View Full Version : Tonys latest idea to shorten the wait in hospitals.

7th Apr 2006, 10:24
I heard on local radio that they have removed the signs to Edith Cavell hospital in Peterborough. I had taken MIL a few weeks ago for her hearing aid fitting, and noticed myself that the sign off the A47 had gone. Just for repainting I assumed, but no, they are gone forever apparently.
Of course, the reason given was not to reduce the number of people attending hospital, but to reduce the clutter on roadside signs. A likely tale.

7th Apr 2006, 10:28
No Terry,

Isn't it obvious that it's all part of The Grand Plan to reduce hospital waiting lists:confused:

The other part of The Plan, already implimented is to close "in between" hospitals so that more patients are "DOA" and so don't take up so much hospital resources:\

7th Apr 2006, 11:45
Or else go to A & E only to be 180'd and sent off to your doctor.

Oh and if you die enroute then don't make a mess!!

Ali Barber
7th Apr 2006, 12:06
My brother has a heart problem and he has discovered how the Government has reduced the NHS waiting list. He is on the waiting list to go on the waiting list! Bar Stewards the lot of them!

7th Apr 2006, 12:24
I've never had a real need to use the NHS in recent years due to my work providing private health care insurance. I changed jobs last year and my new employees only provide it after six months (fair enough).

So at the start of this year, my better half developed really bad pains in her lower back to the extent that sitting down and lying down causes extreme pain.

Off we popped to our local GP, on 4th Jan, who btw is a fantastic old chap who really cares about his patients. He diagnosed potential chronic degeneration of the lower lumber discs, and made a referral to the local hospital to see a specialist consultant and to get an MRI scan. He also made a seperate referral to a local physiotherapy unit.

We got a response from the physiotherapy people in just over a week, and a week after that she attended an appointment with them - fantastic people there who do seem to care and want to help, and she has had regular appointments to try a variety of things to help the pain.


We did not get a response from the hospital until 6th March - 8 weeks - for an appointment on 13th March.

On the 13th we turned up at the fracture clinic for an orthepeadic consultation at 9:10am as arranged. The consultant decided to turn up at 10:40am, without offering any apology and started with his first patient who's appointment was for 8:30am.

We were eventually seen at 11:20am and, after a brief couple of minutes of prodding and poking her back, we were told to get an x-ray.

So off we went to the x-ray department. Two hours and two botched attempts at getting a decent x-ray later we get back to the fracture clinic and see the consultant again after a short wait.

The consultant looked at the x-ray and confirmed that there appeared to be damage that would indicate chronic degeneration of the lower lumber discs, and that we need to an MRI scan to confirm the extent.

So, after all that time, we got to the point where the consultant agreed with the intiial diagnosis of our GP. So, we check with the nurse about where we go for the MRI scan...

...but apparently we have to be referred for an MRI scan. Somewhat annoyed now, we ask how long that would be. The nurse checked with the appointments clerk for that department and said roughly 117 days.

However, said the nurse, you have been referred to the pain clinic which will help you in the meantime. Being a little sceptical, I ask how long the waiting list for the pain clinic was....84 days.

I then asked how long the waiting list would be after the scan if my other half needed any form of surgery on her back - approximately 20 weeks was the answer.

Considering that the pain my other half was experiencing was increasing by the day, we decided to bite the bullet and pay for private treatment. I was kind of expecting an appointment at some point within the next couple of days when I phoned the local BUPA hospital, but due to a large number of NHS patients giving up on the NHS and deciding to pay privately the waiting time for an appointment was 2 weeks. Much better than the NHS, but also a telling sign of what's happening to the system.

I believe the system is getting worse. I have now lost all faith in the NHS system, even though there are elements (our local GP and physiotherapy unit) that still work well and show a true caring committment to their patients.

Annoyed from Brummieland.

7th Apr 2006, 12:29
Don't brand the consultant as lazy. He would be doing 'private' so therefore the reason for him turning up late for his NHS surgery . . .

7th Apr 2006, 12:48
Mrs Smeagol suffers from chronic arthritis in various limbs; hands, feet, shoulders, back etc. Due to another complaint which requires she take daily Warfarin (and has done for over 30 years) she cannot take any anti-inflamatory drugs to ease the arthritic pain so has found that acupunture helps considerably (had it for 5 years whilst overseas). After being referred to NHS system by GP (who is very helpful and sympathetic), finally gets an appointment in local hospital who tell her, "Sorry we cannot treat you as our resources are reserved for people who can be 'cured'." Inference being that she will drain their resources without showing as a positive statistic! I actually have the refusal to treat bit in writing.

I intent to take this further with hospital dept, hospital administratot, local MP etc etc. but deep down know that I will be 'banging my head against a brick wall'.

The system does stink........and it is getting worse.

Do I have to go back overseas to work in order that my wife gets adequate teatment. Please, no one tell me that the NHS is the best system in the world, I have lived in eight countries worldwide and would say that it ranks among the WORST!!

7th Apr 2006, 12:53
I have an under sctive thyroid and last year whilst pregnant I was supposed to be under 3 monthly checks with my consultant. Well I had a check at 12weeks and was told that the next appointment would be in another 3months as planned and the time and date would be sent out to me. I recieved the letter at 36weeks, the date and time given is.....

5th June at 13:55 2006. :hmm:
Luckily the hospital I had my baby at were slightly more on the ball and kept a very close eye.

7th Apr 2006, 12:59
When the NHS system WORKS it's brilliant.
I've had (more than) my share, and it's all worked as expected, though I HAVE seen the queues waiting for their appointments while the consultant finishes his stint at the private hospital. Once they taste the MONEY, they manipulate the NHS system to their benefit. If they can't play fair, they shouldn't be allowed to do private work, although then they'd just stop doing NHS work . . .

7th Apr 2006, 13:16
Tonys latest idea to shorten the wait in hospitals.

I looked at this thread expecting some form of Draperism...

Any forthcoming?:ok:

7th Apr 2006, 13:39
I'm not overly fond of massive generalisations, and I don't know the ins and outs of the NHS, but I'm quite happy to add my observation that a lot of rabid supporters of "let the market provide" have a sudden change of heart when it comes to the rest of society paying for their triple by-pass after smoking for the whole of their lives.

Just a thought you understand. If you want to go deeper into the financial aspects of publicly funded medical care I'm happy to carry on the discussion, with the caveat that I argue from a philosophical, not a medical standpoint. Believe me, there are some black holes in that argument, and both sides will come out the other end feeling dizzy. This really is one situation for which we don't have a ready answer. But if it makes you feel better quoting individual cases, go right ahead.

Edit: Not that I expect the response to be much different, but on re-reading I would rather describe my argument as being an inescapably financial one, but prompted by a philosophical rather than a medical standpoint.

7th Apr 2006, 14:02
Another Blairish idea to shorten the waiting lists...?!

If your illness doesn't preclude it, run as fast as you can into a tube station with a backpack. Preferably whilst wearing what looks like a heavy coat in the middle of summer... :O :uhoh:

7th Apr 2006, 14:47
I wondered if I should search for my previous rant on the NHS, but by the time I've found it I could've typed out a new rant from scratch.

Then again, explaining that has taken just as long. :mad: :}

New NHS Rant.

Basically, the NHS (based upon my own experiences and those of a few dozen relatives, acquaintances and friends) is like any other Nationalised Industry/branch of the Civil Service.

It is massively, massively, massively (so really massively) inefficient.

The ratio of services received to the cost incurred is totally surreal.

Waiting lists are still gargantuan. They are self solving in some cases, in that the patient loses patience (?) and goes Private, or the patient dies!

Anyone suggesting otherwise is one of the lucky minority. As I've said, my comments are based upon a sample of a few dozen and not one of those examples contradicts my conclusions. Not one! :mad:

I'm sure Tony Bleaurgh has lots of lovely numbers which attempt to pull the wool over everyone's eyes (including his own, I suspect), but he ain't fooling me! :mad:

7th Apr 2006, 14:51
So, acbus1, your well-reasoned answer is?

If I were ever to enter politics I'd want to be in opposition. Complain, whinge, complain, and get paid for it. The beautiful thing is, you never have to do ANYTHING!

7th Apr 2006, 15:07
Last year I worked on a IT project for the NHS and dealt directly with the completly inept middle management that are the root of the problem. A few facts for you:

1) The NHS is now the 2nd largest employer in the world (behind the Chinese Red Army).
2) There are however more administrators than there are hospital beds.
3) Contrary to popular belief the NHS is not underfunded. The budget for it last year was £68 billion (Around £1,200 for every person in the country). More than enough one would have thought to provide a decent service.
4) There is no private company that would tolerate 5 layers of middle management between a CEO and the senior technical staff. In the bloated NHS, this is not considered a problem. In fact although I worked for 9 months putting in the system at the UCLH, I still didn't cost as much as 'the pebble'. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4184104.stm

7th Apr 2006, 15:40

I too have worked on the current very large NHS IT programme (Connecting for Health), and it certainly gave me an insight 'behind the scenes'.

Your 3rd point is one I use often when people refer to the 'wonderful and free' NHS. Well it is free at point of use, but we all have to pay for it, at around 100 per month for every single person in the country. That is a staggering amount of money and a headline you never see in the Sun or Daily Mail. I'd wonder how people's perceptions might change if they realised how expensive health care is. Would they be more demanding? Or would they be more appreciative of just how much drugs / treatments / equipment / staff really cost?

It also puts into perspective the hugely expensive NHS IT programme reportedly costing 6.5bn over 10 years, or 0.65bn / year on average. This is less than 1% of annual spend - regardless of the fact that the programme has been funded by cash outside of the NHS budget so there isn't any impact on patient care.

Your point on middle management it very true - I was staggered at the way the system is run and managed. Yet there are far too many people with interests to protect and power to wield that it will be impossible to ever shake things up and become more efficient and effective.

Oh, and I thought the NHS was the third largest employer - after the Chinese Red Army, and Indian State Railways.

PS - to get a potential jump up the queue - write to your MP and express outrage at the state of the system, especially if your MP is of the party in power. You might find your appointment time mysteriously gets brought forwards...

PPS - this is not an NHS bash. Without it my father, mother and brother would not be alive today. It is fantastic resource, it is just something that could be done so much better - the Connecting for Health IT programme is a good starter, but has so many detractors already :-(

7th Apr 2006, 15:44
Oh, and I thought the NHS was the third largest employer - after the Chinese Red Army, and Indian State RailwaysUsed to be, not any more. (Guess how many of the extra employed were doctors or nurses?)

7th Apr 2006, 15:53
David Cameron has today promised to halve the number of people receiving sub-standard medical care.

He's going to lower the standard.

7th Apr 2006, 15:55
Guess how many of the extra employed were doctors or nurses?

A-ha! You can't catch me out that easily. The answer, of course, is zero, but I hear that there are a lot of retrained engineers from Indian State Railways now working in call centres in Pune and Bangalore providing NHS Direct services :hmm:

And as China becomes more global the Red Army will be disbanded and herbal / acupressure / acupuncture trained staff will operate remotely over internet web chat sessions, and the NHS will become the worlds biggest employer! <cue James Bond baddie laugh as I stroke my white cat>

7th Apr 2006, 17:27
Meanwhile, they are starting a closure programme of NHS Direct UK call centres....

Mac the Knife
7th Apr 2006, 18:38
Part of the Bliar solution is to "fast-track" :yuk: specialist training, cutting it from the many years of the old master/apprentice model to a few years of watching whizzo spiffy multimedia presentations and and "educators" who haven't actually touched or spoken to a real patient for years.

Vast amounts of medical training these days are devoted to "empathy" training, lessons on how to be PC enough, courses on how to properly fill in the ever increasing mountains of paperwork, and tuition on how to chair the multiplying committees that are increasingly afraid and incapable of deciding anything.

Couple this with the draconian EU restrictions on working hours and what you get is a large number of poorly trained and ill-experienced jobsworths whose main forte is administering themselves and sucking-up to the ruling social workers

Pathetic :*

Unregenerate Mac :ok:

7th Apr 2006, 18:59
I offer the "Ottawa Formula".

Client lived elsewhere in Canada, far away, some years ago; now here. Former surgeon writes two years back: "If you need me again, gimme a call".

Client now lives in Ottawa. He and I have appointment. Meet. His next port of call is the doctor. He is in great pain. It's the lower back story, you see, the vertebrae and the spinal system. "I'll take you". Off we go, he across the back seat of my car.

Reach doctor's office. Oriental "cup" doctor, folk medicine! Client sees "doctor". I wait. Client emerges. I speak "doctor". Introduce self and profession. No prob. Nice chap. No pretensions. He tells me that he is trad, learned from Dad, sometimes it works, sometimes not. If not, go to Western physician. No skin off his nose.

Client and self leave. Why in Hell he not go to Western doctor? Been to two. Offered Tylenol # 3, + Auf Wiedersehen!

Been to Emergency at ****** Hospital. Waited seven hours. Offered Tylenol # 3 + Sayonara!

That's awful. We'll go to my doctor. Friday afternoon, drive across Ottawa, 1 hour in traffic. Arrive at 1604. Clinic closes at 1600. Speak through door to departing nurse. "We are not taking any new patients. Ciao!".

Drive to other clinic I know. Meet physician, he Offers Tylenol # 3 + "We are not taking any new patients + A bientot"!

Monday. Call ****** Hospital. Do they have list of physicians in Ottawa, Nation's Capital, who take patients? No. No? No! There are none. None? None! Suggests I call the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Do so. College confirms there are none. Chin-Chin!

Client in sweaty pit at his residence, I believe, subsisting on Tylenol # 3.

HOWEVER the system has SUCCEEDED.

He is not a "delayed patient" on any "waiting list". He is NOT ON any waiting list. He cannot get on a consultant's list without a reference from a family physician, and there are no family physicians taking patients.


8th Apr 2006, 05:18
I cannot see the logic in continuing to pay vast salaries to the NHS administrators who are in charge of trusts that are bankrupt - or going that way. Why any of the chief execs etc should get more than about 70k a year is beyond me - if the people who do the work like nurses and junior doctors have to have poor wages, why not the administrators who obviously are not doing their job right?
Plus I would like to see public hangings (with a short drop) of all those fatherless wotsits who batten on the sick and their relatives by charging for parking at hospitals. Perhaps add a drawing and quartering, too. And an Act of Attainder so they can't pass on their ill gotten gains.
(I'm quite a liberal, really)

Loose rivets
8th Apr 2006, 06:51
For the first time in many, many years, I have just lost a long screed of text due to finger trouble.

So, a brief recap

An AME tells me of a pal that threw himself on the floor of a London hospital in order to finally get attention for his back. It worked, and he got his surgery.

The punch line was that he too was a doctor of medicine.

I have written quite a bit about backs on the medical forum, some of it in the last few days. My focus right now is on the DRX 9000, a $100,000 (according to one clinic owner here) machine, that they claim, does more than effect traction. I have contacted the manufacturers three times, and have yet to have any meaningful conversation with them. I expressed an interest in getting a machine in the UK, so perhaps their indifference to my calls is an indication of the sales in the US being so good they don't need the business. Who knows.

The concept of causing fluids to be drawn into the depleted discs has a certain logic. But I'm a long way to being convinced that the system works for all ages. 18-75 is the recommenced range, but an 89 year old has been recorded as getting some benefit from the technique.

As I mentioned on that forum, $22 billion is the annual figure in the US for back problems.

Shropshire Lad
8th Apr 2006, 15:08
I cannot see the logic in continuing to pay vast salaries to the NHS administrators who are in charge of trusts that are bankrupt - or going that way. Why any of the chief execs etc should get more than about £70k a year is beyond me - if the people who do the work like nurses and junior doctors have to have poor wages, why not the administrators who obviously are not doing their job right?
In the main because it's not the fault of these people. As usual the whole NHS issue falls to manager bashing and it amazes me that the NHS seems to be the only large organisation in the world that is expected to run with no managers! The latest figures show that 3% of the workforce is management - smaller than any private sector organisation - this is not where the problem is in the NHS and until the government has a mature debate about this we will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis. Chief execs get more than 70k because of the responsibilities they have. What needs to happen in the NHS is that the managers need to be left to manage, the medical staff need to be left to cure and the government needs to get out of it completely and stop setting unrealistic targets which are the root cause of the current NHS crisis. I alos believe that every time there is a financial crisis the managers are sacked leaving no one capable managing the show - leading to problems whic leads to whoevers left being sacked etc. etc.

8th Apr 2006, 18:27
Just a comment on the last page post about "smokers who need a bypass"

100 per month that the average Brit pays towards his healthcare on the NHS

If you smoke a pack a day, at 5.50 (or so), that's 4.50 in additional tax that you pay, compared with a non-smoker. About 135 a month - 135% extra :oh:

(yes, really tax-free smokes, not the ones you buy in the highly-profitable airport "tax-free" shops, cost less than a pound a pack - the rest is excise, plus VAT on the fags and on the excise:eek: )

If you all quit smoking, the government would be short of 135 a month perperson (assuming every smoker smokes one pack a day). Where would the axe fall?

I agree that smoking-related illnesses are part of the cost of the NHS, but the amount of tax on cigarettes is more than the total NHS spend!

(without even going into the tax on petrol and motoring injuries, the tax on Scotch and the cost of alcoholism to the NHS)

If we al quit smoking, rode bicycles, and went "TT", this country would fall apart:8

11th Apr 2006, 08:12
Shropshire Lad,
>The latest figures show that 3% of the workforce is management <
BUT, in fact, they're getting paid for not managing. Ipso facto, if they were doing the job properly, either:
1. they wouldn't be in the red
2: If it's down to too many demands from central government for the funds available, they would be making that point loud, long and publicly, and at the beginning of the financial year..
6million on low cost car loans, nurses laid off but admin staff sent on 'team building' courses, nurses laid off but 4 'health and safety manager' posts being created - none of that sounds like good management to me.
Speak to any of the 'coal face' workers in the NHS - you hear the tales of bureaucracy gone mad. Like an ambulance station that was within 30 minutes of having its electricity cut off because the bill hadn't been paid, but new cars were delivered on the low cost loan scheme...that never hit the papers, but I know an ambulance driver there.
With these sort of happenings, you need to start sweeping the stables at the top of the pile - so Bliar and crew should be the first to go. Then work down.

Gingerbread Man
11th Apr 2006, 13:35
but to reduce the clutter on roadside signs

Rubbish. Just today I drove along a country road and was confronted with two huge signs telling me that there was a 40mph limit ahead. I don't mean those roadwork signs either - a permanent one. Sure enough, there was a 40 zone, but it didn't exactly creep up on you. It could be seen approaching for about 1/4 of a mile and now had the village name underneath it and a lovely flourescent yellow surround :yuk: . These people have got to be stopped!!! :mad:

Ginger ;)