Tag Archives: NHS

Incompetent Barclay should be ashamed

Steve Barclay, Minister responsible for the lack of Health and Social Care, stated that elderly people who fall or have an accident would probably have to get to hospital on their own.

So imagine a pensioner who has fallen and sustained a broken bone, and is lying immobile on a frozen or wet street in freezing weather The NHS web site says that people with such breaks should not be moved until they have been seen by a qualified medic. So how does Barclay imagine the injured person would get to treatment ?

Worse still, even before the current round of strikes, senior board members from various NHS Trusts have said that the public should not call 999 unless an accident is life threatening.

So, if that edict were followed, as the injury outlined above could not be classed as life threatening until hypothermia sets into the victim at about 03:00 in the morning, they or a passer by should not call 999. There is no other conclusion from the statements issued by the government and the NHS.

Maybe the person could call their GP on their mobile ? No, as a receptionist would tell them that (a) all the days appointments had gone, and that they should call at 08:00 next morning but anyway (b) they do not have the capability of dealing with fractures anyway, so go to A+E.

This is truly surreal circular madness, and the hapless Barclay must know this as he issued words that the only logical conclusion from following them verbatim would be that Granny would be left to die in the street. But, heh ho, it’s a sacrifice worth making to bash the unions with.

This is what the NHS has become. In 1948, the then new NHS took over 480,000 beds. It is now around 160,000 with a much larger population, and the UK has one of the very worst ratios of beds per capita of any European county. The next time Grumpy hears one of these reality blind and deaf politicians utter words about ’40 new hospitals’ and ‘World Class’ he will not be able to restrain himself from banging his head against a wall. Sadly, he would be unable to get any treatment from the resulting injury.

High UK death rates

Coronavirus has (as at 12.04.20) infected some 1,784,300 people round the world, and killed some 108,900 of them; a mortality rate of about 6%. What requires some explanation is why mortality rates have been so much higher in the UK than in other countries.

In Portugal, Canada, Austria, Germany, and South Korea, for example, rates are significantly lower. A German contracting coronavirus has a 1 in 45 chance of dying, whereas in the UK it is more than 1 in 8 – more than 5 times the rate in Germany (see footnote for numbers)

These are pretty terrifying odds, and even more so when the distribution of mortality with age is factored in. The above are averages for all ages; so for those of Grumpy’s age, the statistics are far worse, and pushed it to the level more often associated with more ostensibly malign infections.

This disparity may be due to differences in levels of preparedness, better funded and equipped health facilities in the countries with lower rates, age distribution of the population, or the timing and nature of the political decisions taken as the scale of the pandemic unfolded.

Postmortems don’t help the corpse, and “if only we had …” conclusions are pointless. What is essential is that the reason for the disparities are determined, and (to use the hackneyed expression so beloved of politicians before they do precisely nothing) “lessons learned”. This time, however, the economic rubble left in the broken businesses of voters might just be the catalyst for a more meaningful review of ‘rare event’ planning.

CountryCasesDeaths% deaths
S Korea10,4802112.01

Boris and May in bed

Boris Johnson (someone Grumpy cannot accept as a serious politician) got considerable flak from ever quarter with his red Boris bus, which suggested that leaving the EU would bring a 350m bonus for the NHS.

A key argument for ‘remainers’ and the second referendum loonies was that this was a deliberate and unsupported lie which swayed public opinion in the June 2016 vote. Journalists like John Lichfield, a Guardian hack and a French resident gone native, pilloried Boz with headlines like “There are lies, damned lies and Boris Johnson’s weasel sums” and  “The foreign secretary must find it necessary to distort statistics because the truth does not serve his case” ; and this sets the basic tone for the wrath of the EU-philes.

It was even suggested that he might face a private prosecution by Marcus Ball, who crowdfunded the finance to bring it.

On 25th November, May released a desperate begging letter to the populace  which contained the following

“Second, control of our money. Not a reduction in our membership fee, not a bigger budget rebate – but an end to vast annual payments being sent to the EU. That is what this deal delivers. Instead,we will be able to spend taxpayers’ money on our priorities, like the £394 million per week of extra investment we are putting into our NHS”

So May has doubled down on the Boris assertion, which was so comprehensively rubbished by his remainer Cabinet colleagues, most political pundits, and  the Europhile press.

Now May has aligned her thoughts with those of  Boris and got into bed with him, can we now assume the naysayers will now turn their wrath to her, and join those seeking to reject her ‘deal’ (the misuse of that word grates) – will they volte face and now trumpet the benefits foreseen by Boris ?