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The Reality of Socialised Medicine at Stafford Hospital

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posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:17 PM
The British media are today reporting on a shocking catalogue of errors & mismanagement at Stafford Hospital in England.

A hospital's "appalling" emergency care resulted in patients dying needlessly, the NHS watchdog has said. About 400 more people died at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2008 than would be expected, the Healthcare Commission said. It said there were deficiencies at "virtually every stage" of emergency care and managers pursued targets to the detriment of patient care. Health Secretary Alan Johnson has apologised and launched an inquiry.

- receptionists with no medical training conducted triage, separating the urgent from the non urgent
- chronic lack of nurses & doctors, leading to no doctors being available overnight
- heart attack patients being left unattended while non urgent cases were prioritised to meet 4 hour waiting targets
- breakdown in resuscitation procedures, staff being unfamiliar with resuscitation equipment & procedures, leading to patients needing vitally urgent attention being left for tens of minutes & patients being given unnecessary pain relief medicines which suppress heart rhythm

400 people have died as a result of the incompetence of this hospital, which is nothing short of a public disgrace & a personal tragedy for the families concerned.

That's the reality of socialised medicine. It's the not the cure all that some people make it out to be.

BBC News

Thoughts ?

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:45 PM
What you're describing here is hardly the fault of "socialised medicine".

Ironically, a lot of the problems with the NHS over the last couple of years are related to Private Finance Initiative schemes - a kind of public-funded privatisation where invariably the taxpayers loses out hand-over-fist.

The hospital in question, Mid Staffordshire is a 'foundation trust'. They are classed as a NHS hospital but they're run more like a private business, or in their own words, they have "more financial freedom".

Also, regarding hospitals generally in England, the problem of 'too many chiefs and not enough indians' is pretty endemic and wide-spread. Too many 'managers' and not enough doctors, nurses &c. and too many 'managers' taking too big a slice of the cake.

Again, nothing to do with "socialised medicine".

Also, I'm recommending 'Private Eye' magazine to all the UK ATS members. Seriously, if you want an non-partisan look at the politics you won't read in regular papers - and it covers things like Private Finance Initiatives in hospitals and IT &c. pretty regularly - then it's a genuine eye-opener. Introducing me to Private Eye in the early 1980s was about the only thing I can thank my grammar school for.

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:30 PM
Hm, it couldn't be the fact that the government saw fit to start privatising parts of the NHS, thereby causing the service to be less productive, could it?

posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 02:28 PM
It also has a lot to do with the current governments obsession with setting targets and rewarding people or organisations based on meeting those targets.

Healthcare is not a suitable platform for target based initiatives or cultures.

That doesn't even work in private banking, as we have recently seen...

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