back to the £58m, are we supposed to believe that this amount was the sum of overspend from last year's  budget, or a whimsical figure plucked from the thin air surrounding the Directors of the NHS and the  Mandarins of our government ?  One fact is inarguable - that the NHS nor the government have NEVER supplied ANY evidence of how these ridiculous figures came into being. Dare we ask - has the threat of mass sackings, made by Ms Griffiths been carried out ?  I'm guessing that all the wages of LHB executives must be close to the figure of £58m, once expenses, pay-offs and pensions are all included.

Let us examine the words of the new Chief Executive, Adam Cairns, who - completely ignoring the fact that well over 800 beds have already been cut - came up with idea that most inpatients shouldn't be in his hospital, and those who are, must be long overdue for discharge.  To this genius, all the waiting lists and waiting times have disappeared and our G.P.s have finally realised that the chronically ill are not worth treating - so why send them to fill up a hospital bed ?  Yet, we must give the young chap the benefit of the fact that his starting position was long after most of the damage had been done. It's my considered opinion that he wasn't recruited for his managerial ability and past successes, but more for his all-consuming willingness to kiss ass, whilst enjoying his huge, unjustified salary.  He says he is determined to concentrate on patient-centred care, whilst, in practice he is only only being concerned about his own wealth and personal wellbeing.

The NHS and government are in complete disarray, due entirely to the collective incompetence of all of those over-paid pillocks who are completely out of their depth and frantically treading water to our detriment. It's time for the doctors to stand together and resist most of these proposed changesby 'ringfencincing' the politicians for organ donation !   R. W.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Out goes Griffiths, In comes Professor Drakeford

The Professor of Social Policy has been given - "The Daunting Job of sorting out the Health Service" - poor dab !

I was so excited at the untimely departure of Leslie Griffiths that I hardly noticed that her job was given to a man who - allegedly - knows something about Health. Apparently, this mild-mannered Assembly member for Cardiff West had previously served as Chairman of the Health and Social Services committee, albeit that I haven't met a soul who's ever heard of him, much less seen him in action ( as it were ).  Surely, that was insignificant compared to the sacking of the incompetent La Griffiths, after all only Christmas has brought nearly as much pleasure to the millions of down-trodden public and patients, who had been forced to swallow the Dear Lady's B.S. ( business ststistics, of course - yeah right ).

Unfortunately, the champers began to sour when I read more of the history of the virgin Minister.  As Churchill said, "he appears to be a modest man with much to be modest about".  Reading Julia McWatt's interview with the Prof., it becomes perfectly clear that he will do nothing to stop the complete destruction of the NHS in Wales, even if the end-of-year results prove better than predicted by so many ill-informed 'guessers'.  He believed his job was to "see through controversial reforms (?) to the NHS across the country - "My job ios to see it through and bring it to a conclusion.  This is a high priority to me and a difficult message to get across"  Is he kidding ???? Impossible message would be more accurate, but it is the government's continuing hard line which will make the Prof''s job that of an obedient puppet.

He continues, "People now need to know to know what the end of this is going to be. Not everybody will be happy - ( surely he means nobody will be happy ) - but it's important that they have that understanding."  Then he dutifully admits that La Griff made clear the importance of working to the budget ( whatever that is supposed to be, apart from a secret ).

Briilliantly, he concludes with the banal statement that - with only a few days of the financial year left - he will be be more concerned to look at what happens next year.  Well, there's an original thought, except that we have no idea what has happened during previous years, so how he is to determine the future remains a complete mystery to us all, as well.  If past performances are anything to go by, it'll take the new Minister at least a year to establish any history or why the need for change was ever considered necessary.

As you can probably tell, I am not brimming with confidence that Mark Drakeford will be allowed original thought, or that he will achieve anything of actual benefit to the public and patients of NHS Wales - Ho Hum !      R.W.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Blow the Whistle - and lose your job - are you kidding ?

Apathy - Who's listening ? Who Cares ?

I am increasingly tired of the apathy of the Welsh people over their health service which is wasting millions because of bad planning and incompetent management ( governance ). Ask any citizen of Wales - not paid for by the government or the health service - and they will tell you that the changes being made to the NHS cannot possibly provide and efficient health service, therefore they won't !

The naivety of politicians who say "Whistle blowers must be encouraged and then supported" is mind boggling.  Ever since our National Assembly Government was in place, EVERY employee was told, "Complain and you're out", from Chief Executive down to the most humble porter or cleaner. This was enshrined in the NHS governme't constitution from day one, from the day we aere informed that we had all voted for devolution.

It oesn't matter a jot whether one person dies in hospital or hundreds, the response is always the same - "We cannot comment on individual cases..." and "Measures have already been put in place to ensure that this never happens again".  How many times have we heard this crap and still we let them get away with the criminal neglect of our fellow citizens, whose only cause of death should be "Neglect by the NHS ".  Nobody - but NOBODY - is going to be dumb enough to say "Yes, I'm responsible " knowing that  not even one colleague or friend will support them, and that only the the dole queue awaits them. Frankly, anyone is dumb enough to believe differently is stone-raving-bonkers. Therefore, there is no democratic process in place as the NHS and our government are part of an autocracy akin tothat of Iosef Vissarianovich Stalin,  who declared, "People are the problem - so - no people, no problem".  So deal with the mentally ill, the educationally challenged and the growing elderly population and we can have a health service as bad as the 18th and early nineteenth centuries.

What we have in Wales is nothing short of euthenasia by neglect, or deprivation of health care services - whatever you want to call it, that's what the situation is in reality.  And who do they target first ? - the most vulnerable who cannot defend  themselves, like the mentally ill and the elderly.  Already, we have lost hundreds and hundreds of mental health beds, as well as Social Service placements for those unfortunate enough to be suffering from dementia.  In addition, we have lost over 800 inpatient beds from our General hospitals, with more cuts and less availability every damn day. For example, we have 84 Assessment Beds at Llandough for the Elderly Mentally infirm, who have no chance of ever getting better, only worse until they die an undignified death in some council-run death camp-sorry-Care Home.

So what do we do about it - absolutely NOTHING - which allows those in power to do what ever they want, whenever they want, without any proper consultation and no accountability whatsoever to the public.  The authorities think that they know what's best for us, and they don't give a toss for what you think about ANY of their proposals.  Worse still, austerity measures drive up the price of everything from basic foodstuffs and fuel for our economy, while the genuinely needy people get their benefits cut or stopped altogether.

The truth is that all those in  positions of power over are lives are incompetent - promoted from jobs they barely knew, to jobs that they haven't a clue how to carry out.  and WHY ?? - because the ruddy politicians run everything. The rule is "Be loyal to the Party and the Party will look after you and reward you. Fail to toe the Party Line and you will be dismissed and disgraced - unemployable in any public service.

So why aren't we taking to the streets, united against this autocratic rule that means our standards of living get lower every day ???  Answer - because the Welsh people are some of the most backward, uneducated and uncaring people in the entire world.  WE should INSIST that the Health Services and the Education Service be taken out of the hands of politicians, and don't let any of the buggers near a bag of sugar, let alone any amount of cash ! As I have said before, they couldn't plan their way out of a cul-de-sac, let alone plan an urban development complete with adequate infrastructure - all morons with nothing to do but stick to false Party Loyalties ! And we are dull enough to think they can manage a budget of hundreds of billions of pounds - what cowardly  fools we are !   R. W.