LETTER: The public are being deceived over the NHS
Every political party lacks honesty, is disingenuous in their praise towards staff in their narrative surrounding the NHS and is dishonest to patients.
But it is their apparent deception of the public and patients that they are the top priority, which smarts.
Because of their dishonesty they have dug a hole so deep they cannot get out.
In the last year, The Kings Fund reported that money takes precedence over patients and Jeremy Hunt and Simon Stevens called the 1983 Griffiths Report surrounding management, ‘A Historic Failure’.
For as long as I can remember winter pressures have been a problem, increasing year on year due to the demographics of the population.
These pressures bring increased waiting lists and serial disappointment to patients and relatives who are booked in for surgery, cancelled and rebooked,
often on a number of occasions.
It is always the doctors, nurses, admissions staff or junior managers who have to deal with the fallout from understandably upset and at times angry patients and their relatives, not politicians or executives.
Much of this is avoidable, with decisive management direction and forward planning, if medical and nursing opinion has been listened to.
Why did Jeremy Hunt make his announcement in January, at the peak of the crisis, to delay elective surgery?
No doctor or nurse wants to see a patient with a painful hip or knee wait longer than necessary for surgery.
Surely having a ‘factory type shut down’ from Christmas through January where surgical emergencies, cancer and daycare surgery alone are carried out to free up beds for the frail elderly, is only common sense.
Another month wait with a painful joint is surely better than last minute cancellation(s)?
All staff involved in elective operations could be asked to take annual leave (during a period when staff sickness is historically high) in this period so work force planning in the remaining year could be optimised.
Waiting lists may increase but successive governments have outsourced work to independent hospitals who work in harmony with the
NHS to deliver good quality care and keep waiting lists down.
The majority of people in difficult situations will accept delay if they are treated honestly, given a clear plan and realistic expectation. Sadly honesty appears to elude the political spectrum and their chosen cohorts.