Posts Tagged ‘Tories’
Readers with a longer memory than most will remember the changes instigated by the Tories into the NHS.
The BBC highlights the consequence of internal market reforms, vulgar statistics and a management more concerned with pounds and pence, rather than patients:
“The trust had been climbing the NHS ratings ladder during the period in question and was even given elite foundation trust status. “
“The evidence gathered by the Inquiry shows clearly that for many patients the most basic elements of care were neglected. Calls for help to use the bathroom were ignored and patients were left lying in soiled sheeting and sitting on commodes for hours, often feeling ashamed and afraid. Patients were left unwashed, at times for up to a month. Food and drinks were left out of the reach of patients and many were forced to rely on family members for help with feeding. Staff failed to make basic observations and pain relief was provided late or in some cases not at all. Patients were too often discharged before it was appropriate, only to have to be re-admitted shortly afterwards. The standards of hygiene were at times awful, with families forced to remove used bandages and dressings from public areas and clean toilets themselves for fear of catching infections. “
However, I suspect that those useless feckers in New Labour won’t learn anything from this, and will re-hash more Tory drivel rather than do away with those awful internal markets and the poverty of thought that drives this type of thinking.
Update 1: The Guardian reports:
“About half of the patients and relatives who gave evidence to the inquiry singled out difficulty in obtaining food and drink as a major concern. Some patients never received food at mealtimes; some who did found that it was placed too far away for them to reach it and so was removed, untouched.
Intake of food and water, both vital to recovery, was not encouraged. “Frequently the explanation appears to have been a lack of staff but sometimes staff were present but lacked a sufficiently caring attitude,” the report said.
Breaches of patients’ privacy and dignity included patients left inadequately dressed in full view of passersby; patients moved and handled in unsympathetic and unskilled ways, causing pain and distress; and rudeness or hostility.
“However difficult the circumstances, there is no excuse for staff to treat patients in the manner described by some witnesses,” Francis concluded.
Staff were equally critical about the hospital’s management, and described bosses who bred “an atmosphere of fear of adverse repercussions”, stressed NHS targets were the top priority and were secretive when things went wrong.
The trust’s board, which was meant to hold managers to account and ensure high clinical standards were maintained, were aware of the weaknesses but failed to ensure improvements were made, the report says.”
Update 2: The Press Association coverage:
“The inquiry concluded that the trust’s board – which exacerbated its problems by cutting staff to save £10 million in 2006/7 – was “disconnected” from what was actually happening in the hospital.
Mr Francis said “the scale of failure” was greater than has been revealed to date. While he concluded that Stafford Hospital should not be closed, he recommended that Health Secretary Andy Burnham review whether to remove Mid-Staffordshire’s status as a foundation trust – a supposed marker of excellence in the NHS.”
Update 3: Over at the Torygraph:
“No one on the board at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has faced censure and all of them were either paid off, walked into another job or allowed to remain in post. The man who ran the hospital trust received a large pay-off despite his part in the scandal.
Martin Yeates, the former chief executive, left the trust “by mutual agreement” with a pay-off of £400,000 and a pension worth £1.27 million, it has been alleged.”
Update 4: The Guardian again on the tick box culture:
“The BMA chairman, Hamish Meldrum, said the inquiry pinpointed a “culture of fear” in some hospitals that prevented clinical staff from reporting lapses in standards of care.
He added: “The fact that Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust was more focused on meeting government targets, achieving foundation status and saving money, demonstrates very clearly what happens when financial pressures and a tick-box culture are more important than delivering high-quality patient care. I call on the government and all hospital managers to learn the lessons from Staffordshire and to put patients first.””
Update 5: Few case histories and medical understatement:
“When her son left her that night he remembered that she looked bright and well.
The following day she seemed unable to use her arms. The next day she became extremely confused. There was gauze on the back of her head, and a bandage. After the family demanded an explanation, the ward sister said that their mother had fallen during the night. They had found her nightdress in the bedside cabinet and when they got home discovered it was “saturated in blood”.
The following night Mr Bunn received another call to tell him his mother had suffered a further fall, and he was asked to come to the hospital. “My mother was lying… full stretch out on the tiled floor,” he said. “Some effort had been made to remove the blood. It was smeared all over the floor. You could not see a hair on her head. It was completely swathed in bandages. There was a lady doctor holding my mother’s head in her hands.”
Mr Bunn recalled saying, “Oh Mum, what have they done to you…” to which the doctor replied coldly: “I have got a mother too.” The son later remarked: “There was no compassion in that woman whatsoever.”
His mother was sent for a scan. She had a huge bleed on one side of her brain and her brain was swollen. The doctors told the family it was impossible to operate, and that if she regained consciousness then she would not be the same.
Mr Bunn then learnt that his mother had suffered a further previous fall that he had not been made aware of, and a doctor said to him: “We have let you down.” “
Update 6: Over in Wales the BBC reports:
“The seven new health boards which run the NHS in Wales are set to go more than £43m over budget, according to research by BBC Wales.
Six are forecasting a deficit for the end of their first financial year, with all under pressure to make savings.
When they were set up in October 2009, Health Minister Edwina Hart said that they “must live within their means”.
The boards control all hospitals and community services, GP and dentist funding.
The new boards were created by integrating the 22 old boards – set up in 2003 based on council boundaries – with seven NHS trusts which were then running hospitals.
The new boards are responsible for deciding which treatments and services are available and they also have responsibility for ensuring hospitals meet targets on waiting times.
LIKELY NHS BOARDS OVERSPENDS
Hospital worker (generic)
1 Betsi Cadwaladr LHB – Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham, Anglesey and Gwynedd – break even
2 Hywel Dda LHB – Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire – £12m
3 Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University LHB – Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend – £3.9m
4 Powys Teaching LHB Powys county – £7.6m
5 Cwm Taf LHB – Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil – £4.8m
6 Cardiff and Vale LHB – Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan – £5.5m
7 Aneurin Bevan LHB – Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen – £10m
Research by BBC Wales into the latest combined financial position shows the seven boards have a running deficit of around £67m, which they forecast being able to bring down to £43m. “
It seemed that Politics UK couldn’t quite work out how anti-Tory I was, but in the run-up to the general election I hope to produce more material on this despicable band of charlatans. I confess I don’t normally blog about domestic British politics as it seems so parochial and the Tories are not a fit topic.
Still, I was amused to see the New Statesman were stating the obvious, that News International (proprietor: Rupert Murdoch) will be giving the Tories an easy run up to the election, even on the topic of Europe.
The intellectual split in the Tory party, between those who long for the old Empire, with possibly some Anglo-American alliance and others who have largely reconciled themselves to the existence of Europe, hasn’t gone away.
The EU and Europe will always be the Tories Achilles’ heel until the dinosaurs within its ranks have died off, in 50 plus years.
Listening to the news that the Tories will apparently hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty, if they win the next general election in Britain, set me thinking how Europe haunts the Tories, as much today as it did when John Major or Margaret Thatcher had power, but the political ramifications are potentially wider.
It seems unlikely that the Tories would reopen the Lisbon treaty when the other nations and states have in one way or the other ratified it, the last one will soon be the Czech Republic, but if they did that in Britain then it would surely open up old wounds, yet again the perennial bogeyman of Europe would be attacked and more British xenophobia stirred up.
The relationship between Britain and Europe is a fraught discourse, primarily because it brings up, indirectly, the decline of Britain has an Imperial power and the necessity for her to have good relations with European countries, who previously were considered to be nobodies or minor competitors. Accepting Europe has never been an easy thing for the British, despite holiday homes in France and the millions that visit Spain or traipse around Italy, Europe is not a welcomed subject across the political spectrum, and that is where any debate on the Lisbon Treaty becomes politically interesting.
Should a referendum be held then you would have the sight of little Englanders, ancient Tories, neofascists, Tony Benn and various unreconstructed lefties united in arguing against the Lisbon treaty, in part as a way to criticise and distance themselves from Europe, both as a political setup and as a continent.
Whatever happens it will be messy politics, as clearly Britain is unlikely to leave the EU.
However, a negative outcome for the Lisbon treaty as an expression of discontent against Europe, or for British nationalism, would leave the political leaders in a perilous position, either having to ignore public opinion, which probably would be highly critical of the EU, or cause political splits in the mainstream parties.
So whatever happens Europe will continue to dog the Tories.
Update: Occasional racist and bigot speaks out at Tory party conference.
Over at the Guardian Denis MacShane highlights the strange case of Michal Kaminski, his nauseating comments concerning the massacre at Jedwabne, and the British Tories:
“At the National Theatre in London, the play Our Class is pulling in crowds. It examines the massacre by a small group of antisemitic Poles of hundreds of Jews in Jedwabne in north east Poland in 1941. No Nazis were involved. The massacre was covered up by the communist rulers in Poland after 1945. Not until well after the end of communism did the facts come to light. The inconvenient truth that some Poles had taken part in a massacre of Jews caused fury in the rightwing circles in Poland associated with Radio Maryja, the anti-Jewish radio station and among many Polish politicians who felt their nation’s honour had been besmirched.
In 2001, Poland’s president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, went to Jedwabne to apologise. Like Willy Brandt kneeling at the Warsaw Ghetto in 1970, Kwasniewski felt atonement was needed. As Anita Prazmowska has related here, his gesture was criticised by many rightwing Poles, including the rising star of Polish Catholic nationalist politics, Michal Kaminski. His language was lurid and vivid. It upset many Jews. He tried to backtrack but his remarks had been taped.
Mr President should not take the guilt on the Polish nation, the whole nation that he should represent for what happened in Jedwabne and apologise in its name. I am ready to say the word: I am sorry but under two conditions. First of all, I need to know what I am apologising for. I apologise for a handful of outcasts. Secondly, I can do that if I know that someone from the Jewish side will apologise for what the Jews did during the Soviet occupation between 1939 and 1941. For the mass collaboration of the Jewish people with the Soviet occupier, for fighting Polish partisans in this area. And eventually, for murdering Poles.
Michal Kaminski has now come to prominence after David Cameron ordered Tory MEPs to serve under his leadership in the European parliament, as part of the Conservative policy of breaking links with mainstream centre-right parties in Europe.”
The British Tories’ desire for new allies in the EU meant they had to line up with some rather unsavory characters and bigots, and even the Torygraph is shocked:
“David Cameron has evidently forged some unfortunate connections with Europe’s neo-fascists through his Conservative MEPs. In this week’s New Statesman, out tomorrow, the excellent James Macintyre blows the lid on the Tory MEPs’ careless connection with the disgusting, neo-Nazi National Revival of Poland party (NOP) and its former big-wig, Michal Kaminski.”
Lancaster UAF covered it last week:
“Under the direction of David Cameron, the Tories quit the centre-right European People’s Party to form a new, Eurosceptic coalition, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR). Their main partner is Poland’s socially conservative Law and Justice party, which has a well-documented record of anti-gay rhetoric. Its leader in the European Parliament, Michal Kaminski, was a member of the far-right, anti-Semitic National Revival of Poland in the late 1980s. In 2001, the US-based Anti-Defamation League accused him of having attempted to stop the commemoration of a wartime pogrom against Jewish people in the Polish town of Jedwabne. Despite this, the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan this month described Kaminski on his blog for the Daily Telegraph as “a Thatcherite: a sturdy Polish patriot who is nonetheless, in outlook, almost a British Tory”.”
NOP are a nasty pile of jew hating racists and how the new flanged Tory Party missed that, with the aid of the Internet, is beyond me. Still, the Nasty Party?
Update 1: More on the NOP from wiki:
“NOP front organization National-Radical Institute (Instytut Narodowo-Radykalny, INR) was involved in publishing Western and Polish Holocaust denial literature. In 1997, INR published a volume of translated works of Western Holocaust deniers under the title The Myth of the Holocaust. The same year, INR announced that there were no exterminations in gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
In 2006, the NOP was involved in campaigning to free convicted British Holocaust denier David Irving from prison in Austria, and produced a poster containing the slogan “David Irving – Uwolnić prawdę” (“David Irving – Free the truth”.)”
Update 2: “The Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski (NOP, National Rebirth of Poland), led by Adam Gmurczyk, was officially registered in 1999, and is part of the International Third Position (ITP) movement. The NOP publishes the blatantly antisemitic and xenophobic magazine Szczerbiec (The Sabre), available at newsstands and large bookshops, which has an estimated circulation of 15,000 and which is apparently co-published by ITP leaders Derek Holland (UK) and Roberto Fiore (Italy). NOP members or supporters—some 30 per cent of whom are thought to be young skinheads—are often responsible for antisemitic and racist graffiti or other acts of vandalism: for example, the graffiti found in July 1999 in the town centre of Legnica—including ‘Zydzi precz!’ (Jews out!) and Stars of David hanging from gallows—was signed ‘NOP’.
NOP members regularly take part in nationalist demonstrations—on such occasions as Constitution Day (3 May) and Independence Day (11 November)—and are also known for aggressive behaviour at football matches. In Lodz, the organization has published special recruitment leaflets aimed at supporters of the top division side LKS. One of the leading participants in NOP rallies in Warsaw, Damian Mikulski, was one of the leaders of the White Legion gang of Legia Warszawa supporters. (In 1998 Mikulski was arrested and is now serving a twenty-five-year jail sentence for the brutally murder of a teenage boy wearing a rival football strip.)
In October 1998 the Jewish biweekly Slowo Zydowskie reported that members of NOP were distributing pamphlets in a schools in Oswiecim that called for a ‘holy war’ against Judaism and the Jews. A governor of the Bielsko Biala district reported the incident to the public prosecutor’s office. Shortly before this occurred, NOP members were seen at the Auschwitz gravel pit, amongst other nationalists involved in the controversy over the Auschwitz crosses.”
Update 3: A report on “Radical movements in Poland – a brief analysis of radical organisations in contemporary Poland (1989 – 2008)”
Update 4: ERRC also reported:
“According to articles appearing in the Polish and international press, as well as information provided by the organisation itself, the offices of the Roma Information and Counseling Center in the Polish city of Łódź were broken into and vandalised on July 3, 1998. Along with racist graffiti and swastikas sprayed on the office walls, the perpetrators left behind their signature as NOP – Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski, a right-wing extremist organisation in Poland. The same group reportedly vandalised the Łódź premises of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group during the same night. “
[I have neglected the Tories, probably because of my low opinion of them and they aren't terribly exciting politically. You almost know what they'll do if they get power again, but before that they'll try to be all things to all men and tell people what they want to hear. So if I have the energy and inclination I will post a bit more on the Tories.]
The Tory Party is full of jokers, led off by their head clown, Cameron.
Their latest witticism is to propose that all NHS patient data be managed either by Microsoft or Google, maybe both.
As for Google, we all use that company’s products, well most of us. Those who happened to be Chinese and living in the People’s Republic of China have greater problems, their government coerced Google into blocking many critical sites, and without much of a murmur Google duly complied.
But there are unforeseen merits to the Tories’ idea, at least you will probably get to see your neighbours, relatives, friends’ personal medical records, that’s after they’ve been leaked across the Internet, sold to every conman and identity fraudster there is.
If you cast your mind back and think about the fairly minor data leaks which have come out of Whitehall, then the raft of information which could be extracted from the NHS database will dwarf those debacles several times over.
And even if, by some miracle, the NHS data is not leaked across the world then it might well be sold to private company’s or portions of it.
No doubt the inventive Tories will try to extract as much money from the NHS data as possible, creating mailing lists of patients’ ailments and auctioning them off to the highest bidder.
If you think the amount of rubbish and bumf that comes through your letterbox is a bit too much now, just wait until the Tories have got their hands on the NHS data.