Sick man of Britain
THE Scottish Executive has failed to demonstrate how billions of pounds of extra investment in the NHS has benefited patient care, according to a highly critical report published today by Scotland's financial watchdog....
Tony Blair is determined to reform the NHS in England, using the private sector where necessary, giving patients more choice and tailoring individual services to the needs of local communities.
However, in Scotland, Mr McConnell has taken a different approach, typified by his refusal to embrace foundation hospitals and privately run specialist clinics, which feature strongly in Mr Blairís plans.
As a result, waiting lists are falling fast in England, where the new target for a hospital operation will be 18 weeks, whereas waiting times are 40 per cent up in Scotland, where the maximum hospital wait is one year and three months.
It goes on, more money in, less patient care out because it is "a centralised and nationalised NHS responding to ministerial targets rather than clinical care". And here is the Scottish Minister's response:
"We have made it clear to the NHS Information and Statistics Division that they must further improve coverage and quality of management information, .."
Just what they bloody need, more management consultants going round with clipboards, still the BMA recognises the problem: "We would welcome detailed plans of long-term investment in measures to protect and improve public health, such as legislating for smoke-free public places, improving access to healthy food and reducing consumption of alcohol, particularly among young Scots."
How about stop blaming the patients and start running the NHS for them rather than the staff?