(My emphasis). After a spending splurge.
DAMNING reports on the state of the National Health Service, suppressed by the government, reveal how patients’ needs have been neglected.
They diagnose a blind pursuit of political and managerial targets as the root cause of a string of hospital scandals that have cost thousands of lives.
The harsh verdict on the state of the NHS, after a spending splurge under Labour between 2000 and 2008, raises worrying questions about the future quality of the health service as budgets are squeezed.
269 deaths from a single hospital, over 24 months. That's ten a month in a single hospital.
One report, based on the advice of almost 200 top managers and doctors, says hospitals ignored basic hygiene to cram in patients to meet waiting-time targets.
It says “several interviewees” cited the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells [NHS Trust in Kent where 269 deaths during 2005-6 were caused by infection with Clostridium difficile bacteria].
And the Clostridium difficile bacterium? Here's the opening bit to the Wikipedia page describing it:
Clostridium difficile (Greek kloster (κλωστήρ), spindle, and Latin difficile, difficult), also known as "CDF/cdf", or "C. diff", is a species of Gram-positive bacteria of the genus Clostridium that causes diarrhea and other intestinal disease when competing bacteria are wiped out by antibiotics.The British National Health Service has set sanitation back 150 years. Other hospitals are worse:
There were subsequent failings at health trusts in Basildon in Essex, and Mid Staffordshire. Filthy wards and nurse shortages led to up to 1,200 deaths at Stafford hospital.The system is, as you'd expect, precisely what you'd expect from one designed by the government:
Sounds like the public school system. Death panels? Heck, you don't need those to "bend the cost curve down" - just cut back on the nurse clearing away the bedpan, and nature will take its course. Or scale back on all that wasteful abuse of drinking water.
The stark assessments, collected from leading NHS clinicians and managers, include:
A damaging rift between doctors and managers: “The GP and consultant contracts are de-professionalising, and have had the peculiar effect of simultaneously demoralising and enriching doctors. We’ve lost the volitional work of the doctors and far too many of us are now just working to rule.”
Pointless new structures. “Stop the restructurings. The only thing they generate is redundancy payments.” One body responsible for improving standards reported to five different ministers and had three different names in the space of 30 months.
A culture of fear and slavish compliance. “The risk of consequences to managers is much greater for not meeting expectations from above than for not meeting expectations of patients and families.”
But I'm sure that Obama's plan will be nothing like this.
Hat tip: Don Surber.