With apologies to visitors to this blog who expect education-related material, and especially to those of you (the majority in fact) who don’t live in the UK, I’m going to devote the next few posts to the terrible destruction of the UK’s National Health Service which is taking place at the moment.
These cost-cutting changes started under the last Labour government, so they must take equal responsibility with the Conservatives who are currently extending them dramatically and dangerously.
This photo of Prime Minister David Cameron and (now ex-)Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is part of the smokescreen concealing very radical changes to the NHS, particularly A&E (Accident and Emergency Services), which will affect everyone living in the UK.
Astonishingly, the only national newspaper which is putting this process under intense scrutiny is the Mail on Sunday and their investigative reporter David Rose. He has another worrying article in today’s paper, September 16th.
If you can’t bring yourself to part money for a Mail title or if you don’t live in the UK, you can read online his July article which kicked off the investigation. http://bit.ly/Qi6kPu
It starts like this:
A massive – and until now unreported – programme of closures of accident and emergency departments will leave millions forced to use so-called ‘urgent care centres’ that in reality cannot provide urgent care, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.
The centres are allowed to handle only the simplest injuries and mild illnesses. An NHS document obtained by this newspaper reveals they are legally forbidden from treating a vast array of serious and life-threatening conditions, including shock, internal bleeding, most types of broken bones, breathing difficulties, stab or gunshot wounds, heart attacks, strokes and head injuries.
I appreciate that the National Health Service is a puzzling notion to many people living in other countries, but it is a vital lifeline to the most vulnerable members of our society. Costs have to be cut, but the current recommendations will mean the death of one of the NHS’s main services, and possibly literally the death of patients for whom the nearest A&E unit will be simply too far away.