Thursday, 27 March 2014

Don't kill the messenger

 Party Betrayal in the Sennyd

Last week, two letters regarding Ann Clwyd's claims of many complaints against NHS Wales, particularly the University hospital of Wales in Cardiff, were published in the Echo.

In your article of the 19th, headed 'Carwyn Hits out at Labour MP on Welsh NHS Claims', you allowed Carwyn Jones to cast doubt on Ann Clwyd's claims. This outburst on television from the Sennyd was to the extent that he demonised her as a trouble-maker, actually implying that she had produced no evidence.

He shouted out that he had asked her many times - in person and in writing for her to provide the evidence and added that his Health Minister had done the same to no avail.

This week. on the 26th March, Ann Clwyd MP tried to make a date when she would present her evidence to the government's Health and Social Services Committee. Contradicting his early attack, he asked his labour members to vote on whether or not Ms Clwyd should be allowed to meet the Health Committee with her evidence.  Inexplicably - to any sane person - Carwyn's AMs voted unanimously to deny Ann Clwyd MP her right to appear before the committee.

The only possible explanation for this about-turn is that Carwyn knows the complaints are justified but wants to cover-up the crisis in our NHS, in order to stop there being any adverse criticism made in front of Labour's electorate.  The fact that Ann Clwyd is a highly respected, long serving and senior member of the Labour party shows Carwyn and his cronies as dishonest and disrespectful as he was in the Sennyd.
R.  W.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

What's a target, anyway ?

A&E targets missed Again - Echo 25th March 2014

In archery, a target is a series of increasingly smaller, coloured rings on a circular background approx. 1.1/2 m square.  The object is to fire arrows at it with the aim of getting as close to the centre ring as possible ( Preferably not on a public avenue ). Of course, the first factor in this process is the distance between the target and the archers.  If they are at opposite ends of a 40 acre field the target is probably out of sight and out of reach.

The second factor is in having a bow of sufficient strength to propel an arrow all the way to the target and to penetrate the rings.

This analogy may seem inappropriate for a public health service but it does serve to make some useful parallels.  The first one is the question, “Who sets the target and what benchmarks are used to determine if they are attainable”.  With the NHS, this is the target for A&E which is set by some politically - guided bureaucrat who has absolutely no idea what is achievable because two factors not available. The first is; the resources available to deal with healthcare needs of the second factor which is, “How many people will need treatment over the target period ?” Quite simply, how do you know how many A&E resources are needed when you have absolutely no idea of the anticipated number of patients – let alone how to meet their needs?

The third factor is whether or not the archer has the expertise to aim at the desired target, or whether the A&E consultants are able to control any kind of aim that enables him to hit the target.  Finally, what penalties do you impose if A&E staff fail to meet the target that they did not agree this objective as being feasible in the first place ?

The same argument applies to all specialties within the NHS, especially the Ambulance Trust to whom targets are , quite simply, ridiculous and utterly meaningless when they have no idea how many patients they will have to transport, over what mileage, in any one day, let alone a year.

In conclusion it would appear that setting targets in the NHS is impossible, and the idea is as useless as udders on a bull !    R. W.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Peoples Republic of Wales

and why ? -

Soaring NHS waiting lists, Plummeting school standards, Jobs for the boyos. – AND


With the latest outbursts from our First Minister, you could finally conclude that Wales has become an autocratic republic, twinned with North Korea.  At least Kim il Carwyn, hasn’t had Ann Clwyd taken out and shot for daring to state the fact that NHS Wales is in a deep, deep crisis.  But, then Cardiff is not yet on a par with Pyongyang and – mercifully for outspoken critics of our declining health service – Kim il Carwyn is a bag of wind who hasn’t the power to criticise his betters.  Ann Clwyd is a Labour 24 carat, 100% genuine stalwart who is more senior and far more experienced than our bully-boy First Minister.  Frankly anyone who criticises this honourable Lady deserves to be dragged through the streets in chains, tarred and feathered.

No matter how much the clown-barrister from Brigaden shouts as he brow-beats his critics in the Sennydd, he cannot silence the Tsunami of criticism of NHS Wales which, all agree, has such a parlous future.  Carwyn and his forerunners have reduced our wonderful health service to a bunch of military field hospitals, purely in order to cut costs.  As with their military counterparts, our hospitals are understaffed and inadequately equipped to deal with health needs of Wales now and in the future.  Many changes have been made – all futile and failing to improve healthcare anywhere in the ( former ) Principality.  Our health staff, however have soldiered on through all the cuts, working well over any expectation in a Herculean effort to provide the health care that their patients deserve.

Here, I quote Robert Hardman of the Daily Mail, ”Take the health service. Welsh patients –. and their loved ones - who want a full investigation into why the Principality has some of the UK’s most alarming hospital statistics are told there’s no need for one – and woe betide anyone who won’t take no for an answer.  Look at this week’s demonisation of Labour MP Ann Clwyd who saw her husband die ‘like a battery hen’ in a Cardiff hospital in 2012 and has become a mouthpiece for thousands in the same situation.  No wonder there has been an exodus to hospitals in England, as we report today.”

He continues, “I have listened to Athena – a furious Pembrokeshire woman forced to pay for her own hip operation because of an 18 month waiting list – six times the average in England. The Cardiff spin machine would love to paint her as a rich Tory stooge.  Certainly the only person speaking up for her is her local Tory M.P. Simon Hart.  Just one problem comrades.  She’s a lifelong socialist who has spent her entire working life as an NHS Nurse “.
And, “I have listened in ghastly detail to the story of a mother of five who died after a catalogue of neglect at her local hospital. The hospital also lied to her family, leading her son to launch a local uprising against the management of the Welsh NHS.  So, is he a Tory agitator ? or anti-welsh ? No, infuriatingly for Labour’s state apparatus which has already tried to bury his complaint, he’s from a mining background in the Rhondda and spent 30 years teaching in a South Wales comprehensive.”

Well, Ann Clwyd has demanded the resignation of the Chair, Maria Battle and the Chief Executive of the Cardiff and Vale University health board, Adam Cairns, who released the confidential report into the death of her husband.  She says, “in my opinion, this information has been released for spiteful and political reasons because I have been critical of both UHW and NHS Wales.”

Having campaigned against both these bodies for over 13 years, I can only hope that she is successful.  In my personal opinion, the entire health board should be scrapped and rebuilt around people who know and understand the reasons for the existence of the NHS.    R.  W.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Ooooops ! - the NHS consultation process failed again

Lies, Damn Lies, and NHS Lies to Shame a nation and betray its' populace

In my recent post 'The hypocritical Oaf', I accurately reported on the apparent rejection of the changes for Royal Glamorgan hospital, Llantrisant by CWM Taf Health Board, which later proved how easily this stupid Welsh patient could be hoodwinked. During the very next day the Echo produced another article that provided so-called testimony from unknown sycophants of the Health Minister that concluded that the changes MUST be made to 'ensure patient safety'.  Every piece of this article contradicted the earlier headline that "Health Board Rejects Changes" in accordance with the text prepared somewheree in the bowels of Cathays Park.

Now, today we hear the news that the changes of the South Wales Programme are going to be implemented in full - exactly as originally proposed !  In other words , in spite of over 53,000 written responses - the majority of which were against ALL of the changes - and tens of thousands more verbal objections, our treacherous government will go ahead with taking Paediatric, Neo Natal, and Accident and Emergency services away from Royal Glamorgan hospital. Llanelli will lose its A&E services, Withybush its neo-natal services - and all contrary to the overwhelming weight of public opinion. Needless to say, all other hospitals mentioned in the infamous 'Programme' will be affected, exactly as the proposals indicated a year ago. [ With one notable exception, that being the hospital to be built in Cwmbran that will be blessed with an A&E unit, if ever the hospital gets built ! ]

Unbelievably, NHS Wales and our corrupt Welsh government have perpetrated the greatest, and cruelest, acts of criminal negligence and fraudulent consultations ever recorded in our history.  Our health service now face the greatest crisis in its' history, just as Ann Clwyd MP warned after reading thousands of criticisms by the public and patient groups. Incredibly, Carwyn Jones, in his Stalinist outburst, chose to regale the entire Senedd with accusations that she had not produced one shred of evidence, despite repeated requests from him and the the Health Minister.  Not content with ridiculing his senior Labour Party colleague, he then cruelly suggested that Mrs Clwyd was influenced by her opinion of the way her late husband had been treated.  I can only hope that the entire Labour Party supports Ann Clwyd by reprimanding Jones for the remorseless bully-boy he has shown himself to be.

No matter how many times the First Minister and the Health Minister try to wriggle their way out of their responsibilities, the fact remains that NHS Wales is in the worst shape ever to provide healthcare services to the Welsh people.     R.  W.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

The number of patients waiting more than 36 weeks for hospital treatment has risen to 16,109 – a new high.  Welsh Government targets say that 95% should wait less than 26 weeks and everyone should be treated within 36 weeks

Meanwhile – still refusing to hold an independent enquiry into mortality rates - Prudence Drakeford pumps another £5m to cut waiting times for diagnostic tests.  It is hoped that faster tests will mean quicker treatment, which I doubt as £5 is too little too late.  With a massive total of 415,152 patients waiting for the start of their treatment at the end of January, with a total of 89,999 being treated during the same month, it doesn't look like NHS Wales is going to achieve anything but an increase in frustrated patients and higher mortality rates.

After releasing this information, Prudent Prudence Drakeford went back to his allotment which benefited from his early attention to detail and the advance expenditure on tools, vegetables  and seedlings enough to ensure a safe, sustainable supply of vegetables and fruit – all ‘fit for purpose’, of course !    R.   W.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Abolition of the NHS - Exposed

Keiser Report - Episode 573, 11.03.2014

In this episode, Max Keiser turns his superb financial analytical mind to the gradual sell off of NHS Assets

[ Before proceeding, it it vital to note that yesterday in Parliament, Part of the Care Bill was cancelled in order to allow hospitals to be sold off. This is a matter of record ]  
This change in legislation is the clearest signal yet that our governments in England and Wales are to continue to sell off hospitals cheaply to sell on to property developers for a large profit, acting like free marketeers.
The population are not being mandated about the changes to the NHS, showing their complete contempt for public opinion that would undoubtedly reject these revolutionary and counter-productive changes.  For information , 30 % of the £100bn NHS budget is 'spent' on administration, which is directed to concealing such  mercenary policies in order to accommodate making disposal of NHS assets for profit, under the excuse of making 'essential' cuts.  We are misinformed that these cuts are to improve patient services by making them "Fit for purpose" ( whatever the hell that means ).

The author of this book 'SellOff - the Abolition of the NHS', Peter Bach, was Max's special guest, who had been approached by a high number of doctors who wanted this blatant corruption exposed and, of course stopped. Max interjected by referring to a report by Alistair Heath of 'City AM' which states that, "The NHS
has always been mercenary, not caring about health, only growth".

This proves the motive for closing hospitals with 1000 beds being lost was/and is to bring about the current unsafe and dangerous conditions which will be used an excuse for further sell-offs, instead of more essential investment.  The evidence is clear to see, if only the apathetic patients and public would bother to look.
On Monday, 10th March 2014, the Echo reports the article, 'Apologies for delayed ops' which states that "Nearly 1700 operations in Welsh hospital had to be put back due to a shortage of beds". Having reduced the number of inpatient beds by 1000 or more, NHS Wales are  admitting that the shortage of beds is a direct result of their closure policies.

In case anyone is in doubt the NHS's closure of all-but 4 A&E units is a contributory factor to this disgraceful situation, where overcrowding in A&E units is to blame for the lack of availability of hospital beds. ( incidentally, there are eventually to be 5 ( that's five !) A&E units, the 5th being at Cwmbran hospital which hasn't even been built yet !  Also, our Minister of Prudent healthcare - having totally disregarded the Royal College of Surgeons report into deaths of over 152 cardiac patients awaiting surgery - covers up this continued destruction of the NHS by making outlandish, and totally unjustified, attacks on all his critics with his 'Cold Rage' reported by Media Wales.

On March 6th 2014, Professor Prudence Drakeford "slams cynical Tories for dragging NHS through the mud".  Having consigned the Welsh NHS to the mud in the first place, it's hardly any wonder that ANY of his critics could be blamed for exposing his shameful actions at any and every opportunity !

My father once told me "There is no one so stupid as someone who will not learn", and this applies to Pru Drakeford and his boss, Carwyn Jones.

My prediction for the future is that the Cwmbran \hospital will be built under a P.F.I ( Private Financial Initiative ) scheme, which will result in huge profits going to a private developer for building and managing the new hospital,  Also, don't be surprised if your local GP practice starts billing you for their services !  R.  W.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Heartening news of imminent Surgery ?

Record heart surgery waits

As a heart patient whose long wait allowed my arteries to a point that further intervention wasn’t possible, I have great empathy for those anxious patients waiting for heart surgery. Thirteen years ago, I had to wait 4 weeks for an angiogram, and then a further five weeks for my surgery.  At the time, my cardiologist did his best to hurry the surgeons up because my condition was deemed to be serious.  Eventually a great surgeon pinched my radial artery and said, “There’s a 98% you’ll be ok, and a 50% chance that you’ll die within a couple of months if you don’t have the bypass !” Tough choice – right ?

However, I had a row of stitches down to my abdomen and was invited to join the Zipper Club.  After a few weeks to get mobile, I looked back on my life and realised what a huge waste of time it had been as I hadn’t really done anything that meant amounted to a hill of beans.  Anyway, the easiest decision I had made in my life was to devote all the time I had to helping other heart patients which, for me, was somewhat noble.

Right now, I can at least feel that I have managed to be of help to many patients, increasing my remit to putting my name down on four help lines, which included other surgical patients and the mentally ill. My efforts still don’t amount to a hill of beans but I feel a hell of a lot better for giving it my best efforts.  Today’s horror story is that 950 patients are waiting for heart surgery.  Of these, 183 have been waiting more than 36 weeks – a record high for five years. [During those 5 years, the Royal College of surgeons found that 152 of those poor souls had died before getting anywhere near the operating theater.  Don’t ask me to check the Math. but 63.8% of patients had been waiting 26 weeks, or less.

With a typically casual response, the Welsh Government announced that some patients would be offered the opportunity to be treated in England, after an assessment of risk to life ( lucky them )  As yet, we have no idea how long it will take to reduce the backlog – especially when the hospitals had cancelled elective surgery, to make enough beds available for the “excessive winter demand” ( to quote Director Graham Shortland’s broken record ).

In my opinion, these long waiting lists are due solely to the incompetence of the NHS Wales and our government, who consistently proved that devolving health to their care was a BIG mistake. [God help us if the recommendations of the Silk report are implemented. To my mind, a referendum on devolution should be carried out with great urgency, so that the myth of an effective devolved government may be dispelled forever !].  Until then, we’ll be forced to endure higher mortality rates and a nation of poorly educated kids.   R. W.