Ritchie and the gallstone incident

We all wish him well with his gallstones of course. Life would be boring without the Mr. Pooter of the tax world.

But he uses his experience to insist that the NHS must not have private providers anywhere in it. Which is odd:

Second is just how extraordinary the NHS can be. Once it was clear I needed to come in everything moved remarkably quickly and smoothly from GP to hospital to tests and diagnosis. Now I am well aware that I have presented a fairly simple case , but I am still impressed.

Third, the need for integration is so obvious when looking at the whole process I have been through and yet the whole ethos of NHS privatisation undermines this.

Fourth, the vast majority of NHS staff make the private sector look silly. Purpose clearly matters to these people. I cannot see how working for a private sector provider could improve this; indeed, much recent reading I have done suggests how hard it is for private sector providers to recruit staff to serve the NHS.

Fifth, I am not alone in thinking this: the guys around me share that view. I have asked them.

Because of course that GP, that first link in that chain, is a private provider of services to the NHS and all GPs always have been. So if private provision of services under the financial umbrella of the NHS works then it works, dunnit?

34 thoughts on “Ritchie and the gallstone incident”

  1. Clearly Ritchie was not reduced to drinking his flower-vase water, left to urinate in his bed or allowed to starve when unable to feed himself. Possibly being a Union Nabob had an influence upon his treatment.

  2. Tim

    Candidly that is nonsense

    If GPs were genuinely private service providers to the NHS then why do we not hear any tax avoidance stories relating to them whatsoever?

    I would imagine that HMRC would have identified them as an industry where underpaid tax is rife and provided some sort of tax amnesty for GPs, a Tax Health Plan, if you will

    I would also imagine that HMRC inspectors would be currently collecting huge amounts of unpaid tax from GPs over illegitimate mileage claims and transferring of goodwill into companies

    But, no Tim, none of that is happening. And if it was, I would know about it because I am actually an actual accountant who knows everything that goes on in the world of tax

    Which is why I am singularly suitable to be on HMRC’s Board


  3. My grandmother died of thirst, in her own urine, suffering from bedsores that she didn’t have when she went in, at the ‘Good Hope’ hospital in Sutton Coldfield.

    This was a woman who volunteered to drive buses through the Blitz, and whose husband was one of the last men across the bridge at Arnhem.

    I have said it before, but I will say it again: I fervently hope that Richard Murphy, Paul B and all their children, friends and relatives die in that way, and that Andy Burnham is in the next bed, screaming in agony for nurses to come and give him his morphine.

    It’s the envy of the world!

  4. plus every single painkiller, swab, bed, scalpel, light, screen, bottle of anaesthetic, robe, sheet etc etc etc will have been provided by (whisper who dares) that evil old private sector.

    *shakes fist at sky*

  5. Noel

    Obviously my individual anecdotal experience of treatment of a minor illness at that hospital is far more compelling evidence of the wonders of healthcare provided exclusively by a State of Courage than the evidenced and substantiated report you link to

  6. The writers of cartoon in the Monty Python Papperbok cartoon were very prescient/clairvoyant about the current state of the NHS in many areas

    “How to take your appendix out on the Piccadilly Line”

  7. “Purpose clearly matters to these people. I cannot see how working for a private sector provider could improve this”

    The problem is not the people – it’s their misalignment with the system they operate in (no pun intended)

    Moving these people into a system that is likewise motivated to provide good patient care (different driver, same result) means the employee effort is aligned with the organisation’s vision.

    Whereas currently we have carers labouring in a bureaucracy that primarily cares about paperwork and arse-covering.

    That’s misalignment.

    Good nurses + shit system = frustrated workforce.

  8. Murphy Richards

    I hope you haven’t had a bad reaction to that suasage balm this morning and that your drive home from your overnight life-saving stay is pleasant.

    P.S. You may be interested to know that your impersonator, Richard Murphy, has reacted badly to me suggesting he might not be – oh, how can I say it? – the ideal fit for the Board of HMRC.

  9. Interested

    I can only guess at how sick, how truly angry, reading Richard Murphy this morning must have made you feel.

  10. @Ironman

    I remember visiting my grandma, a lovely woman who never took a penny from anyone until her old age pension, and raised seven functioning, decent children, and seeing the dried spittle at the corners of her mouth.

    I asked her if she needed a drink and she could only nod. I filled a glass and she drank the lot.

    There really were stereotypical nurses gossiping not 20 feet away.

    Angry? I was apoplectic. And this a woman with wealthy and influential people for children and grandchildren, and regular visitors.

    I shudder to think of the deaths of others.

  11. I’m impressed that Ritchie is impressed.

    We don’t tend to squee with delight when an airline pilot lands a plane without crashing or when a gas fitter installs a new cooker without causing a fatal gas leak, but we do tend to fawn and marvel when the health service treats us promptly and effectively. I wonder if people in France or the USA have the same low expectations of their healthcare?

    When the NHS works, it works. We’ve probably all had both good and bad experiences of it. Consistency in standards of care seems to be a major challenge in the NHS. Depending on what ailment you have and where you live, your treatment may range from world class to criminal negligence.

    The most responsive parts of the health service I’ve dealt with have been the local out of hours GP service, which is a private sector not-for-profit and very helpful when you have a baby vomiting and screaming at 2am. Also the small local midwife-led unit was wonderful (so naturally the NHS shut them down and transferred the service to a large hospital 35 miles away).

    “the vast majority of NHS staff make the private sector look silly”

    Hmmm. Not sure the private sector could afford or want to employ as many useless managers as the NHS does. Also, British Airways doesn’t ask me to fill in a form explaining my racial origins when I arrive at the airport, but the NHS does.

    Most private sector workers I know have purpose in abundance although, to be fair, large corporates do have their own crust of human barnacles, mainly in HR departments and the fantasy bullshit world of corporate social responsibility.

    So good luck in getting rid of that painful lump, Ritchie’s gallstone.

  12. “The guys around me share that view.”
    Imagine being stuck in a bed next to RM with no escape. Best way to escape an harangue is to nod and hope the wife brings earphones.

  13. So Ritchie was ill at the weekend and his GP diagnosed him yesterday.

    If your NHS GP is Mrs. J. Murphy, perhaps get some private cover.

  14. It was always going to be this way. If it went well, abolish private medicine. If it was an easily avoidable fuckup caused by negligence, blame neo-liberalism and abolish private medicine.

    It is hard, even impossible, to imagine a scenario in which his opinion would have been any different, short of a course of mind altering drugs and intense hypnotic suggestion.

  15. I suppose there was never any real chance of an NHS mix-up, Richie being dumped in the medical waste & the gallstone being returned to write articles for the Guardian & be interviewed on BBC?
    Would have been an improvement.

  16. “Fourth, the vast majority of NHS staff make the private sector look silly.”

    Well, ignoring the cunts that spunked £10 billion quid up the wall on a patient record system that didn’t work. How many people died because of that? Murderers.

    And the crooks that massaged the figures to allow people to die.

    If Honda had done what North Staffs did at one of their car plants, Honda wouldn’t exist any longer.

  17. I think Steve has it best: ‘We don’t tend to squee with delight when an airline pilot lands a plane without crashing or when a gas fitter installs a new cooker without causing a fatal gas leak, but we do tend to fawn and marvel when the health service treats us promptly and effectively.’

  18. Downham Market News:

    World’s leading tax expert and economist gored by Bison in rural Norfolk

  19. The UK major supermarkets (Sainsbury, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Co-Op, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose) employ between them c.1.2m people, according to their Wikipedia entries. There must be hundreds of thousands who work in the food preparation sector as well, supplying the retail chains.The NHS employs 1.4m.

    How many deaths attributable to negligence are there in the NHS vs the food supply chain?

  20. Jim

    To be honest, if you include my mother’s home cooking as a part of the food supply chain…

  21. According to his blog, Murphy has just discovered tht morphine is a very effective pain-killer. Given that his writings suggest he must be an habitual drug-user, and that he was therefore not previously using heroin, does anyone know what he might have been ingesting previously?

  22. MDMA can offer great moments of lucidity and seeing ‘the light’ which upon later sober analysis prove to be bollocks, I’m, ahem, told.

  23. Surreptitious Evil

    While the Bison probably isn’t quite Waugh, the LHTD certainly isn’t a Churchill. Even Randolph.

  24. Isn’t his missus a GP? I’ve discovered from personal experience that having Doctor friends/ relatives can help grease the wheels.

  25. Interested, I’ve been treated at Good Hope hospital. 5 year old child, quiet night at the hospital, 5 hours to be treated…. and now its an alternate hospital for accidents around my area.
    Not my favourite hospital, got a cemetary right close by…

  26. The Meissen Bison

    SE: you’re spot on. Not feather-footed through the plashy fen, this questing bison.

  27. Bloke in Costa Rica

    If you removed everything malignant from Murphy there’d be about enough left over to make a Scotch Pie.

    I think one statistic torpedoes Murphy’s description of private medicine in the UK as silly: the MRSA death toll. Thousands of people have died from it in NHS hospitals in the last few years whereas the rate in private medicine is so low as to be effectively zero. The same goes for other iatrogenic complications as well. Primum non nocere probably doesn’t mean much to a virtual analphabet like Murphy, but then not doing harm is hardly his strong suit.

  28. actually I wish him the massive pain that comes from attempting to piss fragtments of gall stones….

  29. I love the fact that even hospitalisation is the prelude to a a political blog entry – The man is beyond satire…..

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