Skip to main content

Coalition government has damaged the NHS

The Tory party when in government always messes up the NHS. That is a given. We recall the crisis at the end of the last Tory government in 1997 with  long waiting lists and waiting times and with patients waiting on trollies in A&E because of a shortage of beds. Now we have the same long waiting lists, waiting times and patients waiting on trollies in corridors because of a shortage of beds. It is like Groundhog Day, a recurring nightmare. Tory governments should come with a health warning.

Now a damning report says that historians 'will not be kind in their assessment of the coalition government’s record on NHS reform'.

A major assessment of the coalition government's record on NHS reform by The King's Fund concludes that the upheaval caused by the Health and Social Care Act has been damaging and distracting.

We recall the promise that the NHS was 'safe' in Tory hands and that there would be 'no top down reorganisation'. The history seeks for itself. Not only has there been reorganisation, it has at best been fragmented and disjointed.

The new report highlights some positive developments as a result of the Act including closer involvement of GPs in commissioning services, giving local authorities responsibility for public health and the establishment of health and wellbeing boards. However, it criticises the decision to implement complex organisational changes at a time when the NHS should have been focused on tackling growing pressures on services and an unprecedented funding squeeze.

The changes have left the NHS organisation fragmented and without clear leadership.  Dispersing budgets formerly held by Primary Care Trusts between Commissioning Groups, NHS England and local authorities has created a situation where there  are no longer single population-based budgets for health care. At a time when it is more crucial to develop coordinated health and social care this has been counterproductive.

The coalition has left the NHS poorly funded, fragmented and unfit to meet the demands of coordinated health and social care.

 

Read Ray'a Novel: It wasn't always late summer 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

Noise pollution puts nature at risk

 "I just want a bit of peace and quiet!" Let's get away from all the hustle and bustle; the sound of endless traffic on the roads, of the trains on the railway, and the planes in the sky; the incessant drone; the noise. We live in a world of man-made noise; screeching, bellowing, on-and-on in an unmelodious cacophony.  This constant background noise has now become a significant health hazard.   With average background levels of 60 decibels, those who live in cities are often exposed to noise over 85 decibels, enough to cause significant hearing loss over time.  It causes stress, high blood pressure, headache and loss of sleep and poor health and well-being.   In nature, noise has content and significance.  From the roar of the lion, the laughing of a hyena,  communication is essential for life; as the warning of danger, for bonding as a group or a pair, finding a mate, or for establishing a position in a hierarchy - chattering works.  Staying in touch is vital to working

Therapeutic animal stress

Interacting with animals is known to be therapeutic,  particularly in reducing stress.  But do we consider sufficiently the effects this may have on the animals involved?   We might assume that because it is calming for us, then it must be so for the therapeutic animals, but is this so?  New research suggests that it isn't always without stress for the animals involved.  Positive human-animal interaction relates to changes in physiological variables both in humans and other animals, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear, anxiety) and an increase of oxytocin levels in the brain.  It also reduces the 'stress' hormone, cortisol. Indeed, these biological responses have measurable clinical benefits.  Oxytocin has long been implicated in maternal bonding, sexual behaviour and social affiliation behaviours and in promoting a sense of well-being .  So far, so good.  We humans often turn to animals for stress relief, companionship, and even therapy.  We kno