Protect the NHS

Yes, yes, obviously, I know what the slogan is about. Refrain from getting infected so that the NHS isn’t overloaded.

And yet there’s still something more than a little jarring about it. For it can also be read as the NHS is some joyous creation of our civilisation that must be cared for, saved from harm, even at the expense of other things like life and, well, civilisation. That is, it’s being reified rather than treated as what it is, something we’ve created to do stuff for us.

And, you know, if it doesn’t do stuff for us well or efficiently then it should be changed, replaced or abandoned. Exactly the things that a goodly portion of the political commentariat will never allow to happen.

36 thoughts on “Protect the NHS”

  1. What a disgusting hour on LBC last night with Iain Dale. The praise for NHS. It was like listening to fucking cult members.
    They moan and complain about resources and funding, how little there is, and still somehow NHS manages to be the “envy of the world.”
    They don’t envy it in Holland, Czech, Portugal, NZ, Singapore, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, etc. I doubt even in a shithole like Jordan or Egypt they think oh I wish our system was like NHS in England. Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, perhaps if they knew better.

  2. NHS is a pile. More clerks than medics. A 3rd world mob because we don’t train our own.12 billion down the pan on useless computer–the list goes on and on.

  3. Protect the NHS. Don’t come here! Don’t use our services (sic)!

    But hey, it is sacrosanct, a cult, not interested in looking abroad and seeing what works and what doesn’t in other countries and perhaps trying to copy those where it works. Let’s have another layer of middle-management instead and invest (sic) in youth trans therapy.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    Spot on! Watching Boris & Rishi standing in front of those logo’d lecterns every night is giving me a case of the hives…

    Mrs BiND watched the TV news prior to this crises and she’s given up. The constant negativity is bad enough but the harping as well. It doesn’t deserve to be called news.

    As for the press conferences, I gave up after the first few. The “journalists” that have been chosen to represent us still think its Brexit and it is their job to preen and carp-on about how it could be done better and aren’t those foreigners better than us. This would be OK if it was just politicians but they behave as if they’re better qualified than 2 of the top scientists in the country.

  5. I work in a pharmaceutical consultancy and therefore have to work with different countries and their healthcare systems. I often therefore speak to physicians and other workers within each. Absolutely no one envies the NHS. That is not to say that the NHS is terrible – certain things like openness to new ideas and innovation is actually pretty good compared to other systems in Europe. However there are two things I have noticed that rather speak to the heart of the issues in the NHS.

    1. In my company we pay our employees very well but the flip side is we work long hours. The NHS has managed to hire several of our former employees for more money than we pay them for them to work fewer hours than they worked for us. You can imagine how much of the middle management cost bloat is driven by this – paying above market rates for below market outputs.

    2. Never have I heard a (non-physician) NHS worker consider what patients care about. How stark this difference is to other countries was highlighted when I was speaking to a hospital manager in the Netherlands about a potential new technology/service our client was considering developing. His response was “in the Netherlands patients choose the hospital that provides the best care. Therefore if this service improves patient care above what other hospitals can offer then we will buy it”. Imagine if we had some of that attitude in the UK!

  6. Whatever your views of the NHS – and mine is that it is a bizarre secular religion – it is possible to distinguish between the frontline staff and the institution itself. The former particularly deserve our respect and admiration at this difficult time – and that, for many, was what the clapping and cheering at 8pm last night was about.

  7. @Theophratus

    I was genuinely touched at the round of applause I got last night from the neighbours just for taking the bin out.

  8. @Theophratus

    Seriously though, when I heard about the plan I thought “bollocks, no one will do that”

    When I opened the back door at 8 the neighbourhood echoed with applause. I thought it was brilliant.

  9. I went out with the dog at 8 last night, to be met by clapping and cheering. Why? For people just doing their job? If they can’t do that job, because of illness, they go home and still get paid.
    All of my small Cotswold town is utterly dead, apart from Tesco, the Co-op and the chemist. Everybody else is barred from working and earning money. Unlike the NHS employees, these people now have no job and no income.When this fiasco ends, who then will pay for the NHS?
    Clapping and cheering? Fuck off.

  10. What has annoyed me is the constant complaints about how the government isn’t providing the required PPE for NHS staff. Isn’t it the job of the management of any large organisation to ensure that their staff are properly equipped? Aren’t many of the management paid handsomely to do just that?

  11. There’s an interesting article in the Spectator this week by an NHS doctor. Talking about how now there is a sudden real crisis, things that used to take months or even years to approve are happening in days or even hours with several layers of management being written out of the procedures. You’d like to think they would learn from this…

  12. Hospitals cannot function without power, water, food, medicinal and non-medicinal supplies, cleaning, transport, maintenance, etc. The There are lots of non-health essential workers.

  13. Spot on! Watching Boris & Rishi standing in front of those logo’d lecterns every night is giving me a case of the hives…

    Makes you wonder why Pointless was moved to BBC2. They could have just kept the name but show the so-called Corona virus programme instead.

  14. When I opened the back door at 8 the neighbourhood echoed with applause. I thought it was brilliant.

    Next week we applaud the glorious workers of the tractor factories, Comrades.

  15. “I don’t see how they run risks any different from those working in supermarkets.”

    Many NHS staff are in close contact with people who definitely have the virus and the contact is up close and personal. So they are running higher risks than the rest of us – including supermarket staff, all praise to them.

  16. Given how the NHS is the wonder of the world, how many times in the last decade has there been a charidee appeal to raise funds for an American kid to come to UK to have revolutionary treatment. There are enough of the converse and the NHS has previous of arranging the arrest of parents who dare to keep their children alive by getting them treatment abroad.
    Funnily enough the Americans use the NHS death panels as an example of why socialised health care is always inferior to their system.

  17. Of course it’s the government’s fault they don’t have a reserve of ICU beds. Like if the gov’t gave the NHS more money that’s what they would spend it on. Not more wages, fancy computers and common purpose policies at all.

  18. You need to visit the hairdresser Theo–your BluLabour roots are showing through.

    Yes the minority of NHS staff not in admin does take a risk of catching something–and in the case of Flu+-that might be fatal–because despite legions of medical hacks around the world we do not know much more about how to stop virii doing their thing than Louis Pasteur did.

    Fucking silly clapping does not cut it.

    Massive and real reforms carried out ruthlessly might. But while Blojo thinks he can get away with tinpot tyranny he lacks the balls to take on a corrupt national 3 letter fantasy.

    BluLabour for you innit? A fucking rabble.

  19. Not more wages, fancy computers and common purpose policies at all.

    Reminds me of the last time I was in an NHS hospital and they had prominent posters advertising the dangers of smoking, right next to equally prominent posters advertising the splendours of homosexuality.

    Personally, Steve thinks grown men should be free to suck on fags and/or cocks as their tastes dictate, but neither are good for you from a medical pointless view.

    When this fiasco ends, who then will pay for the NHS?

    Candidly, if we all worked for the NHS we’d have no unemployment and everyone would get rich fixing everyone else’s boo-boos.

  20. “Don’t y’all get sick now, ya hee-uh.”

    Government as jerks. Government takes control of health care, then tells you not to get sick. As Tim and others say, the focus is on the institution, not the patients.

    Government pushed others out of the way to take control, then complains about all their responsibilities. Jerks.

  21. I’m increasingly convinced that the main reason for this shutdown of the nation was to ensure that the sainted NHS wasn’t made to look bad by completely fucking up dealing with a few thousand unexpected cases of flu.

  22. Also, yunno, protect the entire public sector. AFAIK, although great chunks of the public sector have been closed (I know, how do we know the difference?) same as the rest of us, there is no suggestion its employees cease drawing their salaries.

    A more perfect illustration of the social democratic paradigm I cannot imagine: we who are not of the public sector are banned from working but must continue to pay the salaries of the public sector which is also banned from working.

  23. is NHS laying off non-essential staff? If projects are on hold or even slowed down are they laying off consultants/contractors?
    My guess would be that as their funding is still there and budgeted for they will keep on paying them, same for govt. as a whole, they aren’t likely to be looking at cost savings during the crisis and will just keep going with non-essential work will asking for more money for crisis response instead of reallocation of resources

  24. Jim. “I’m increasingly convinced that the main reason for this shutdown of the nation was to ensure that the sainted NHS wasn’t made to look bad by completely fucking up dealing with a few thousand unexpected cases of flu.”

    Not even unexpected really, so far it doesn’t look different to any other flu season.

  25. I have been waiting for my GRC appointment or at the very least my HRT referral, the GP have already neglected to inform me 1 year and half ago when I put in for my referral for GRC that my HRT referral could have been made in a few months. Now a year and half later the GP decides to tell me they can refer me for HRT and clearly haven’t done that either.

    NHS do NOT care about patients, I have been left to self medicate since I was 16-17 with no help from GP’s. They won’t do anything for us, and are using coronavirus as a delay to cause more trans suicide, I will be dead soon after writing this, and wish others in my situation good luck.


  26. The NHS have been neglected mental health and LGBT patients for well over 3 years now. Covid is just a cover up for negligence, ignorance and outright incompetence. They leave someone who’s been bleeding for 5 days through self harming due to no help to fend for themselves for over 6 months without a GP, prior to this ignore patience requests and insult them on the phone with misuse of pronouns ontop of not doing anything. I’m getting what I need from in-house at the expense of only having a couple 10’s to throw around every month.

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