A letter a day to number 10. No 997
Wednesday 11 February 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
How astonishing! The National Health Service (NHS) has had to put aside £26.1 billion, almost a quarter of the annual health budget, to cover legal claims involving medical negligence. The Litigation Authority has revealed that 11,945 lawsuits were filed against the British healthcare service over 2013-2014, compared with 6,562 in 2009-10. That is nearly a 100% rise with the NHS suffering the longest period of funding restrictions in its 66-year history, ‘resulting in the layoff of over 7,000 NHS clinical staff members, including doctors and nurses’.
This, I hasten to add, is on your watch with the NHS first under Andrew (NHS bill train wreck) Lansley and now Jeremy (de-nationalise the NHS) Hunt. You might just as well have sent in a wrecking crew. Oh, you did!
And what are Hunts plans to deal with this unmitigated, unholy, mess? He is expected to present new plans to fine hospitals up to £100,000 which are dishonest about their medical mistakes. I am not sure why hospitals would do such a thing other than because of the acute pressure they are under precisely because of Lansley and Hunt. Perhaps they feared yet more punitive action if the extent of their troubles were made known, after all, you Tories do love a good cover up.
Fining hospitals that are already cut to the bone makes perfect Tory sense I suppose, further destabilising the NHS and paving the way for yet more siphoning of public funds into private hands and, of course, the many MPs with financial interests in health care.
As ever, the people who should be held accountable, fined and sanctioned are you and your government. It is not a case of whether we can afford the NHS, the real issue is that we and our NHS cannot afford you. You are driving us and our national services into the ground and then blaming and penalising us when we make a mess when we hit the dirt. Never in the history of this nation has so much been owed to so many by so few and future generations will surely wonder how so few could steal so much from so many.