Nicola Sturgeon Admits Scotland’s NHS Is in Crisis mdi-timer 22 January 2023 @ 10:07 22 Jan 2023 @ 10:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments Healthcare Crises are Endemic Internationally

The Prime Minister’s spokesman just told a sceptical Lobby that it was a fact that global healthcare systems are facing significant strain and this was not unique to Britain. Though, as is often the case with the British media, it’s worth looking beyond the usual horizon of the M25.  As a winter strain hits the NHS, press coverage is awash with catastrophic headlines. The BBC repeats claims that the NHS is “on a knife edge” as The Guardian decries an “intolerable crisis” – their columnists, unsurprisingly, are clamouring for healthcare to be put on a “war footing”. The BMA has been quick to capitalise on the whipped-up frenzy, accusing the government of making a “political choice” leading to patients dying unnecessarily, as Labour pins it on “mismanagement”. The Liberal Democrats are urging the government to pointlessly recall parliament early…

That the prevalence of health system pressures is a global phenomenon is borne out in the world’s headlines:

  • Canada’s hospitals are at “full capacity”, they also face a shortage of doctors and nurses. The president of the Ontario medical service says they have a “health-care system that’s broken”. It is being called a “national crisis” as provincial  leaders urged Trudeau to meet them and discuss solutions. Socialised healthcare in Toronto sees patients waiting up to 45 hours for emergency treatment, with 90% waiting 12 hours.
  • The German healthcare system is being “pushed to its limit” due to a rise in viral infections, with the scene in children’s hospitals especially “dramatic”. This is according to the head of the board of the German Hospital Association.
  • Italy’s healthcare system has a “sustainability crisis”.
  • France is facing a “triple epidemic”, according to their healthcare minister. The country has hospitals in crisis, medical deserts and a shortage of doctors and nurses. This is all the while their GPs are continuing their walk out.
  • The Swiss healthcare system is “pushed to the limit”, with children’s hospitals under “massive pressure”. This is despite the fact it remains a favoured destination of European healthcare professionals.
  • American hospitals are the fullest they’ve been over the pandemic, whilst the system faces a “fiscal implosion”.
  • Ireland is suffering “record waiting times”. Healthcare boss Damien McCallion said emergency departments are becoming extremely busy due to the “unprecedented combination of very high levels of flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses in the community”.

Despite what the BBC might have you believe, coronavirus, flu and strep A aren’t a uniquely British creation of the Tory government…

mdi-timer 3 January 2023 @ 12:37 3 Jan 2023 @ 12:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
NHS Strikes Threaten Christmas Booze Ups

Jeremy Hunt’s No. 11 Christmas Party for journalists tomorrow could now be under threat, after the head of NHS England told people to cope with the NHS walkout by not getting drunk. Sue Gray presumably endorses this message…

This morning, Health Minister Will Quince warned that Brits should avoid “risky activity.” While he didn’t elaborate on what risky activity constitutes, this afternoon the NHS England medical director put out this statement:

“People can also help by taking sensible steps to keep themselves and others safe during this period and not ending up in A&E – whether that is drinking responsibly…”

This morning, Downing Street also failed to specify what ‘risky behaviour’ Brits should avoid, with the spokesman saying that given we got through Covid we can rely on our common sense. The NHS is telling people not to get too drunk during the final work days before Christmas, Guido doubts even the most optimistic of politicians will believe this advice will be heeded…

mdi-timer 20 December 2022 @ 14:57 20 Dec 2022 @ 14:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
As Nurses Strike for Pay NHS Splurges £120,000 on “Head of Diversity”

Health Minister Will Quince has admitted the hiring of a £120,000 “head of diversity” by one NHS trust – at a time when nurses and ambulance drivers are grinding the health service to a halt – probably isn’t a great use of taxpayers’ money, and vowed to raise it with the head of NHS England. Appearing on LBC with Nick Ferrari, Quince became the latest Minister to act as if this is some kind of new problem:  

“I’ve seen that individual appointment, and I will be raising that with the chief executive of NHS England. One of the things that we do need to tackle… is recruitment and retention… we know there are problems with bullying, harassment, and indeed racism within our NHS. They are things that we have to tackle. I would still question whether you need somebody, a manager, on over £100,000 to undertake that role. So I’ll look at that very closely… I want to see NHS trust money being spent on patient care…”

Of course, Quince knows this isn’t just an individual appointment. These roles grow like weeds throughout the health service, even after other Ministers have talked the talk about cracking down on them before. Will can read through Guido’s archives if he needs a quick reminder…

mdi-timer 20 December 2022 @ 09:02 20 Dec 2022 @ 09:02 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mirror: We Are With NHS Nurses (Not Really)

Today is the first day of nurse strikes, the first nationwide action in the Royal College of Nursing’s 106-year history. Given the appalling state of NHS services anyway, it’s possible patients won’t actually notice the walk-out. Today’s Mirror front page carries the screeching, virtue-signalling splash of “WE ARE WITH YOU.”

NHS workers subscribed to the paper should take that with a pinch of salt, however. As all Daily Mirror jobs make clear, company perks include:

“Private Healthcare Cash Plan – free health cash plan so you can claim back cash for a range of medical expenses.”

Guido hopes BUPA has sufficient supplies of today’s Mirror in their waiting rooms…

mdi-timer 15 December 2022 @ 10:13 15 Dec 2022 @ 10:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Fact Check: Starmer Misleads Parliament Over Labour Strikes

At PMQs today amid a Punch and Judy bust-up between the PM and Sir Keir, Starmer told the Commons:

“Under the last Labour government, we had fair pay for nurses and no strikes. I will not be taking any lectures from [the PM]”

For a leader of the opposition who’s made so much political capital out of telling the truth to Parliament, it appears Starmer misled the house today.

FullFact already fact-checked this claim when Wes Streeting made it in November, albeit he tweeted it rather than saying it the Commons. FullFact found two examples of formal strike action by NHS staff between 1997 and 2010, as well as “one unofficial strike involving hundreds of staff”. 

In August 2002 the BBC reported staff at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary held a 48-hour strike over pay and working conditions.

In November 2002 The Times reported of an “unofficial strike” involving 500 clerical and administrative staff at at least five Glasgow hospitals.

In October 2005, the BBC reported staff working at four NHS hospitals in Newcastle held a strike over wages.

This seems ripe for a point of order…

mdi-timer 14 December 2022 @ 14:34 14 Dec 2022 @ 14:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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