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Our Holy Cow – the NHS

Today’s MSM are full with the same wailing: our NHS “can’t cope”. Depending on their attitude to our so-called Holy Cow, the reports are different in tone. Here’s the BBC:

Tens of thousands of non-urgent NHS operations and procedures in England may be deferred until 31 January, due to winter pressures.

This is the Guardian:

Amid growing evidence of chaos as the NHS’s winter crisis bites, hospitals are being forced to create makeshift wards for patients, growing numbers are declaring a black alert – an official admission that they cannot cope – and patients are waiting as long as 12 hours for A&E care.

We are seeing conditions that people have not experienced in their working lives,” said Dr Taj Hassan, an A&E consultant in Leeds and president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), which represents A&E doctors.

I note in passing that they quote “medical directors”, doctors and NHS managers only insofar they are providing anodyne messages.

Here’s the Daily Mail where reports are a bit more robust, i.e. scary and upsetting:

Hospitals were last night ordered to cancel thousands of operations to try to tackle a winter health crisis.

In an unprecedented move, NHS chiefs demanded radical action to free up beds and medical staff. Casualty units are under “extreme and sustained” pressure with flu cases on the rise.

Up to 55,000 non-urgent operations will be postponed until February, along with thousands of outpatient appointments and scans. Managers will be allowed to put patients on mixed-sex wards and consultants will be assigned to casualty units to assess patients on arrival. Anyone not judged to be seriously ill faces being turned away. It comes as an A&E consultant at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust apologised for the “third world conditions” endured at his hospital this weekend.

 Ah. So it is NHS managers who are actually giving out these orders, and thus the situation is worse than the Guardian-BBC try to insinuate. Their readers/listeners of course know that it’s because: “Tory cuts!… Jeremy Hunt!… the “ageing population”…

Finally, here’s the DT:

Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in an unprecedented step by NHS officials.

The instructions on Tuesday night – which will result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades. Hospitals are reporting growing chaos, with a spike in winter flu leaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, and some units running out of corridor space. Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director, on Tuesday ordered NHS trusts to stop taking all but the most urgent cases, closing outpatients clinics for weeks as well as cancelling around 50,000 planned operations.

There are some points that strike me:

Firstly, the blame is put firmly on the “ageing population”. It’s as if all UK pensioners have suddenly become seriously ill and are invading the NHS hospitals. Nobody else is becoming ill, especially not our beloved immigrants. Coming from south of the Channel, this hardy lot never falls ill. They know the NHS only because all of them work there, to tend to our old and sick. Furthermore, I think the NHS should sell their fabulous technology which allows our 65+ (male as well as females) to conceive and give birth: our maternity wards are overflowing with them. Aren’t they?

Secondly: with all the meetings, with all their box-ticking work, diversity training, gender sensitivity training and all, working in their climatised offices, it’s no wonder that the poor dears never hear about this thing called “winter”. And how sad it is that they simply are too overworked to plan ahead for this eventuality. After all, if one can only remember back as far as last Thursday – what chance of remembering as far back as 12 months!

Seriously though: how come we ordinary NHS “consumers” knew about the latest, Aussie strain of flu a couple of months ago? We read the papers and we did learn that this year’s flu jab would not protect against it. We’re obviously far better informed than the NHS, from receptionists to GPs to medical directors to top NHS managers.

There’s more.

How is it possible that NHS hospitals are so overwhelmed with ill patients when the normal population is obviously doing what the NHS has been telling them to do: “don’t go out; don’t see your GP – the flu cannot be cured with antibiotics; drink lots of water, keep warm, take paracetamol; only see your GP if it’s not better after 7 days.” Anyone who has spoken to friends and acquaintances across the country or even just in their neighbourhood knows that’s what people have been and are doing.

How is it possible that hospital managers aren’t capable of planning ahead for the customary annual spike of admissions that happens every year after the Christmas Holidays? Short memories? Hoping it won’t happen this time round? Or rather, they are incapable of planning ahead?

It is a national disgrace. As there are still more bureaucrats than frontline personnel (doctors and nurses to you and me) it’s well past time that this Holy Cow were put out of its misery. That’s not calling for sweeping privatisation, that’s calling for an audit of what the NHS is wasting our money on! If we want to keep this Holy Cow healthy – and that it’s ailing and close to collapse is no secret – then any good vet (or doctor) will tell you that first there must be a proper diagnosis, preferably without bending over backwards so as not to offend the smaller holy cows of diversity and gender whatevah.

Btw, aren’t the NHS managers and directors lucky that overnight “Storm Eleanor” tore into the UK, causing huge damage in its wake. A good day for the MSM to bury inconvenient news of our Holy Cow!


Photo by spike77

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About Vivian Evans (281 Articles)

Vivian is a UKIP patron, Vice Chair of UKIP Cardiff and Editor in Chief of UKIP Daily

17 Comments on Our Holy Cow – the NHS

  1. The reason politicians don’t try to interfere with the NHS is because it is political suicide to do so. Look at Andrew Whiting’s post above — a huge organisation is always going to provide targets for any newspaper looking for a headline, for any ideologue determined to denigrate the involvement of the State in anything that could be turned into a cash cow for predatory big business and for those who look enviously across the Atlantic at the trillions in insurance premiums that could be harvested from the old, the poor and the ill: read what they write about the NHS bearing that in mind.

    Is it the right model? Possibly not, but we should approach this matter with humility and extreme caution.

    Here’s where to start.

    All non-UK residents should pay their way — there is no reason why the hard-pressed UK taxpayer should fund the middle-classes of any country with easy airline access to Heathrow.

    Some matters are medical, some not. It’s a _health_ service.

    Walk-in health centres have been cut, pushing patients onto doctor’s surgeries. Doctor’s surgeries are overloaded with longer and longer waiting times, pushing patients onto A & E which is near to breaking. So, fund health centres.

    I get the impression that GPs are not being scrutinised closely. Are they pulling their very expensive weight? Why, in a country which has an NHS, are doctors running private businesses? No, it would not be possible to sack all hard-working and dedicated GPs, but it might be a good idea to allow a parallel service to be set up where local doctors are not providing adequate cover.

    Drunks should be charged a standard rate when they end up in A & E.


    But be very wary how you sell it.


  2. “Or rather, they are incapable of planning ahead?”

    More like just plain incapable; they would not survive in the real world.

  3. The NHS in my experience is a real Curate’s Egg. In many cases the medical procedures are truly excellent but all are let down by absolutely shambolic organisation and archaic management processes.

    Throwing money at it before necessary changes are implemented will simply make matters worse and ratchet up the cost for evermore. Another case of too big / important to fail being used to prop up the unsustainable, all made massively worse by rampant immigration of third worlders carrying previously abolished diseases.

  4. The NHS is close to a national religion and criticism of it is almost deemed heretic. It is too big, cumbersome and naturally for a nationalised industry it will suffer from producer capture. It will never have enough money simply because simply it will find ways to spend it usually hugely inefficiently. The good it does is in spite of its structure rather than because of it, ditto its staff.

    The phenomenal waste is unprecedented and it is because it is not subject to any market pressure, it just recruits lobbyists to ask for more.

    The ‘free’ service is such a misused risible phase and the image of the gallant NHS treating prince or pauper the same is nonsense. The free market decides what it can offer based on the market price, while the controlled economy decides by queuing, rationing and postcode.

    Healthcare needs radical reform and Netherlands would an interesting comparison where they moved from centrally funded care to an insurance based system with the consumer having power to choose their provider.

  5. The NHS is being privatised by sleight of hand.
    I too am tired of seeing these news stories, always going on about how the NHS ‘needs more money’ or is ‘in crisis’, but I too have seen how the news stories are never substantiated with any hard facts or investigation.
    “The NHS needs more money!” – The question I ask myself, and would like answered, is ‘why does the NHS need more money and what would it be spent on?’
    “The NHS is on the brink of disaster!” – yet the media never actually reveal exactly what is causing the ‘pressures’ on the NHS. Again, my question begins with a ‘why’, why is this happening, what is the cause, and what can be done to prevent this happening again next year?
    The problem is that few people question anything. Yet another NHS ‘crisis’ is presented to the public, ‘the NHS needs more money’, and so the public start agreeing to tax rises, little bit here, little bit there.
    The NHS is a financial black hole, and like with any other problem, throwing more and more money at it won’t make the problem go away. Too much money is being wasted, or leeched off as profit, in the case of private contractors.
    What exactly does the Chief Executive Simon Stevens do to earn his huge salary, apart from demanding more money for the NHS every year?

  6. Exactly.
    Private industry which is the only way to make it, is being taxed at the limit and therefore going away. Wealth is being dissipated from every pore on Government nonsense.

    If there is anyway that this can be stopped, we need it. Before we follow Russia, Argentina, Venezuela and many others. Everyones suggestions would be welcomed. I know of no way that is not brutal. Help us out here.

    The health of our people stands equally with their defence and wellbeing, property and education.

    BUT neither Mrs May, Corbyn or Clegg has any more money.

    • I realised just how dire this situation was when Woolworth’s went out of business. Many private businesses have disappeared in the past decade or so.

      Small businesses, especially independent high street retailers have particularly felt the brunt of it. Just before Christmas I went to a branch of my bank to pay in a cheque my husband had given me as a present.

      Just opposite the bank was a small greengrocer’s shop. However, I noticed it was no longer there and the empty premises had a ‘For Sale’ sign. It’s not the first time I’ve seen small businesses vanish suddenly.

      I honestly don’t know what the solution is.


    • Good comment tg; people forget that government has no money, it must all be taken from the taxpayer by fair means or foul. Squandering it seems to be a full time occupation for those elected in recent times.

  7. Over population will prove to be at the heart of most of our wows in the very near future, including the NHS being over used. Once people remember basic mathematics then we start counting the people coming in (properly), and we’ll then work out the cost to the British of the invasion. The MSM are in denial over immigration/population but the cries from the street will eventually be heard, acknowledged and proven to be true, as population in England is spiralling out of control.

    • Overpopulation has been causing the problems for a very long time already. The working class population know this as they/we are the ones suffering the consequences. If the truth be told, the politicians also know it but are only interested in feathering their own nests and kowtowing to their globalist masters.


  8. British politics has got itself into a position where the NHS has become the litmus test in all thing. The judgment as to what is good and what is bad. All that is said has to include a reference to the NHS and that it will benefit. But this mindless chanting of the NHS mantra devalues debate and does not help the NHS.

    We all think the NHS is inherently a good thing. We all want it to be successful.

    But it is hardly surprising that such a large and bureaucratic organisation, overseen by politicians and civil servants, is a working example of the curate’s egg: at its best it is brilliant, at its worst it is awful, and all points in between. That is my experience over the years, personally at first hand, from what I have seen on TV and heard on the Radio.

    Repetitive calls for more money are irrelevant without an accompanying analysis of the cost-to-benefit ratio seen in the overall context of all that the NHS is being asked to do in a World where the “money trees” do not grow. The NHS is, by its very nature, a bottomless pit that no amount of money can ever fill. This is the nature of providing a service for good; there is always a worthy case to be made for doing more.

    There is no perfect answer. The best answer can only come from sound, sensible government. We may all wonder from where that is going to materialise.

    • “…sound, sensible government”!

      We haven’t had anything approaching that since Lady Thatcher was ousted by those unfit for government. It also requires the Civil Service “swamp” draining if things are to improve.

  9. It’s another nationalised industry. Like mining,British Road Services etc. A nationalised ( Government )industry manager can grow his department into a world renowned speciality. Easy.
    What was the BBC comedy called, Value Department. There’s always spare bodies.

  10. A perfect example of why I could never (again, I did it once) vote UKIP. “As there are still more bureaucrats than frontline personnel”; absolute crap, so wrong I simply don’t know where to start. This is pure BS. I remember that bald headed liar of a leader UKIP had for a few weeks, make this claim on QT: he then and UKIP now demonstrate through this one sentence how little they understand and why they should never be allowed near power.
    For the record, there are approx. the same number of non-clinically qualified staff in the NHS as clinical qualified staff. This is the stat UKIP fail to understand as they clearly think porters, cooks, cleaners, NURSING ASISTANTS, THERAPY ASSISTANTS, drivers, maintenance staff, PHARMACY ASSITANTS, are all “bureaucrats”. F****ing unbelievable ignorance.

    • You’re right Andrew. Too much blind Toryism in UKIP and antipathy to anything remotely connected with state spending and initiative, when it’s obvious that’s exactly what we need more of in so many areas.
      But it’s not the biggest reason not to vote UKIP now – by far.

  11. Last christmas I was accompanying my daughter for an operation in our local hospital. Whilst she was recovering post-op, I wandered around, and on the wall was a sign ‘step into shoes’ or something like that. It was a long list of things they could do to improve their functioning (amazing they put it in a public space because it hardly inspired confidence you would be getting good treatment with all the problems listed out). It was things like ‘the admin staff should come in 15 minutes earlier than the clinical staff so the records are available for the first operation of the day ‘ (doing this the night before, another option, is clearly too challenging). In other words the entire clinical staff have to wait around 15 minutes every single day of the year whilst whoever has the keys to the filing cabinet rolls in. There were 20-30 other similar points. I used to audit the NHS 30 years ago and these were the kind of statements of the blinding obvious we would make then. It seems there is something cultural that blocks basic progress in the NHS, and I guess it is the unions and their never-ending struggle to make our healthcare into a political battle. Their constant complaining convinces the staff that they are being unfairly rewarded, lowers morale and encourages a ‘why bother’ attitude.

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