I have my own reasons for being disgusted with the NHS. I try to keep my private business private, but I have recently bought a camcorder and hope to expose the rottenness of the local system and how I have been totally neglected. All the people I have spoken to lately about the NHS – people who have had a lot of contact with them, for mental and physical conditions – can hardly condemn them enough. Their incompetence is matched only by their arrogance.
I visited some friends in the local hospital before my recent troubles (more on them later?) and they said the nurses were great and they seemed very caring and cheery. And I do feel sorry for all the decent, hardworking staff who don’t seem to have become demoralised by the maladministration all around them, and I hold them in high regard for that.
It is the Department of Health I despise and most of the grossly overpaid GPs who would rather sacrifice patients’ comfort than break one of the new rules. One GP helped me out, when he technically “shouldn’t” have, according to the government’s pen-pushers, but he wanted to help me and he was clearly fairly terrified at doing so. There is a culture of fear at the NHS and standards will never improve because whistleblowers feel they are jeopardising their career.
It seems to me that there are plenty of people involved with the NHS who should be in prison, like those who use the Liverpool Care Pathway to kill off patients to meet targets and make more money, but Anna Raccoon has just written about a nurse, James Adams, who was sacked in 2004 for swearing in front of a ‘vulnerable person’ and for making a sexual reference.
Not that I condone such behaviour, but we do not know the whole story (as usual). He isn’t in jail for this. He has received a ten month sentence for failing to disclose his previous dismissal on subsequent job applications after being snitched on by a manager, one Jackie Dyson, who recognised him from his photo in an in-house magazine and instigated an investigation. One of his jobs was a four-year stint working with alcoholics. “A thankless task, one might imagine,” writes Ms Raccoon.
During my years of seeking help with my own alcohol problems between 1993 and 1998, I met quite a few such people. I remember many were the most committed and caring I have seen in the NHS. When I was an outpatient at the detox clinic in my final days as a drinker, the female boss was off after having been attacked by a patient. I met her a few weeks later when she came back to work, bright-eyed and enthusiastic.
But I will leave the explanation and valid comedic political comparison to Anna:
Today, James is in prison, for Fraud. £89,460 worth of fraud. No, he hadn’t stolen the money from a ‘vulnerable person’ – that was the total of the wages he had received since starting work for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust. A job he wouldn’t have been given had he disclosed his earlier dismissal. Ipso, it was Fraud. ‘Send that man down for ten months’.
So the NHS is now minus one experienced nurse, the Alcoholics who live on the streets of Tees, Esk and Wear are safe from hearing any words beginning with ‘F’ or ‘B’, the laws relating to not lying on your application form have been upheld, and there is a round £22,000 a year on offer for an experienced nurse willing to work with alcoholics living rough. Slightly less than MacDonalds pay, but there you go.
It has set me thinking though – if the NHS was allowed to run politics, and the Houses of Parliament in particular, instead of politics running the NHS, how wonderful it would be.
Imagine Eric Joyce plaintively calling for another double whiskey, for hours and hours on end – and then on finally getting one, it is put on a high shelf out of his reach?
David Cameron jailed for ten months for having lied on his ‘application form’ manifesto.
Dennis Skinner on the Liverpool Care Pathway?
Ed Balls ‘accidentally aborted’ (and lessons learned, naturally).
The whole lot of them, dismissed summarily, for making ‘inappropriate suggestions’ to a voter.
This thought is going to keep me happy for the entire day. Feel free to add your suggestions for ‘politics run by the NHS’.