A note for Lost Nurse

Re the privatisation of fire services and G4S.

You’ve rather missed the little provocation here. Which is that the world’s leading private provider of fire services (and ambulances actually) is a Danish company called Falck. Provides 65% of fire services in that country and smaller percentages in many more. They’ve been doing this for nearly a century now.

The model does, obviously, work. And the reason that I talked about G4S (and not Serco or Capita) is because Falck was, for a number of years, owned by what became G4S.

So, we know that the model can work and also that one of the UK outsourcing companies at least at one time had the expertise to be able to make it work.

Thus making all of the “it can’t possibly work because of G4S” conniption fits rather amusing.

20 thoughts on “A note for Lost Nurse”

  1. bloke (not) in spain

    I always find L_N’s deployment of the “I’m from a caring profession, I care” trump, in any debate, illuminating.

    Sums up why the notion of reforming the NHS, in any meaningful manner, is hopeless.

  2. one of the UK outsourcing companies at least at one time had the expertise to be able to make it work.

    Or they had enough Danes.

    Falck are everywhere, one of the leaders in offshore safety training. They were the ones that stuck me in a mock helicopter, dunked me underwater, and flipped me over in Nigeria. I have the badge around my neck right now.

  3. To be fair, L_N probably makes a valid point when she fears that any reform is likely to be completely fucked up. No doubt she’s been programmed to resist any kind of reform, let alone that involving private companies, but her concerns are likely valid nonetheless.

  4. In my experience the loving caring nurses are fat lardarses sitting at the nurses’ station eating toast and choccy biscuits ignoring the alarm bell from my stroke-affected in-law lying in his own shit. Privatisation can’t come quick enough as far as I am concerned so the box ticking useless mouths can be sacked.

  5. I always find L_N’s deployment of the “I’m from a caring profession, I care so fcuk off you fat faced fcuker” trump, in any debate, illuminating.

    FTFY

  6. Another blind spot Tim–along with pigou taxes and the global warming bollocks.

    What Falck can do–and has been building their skills/expertise in doing for a century–does not represent what would happen in this country when brainless, venal senior civil service and BluLabour hacks attempt to sell of still vital services to the types of corporate parasites who are now sucking the state’s tit.
    No one wants to see the back of statism/socialism more than me but the services in question are still vital. If they are ballsed up there are no other hospitals/ambulances etc we can turn to. Yes it is a crime that the state has control of most of the hospitals/ambulances/fire engines etc. But that is what IS. Yes–lets change it–but not by handing out contracts to the kind of spivs the state has been busy financing so far. Siemans/EDS–shite. G4–if Falck survived an association with them they must be good. We only have one set of hospitals/ambulances and the like. It should not be that way, but the scum of socialism/statism have set it up that way. These systems are semi-fucked. But if a bungled handover to inexperienced cretins who give the lowest quote, fucks them up 100% a lot of people could die and the cause of finally being shot of socialism and state arrogance could be set back a long way. If a company like Falck can run a private fire service in the UK–fucking marvellous. But for Christ’s sake–TEST them first. Let them run a small area to see how their system works. If they do a bang up job –expand gradually. What BluLab will do is give the job to any cheapjack twat with a good line in bullshit who buys them a fine lunch (and possibly pays them off).

  7. bloke (not) in spain

    I do think TimN has an entirely valid point when he says “Or they had enough Danes”
    When rubbish collection was being discussed I tried to find out whether SMICTOM, who do the refuse from the French apartment & who I recognise from other regions, were private or public sector. Then realised it doesn’t matter. They’re just good at rubbish collecting. The French would get very French on their arses if they weren’t.
    The key problem with the UK is the Brits will put up with shit service before it’s privatised & moan. And put up with shit after it’s privatised & moan. But won’t actually do much. The prospect of having your executive offices molotoved might concentrate the mind.

  8. Reading these posts and those on the other thread made me despair. (I was reminded of my local UKIP pub bore, who wants the railways re-nationalised, no private sector involvement in the NHS….*yawn*)

    Our host, Tim, however, is surely right about the fire service. And not only the fire service. Contracting out is definitely the way forward for most public services. No doubt about it. Contracting out works very well – provided (a) the specification is tight, (b) bid evaluation is rigorous and (c) contract monitoring is robust. Expertise in all those areas is widely available and can be imported if necessary. SNAFU is not inevitable in the UK.

    And contracting out provides major savings for the taxpayer, because public sector workers (with their unions) tend to featherbed their nests, and also do the job they want to do rather than the job they are hired to do. A tight, detailed specification with rigorous enforcement ensures efficient management. And the state is not burdened with gold-plated pension commitments and over-generous T & C’s. (Among many, I once drafted the contracting-out specification for maintenance of parks for a certain sarf London Council where ethnic minority staff had previously had a contractual right to six weeks additional paid leave to visit their homeland – mainly Jamaica. Absenteeism was over 20% per employee pa; and the management claimed they could not curb this for fear of accusations of racism. Unsurprisingly, contracting out achieved huge savings.)

    And, finally, a crucial distinction…. ‘Privatisation’ is the transfer of ownership from the public sector to the private (as in the creation of BT). ‘Contracting out’ is the transfer of service delivery, while the public sector retains control of costs, standards and outcomes. Labour conflates these for propaganda purposes.

    VOTE UKIP, GET THE MOST LEFT-WING GOVERNMENT EVER!

  9. Rubbish collection in my little neck of the woods improved slightly after the started contracting out – then a lot after they sacked the initial contractor and hired someone else. Train service improved remarkably after privatisation (but it has got worse, far from as bad as British Fail but noticeably worse since a change of franchisee dictated by DfT office politics).
    So I mostly back Theophrastus.
    @ Mr Ecks – can you name as many London hospitals than don’t (or even one that doesn’t) predate the NHS as I can without pausing to think name that do, starting weith Barts, St Thomas’, Guy’s, Royal London, Great Ormond Street, Barnet, Colney Hatch (aka Friern Barnet)?,

  10. fears that any reform is likely to be completely fucked up

    Very, very much this. And somebody, somewhere, always has to tidy up.

    The original post concerned (cf the Failograph) creepy Maude’s erotic dreams about public services, as cheered on by Tim – all at some remove from reality, IMO. I note that the illustrious corporate history of G4S has not prevented them from making a well-publicised (& ongoing) mess of contracts in the UK. There’s a whole historical hinterland of badly-spec’d projects – but that doesn’t appear to be dimming Gov enthusiasm for ’em… even when (witness Grayling & MOJ), woeful dysfunction beckons. I’m not ignorant of out-sourced & properly-managed services on the continent, but that certainly doesn’t characterise the current roll-back of public provision here in Blighty. Who wins?

    Anyway, I eagerly await some kind of Crapita Robocop as a policing “solution”. No doubt Tim will be cheering hard.

  11. “And, finally, a crucial distinction…. ‘Privatisation’ is the transfer of ownership from the public sector to the private (as in the creation of BT). ‘Contracting out’ is the transfer of service delivery, while the public sector retains control of costs, standards and outcomes. Labour conflates these for propaganda purposes.”

    Theo–our own BlueLab bore-returns. It seems that you are lacking a third distinction chum. A free market where the customer deals directly with the provider of the service. Your chosen example BT is pretty much what a BlueLab stooge would select. A company built with taxpayers money and positioned by state monopoly power–it still owns most of the landlines does it not (altho’ mobiles are killing that little game). Now ownership has been transferred from the public to the private sector. Much like the lovely gas/electric gangs that provide such good services at such reasonable prices. Are these slightly better than a soviet style public sector?. Yes they are but they are far from what a real free market could produce. But lots of Toryboys (and plenty of ZaNu trash as well) would no longer have political clout sending money their way in a free market and that would never do. As well as the huge savings that you so heroically brought to London parkland Theo, how about more savings by not having the state in the parks business at all?. But then a lot of businesses wouldn’t be sucking on the state’s tit supplying “services” would they? You saved money by doing in the public sector workers. Good, lets save some more by getting rid of the Tory hangers on as well.

    John 77–What do London hospitals have to do with anything. Yes–most of them pre-date the NHS. Did you get the impression that I think the NHS is a good thing?. What I said was that the even a bad NHS should not be replaced with a failed and even worse lash-up that would give leftists more ammo. The switch from state to a real free market has to be done thoroughly and carefully –not handed over to Theo Parklife and his BluBoy mates to fuck up. If the park scene went to shit it would be bad news for bird watchers, dog walkers and the tearoom trade–not a cause of deaths and another massive gift to the left.

    My copy of the great “Welfare State We’re In” tells me it was 15 years from 1948 before the NHS built so much as one new hospital that they hadn’t stolen from its prev owners. Many businesses–like the old hospitals, have been stolen by the state. Then built up with taxpayers cash and sold on for far less than had been spent on them to the “private” ie corporate socialist sector. The Theos approve of this because many of them gain from it. But the poor coerced taxpayer does not. The state has no right to steal to spend on its in-house antics. It also has no right to steal to hand the proceeds over to its well-connected “private” friends.

    Ps–you’re still gonna lose all your investments Theo.

  12. So Much for Subtlety

    lost_nurse – “Anyway, I eagerly await some kind of Crapita Robocop as a policing “solution”. No doubt Tim will be cheering hard.”

    A large number of communities have already moved in this general direction. A lot of places – usually full of rich people – now hire private security firms to do the work that the police cannot or will not.

    Britain probably has more private security guards than policemen, soldiers and sailors put together.

    But if the police were privatised, no doubt they would give the job to BAe.

  13. Private security hired by individuals to protect homes/famillies is the free market. In the movie (can only speak about the orig 1987 version–not seen the remake) the political pukes who ran Detroit hired Omnicorp and their mecha monster (“You have 30 seconds to comply”) to run the po-lice dept. The film does not make clear which of Theos two distinctions above actually applies.

    Either way I wouldn’t buy it for a dollar.

  14. “A free market where the customer deals directly with the provider of the service.”

    Ecky – What exactly do you mean? If one-on-one interaction is your definition of a free market, then there are few free markets. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the benefits of free (er) markets for broadband, energy, insurance, flights, hotels, petrol, groceries….

    Pip, pip!!!

  15. “If one-on-one interaction is your definition of a free market, then there are few free markets.”

    Exactly so chum. And it is a tribute to the power of the market that, even with the state’s hand stuck up its arse, endorsed and lubricated by so-called “conservatives”, it can produce all those wonderful things. Being one-legged is better than having no legs. But you will never run. You are no doubt very comfortable for now in your cozy blue world but the putrid paradise that is the West today is on borrowed time.

  16. @ Mrt Ecks
    “We only have one set of hospitals/ambulances and the like.”
    You give the impression that the NHS is esssential;

  17. Just a quick note: Lost_Nurse has re – entered the original discussion. More money and yet more money is apparently the only way to get NHS staff to be professional. Although there is an indication that possibly just possibly something went wrong at Mid Staffs.

    P.S I don’t for one second believe Lost_Nurse speaks for other NHS staff or that his/her militancy represents them.

  18. Well John 77 unless you have a secret stash of several hundred ambulances in your barn–the ones we have are “essential”. What else can we do?. That is not how it should be but that is how it IS.Did you read what I wrote or just not understand it? Of course we want to be rid of the NHS. But to dismantle a bloated behemoth will take time. To avoid a collapse and possible deaths and endless leftist propaganda. The NHS-sucking left–aided by the media–can seem to shrug-off 1200 deaths in Stafford (and lots more). If 12 people die as a result of privatised bungling you will never hear the end of it. The NHS must be dismantled properly and carefully, the same way D-Day had to be planned and executed properly, thoroughly and carefully. Painstakingly. If the present shower had been running D-Day they would have sold it over to a dozen of their cheapjack buddies and the beaches would have been one big graveyard.

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