Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Few Painful Reminders ( I hope ! )

Did I say that ( about my job, the NHS, or finances  ) ??

4th May 2012 - Adam Cairns - new CEO of the University Health Board -

"We'll put patients at the Heart of the NHS" - Boy, how dumb can you get ? obviously, he hadn't finished learning his script. He famously said,

"People who work in this organisation have the answers, I don't. I have a job to enable those who know their service intimately to take charge of their own bit of service and to do the right thing within the context and direction the Board has set".

A priceless piece of rhetoric that. What happened since, Mr Law Graduate ?  Like, how did we get to cancelling 2600 elective operations, and how is it, we're just hearing that 152 cardiac patients have died over the past 5 five years ?  How about the other specialities - will you tell us about their failings ? Also, have you met your budget targets, or is this a secret too ?

3rd October 2012 -Hutt's draft Budget aims to deliver nauseum

After hearing, many times from Director of Planning, Paul Hollard and Mis(s)director of information, Katie Norton that "£80m has been ring-fenced for the new mental hospital - to be built at Llandough" I still didn't believe a word they said.  The then Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, revealed the real budget figures, which included - "£30m for hospitals - £18m to support redevelopment at Morriston, and £12 for adult mental health facilities in Llandough Hospital and Glanrhyd Hospital Bridgend." She also added that "£2m of the £12m was to be allocated to providing essential mental health community services".

That makes only £10m for a new adult hospital at Llandough, but not to worry Jane - not a brick has been laid nor any other promised change taken place !

6th February 2013 - Minister, Leslie Griffiths, says

"I'll Remove Senior Managers on Health Boards that spend over budget ".

Unfortunately, we were never told the results of budget overspending, and the only person to lose her job was Dear old Leslie ! ( a ruddy shame, really - that the results were hidden from us ).

Of course I could fill an entire blog with lies, platitudes and empty rhetoric from these incompetents, but more news awaits !   Ho Hum                          R.W.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Vindication of NHS criticisms always brings sadness

Services at University Hospital 'Dangerous' - RCS Report

After many years of protesting against the rationalisation and centralisation of our health service, I feel sad that so many patients have died, or suffered as the result of the incompetence of NHS Wales and the University Health Board.  Not one single criticism from us has ever been challenged by the Board or NHS Wales which, in itself , is a damning indictment of the way they have supposedly been managing our health services. Instead of being honest, open and transparent, NHS and the UHB have deliberately hidden the truth from the patients.  and the lied After being exposed they lie shamelssly - "it's never our fault..." they whine, "'s the pressure on our services by the public and seasonal conditions."  Dozens more excuses are given to the press, who cannot be bothered to listen, followed by fatuous promises the "steps have been taken to correct the situation.  Everyone a scripted lie that shows that the government and the NHS' position is "we know best", and will never admit our mistakes or our management failures.

Why has it taken five years to be told that 155 cardiac patients have died, waiting for heart surgery ?  This is a terriblre indictment of the manner in which our health service has been so badly managed, for so long.. Every structural change has made no difference to the government inspired culture of "We don't need all these services for the mentally and physically ill, as most problems are caused by the public who lead unhealthy lifestyles and are always wasting doctor's time with minor injuries or ailments" and, not forgetting the classic phrases "Services are not 'fit for purpose' ( whatever the hell that means )" and, once again ( in case you've forgotten ) "We know best", which is the most ridiculous claim made yet.

Ask yourself, "What Assembly Member is qualified - in ANY way - for government position, let alone a Ministerial post ?"  The answer is a resounding "NONE" because they simply do not know the job they are promoted to and are too arrogant to learn.  This is the perfect example of the Peter Principle which states that everyone reaches ( or is promoted to ) their own level of incompetence That word applies to every memeber of the health Boards, every member of the NHS Mandarins and, not forgetting every Ass and Donkey member of the useless-as-udders-on-a-bull Community Health Councils.

You may be sure that our Labour government, from inception, has ensured that every civil servant, bureaucrat and administrative manager, all read from the same script - with NO exceptions or questions allowed. Anyone daring to breathe dissent is instantly removed under career-damaging terms, that are meant to ensure that the rest of the NHS staff 'Toe the Line, always'.

The NHS in Wales leaves the weak and vulnerable ( eg mentally ill or elderley mentally infirm dementia sufferers ) to die off whilst deliberately withholding essential services to the chronically ill, most of whom require surgery or continual care.

The report by the Royal College of Surgeons is the most damning, following criticisms by the Royal College of Physicians, The Royal College of Nursing, The General Medical Council, The Royal College of Phsychiatry, and many other health commissions, too numerous to mention.

For over 15 years, I have been fighting these changes with help from a few good friends.  More recently, I have been joined by the most talented and sincere writer that I have had the pleasure to meet - Lynnette Spragg ( my Magpie ).  I feel that all those years have been wasted, because no one listens and most people are too apathetic to even care about the ill-treatment of others.

Now, at last, I feel vindicated in everything I have said and written that criticises the NHS in Wales. However, I feel so sad for the families of patients who have lost loved ones, or who have to watch them suffering for want of health treatment.

Please, get rid of all the highly-paid eunuchs of the health boards, and their useless bosses in NHS Wales. and start again !  And, whatever else Parliament plans, PLEASE do not devolve any more powers to the incompetent Welsh government.     R.W.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Neonatal Services at risk in Wales

Robin very kindly brought to my attention recent news stories relating to Neonatal Services at UHW and in the South wales area.

There has recently been a consultation in Wales, referred to as the 'South Wales Programme', which intends to centralise Neonatal and Maternity Services, reducing the number of available cots despite a recent article in the SW Echo stating that 'Since December 2011, the neonatal intensive care unit has been at or over capacity for around 32% of the time, with the greatest pressure said to be at critical care level.'

Having looked at the website for this consultation, I note they now have an 'Easy Read' option for people, rather than them having to attempt the medical jargon and b*llshit in the main consultation document. I honestly find it the most patronising piece of rubbish ever written!

Their reasoning for the changes are that trainee doctors would not see enough people and have a diverse enough education if there were several different units, however, surely doctors can travel if they are learning? Nursing staff regularly do shifts on different wards and sites in order to complete their training.

Once again we read the same old about 'the status quo is not an option'.

It seems they are setting up a 3 tier A&E service also, with the more acute services being offered at Morriston in Swansea and UHW (The Heath) in Cardiff. The user would call 999 as normal but the ambulance staff would have to decide which hospital they need to be at.

On the whole, the idea of a tiered A&E sounds good, however, people getting home from somewhere further away than their local hospital, isn't a good idea.

Reading through the main consultation document, it would appear that the onus is largely being passed to ambulance staff, as if the Ambulance service doesn't have enough to deal with!

The costs to the NHS itself will likely be minimal as it seems the majority of the changes will be undertakn by the Ambulance Service including having to hire more staff and properly training the staff it has dealing with 999 calls. I know, at present, ambulance control staff require no medical training and just follow an on-screen questionnaire. That would need to be addressed. Although I don't think it should ever have been allowed in the first place!

I must go to bed now, to be continued

The ultimate admission of failure

 2,500 operations cancelled due to bed shortage

Giving evidence to the Assembly's Health and Social Care Committee, the head of Wales' NHS, David Sissling attempted to trot out the usual excuses that "service pressures on the Health Boards had effected their ability to perform elective ( non-emergency ) surgery, leading to 2,600 operations being cancelled in the months up to April 13th".   Excuse me a moment, but

 WHAT SERVICE PRESSURES ???  Does the idiot expect us to believe that all these operations - scheduled in good time - were cancelled for any plausible reason ?
He stumbles on into incredulity, insisting that the cancellation of the procedures was down to bed shortages caused by "unprecedented pressures on the health service during the winter" and not ( of course ) due to the Health Boards financial position. ( he says he even asked them all and they said 'No', therefore we're all meant to accept this as the truth - gullible fools that we are).  Also, are we really dumb enough to forget about the hospital closures with over 800 beds lost in order to cut costs, or the lack of Intensive Care beds that doctors have been screaming about for years ?

So, there we have it - all those histrionics and threats about boards being over budget ( for about the 12th time in three years ) - were completely untrue, even though they successfully placed us into a state of terror that even 9/11 failed to produce.  Excuse me once more, but

WHAT UNPRECEDENTED PRESSURES ??? Did we have a bird flu epidemic ? Swine Flu again, one of cholera perhaps ? maybe even a return of Spanish flu, or the plague known as the  black death ?
Did we miss it in the news - How many millions of us died after allowing ourselves to become so extensively afflicted as to cause "2,600 important, life-saving operations to be cancelled". Shame on us all.

Nowhere in his diatribe testimony does he place any blame or responsibility for these gross    inadequacies on himself, the MInister Mark Drakeford, or any of the LHB management or the melee of middle managers at Cathays Park, who seem to spend more time on Sudoco or crossword puzzles than anything that could be described as meaningful work ( roll on knocking-off time ).

It is truly pathetic that, in the 21st century, highly paid nincompoops like Sissling et al could be allowed to insult our collective intelligence with such impunity. And what of our elected representatives - have any of them fought against this corrupt autocracy, by martyring themselves to the cause of Openness, Transparency, Truth or Justice ???  Traitors all, I say, and to Hades with every one of them !      R.W.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

"Better to light one match than to curse the darkness...."

'Concerns over  NHS Collapse' - The South Wales Programme

If ever there was proof that our government-led NHS is wandering about blindly, the  final proof is in this ridiculous document that purports to be a consultation on only three of our services ( Paediatric, neo-natal, and Accident and Emergency.  Where and How does this ill-defined, detail-less, document address ANY or ALL of the concerns over the collapse of NHS Wales.  Looking more like a cheap travel brochure, this document offers us only more empty rhetoric, created under the newest fantasy that these changes are clinician-led, with the government standing idly by, pretending that they have absolutely no involvement in creating this bogus consultation (yeah right ). Even the Royal College of physicians illustrates the narrow focus of this programme, saying "Acute medical conditions are only considered briefly in the context of emergency medicine and chronic conditions are not considered at all !"

Apparently, we are led to believe that only 13600 questionnaires were returned, with no idea given to the numbers of our citizens that were given access to this document, or where and when the consultations took place. Needless to point out that any of the concerns raised by the dozens of attendees, will get even a passing mention - let alone be evidenced in a true record, properly published - before the aged asses and donkeys of the Community Health Council meet to give full support to the Health Boards and all of programme's proposals, showing no concern whatsoever over the dishonesty of their actions.

Despite the obvious futility of their actions, many protesters have voiced their strong objections to the changes proposed for Royal Glamorgan Hospital, which will lose neo-natal services, based on the myth that the proposals are the 'best fit' option, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

So, once again, the public and patients get royally shafted as they see access to their health services becoming more distant with each passing hour.  I have never been an anarchist and never have supported their actions.  However, I firmly believe that nothing will suffice, short of a national refusal to deal with ANY government requirements at all, until this destruction of our NHS is stopped and the government ousted in shame !     Their are many candles of hope but not one match to light even one them.    R.W.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

No news on NHS Wales is....well...No news

Complaints but always an excuse, plus a false promise that systems have been put in place so this isn't repeated......blah, blah....and more blah

Apologies for being 'Hors de Combat' for two weeks, but one of my chronic illnesses has given me GYP ( self-inflicted, of course as the NHS says all our health problems are ) and I haven't felt very creative.  Fortunately, I did manage to make the last 'consultation' meeting on 'The Programme for South Wales', hosted by my old pal, Paul Hollard, who is ( unfortunately ) still 'insitu' at the Health Board.

That aside, it was a totally lifeless meeting attended by 33 East Enders fans, trying to go 'cold turkey'.
Gripping stuff it certainly wasn't, with The Great Deceiver giving his usual line of empty rhetoric and the usual amount of B.S. ( business statistics - hah bloody ha ) . I can only thank the all-seeing one preventing my attendance at all the previous pointless meetings.

Pointless ? Absolutely. The NHS, backed by our uncaring government, wasted a huge amount of money on pretending that the Community Health Council were listening to the concerns and anxieties of the public and the long-suffering patients.  Only one relevant Consultant was present, who answered most questions from his well-rehearsed script, doing the NHS proud, God bless him !

When it became obvious that our Ring-Master was not about to tell us anything that mattered, most people started walking out.  The smile never left his face and when I asked my question about the alleged overspends, he replied by reading an Executive Canteen Menu, before telling me that "all the figures I wanted were in the Public Domain". I couldn't help laughing, because I've trolled through 238 items of  their website - including all the different items of interest e.g. Charitable Funds Committee - and couldn't find any figures that were remotely connected to a budget, at all. 

The only items recorded ( that quickly disappeared ) were Magpie's Freedom of Information requests, along with some administrative female's evasive responses. Even, repeating the questions several times, Magpie did not get anything that resembled a useful response. So, once again, the NHS hides the truth, then lies that Final Plans for Rookwood have not been sent to the government.

Meanwhile, now that Mark Drakeford is back working on his allotment, and the Auditor general, Hugh Vaughan-Thomas packs his bucket and spade for the hols, the only honest, hard-working MP, Ann Clwydd carries on sifting through the thousands of complaints about NHS services, hoping that David Cameron will give her report more than a cursory glance. One thing is certain, the Welsh Government won't give a toss how many complaints there or how high the death toll is in Wales as long as the sun shines out of Carwyn Jones' R.E.P ( rear exit point ).         R.W.