Feeling rather low on Christmas cheer I was glad to come across the blogpost below. In this excellent piece the author managed to express, much better than I would have been able, what is wrong with this Christmas record.
I spent most of my working life in the service of the NHS trying to help the elderly and the mentally ill. In the latter half of my time, I realised that the NHS was no longer delivering healthcare well and outcomes were falling below that of of other comparable European countries. In particular it seemed to be failing the elderly and those with chronic conditions.
Unfortunately attempts to look at alternative ways of working and organizing were rarely pursued as any discussion was held to be breaking a taboo – the taboo that the NHS is wonderful, and provides excellent and comprehensive care. When this was questioned, even gently, we were warned that any attempt to change matters would result in patients dying in the gutters destitute after paying for healthcare and the elderly and infirm kicked out of their homes, as we presume happens elsewhere.
As I travelled widely and saw other healthcare systems in Europe I realised that we could learn from our colleagues there. But a closed mind is a barrier to education. We cover our eyes to the failings of the NHS and lay the blame on inadequate funding when alternative systems spend similar amounts and produce better outcomes. Now it seems we can also close our ears to any doubts and sing along to the company tune – The NHS is great, our saviour in times of need, pure in word and deed, only those with black hearts fail to see the Glory.