Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A Tsunami of ill health" Have they gone Mad ?

Obesity, drink and smoking fuelling chronic illnesses

When it comes to reporting people in the press , I do feel that the journalists tend to be over-dramatic. Personally speaking, I don't think that such headlines ( as above ) in any newspaper are in any way helpful to the public - who are ever being blamed for causing their health problems, or the NHS - who persistently ignore their own mistakes and bad planning.  For instance, we are faced with a barrage of guilt over our health-styles as though we are deliberately overcrowding the health service as a result of our apparent gluttony. I would suggest that changes in our customs/habits/attitude to culture are more to blame as is demonstrated by the fast-food culture, which we stupidly imported from America.

People don't realise the power of the large corporation, such as General Foods, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Walmart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Costa. or Nestles have over what we may eat and drink. Some of these are actually sponsored by the government which is seen as an approval for the public.  However, it must be said that our health-style choices are nowhere close to the reasons for the failure of our health service, now and in the future.

If we know - as we have done for years - that - the 'Baby Boomers' of the 50s would eventually age, we have right to ask, Why hasn't our NHS planned for this increase ?"  The same applies ( in my opinion ) to chronic illnesses and - in part - to our dietary habits.  We simply did not know any different, what with the post-war depression and having to adapt to the rebuilding of our economy Why weren't we educated about living 'healthier' lifestyles and given more knowledge of the causes of chronic illnesses ?  For instance, attention to the affects of Heart Disease didn't gather any pace under the early 60s, when so many of the Vietnam War dead were found, at autopsy, to have advanced stages of Pulmonary Coronary Heart Disease, the horror of the discovery was that most of these post mortems were on young men aged between 17 and 20.

The damage from smoking became plain to see, yet no controls were placed on the major tobacco producers until the early 80s. Meanwhile, we continued to live in ignorance of these damaging factors. We just didn't know the extent to which smoking and pollution had on our lungs, when we discovered the detrimental effects of lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, which along with heart disease became the main causes of premature deaths.

All this aside, the main cause of the decline in our health service was the  manic drive to save money by our Labour government.  In the last fifteen years we have seen numerous hospital closures, the loss of over 800 inpatient beds, and the insane rationalisation and centralisation of our health services.  This is, and has been, the deliberate destruction of man well-used 'local' facilities by our NHS, orchestrated and controlled by the government.  Consequently, many rural and urban services became inaccessible.  Patients, and their relatives, are forced to travel much further to centralised 'specialised' units at great inconvenience and cost.  They then encounter, the incompetent, unworkable system for making appointments, and the many cancellations of appointments made by the hospital.         .

The worst effect is to those patients waiting for elective surgery.  After months of waiting,. they are told to ring early on the morning of their planned admission to see if there is a bed available for them.  Therefore, you might reasonably ask "If a time was fixed for my surgery / procedure, why wasn't a bed kept for me" ?  Not only the ward bed had been taken, but no planning was made for adequate availability in Intensive care beds, despite this problem having existed for years.  We now have to suffer the tragic consequences, when we read that over 152 cardiac patients have suffered avoidable deaths. In addition, we learn that these deaths are the result of the hospital's cancelling operations. As reported earlier, the First Minister claims that all the cancellations were made by patients, thereby displaying his gross incompetence but also his inexcusable failure to display any evidence to back up his claim.

I apologise for repeating certain facts but readers may like to see the connection of NHS comments as being progressively damaging, yet still inaccurate in content.

Adding a relevant item ( again ), the Penarth Times reports that the number of patients waiting more than 36 weeks for a FIRST hospital appointment had risen in June 2013 to a staggering total of 10,123. The total number of people on an NHS waiting list is now 80% higher than it was when Carwyn Jones became Fist Minister at the end of 2009. At that point 227,000 patients were waiting for treatment. At the end of June that figure stood at 410,000.  Even the opposition Health Minister, Darren Millar, said ( predictably stating the bleedin' obvious ), "These waits lay bare the scale of the cash crisis in the Welsh NHS."  Of course, he doesn't dare blame the Welsh government and the NHS for their persistent incompetence in creating this situation over the years.

Clearly, there were many opportunities for the University Health Board, the NHS Mandarins et al, and our criminally inept government to stop and say "Hey, we're doing this wrong. We must stop making these ridiculous changes and prevent more of these failures occurring in future".  But NO, these idiots continue in their destructive ways, like dumb cattle being herded to slaughter. "We know best" is still their rule, to which I reply, "The hell you do !".       R. W.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Scandal of 4,442 cancelled operations

'Patients Distressed...Millions of Pounds wasted'

Thousands of operations have been cancelled across South Wales because of bed shortages and a lack of staff. Figures obtained bt the Echo show that 5,798 procedures were cancelled by Cardiff and Vale and Cwm Taf health boards in the last three financial years. That makes 4,442 in Cardiff and Vale and 1356 by Cwm Taf.

Cancellations because of bed shortages in Cardiff and Vale UHB reached a three year high in 2012 - 2013 with the total standing at 1,562 - an increase of more than 73% in the last three years. Continuing his revelations ( made a day or so ago ), Dr Richard Lewis of the B.M.A. said, "We are still seeing too many patients waiting unacceptable lengths of time in A & E, which is one of the areas suffering staff shortages."

Opposition parties expressed their shock at the figures and called for action to be taken to prevent further distress to patients. ( Like what...for instance ? R.W. ) Shadow health Minister Darren Millar said "Cancelling long-awaited operations not only wastes millions of pounds every year but causes enormous distress to vulnerable patients and can negatively impact on their long-term treatment and prognosis. Labour ministers must listen to those who work in the NHS and who need the resources to deliver standards of care which patients expect and deserve". ( Wow - another expert at stating the bleeding obvious. )

Medical Director, Dr Graham Shortland  trotted out the ( now ) lame, well-used excuse that ..."Unprecedented pressures have been to blame for operations having to be cancelled". ( What a load of cobblers ! - as everyone else knows that the massive numbers of bed cuts and other damaging cost-saving reductions in services are the sole cause of these avoidable cancellations).

The last word goes - of course - to that epitome of truth, knowledge, and all things irrelevant to the subject, Carwyn Jones, First Minister for Making a Fist of cover-ups.  Believe it or not, this supposedly great leader's final words on this problem were,
"Most of the cancellations were made by the patients themselves"

With any luck these words will ( one day ) be categorised as the most stupid blunder a so-called politician has ever made whilst 'in government'.  Of course, this low grade ex-barrister-come-muck-raking-farm-hand, can't supply any figures to prove his monumentally stupid claim. No surprise when recalling that this idiot told elected members of the Labour Party that they were not to use the word 'Labour' in any of their campaigning, being done on behalf of their constituents ( which kind-of makes them look as stupid as him, as they are all Labour Party members who work as Labour party representatives ). Not content with crippling one foot, Herr Jones then goes on to point the shotgun at his good foot, saying that "Nothing must prevent these essential changes from being made !"

I think that these revelations prove the non-existence of any semblance of Democracy existing in the Principality - don't you ??  Also, it demonstrates what a farce the entire procedure of 'Consultation' really is.     R. W.

Monday, 19 August 2013

South Wales Programme delayed by the revolting public !

53,000 responses delay hospital decision

Astoundingly, the public have expressed their concerns over the radical changes  - proposed in this cobbled-together programme - and ( by so doing ) added at least a month to the decision-making process, according to Paul Hollard, "In order to fully and properly understand and interpret the comments submitted by the public, politicians, NHS staff and professional groups, we will need to take more time to analyse these responses" [.R.W. Well this is the first time I've ever heard that the responses to a consultation will be consider, much less 'analysed'. In my opinion, this is a horse shit sandwich for the public to digest, before the health boards go ahead with the proposals as initially published ! Of course, I could be wrong, as the government may be swayed by public opinion to cancel their plans.  Guess were my money's going ? ].

After all, isn't it the same Paul Hollard who railroaded through the overpriced and ( frankly ) daft proposals for Llandough - to say nothing about his other costly cock ups like the £8.5m preparation plans for the new Whitchurch Hospital - all backed by the equally daft and incompetent government officials?  With as much sincerity as the Walrus in Alice in Wonderland, he goes on to say "I sincerely hope the health chiefs and Welsh government take heed of this emphatic response from the people of South Wales and keep an open mind about the future of our health services before the health boards make their decision" ( hoots of derisory laughter from the public and patients who have heard this kind of garbage before ! ).

Let's all hope that I'm proved wrong, eh ?  R. W.

Knee-jerk NHS cuts put patients at Risk

The British Medical Association finally speak out !

Welsh secretary, Dr Richard Lewis warns that cutting the workforce and reducing bed numbers to meet targets will put patient at risk of harm and inevitably lead to more work for the heath service. Taking the soft option, as usual, the BMA said that they weren't opposed to health boards reducing bed numbers, but warned it should only be done if the right infrastructures were in place that meant it would not have a detrimental effect on patient care. ( huh ? )
He adds to their confusion ( and mine ) by saying, "We know from evidence that short-term actions, based of financial burdens are not an efficient way to run the service."  Then - stating the obvious - he continues, "Health services that run efficiently are more cost-effective." Knee-jerk reactions to stop training staff adversely affects patient care, while cutting the workforce increases pressure on staff."

"We have no problem with reducing bed numbers but that has to be based on the evidence that it is the right thing to do and those beds do not need to be utilised. Reducing beds in advance of getting to that stage makes the situation even worse and makes the care of patients less safe" ( so far, this is the best example of 'sitting-on-the-fence' I've ever read ! ).  Incredibly, he continues, "You get efficient by doing the right things in the right place and to the right standard. If his is not the case then you end up duplicating things - if you find patients have been harmed you have to correct the inadequate car by doing it again. There are plenty of aspects that need to be changed in order to deliver services more efficiently and safety. ( well now, that's a lot clearer isn't it eh ???).

His comments come after the damning report by the Royal College of Surgeons which has highlighted the impact of ( avoidable ) long waiting lists for cardiac surgery at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The surgeons said that most operations had been cancelled or not scheduled because of the lack of beds. Well, after closing more than 800 beds and persistently refusing to open more Intensive Care beds - what would YOU expect the consequences to be?               R. W.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

"NHS caused more deaths than Harold Shipman"

As recognition of the brilliance of Martin Shipton (that's SHIPTON not Shipman ) I hereby copy most of his article.

The scandal of heart patients dying whilst waiting for operations at Wales' hospital is evidence that the NHS. has failed and that it should be reorganised on a model based on other countries state health services, a medical professor has claimed.

Professor Ninian Peckitt a surgeon who trained at UHW in Cardiff,  now based at Massey University in New Zealand contacted Ann Clwyd MP to tell her that the NHS has caused more avoidable deaths than the mass murderer Dr Harold Shipman.

Last month, a report by the Royal College of Surgeons stated that more than 152 heart patients had died in the last five years whilst waiting for surgery at Morriston and UHW. ( Meanwhile Chief Executive, Adam Cairns apologised and acknowledged that things must improve. Of course he fails to explain how he and predecessors  didn't appear to notice any of these oversights, as part of their primary task !)

But, in a letter sent to Ms Clwyd Professor Peckitt states, "Adam Cairns' comment that the problems need to be tackled with a 'much more resilient plan' in future is unacceptable, as the procedures should not have  been permitted to occur in the first place.

"This kind of statement is common-place and diverts attention from dysfunctional systems and incompetence." [ cries of 'stick it to 'em, Prof !]  "The NHS is listening to its own delusional voices and this is the real cause of the disease".

The Professor goes on to assert that "the NHS has been set up to fail - and it has miserably". He states: "The NHS Trust system has never worked ( multiple reorganisations at huge public cost ), doesn't work ( multiple scandals ) and will never work ( corruption, intransigence and projections of financial meltdown ). State healthcare in other countries is vastly superior to our NHS, but successive governments consistently refuse to admit failure. The service continues to disintegrate and more scandals will be exposed as time goes on as a function of system failure."

"There is a palpable lack of responsibility and accountability in the NHS especially at executive level. Institutional intimidation and victimisation of the workforce is widespread and disciplinary measures are used to silence critics. The employers have demonstrated that they are not fit for purpose [ Tee Hee ] in appraisal-based revalidation and this must be abandoned as it is a means to censor staff who are critical of the system."

"The institution as it exists has caused more avoidable deaths than the Shipman murders and yet government still fails consistently to address these issues.  Ms Clwyd states the obvious, brilliantly, "Prof. Peckitt's letter is very strong and he is not afraid to be highly critical of the way the NHS is run"    R. W. / M. S.

Minister Attempts Monumental Cover-up

Drakeford opposed to inquiry into heart patients' deaths

 Please may I assert that the Minister should not be allowed to attempt to prevent a full public inquiry into the full findings of the report by the Royal College of Surgeons. This report stresses the need for an inquiry, and it must pointed out that the MInister, Mark Drakeford is culpable in this failing of our University Hospital, because he has never told us - or done anything - about these preventable deaths and the reasons behind them.

 We need to know everyone who has failed us in this unprecedented matter of such seriousness, and we need to know exactly why they failed in their Statutory Duty of Care to the citizens of Wales in the provision of health services.  The Health and Social Care Act of 2001 is legislation for the people, partly to ensure that such a blatant attempt to cover up the truth behind these unforgivable failings does not take place.

There may be criminal charges to follow or - at the very least - closing the University Health Board until the public can be satisfied that no more deaths will occur under similar failings of Hospital Managers and Board Members.   

Only a full Public Inquiry into these catastrophic events will achieve the only results acceptable to the patients and Public of Wales. Section 11 of the H&S.C. Act covers the essential involvement of Public and Patients that must take place. If Prof Drakeford was not so ignorant of his legal obligations, he would have not made such an unimplementable pledge.

 Perhaps when we next advertise for a replacemnet Board and Chief Executive, we could seek someone of Ministerial standing who actually knows something about health ?   R.W.