Mon 26 Sep 2011
Yesterday I was interviewed on the LBC lunch time show to comment on this story . The head of the Royal College of Nursing, Dr Peter Carter, has been calling for family members of elderly patients on NHS hospital wards to help provide care, such as helping with eating and going to the toilet.
I made the made the point very strongly that this is not a problem of nurses not wanting to look after elderly patients. I know many, many dedicated, hard working nurses who are as appalled at this situation as the rest of us.
The reason we are in this crisis is because of the system that is the NHS. Nurses for Reform has argued for a number of years that this is the inevitable conclusion of a system that has taken the tax payers money, promised the earth and been unable to deliver, and will continue to be unable to deliver. Peter Carter knows this as do many of our politicians.
This move to have relatives working on the wards is simply privatisation from the inside out and it is not just happening in healthcare. We are seeing it with the establishment of free schools and it won’t be long before something similar occurs with policing and other state provided services.
It is now time for the politicians of all parties to be honest with the british people. The state cannot and never could do it all. Before yet more people die unnecessarily in this failing system the Government must open up the planning laws to make it easier for new market entrants to build and run hospitals to care for NHS funded patients. There must also be a return to the independent sector of all NHS hospitals so that NHS money goes only on the funding of patient care, not the propping up of the crumbling NHS estate. Finally, the Government must allow Doctors, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics to advertise their services as only by building up brands that are successful and trusted will Britain have a health service that is truly fit for the 21st Century.