Sunday, March 07, 2010

About the wonders of the Brit National Health Service,

DAMNING reports on the state of the National Health Service, suppressed by the government, reveal how patients’ needs have been neglected.

They diagnose a blind pursuit of political and managerial targets as the root cause of a string of hospital scandals that have cost thousands of lives.

The harsh verdict on the state of the NHS, after a spending splurge under Labour between 2000 and 2008, raises worrying questions about the future quality of the health service as budgets are squeezed.

One report, based on the advice of almost 200 top managers and doctors, says hospitals ignored basic hygiene to cram in patients to meet waiting-time targets.
The first report, by the Massachusetts-based Institute for Healthcare Improvements (IHI), identified the neglect of patients as a serious obstacle to improving the NHS. “The lack of a prominent focus on patients’ interests and needs ... represents a significant barrier to shifting the trajectory of quality improvement in the NHS.”

One heading in the report says: “The patient doesn’t seem to be in the picture.” It adds: “We were struck by the virtual absence of mention of patients and families ... whether we were discussing aims and ambition for improvement, measurement of progress or any other topic relevant to quality.

“Most targets and standards appear to be defined in professional, organisational and political terms, not in terms of patients’ experience of care.”

This weekend it emerged the recommendations of the reports, intended to help the NHS improve, have not even been circulated
And on. And on. And this is the level of shit we're told is just freakin' wonderful health care, and we should emulate it. Shit like this:"
The third report, by the US-based Rand Corporation, expresses surprise at the lack of a requirement to identify the specific drug involved when patient accidents are reported.
How the HELL do you report on a patient accident involving a drug and not mention what drug it was?

Damn. Just damn.

1 comment:

Keith said...

None of it suprises me.

Thinking about what I remember of media coverage of the British NHS, the praise was for the institution and the idea, not the reality.

Comparisons were always of what things were like pre 1947, not with any meaningful overseas comparisons.

I think the big comparisons would be things like survival rate after various illnesses, rather than bland shit like number of patients (mis)treated (and most of those were probably for something meaningless like common cold)