Worrying about the NHS crisis and Brexit to come

We ‘ve all heard of the NHS crisis and known its been in trouble with its funding for quite some time. The reasons have always been around funding but the media coverage wasn’t great, to say the least, so it’s been nicely brushed under the carpet for a while. Our one big out of sight, out of mind thing that looks like it’s about to blow up.

nhs crisis

You know what’s scarier than the media not giving a serious issue appropriate coverage? It’s when every tabloid out there, regardless of affiliation, giving it the same coverage, continuously for weeks. NHS crisis is finally on all the front pages and it’s awful and scary to see. Well, besides a few that are on a different planet this week and think all things Trump are more pressing than our national health service.

We should be terrified for our older generation and those in need right now. And indeed for the next few years. You only have to glance at #NHSCrisis on Twitter and on other social media platforms to see some of the shocking incidents that really shouldn’t be happening in a world class health care system in a first world country. In Theresa May (and her profusely nodding Jeremy Hunt) land, this translates to a “few incidents”.

Just some of these are…

The Red Cross calling the whole thing a “humanitarian crisis”. (Whilst it’s not in a war situation, surely alarm bells should be ringing in Jeremy’s ears when the RED CROSS say it’s problematic?).

20 hospitals declaring a “black alert” – the highest level of alert used, when hospitals can’t guarantee patient safety.

Diversion of 42 ambulances to other hospitals in an A&E situation. Twice the number of this time last year.

Over 52,000 trolley waits over 4 hours. The worst since records began in 2010.

Cancer operations being cancelled and suspected stroke victims having to wait over 11 hours to be seen.

Patients dying, including a woman waiting over 35 hours in a Worcestershire hospital corridor.

A lot of these are being reported not only by the tabloids, but supported by doctors themselves and I’ve never seen so many medics write so passionately about the current situation.

The two huge reasons for all of this have been cited as billions cut from social care and “chronic” underfunding of the NHS in general. Social care funding has been cut, in real terms, by 11%, a large part of which affects older and disabled people, and those in care homes. Less care and beds in care homes means slower transitions out of hospitals and beds being taken up for longer. The same for mental health. More funding has been promised for mental health care by Theresa May herself but no promises of when it might arrive.

Corporation tax cuts on the other hand, are being sped through quickly, because we are open for business blah di blah and one wouldn’t want to let a little thing like paying their rightfully owed tax stand in the way of letting huge companies make a tidy profit. One wonders why we shouldn’t keep corporation tax at its current levels and feed the money made straight into where the NHS crisis needs it the most. The same goes for all the money we’re making from those cluster bombs we’re dropping on Yemen now. I didn’t even know we were doing that until Simon Pegg popped up on my Facebook a couple of days ago. That has to add to up to a bit doesn’t it? And the £350million we’ll save (but not really because of the rebate) from our EU fee post Brexit. The government has cash. It’s infuriating to see them stand by and not fix this genuine crisis happening before our eyes.

Simon Stevens, NHS CEO has said himself they didn’t get as much as requested and the deficit amounts to a £30billon gap by 2020, with £22billion bizarrely intending to come from efficiency savings. So £8billion in real money.

May now thinks the solution to the NHS crisis is for GPs to open for longer, taking the strain off A&E. I’m not quite sure what kind of GP surgery she has. I spent a lot of time at mine last year with a new baby and small child that was catching everything, and never once did I spot a ward of beds intended to house stroke or cancer patients. Does Theresa May even understand how any of the public health services works or does she think everyone blocking a bed in A&E has a GP treatable ailment?

I’m not quite sure what Jeremy Hunt thinks about this whole thing but I always want whatever he’s having. He always looks so calm and collected, even when things are imploding all around him. I did come across an article about how he wrote a book on denationalising the NHS. Of course, he may have just been writing a pros and cons list. Kinda like Boris Johnson did with his Brexit views. It’s called “Direct Democracy: An agenda for a new model” if you like that kind of bed time reading.

The more you look at the powers that be, the more you worry. Not only for the future of the NHS, but whether this is a sign of things to come for when we finally trigger the elusive Article 50. We are handing over total control of a LOT to our current government and, so far, they haven’t been able to fix our own home grown health care institution.

You know how throughout 2016 we braced ourselves for the next celebrity death? I think 2017 (and beyond) might be time to watch some of our much loved public services disappear as we know them. 

References

NHS finance and the £22billion efficiency saving

The NHS Crisis denial

Don’t forget about mental health when discussing the NHS crisis

PMQS Live

Tories privatising the NHS

20 hospitals declare black alert as patient safety no longer assured

4 Comments

  1. Nikki Thomas January 15, 2017 / 2:31 pm

    I think I have a tendency not to watch and read the news as it is simply too depressing but I had no idea that things were as bad as this. Having said that, a friend of ours recently was rushed to hospital with a heart problem and thankfully he had private care as part of his job as he has been told that he would probably be dead by now if it had been left to the NHS. It is such a sad thing to see it like this but I can see the benefits of private healthcare if you can afford it.
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…My Little Pony Boots from The Original Muck Boot CompanyMy Profile

  2. Lorraine January 15, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    It is shocking but parts of the NHS have always been like this, It’s run on the good will of staff. My husband is back and to on call as you can’t employ enough staff to cover every eventuality. With this sudden onslaught of NHS news in the media I’m more inclined to wonder what other news are the govt trying to detract from or slip through while we’re distracted.
    Lorraine recently posted…New year, New skillMy Profile

  3. Sarah MumofThree World January 16, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    Another fantastic political post from you! Like Nikki, I don’t watch the news all the time and you’ve given me a lot more information here than I had before. It really is a scary situation! Underfunding in social care has to be a massive contributor to the problem. And even if GPs could treat more patients, I’m wondering where they are going to get the extra GPs from? Unless all of the existing ones are just going to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Because presumably GPs don’t go off ill with stress?!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…What it’s like backstage at the panto – by my daughterMy Profile

  4. Susan Mann January 19, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    A wonderful post. I am glued to watching the news and reading about it. I read a great post by Sky News on the breakdown of Theresa May’s 12 point plan. The NHS is a huge worry and where we all go from here in terms of GP’s, Brexit and the US is a nightmare to be honest. We can only wait and see. xx
    Susan Mann recently posted…Snow Fun, Snow Scooters And A Full Moon – Our Weekly Photos Week 3My Profile

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