Saturday, 13 April 2013

Ding Dong!

As the old Russian saying goes; “A lie is three times around the world before truth has got his boots on”.

The truth about Leeds General Infirmary’s Childrens Cardiac Unit finally slipped out. Its mortality rates are “not unacceptable” and certainly not twice the acceptable level as was stated more than once.

Over the last three years there were occasions when the rates came close to being “unacceptable”, as they did at Alder Hey and Guys Hospitals.

I guess those three units are in line for closure – it’s as near as the patients will get to knowing what is going on.

The lessons from this?

Some people who should know better misled us.

When it comes down to jobs, careers and money, Doctors don’t always behave very well.

There is no planning – not for little kids heart problems or for anything else. If there was planning then we would be looking at maps, population projections, demand for services and then we would find suitable locations for the services a country needs.

Instead we have an artificial ‘market’, which means some hospitals and services are swamped with patients while others are desperate for work.

That means quality of treatment varies depending on where you live and how pushy you are.  

The result of all the ‘competition’?

It’s chaos out there.

No one comes out of it very well.


Meanwhile, the number three in the pop chart and number one on i-tunes is;


Ding Dong! The Witch is dead.

Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!

Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.

Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes,

get out of bed

Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead.

She's gone where the goblins go,

Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.

Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.

Let them know

The Wicked Witch is dead!


The BBC won’t play it except in censored (5 seconds only – since when did the Wizard of Oz become subversive?) report form while Capital Radio is deciding, but on past form is likely to ban it too. It’s the Sex Pistols all over again.

This evening there is a protest at Trafalger Square – I should be there but I have to look after someone and can’t make it.

This is an upswell of protest about the ‘legacy’ of Margaret Thatcher.

From 1979 onwards, the NHS (like many other things) was deliberately starved of much needed investment, and that’s reflected in today’s shabby and inadequate buildings and in some attitudes to match.

It was a policy of deliberate neglect and it created a generation which began to think about the NHS in a neglectful way.

Its why there are staff and patients who just don’t care.

The Blair and Brown years failed to resolve this, even though large amounts were spent, they were spent on the wrong things – because of the attitudes that the wicked witch gave us.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till  you drop production)

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