Tuesday, 14 April 2009

‘Further Ideas For Improving NHS’ now looks at the cleanliness of hospitals.

Over the years there have been many incidents reported of filthy hospitals contributing to the deaths of patients. After 12 years of Labour rule and untold billions of pounds spent on supposedly improving services you would have thought that England would have the cleanest hospitals in the world. Yet several news articles have been reported just this last week of filthy un-cleaned hospitals, with blood on bed partitions, and excrement on the floor. As a result too many patients are being made miserable or worse dying from the infections. This is happening today in London, in Bart’s and The London Hospital Whitechapel. Both are hospitals within sight of the richest office space and bankers on the planet. What an accolade for London!
Why can’t something be done about it? I submit that the problem is not to do with the IT services. Although properly managed business like systems for monitoring cleaning and laundry schedules are sorely needed. What is needed is intense management focus on the basics of running hospitals, and an open culture which includes the staff in helloing make improvements. Many pundits, journalists, and bloggers have called for the return of ward sisters and matrons with the power to make things happen but these calls have all been ignored. Why is this? Try this theory for a possible answer. The Labour ministers of health have been in general decent folks, the current incumbent; Alan Johnson seems to be even more decent and less calculating than his predecessors. Yet even he cannot bring himself to make the changes. The fact is that Labour is held in thrall to old fashioned Socialist thinking which cannot tolerate dissent, argument or new ideas. As a result there are various entrenched leftist-givens which cannot change even to the point of causing ruin for many. Although the left in the UK are not violently Stalinist, Stalin’s way of thinking and intimidating holds at many levels. Stalin managed Russia’s empire for over 30 years with his wishes overshadowing everything by ruling by fear through his Party Apparatchiks, in our case NHS Managers (the ones who get bigger pay rises than nurses), who allowed him to out a reign of terror in which millions died. In addition there were many instances of senior soviet figures disappearing into Stalin’s jails to be tortured for some minor infringement, while some of the family were murdered. When the senior people emerged from jail they went back to work and said not a word to the survivors of their family. The parallel experience in NHS is where senior labour politicians’ family members, generally elderly relatives, go into hospital for some minor treatment only to die from MRSA, and the Labourites say not a word. Of course there is no one as evil as Stalin in the Labour Party but there is a mind-set which says if something is not working then more of the same is needed to make it work. This was the thinking which led to Pol Pot and his faceless minions to push for ever more excessive socialism and eradication of the old order in Cambodia resulting in The Killing Fields. Closer to home; The CJD scare of several years ago led to the complete wasting of the British beef industry. It ruined farmers, led to some suicides, and cost the tax payers billions of pounds. Yet so far just six deaths have been attributed to it. Sad though these deaths were how do they compare with the thousands caused each year by the English NHS’s incompetence and blind management? This is a bigger scandal which Labour should be thoroughly ashamed of.
Come on Mr Johnson, be more than decent. Be a change maker; call in matron and sister, and fire the overpaid managers. Or will you be like one of Stalin's generals who has just been released from the Lubyanka and say nothing?

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