A while ago I published a blog with the title ‘Underfunded overstretched hospitals. But who gives a damn? It was followed by an even more stark blog ‘The £0.5m 677 death cover up’. Enough to rattle a few important people you would have thought.
In my experience the overwhelming majority of NHS front line staff want to provide fast access to safe care in clean hospitals; from time to time they have been let down by a few of their front line colleagues. The governments actions, post Mid Staffs, have homed in on holding front line staff to account but have not tackled that equally worrying aspect of the NHS; a management culture of spin and cover up and a culture more concerned with targets than with safety. The cover up culture so ably demonstrated by our own ULHT when it lied to its own staff. This is so deeply ingrained that to change this management culture and make sure we have a safe NHS you have to change the people. There is evidence that this culture has contributed to avoidable harm to patients.
So I ask again who gives a damn about all this?
Lincolnshire Independents, who will be fielding around 40 candidates in the May County Council elections, have taken an interest and made it clear that they give a damn. They want proper funding of Lincolnshire’s NHS and the Chair of ULHT held to account for his use of £0.5m of our money, intended for patient care, being spent on gagging people.
So what have our Conservative MP’s done????
Well all credit to Karl McCartney. He has made it clear that he thinks that Nicholson the CEx of NHS should go. He has signed the early day motion condemning Nicholson. Stephen Phillips has, behind the scenes, been trying to get ministers to understand the seriousness of Gary Walker’s allegations. The others……….. if they have been very active, it is not apparent, well to me anyway. Remember this is about the safety of your or your families care.
Mark Simmonds, MP for Boston, used to be critical of Labour’s funding of Lincolnshire’s NHS. Whilst Boston Pilgrim Hospital has been on the receiving end of damaging reports from the CQC about care at that hospital, it is not clear that Mr Simmonds has done much more that write the odd letter. In fairness he has been busy dealing with health issues, but just not in our county; allegedly he has been paid at a rate of £3000 per day to help Circle Health as a private provider take over Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Nick Boles, the infamous MP for Grantham even refused to meet me when I wanted to talk to him about a number of matters including the safety of our local NHS……But then reading the Grantham Journal he does not seem that interested in what his constituents think.
Edward Leigh, former Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Sir Peter Tapsell father of the house, John Hayes, now in No10, three senior members of the Conservative Party who could make a difference to the NHS……. seem not to have been that interested – well not in public at least. Conservative Councillors who lead the local Health Scrutiny Committee seem to have been asleep …….
Perhaps they all have private health insurance and we are not all in it together.
Labour have been silent (but of course they had 10 years to sort out the funding of Lincolnshire’s NHS and failed).
I am sure that all of these MP’s and Councillors are concerned about the quality of of care provided by our NHS and its funding. If that is the case it would inspire more public in them if that was more apparent. Some visible leadership would not go amiss.
So when you vote in the County Council elections in May, just remember who is clearly standing up for Lincolnshire and who it would seem is not. By and large with a few notable exceptions it does not appear to be the Conservatives. Lincolnshire Independents who can and do speak out, without having to look over their shoulder for fear of upsetting party bosses in London, are prepared to put Lincolnshire first. About time somebody did.