Labour’s Achilles Heel.
Politicians and politicos often live in a bubble, of their own making, where outside perceptions are frequently disregarded and they begin to believe their own spin.
I think it is partly a problem of incumbency and in part the arrogance of power, so it is with new Labour and the NHS.
Mike O’Brien, health Minister, has been keen to disregard and poo poo a new report on health safety in the NHS. But even if he were telling the truth the perception of the British population of the NHS has changed in the past 12 years, new Labour saw to that.
The implementation of market reforms, taken over from the previous Tory administration and management by top-down statistics, have altered the NHS, hospitals and the public’s perception of it. This is evidenced by the MRSA scandal and the inability to keep hospitals clean after in-house services were privatised and when cack handed managerial targets become the norm.
More from the authors of the report:
“However less positively the Guide found that 12 trusts significantly underperformed across these safety measures, seven trusts are not compliant with National Patient Safety Agency alerts and that 5024 people admitted with low risk conditions died in hospital last year (848 under the age of 65). Although it is inevitable that some patients with these conditions will die during or after treatment, comparing rates between hospitals and investigating those deaths that do occur are useful ways of identifying failings in patient safety.”
And when new Labour loses the next General Election, and that ushers in a nasty and vicious Tory government, then new Labour will have only themselves to blame, only themselves and their spin and BS.
Update 1: The Guardian has more on the NHS lottery:
“For Adrian Underwood, it began with a terrifying loss of movement down the left side of his body. A hospital scan in Nottingham identified a benign tumour that if untreated would eventually crush his brain. Yet no one told him about it.
More than 50 miles away in Solihull, Jenny Morgan sat in A&E for 90 minutes after suffering a stroke, before deciding to leave so she could “die at home”. Half-blinded and in excruciating pain, she later returned, only to be told the stroke unit was full. And on a ward in Essex, Gillian Flack found her severely disabled son drenched in urine and no nurses in sight. That night Kyle Flack, 20, suffocated after getting his head wedged in the metal bars of the hospital bed. “You think hospitals are safe,” said his 54-year-old mother, her voice trembling. “But if I had never taken Kyle to hospital he would have been alive.”
Her son died at Basildon University Hospital, where a report last week revealed evidence of dozens of patients dying needlessly in filthy conditions.”