HEALTH – Cameron fails to address the real issues for the failing of Stafford Hospital

Stafford hospitalRobert Francis QC presented the findings of his inquiry’s report into Stafford Hospital, showing a damning institutional failure responsible for the appalling treatment of hundreds of patients.

Although the report makes 290 recommendations, it fails to address the issue of central government funding and the impact of underfunded hospitals on patient care (http://www.midstaffspublicinquiry.com/report).

The bulk of the recommendations suggest that responsibility for failings within the NHS be attributed to management and staff, rather than the failing of government to address the real issue of budget cuts.

Other recommendations include:

  • The merger of the regulation of care into one body – two are currently involved
  • Senior managers to be given a code of conduct and the ability to disqualify them if they are not fit to hold such positions
  • Hiding information about poor care to become a criminal offence as would failing to adhere to basic standards that lead to death or serious harm
  • A statutory obligation on doctors and nurses for a duty of candour so they are open with patients about mistakes
  • An increased focus on compassion in the recruitment, training and education of nurses, including an aptitude test for new recruits and regular checks of competence as is being rolled out for doctors

Now let’s get back to the real world.

The main reason healthcare is failing is because there is not the money to provide the service they were designed to provide.

In a report earlier today, we wrote about Surrey County Council and the death of Mrs Foster, who was abandoned when the care company who was supposed to be looking after her was closed down by immigration officials (WELFARE – The disgrace of Mrs Foster left to die with no care because of welfare cuts)

In BOTH cases, the care provided was inadequate and a direct result of the care system being underfunded, which inevitably means understaffed.

The management of healthcare providers such as councils and the NHS are not without fault, but they can only work with the resources the government allocates to them. With the unrealistic added pressure of meeting ‘targets’ the situation is bound to become a recipe for disaster.

And so to Cameron. When addressing the findings of the report Cameron seems unable to comprehend that the lack of care was the result of lack of staff, which in turn means a lack of care.

The only thing Cameron ‘promised’ was more control (something the care services do not need), and the ability to prosecute staff when the level of care results in catastrophes such as those at Stafford Hospital.

This is not addressing the issue; it is passing the buck – yet again.

The report criticised the cost-cutting and target-chasing culture of the Mid-Staffordshire Trust – what else is to be expected when that is the main focus of government policies on healthcare.

Oh yes – and Cameron said ‘sorry’ – well that must make everything alright then Mr Clown mustn’t it?

The only way to sort out the care services in the UK is to give the system proper funding and ensure they have enough front-line staff.

The culture has to change from controlling finances and targets to providing proper care – which is what it is supposed to do.

No matter what smoke and mirrors the idiots in government come up with, we know what the problem is, and they know what the solution is.

So it is time for the government to get off their lazy arses and DO something constructive.

Follow @martynjsymons

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