LETTER: NHS should treat sick not aim for political point scoring
The NHS is promised billions of pounds in extra funding but still all that appears in the media are stories about the ‘cuts’ imposed on them by the present Government.
Well here’s a little story (not a novel but the truth): Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is ‘fining’ University of North Midlands Hospitals about £9m for missing targets.
This trust is already in special measures as they try to reduce their present deficit – around £150m.
Obviously the trust has problems but this ‘fine’ does seem somewhat like a stab in the back.
The trust is overstretched and insufficiently funded at present, not least to meet the payments due under the PFI it’s saddled with to fund its hospital in Stoke-on-Trent – between £350 and £400m.
No wonder the NHS is in the state it’s in with management decisions made on funding of that hospital.
But North Staffordshire isn’t the only local group experiencing problems with its PFI schemes.
Wolverhampton’s hospitals have to pay their PFI provider every time they use certain equipment – like X-ray machines – and then they’ve got their management.
How many managers does a hospital need to run it? If there was ‘proper’ management, may I suggest just one?
Just think how much could be saved if this radical plan was implemented.
How many extra doctors and nurses, medical staff, medicines and the like could be available if it were?
I’m not ‘knocking’ that hospital group, they do excellent work, but just think how much better they could be if funding were used in this way?
One final point, I’m unfamiliar with amounts due and owing to NHS trusts in the country, often owed by ‘health tourists’.
Perhaps payment could be made up front or verifiable evidence provided that they have insurance to pay for their treatment.
Radical? Yes! But it works in other countries.
The NHS was founded 70 years ago for the treatment of sick people, not to provide cosmetic or sex change operations, not to provide huge salaries for management or high returns for PFI providers.
Just remember that, that’s what is important, not political points scoring for whatever cause.
Mr M Gough