Gavin Smith wrote:Brendan
All I've done is proffer a viewpoint which differs from yours. I'm in no way attempting to justify anything. I am merely picking the holes in what I perceive to be your fundamentally flawed attempt to somehow link a less than positive CQC report to Simon Hughes, a tenuous link if ever there was one.
Might I suggest you're approaching this as a bitter healthcare professional. I seem to recall from posts elsewhere that you're a GP. I'll approach this from a lay perspective.
As I see it, the Labour government brought the NHS to its knees. Tony Blair's government sought to mix a publicly funded health service with privately funded buildings and facilities. He installed thousands of bureaucratic managers earning wild salaries, whilst staff-grade nurses earned less than a clerical worker in a council - notwithstanding that the nurses did the most important job for the patients (along of course with doctors).
Do you remember when your old gran could call her own GP out at midnight in a real emergency? Same Labour Government absolved GPs of that responsibility. GPs, most of whom who have always been their own bosses under the auspices of contracts to provide services to the NHS, were wildly incentivised with additional bonuses available for things like signing patients up for contraceptive implants, smoking cessation clinics and other such rubbish. NHS trusts were paying exorbitant locum fees for nurses and doctors, in some cases up to £3,000 for a single shift - this still continues - because of a short-sighted approach in not paying regular staff a decent wage.
On a local level, we had an excellent A&E department at Guy's. Labour closed it. Simon fought to keep it open when I was still at school to keep it open - a big campaign - but to no avail.
Bearing in mind all of that, why not contract out certain functions of a wildly inefficient NHS? As Nigel Farage sagely said quite recently, the NHS is excellent in reactive/emergency situations but not so good in planned/elective ones. If a private provider can provide an equal service and the cost is less - bearing in mind what I have said about profligate spending and thousands of middle managers - and the end result is as good, if not better, for the patient, then why not?
This is my view and how I see it, not as some sort of Lib Dem apologist. For the record, I'm interested in things that happen here in Southwark and SE1. I was born here and I live here now. Going back to the Lib Dems, Simon has always fought for his constituents and those living here and that is why he has my backing.
The above is probably not very well articulated as I'm working and typing this quickly.
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