NHS could be ‘overwhelmed‘ by people with long-term medical conditions, says the Guardian. Put another way, the NHS can’t cope with sick people. The purveyor of this let’s blame the sick nonsense is a Dr Martin McShane, described as “one of the health service’s most senior figures.”
I’ll take their word for that – personally I’ve never heard of him but, then, I doubt he’s ever heard of me, so honours are even, However, if that description is accurate, he must surely know that there are many other factors at work in trashing the NHS, and blaming sick people is egregiously simplistic and divisive. Probably wrong, too.
I sure as hell don’t believe it. From my experience in 2013 – a total of 10 weeks in hospital – probably far more money is wasted through sheer incompetence, stupidity, and carelessness, at all levels from trainee nurses on up and, in the case of my local hospital, millions spent (or, if you prefer, squandered), on cosmetic improvements to the buildings, while patients went short of beds.
**Cosmetic in that the work was not structurally necessary. This is not my opinion, it’s based on information provided to the public by the hospital.
And ,writing as a patient with a whole raft of long-term conditions, some life-threatening, and admittedly including one which is quite expensive (the dressings for my infected bilateral lymphoedema would have cost £45 a day, but my GP refused to pay, condemning me to a year of unremitting agony, barely relieved by morphine, which pushed me to the brink of suicide more than once), it’s all very well trying to guilt-trip us all, but WTF do you expect us to do about it?
Should we, perhaps, give IDS a helping hand and kill ourselves (save him the trouble of pushing us over the brink), so that this corrupt government can sell off a more profitable NHS, to the detriment of all current and future patients? I’m sure it would be popular with the lunatics currently running this asylum, none of whom I, personally, believe to be entirely sane – no-one who is could harbour so much hatred for a group of people who have never done them harm, or lie so prodigiously and compulsively. If they are sane, then I have to believe they are irredeemably evil.
Oh, and by the way, what the NHS is really “overwhelmed” by is the inadequacy of both its funding and its staffing levels, for both of which we can thank this deeply corrupt government in general, and the pathologically mendacious Jeremy Hunt in particular. (Really, is there a senior minister to whom the term “pathologically mendacious” does NOT apply?)
Which makes me wonder why Dr, McShane isn’t lambasting them, instead of blaming the sick for, well, being sick.
The article’s penultimate paragraph says “Norman Lamb, the care and support minister, agreed with McShane that services for those with long-term conditions must improve. “We want to build a fairer society, and that means providing better care to people with long-term conditions so that they are able to enjoy an independent, fulfilling life, and have the support needed to manage their health,” he said.”
I agree, but it leaves me wondering just how many other sick and disabled people IDS will force off benefits to pay for this scheme? Which is what “build a fairer society” generally means under these sharp-suited Nazis.
Or will it be new money?
How many guesses would you like?
One more thought. I’ve been seriously ill since the age of two (bronchiectasis and asthma, now rolled up, with emphysema, into COPD, plus a bunch of other, equally serious, conditions see footnote), and for most of my life various GPs have taken care of me, some not too well, some very well, most adequately – witness the fact that I’m still here at 69, despite having been assured, in my teens, I’d never see 40. Some (much?), of the credit goes to me, for keeping myself extremely fit, usually indulging in activities like rambling, backpacking, cycle touring, against medical advice, but with the approval of my physios, which I believe has been vital to my survival.
Now, though, not only can’t my GP be bothered with home visits, his stock response, by phone, is “Go to hospital.” That attitude, when he could do the job himself, does nothing to ease the load on the local NHS especially if rolled out across his entire elderly patient list. In addition, if the attitude is widespread among GPs then I can see how it actually could swamp the NHS, at least in some areas. A problem that needs to be urgently addressed, perhaps?
This is what’s wrong with me – this is what “long-term sick” means to me (from, and including, bronchiectasis on down, any of these can kill me, and will, sooner or later (apologies for the formatting of the “all lumped together” group nothing I can do, I’m afraid):-
ME since 1986
FMS since my teens
Osteoarthritis triggered by being struck by lightning in 1983, now widespread
Spinal arthritis (cervical spine) since my 20s
Pressure sores (this item might seem trivial to the uninitiated, but they’re very painful and can become dangerously infected – they’re caused, in my case, by sitting all day – and then sitting all night, as I can’t breathe if I lie down so I have to sleep sitting up in a profiling bed) This year
Asthma }All lumped together as COPD** First two since age 2
Emphysema }Since 1996
Aortic valve calcification & stenosis (narrowing), of the valve. This affects the blood flow throughout the body. Diagnosed 2010
Heart failure Ditto
Angina, present sporadically since mid eighties. Getting worse.
Bilateral Lymphoedema, present since 2005. Last year severity was off the scale, massively infected and terrifyingly painful.
Plus several minor but disruptive conditions.
**It’s popularly believed that COPD replaces these conditions. It does not, they still exist, though asthma becomes increasingly irreversible. It’s the addition of emphysema that wraps them up together as COPD.
So that’s me and, yes, life is as much fun as it seems! But bear in mind that I am not by any means unique (though having so many serious conditions at once is probably quite rare), and that blaming us for being chronically sick, as if we had some fucking say in the matter, and being responsible for the failings of the NHS, is crass in the extreme.
Dishonest, too, when Cameron, Osborne and Hunt are far more culpable, jointly and severally, than all the long-term sick people put together!