Monday, 19 May 2008

Quote of the day

" You do not have to change: survival is not mandatory."

Dr. W. (William) Edwards Deming

" A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them."

P. J. O'Rourke

What is wrong with the UK's NHS?

Some readers will be familiar with Calum Carr’s battles with the NHS simply looking to get adequate treatment for his wife and this prompts me to wonder.

It is an illustration of some of the problems with the NHS on a human scale.

According to the State’s own statistics, never exactly a source to be trusted in recent years (if ever), 6,000 people died in 2006 after contracting the superbug Clostridium Difficile, a massive increase over recent years. At the same time MRSA increased over a third, the infection featuring in almost 1,700 death certificates in 2006..

One suspects in many cases it contributes but is not mentioned. In many other cases the patient thankfully survives.

Even Hospitals that have isolation policies do not follow their own procedures. I personally witnessed an instance where a patient who had contracted MRSA whilst in hospital and who had been isolated was visited by administration staff who could not be bothered to follow any of the precautionary procedures posted outside, that we, as visitors had followed. No wonder these bugs spread.

Over the same period money has been thrown at the NHS hand over fist with little discernable improvement. There has been a drop in the last quarter, but often where things get better in a few instances they seem to get worse in many others. We should have seen a much greater impact much sooner. In fact the problem should not have become such a problem if the trusts had actually followed recommendations.

Health spokesman Norman Lamb said the State had failed to ensure recommendations from their own experts were followed.

It seems that the Sate is simply not competent to oversee the NHS. The same would appear to be true of the vast and expensive army of administrators recruited by the state to administer it.

The experience of the NHS, for far too many people is inadequate, incompetent ineffective and uncaring. It is to the credit of those who work in the system who do still manage to provide a caring service that this poor experience is not universal.

More administration and more targets seem to only result in a worse service. Something seriously needs to change.