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Party Political Interference Prevents Hospital Improvement – Privatise the Lot

David Green, 24 September 2004

The Guardian reports how several local hospitals have been prevented by Whitehall from improving their services. Why? Because the changes would look bad in the run-up to a general election. Hospital improvements often involve closing an old building and starting again in a new and better one, but defenders of the old service are often able to kick up sufficient fuss to make politicians back away.
As a result, hospital managers throughout the country have been told that it is the ‘wrong time’ for change. The interference is affecting maternity services in North London, and emergency services in Hartlepool and Edinburgh, among others. Nigel Edwards, policy director of the NHS Confederation, which represents NHS managers and trusts, is quoted as saying that political pressure now means that managers are only ‘able to change anything during an 18-month window between elections, or in safe seats’.
The remedy, not recommended by the Guardian, is de-politicisation. All NHS hospitals should be removed from political control to the management of wholly independent local trusts, able to serve the interests of patients without interference borne of electoral calculation.

1 comment on “Party Political Interference Prevents Hospital Improvement – Privatise the Lot”

  1. I wrotealetter of complaint to a neighbour who is alternately Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian, re. the pollution and eyesore his 11 delapidated old cars and repair and car transport equipment were causing, in the grounds of the private residence, a lovely old Victorian mansion, where 7 people live, in flats, with gardens. Copies were sent to the other residents plus the e state agent. I disagree with his responses to the points made in the letter, however, the point of this message is that he accused me, in writing, of racism, as I had chosen to write, and not address him verbally, and that, were he English, I would have done so. The estate agent would verify that writing has always, in 10 years of renting from them, been my method of efficient communication re. tenancy/domestic matters.The fact that he is not English had absolutely no bearing on my chosen method of communication and I abhor the practice of people who use the “racist card” in order to divert their shortfalls and/or illegal or antisocial activities onto natives of this country,who voice concern, in my case, attempting to preserve this environment I have chosen to live in. In addition, flippant and opportunistic usage of accusations of racism weakens and makes a mockery of genuine cases of racism. I work as sister/charge nurse on a multi-racial emergency NHS psychiatric team and feel strongly that this cruel and thoughtless accusation, (should my work colleagues not know me better ) could possibly affect my relationships with them, and, ultimately, my long career in the NHS, where I am near to retirement. Due to the serious nature of my job, which obviously involves the mental health care of ethnic minorities, in a catchment area historically known as a migration venue, I did consider seeking legal advice for defamation; (viable, as other parties, the estate agent, had also received a copy of the response to my letter)however, I decided to ignore the response letter and see whether the circumstances I had complained about in my original letter would improve. (They have not, in fact, and have actually deteriorated.)This man now goes about his business, within a private residence, repairing and moving and returning at times, old cars, plus cars which appear to have been involved in serious road accidents. As I write, there are 11 cars on the premises, excluding the 3 cars belonging to residents of the apartments. One car is placed upon a transporter and the others have either no or an out of date tax disc, and appear non-driveable. An old caravan has been installed and contains repair equipment and other plastic containers of liquid.Apart from the racist slur,I feel at a loss as to what to do, in order to help maintain this lovely old house and its gardens in its pre-September 2006when he moved in , condition. Some residents totally agree with myself, where others just say to “leave him to it.” I am reluctant to inform police, environmental health dept. fire dept.(No access for fire engines) DVLA, the estate agent is aware but has done nothing:, reasons being that men visit the man’s flat, sometimes at night, bang aggressively at his door, and I am unsure as to whether he is involved in some business where I could possibly be targetted as an usurper of their goals.On the other hand,he could just be someone working alone, but I have my doubts, and it’s important to follow your gut feelings.I would seriously appreciate genuine comments and advice from readers of this message.

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