Umm, how can we have an NHS for education?

Don’t we already have a state school system?

Or do they mean we’re going to get the doctors to run the schools? You’ll have to pay to use the car to pick up the kids? The education system will become the third leading cause of death in the country? We won’t educate anyone if it costs more than £30,000 a year? You must wait 18 weeks before you get tested?

What? enquiring minds want to know!

22 comments on “Umm, how can we have an NHS for education?

  1. “adult education will be free at the point of use”

    So you’ll wait 18 weeks for a General Educator to decide that you’re smart enough to benefit from (or thick enough to need) more education; then you’ll be put onto the real waiting list, while you wait for a space on a Civil Engineering course. With any luck a place will open up at Luton Polytechnic for your eight-year degree in Designing MySpace Themes. If you refuse that course, even though it’s nothing to do with Engineering, you’ll be kicked out of the system and have to go back to the beginning.

    Related anecdote: I once took a (paid) course at my local adult education centre. It was full of retirees; who I later discovered paid a much reduced rate, subsidised by my council tax.

  2. It takes 8 years full time to get a white coat and the right to tell someone they’re going to die.

    Most children with pet gerbils have already worked this out before going to primary.

    A couple of suggestions:
    Use Dr Google, take recommendation to pharmacy, buy drug.
    Bring back “old age” as an acceptable cause of death on the certificate. Add in “hypochondria”.

  3. The NHS: the British Leyland of healthcare systems.

    It’s that good round your way?

    It’s still run here as a 50s-style Stalinist take-what-you’re-given-or-fuck-off producer-interest fiefdom by the Labour-led Welsh assembly.

  4. Die after three days abandoned on a corridor trolley when sent to the headmaster.

    Close the school frequently for “inset days” which mysteriously always fall around weekends (and the staff car park is mysteriously empty). Oh, wait…

  5. I had an annoying encounter with the NHS recently. I requested a hearing aid from my doctor and I’m now nearly two months later, have wasted two morning and am waiting to get an appointment at a hospital that won’t be any where near where I live by the time I get it. Frustrating.

    If we put the same folks in charge of schools, I dread to think what will happen.

  6. The US spends $3 trillion (yup, trillion) on healthcare.
    To get the same avrage life expectancy as Costa Rica.

    Meanwhile, most unbiased studies show that statins only benefit about one in fifty codgers. Yet the NHS doles them out like smarties, ignoring the side effects.

  7. “Labour’s plan offers adult education that will be free at the point of use.”

    Which is actually great, except that I’ll bet my bottom dollar that they won’t want any private involvement in this. It’ll be more unionised people from the education system, with no links to industry, teaching people stuff in evening classes by the book that is far behind what employers want, or fucking useless like feminist theory. It’ll do more good for the army of bureaucrats running it than anyone who goes.

    Things like Coderdojos and Makerspaces make far more difference to people and cost almost nothing. People do them voluntarily, out of village halls and community centres with free PCs. You want more of that? Don’t tax people up the arse so that they don’t have time to do them.

  8. Actually, bif, life expectancy in Costa Rica is higher than the US. The medical system in general knocks the US version into a cocked hat (universally available basic public option funded through payroll taxes—a few percent of gross income—and world class private medicine on a cash-on-the-barrelhead or private insurance basis). A consult at a private clinic is ~£20, with no waiting other than sitting there until the receptionist calls you.

  9. BiCR,

    > with no waiting other than sitting there until the receptionist calls you

    The NHS can’t even manage this, even for appointments booked weeks ahead. The other day my better half had an hour-long wait in reception, no reason given. I can understand a 5pm appointment being late because of delays building up throughout the day – much like an airline – but a 9:30am appointment doesn’t have that excuse.

  10. @bif: Meanwhile, most unbiased studies show that statins only benefit about one in fifty codgers. Yet the NHS doles them out like smarties, ignoring the side effects.

    Statins reduce the risk of CVEs (heart attack/stroke) by ~15%. They’re now prescribed routinely for those assessed as subject to a 10% or greater risk of a CVE over the next 10 years (that includes most people over 60 in possession of the greatest genetic risk factor: a Y-chromosome).

    So consider 1,000 such people taking statins. Statins are off-patent (at least, the ones generally prescribed are) and cost about £2 per month per patient, so that makes £25,000 a year. Over 10 years, you’d expect 100 CVEs, but statins reduce this to 85. So you’ve saved 15 people out of your original 1,000 (i.e. about 1 in 70) from a potential life-changing (or -ending) event, each of which will have an immediate cost to the NHS of tens of thousands in treatment and probably an order of magnitude greater if the outcome is a serious disablement.

    Compare that with the total cost of statins at £250,000 and the NHS has saved a shedload of money and 15 people are better off. And that’s for the lowest risk that justifies treatment – those assessed at 20% risk (which used to be the cut-off) or who have already suffered a CVE will show a much greater ‘profit’.

    Serious side effects are very rare (1 in 10,000 territory), but there are plenty of anecdotal stories, including nocebo effects and the general aches and pains that are more common in 60-year-olds than 30-year-olds.

  11. One time I had an appointment about that time, I saw the NHS doctor pull up and run inside just as I was on my way in. I’m pretty sure there was chatting afterward rather than getting on with seeing patients. Another time, I had to see a different doctor because that same doctor had overslept. These are causes though, not excuses.

    All of the several reception staff go off for a two-hour lunch break at the same time. They don’t much like answering the phone outside of that.

    They haven’t bothered setting up an online booking system.

    I think they are required to book in appointments within two weeks of being called for one. If mine hasn’t got any available, they just refuse to make one later. Maybe they’ve fail some NHS KPI if they did.

    I decided to get private healthcare.

  12. Some committee will draw up a five hundred page document of entitlements that every child is definitely going to get ; this will be Edstone stuff that is arguable in court what it means

    A committee of bureaucrats will enforce this with reams of paperwork and tickbox documentation.

    It will be dumped on schools with some funding for the first term (or year) if lucky which then vanishes.

  13. “Meanwhile, most unbiased studies show”

    That, sir, is a POS Argumentum ad Ignorantiam.

  14. “….as a 50s-style Stalinist take-what-you’re-given-or-fuck-off producer-interest fiefdom…”

    Well said.

  15. Wife goes to hospital regularly for a couple of things. The general appointments are always in a packed waiting room – no matter the time of day – and can be there 4 hours. With the car park adding to the cost all the time. 4 hours on from a 9am appointment (that we have to leave the house before 8am to get to) a quick 3 or 4 minutes with doc then back home having paid better part of £10 in car park and lost pretty much the entire working day.
    Her operations are even better. Turn up at 8am, along with another 30 people for operations by that section. No one on reception and phone rings and rings…. then generally around 9.30 a nurse comes by and calls someone’s name. Not to take them through to op, just to sit down and take a few details then back to seat. Probably around 10.30 or so they start taking people through for the operations. Luck of the draw as to when someone is called, been still sat there at 4pm more than once only to be told – at that point – that operations have finished for the day and to go home, come back in a few weeks when new appointment sent. No booking at the desk as to convenience or urgency, of course no reception staff. And a delay of weeks is really not wanted for cancer removal. Yet that’s what is ended up with.

    As wife works nights she has to take 2 days off for appointments – the night before and night after as we don’t know how long we’ll be in there. In past 6 months she has used up 10 days leave in hospital appointments.

  16. Game cock
    Keep it up. Made me laugh, anyway.
    When your study (see a Nature review, c2015) gives you the reverse result that you expected, I’d call it unbiased.
    To be fair to Nature (I know…) at least they published the article.

  17. So you’ve saved 15 people out of your original 1,000 (i.e. about 1 in 70) from a potential life-changing (or -ending) event, each of which will have an immediate cost to the NHS of tens of thousands in treatment and probably an order of magnitude greater if the outcome is a serious disablement.

    You’ve saved people. You’ve saved no money at all.

    Those people saved will still go on to die. Unless statins change a long period of heart disease to instant death, that is. Instant death is cheap for the NHS, but people getting older isn’t.

    Prolonging life does not save money — we do it for other reasons.

  18. Bloody hell, Martin, that’s bad.

    Only once have I been to hospital for something that looked serious, but fortunately turned out not to be. The NHS experience scared me.

    A little later, my lefty boss had an illness that was very painful but not life-threatening; the NHS dicked around so long he went private to have it sorted. Turned out during the delays it had become septic and life threatening, and he was hospitalised and treated immediately.

    When it was all over, he pretty much ordered the bunch of us to get private coverage.

  19. Tim, did you say the NHS is the third leading cause of death in the UK? Have you got a reference for that?

    I’m not saying it’s not true, by some reckoning. I googled it without success, but I did find a review which said that hospital deaths in the USA following a “preventable adverse event” (ie a medical error) would rank third on the CDC list.

    There’s good reason to think that finding ways to minimise errors and ensure that everyone gets good healthcare would avoid (that is, delay) a lot of deaths in every country. There seems to be no reason to bash the NHS in particular for it. Except that bashing the NHS is what you do.

    My personal experience is that care at my local hospital (which is a renowned teaching hospital) is very good. The trust’s outsourced ENT service is abysmal. So I recommend less privatization.

  20. Iatrogenic, yes, that’s what I mean. As the NHS is the supplier of health care services in the UK then the NHS is the cause of iatrogenic deaths, no?

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