Over the last few months many problems with the NHS have become known, so therefore, are we now saying the NHS is not fit for purpose? I believe there are some of us are saying YES, while others are saying NO and even others who are not sure. So lets try to find some answers. The NHS was created in 1948 and since that time has undergone many changes, some because the NHS wished to, some due to advances in technology and medical science and some inflicted upon it by successive governments. But during all this time the fundamental principles of the NHS have not been changed. When created it was to be ‘free at point of delivery for all citizens of the UK’. This in most cases is still correct. So why are all these problems occurring? Lets start at its beginning.
- Every UK citizen was entitled to signup with a local general doctor, known as a General Practitioner (GP), it may have been the same doctor to whom they went to when ill in the past, but then they would have had to pay the doctor directly for this service.
- The NHS was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. At its launch by the then minister of health, Aneurin Bevan, on 5 July 1948, it had at its heart three core principles:
- That it meet the needs of everyone
- That it be free at the point of delivery
- That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay
These three principles have guided the development of the NHS over more than half a century and remain. However, in July 2000, a full-scale modernisation programme was launched and new principles added.
The main aims of the additional principles are that the NHS will:
- Provide a comprehensive range of services
- Shape its services around the needs and preferences of individual patients, their families and their carers
- Respond to the different needs of different populations
- Work continuously to improve the quality of services and to minimize errors
- Support and value its staff
- Use public funds for healthcare devoted solely to NHS patients
- Work with others to ensure a seamless service for patients
- Help to keep people healthy and work to reduce health inequalities
- Respect the confidentiality of individual patients and provide open access to information about services, treatment and performance
Since then there have been the setting of targets by successive governments.
I do believe in having targets, but wish to call them standards. We have always had standards to maintain in the NHS, but these days in trying to run the hospitals as a business, finance as become the main factor instead of care. Before all else, care has to be the first priority.When the NHS was created in 1948, it was not envisaged that the population would increase in great numbers and that medical science would advance so quickly in both technology and treatments. To cater for this, our hospitals have had to increase in size to cope and this as left management abilities to flounder. We need to maintain standards, but not by tick boxes, use the technology in administration practices that have been created. All records are computerised, so all relevant information should be to hand from the computers, no additional staff in put required. Proper supervision of all staff needs to be reintroduced and all work as one team and that is to the betterment of care to the patient.
When the NHS is working well it can not be bettered and unfortunately, this is not deemed news worthy by the media. But many aspects of hospital care are wanting and an investigation should not just look at the present, but look to the past to see when this change for the worse occurred. Was it Government targets being introduced, withdrawal of Matrons, Sisters or charge nurses becoming more hands on, instead of managing the ward, the replacement of cottage hospitals with the large hospitals of today, aging population, emphasis on academic nursing qualifications instead of the ability to care, influx of staff where English is not first language and understanding it is limited, changing from larger open wards to smaller units within the ward, increasing in technology and medical conditions, hospitals run as a business instead of a caring facility. The list is endless, just what is the answer, this has to be known before steps can be taken to improve them.
Alarm bells should be ringing, the NHS is provided with money from Government, from money raised from UK taxpayers, to be used to provided care for patients. Why is some of this money being used to gag people from letting the UK public know the truth.For one thing no one should be gagged for telling the truth, if the NHS is not fit for purpose then the public need to know.
What all employees in the NHS should realise is that by the source of the money for their salaries in coming from the public, it is the public who are effectively their employers, it is just that it has been sub-contracted to the Government and the NHS.
It should be care, but who knows when you follow the current articles in the UK press.
It makes you wonder how many other gagging orders are in operation and what is still left to be uncovered.
So it is not only Sir David Nicholson who is a fraud, but also his right hand , Dame Barbara Hakin. You will see both these persons have received Royal Honours, but for what, in these two it would appear to be for incompetence and lack of professionalism. If the people at the top of the NHS are not fit for purpose, what hope is there for the NHS. A clean sweep needs to be undertaken and this should start at the top and go as far down as possible until we find those who are fit for purpose. Hopefully there will be some.
It is time that every aspect of the NHS is given a full audit and every detail investigated. If staff are not up to the job, then they must go, but the facilities have to remain open. If the staff are not up to the job, then get staff who are, there would appear to be plenty qualified staff ready and waiting to be employed.
The creation of the National Health Service 1948 was a magnificent achievement, unfortunately, without the aid of a crystal ball, the founders could not have envisaged so much would be happening in the UK in so short a time. As stated successive previous governments have created target to be achieved and certainly at Stafford Hospital this is one reason for its failings. As it was concentrating to much on attaining these targets than maintaining its primary function of providing good quality care for its patients. Unfortunately, I believe more hospitals will have been found to fail for similar reasons as time goes on. Then as to gagging orders and payments made to gag NHS officials to stop then advising what is happening, how can this have been allowed to happen. Not only is this diverting money needed for providing the care function, it is also being dishonest with the public, who are all contributing to the cost provided by them by paying their taxes.
Anyone responsible for misleading in this way should not be employed, certainly not within the NHS, more likely should be doing time in prison for, hopefully, what should be a criminal act.
The NHS should be fit for purpose and where this is not currently so, every effort needs to be made to make sure that it is. The NHS can not be left to fail, as it is an integral part of the UK and one that we should be proud of. All within the NHS need to work as a team, as no one individual can work without the support of the others.
Hopefully, in the very near future, we can all say that it is.
Nicholson should go and go now and so should any others of the same ilk. His right hand woman, Dame Barbara Hakin for a start.
To remove Sir David Nicholson sign the E-petition
The NHS is safe in whose hands, all parties are to blame for the current situation, maybe some parties more than others.
But, surely, now is the time for unity to ensure all can be done to save the NHS where it is failing.
The NHS is an intergral part of the UK and can not be allowed to fail in any shape or form. Many of the problems have been successive government interference in creating bureaucracy to administer systems to keep to, what may have been welcome targets. But if an organisation is only concentrating in maintaining its operation into achieving certain targets, this could and most likely as, caused other non-targeted area to suffer. When you have an organisation based on care, no one area can be concentrated on, with the exclusion of some others. The management have to oversee the whole operation not selected parts.
It is for the reason to save the NHS, that all parties, be they in Government, opposition, NHS or any other areas, should work together for the common good for all in the UK