Who se­lected these NHS man­agers?

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - Neville Wester­man Brynna

AS an or­di­nary ci­ti­zen, I can­not un­der­stand the his­tory of the NHS in Bri­tain.

At­tlee in­tro­duced Univer­sal Na­tional Health Care in 1948, on the highest eth­i­cal prin­ci­ples, and a huge num­ber of prac­ti­cal, co­op­er­a­tive ad­van­tages of now di­rect­ing money to the most sick, which ear­lier had been wasted in con­flict­ing di­rec­tions, at the ear­li­est time of di­ag­no­sis, when treat­ment and surgery are most ef­fi­cient. We should all agree about that now.

For rea­sons beyond my com­pre­hen­sion, those se­nior ex­ec­u­tives whose think­ing con­trols the NHS, far above con­sul­tants and sur­geons who have my com­plete trust, have al­ways had a pol­icy to cut the num­ber of wards, and par­tic­u­larly beds ev­ery year, in order to use trol­leys in­stead of beds, and when the places where a hu­man can lie in a hor­i­zon­tal po­si­tion are all oc­cu­pied, then the hospi­tal can­not ac­cept an­other pa­tient.

For what pos­si­ble rea­son would any ci­ti­zen think this was an ac­cept­able plan?

I re­mem­ber, long ago, talk of moth­balled wards, kept at min­i­mum cost, to be avail­able if there was a train wreck or a sud­den flu out­break, as cheap “spare ca­pac­ity”. I did un­der­stand the con­cen­tra­tion of com­pli­cated med­i­cal tech­niques in huge cen­tral hos­pi­tals. But, while I ap­plauded that, I deeply re­gret­ted the clo­sure of con­va­les­cent and cot­tage hos­pi­tals, the per­fect place to ac­com­mo­date el­derly, re­cu­per­at­ing pa­tients now “bed-block­ing” the hugely ex­pen­sive fa­cil­i­ties which had just been ex­tended. These ex­ec­u­tives cre­ated huge prob­lems.

This con­tin­ued pol­icy of these ex­ec­u­tives has now led to us­ing am­bu­lances as beds. Who has been se­lect­ing these par­tic­u­lar ex­ec­u­tives for 50 years? Is it pos­si­ble that their plan is to de­stroy the NHS – the only ap­par­ent ex­pla­na­tion?

‘They have al­ways had a pol­icy to cut the num­ber of wards and par­tic­u­larly beds ev­ery year’

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