What's Going On Inside Britain's National Health Service?

What's Going On Inside Britain's National Health Service?

I have to declare my position before you start reading this: I think the UK’s National Health Service is pretty awful. My experiences with it over my 27 years on this planet have been less than ideal, and it is with this in mind that I ask the question: “What is going on in our National Health Service?”

Don’t get me wrong, there obviously has to be some way to protect the “most vulnerable” in society, as Ed Miliband might put it, using the most provocatively emotional language he can to back up his idea that everyone and anyone should be offered “free” healthcare, with the “free” part in reality ripped from your pay cheque every month without your permission. 

*Deep breath*

I get into a lot of discussions with conservatives and pinkos alike wherein we debate the merits of Britain’s National Health Service. While I can acknowledge that on a day-to-day basis many lives are saved – I stand by the fact that I truly believe the harm being done for the benefit of the system, and within the system, are not commensurate with the benefits it offers to Britain. Call me crazy.

A cursory glance at some court hearings from today alone makes me terrified of ever stepping into an NHS hospital again. Here are just some of the incidents reported on in the UK today: 

1. A nurse has admitted sexually harassing a patient, and got off with a caution:

Perry Boss admitted to telling a student he would “stick my dick in your ear and fuck some sense into you” at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where Jimmy Savile allegedly “targeted dozens of victims”. Boss said there was a “sexually inappropriate culture” at the hospital. (No shit!) 

But don’t worry, he got off today with a caution. Plus ça change

2. A surgeon from Glasgow exposed himself to a female 

Apparently this took place on a bus, but it begs the question as to what kind of people we’re allowing to work within the NHS. Dr Ihab Anwar apparently “placed a blanket over his privates and began to rub himself against the passenger” on an overnight bus. “The woman tried to move away from the medic, but as she did so the cover slipped down and she caught a glimpse of his penis”.

3. A nurse ‘terrorised’ elderly patients at Lincoln County Hospital:

Penelope Chafik reportedly routinely called patients ‘stupid’ and “barked at once mentally ill woman” to “engage her brain” after the patient soiled her bed. Chafik also “terrorised” an elderly man after he pressed his alert buzzer because he thought he was dying. 

Seems like a good bedside manner, doesn’t it?

4. A cardiac surgeon known for spreading infections claimed his patients shouldn’t know his history:

John Chen Lui Lu claims that “if he was forced to disclose his past to patients, it would render ‘his return to any meaningful practice as a cardiac surgeon impossible'”. Seems to me that perhaps his practice should be rendered impossible, since his past history of spreading infections led to the deaths of five hospital patients. 

The incidents occured at Nottingham University NHS Trust between 2008 and 2010. A coroner found that Mr Lu’s “habit of swapping gloves during operations” led to the deaths.

5. A nurse flashed a teenage boy at a children’s hospice:

A senior nurse flashed her breasts at a teenage boy recovering from a tracheotomy at Brian House Children’s Hospice in Bisham, Blackpool. The boy was obviously unable to speak or call for help after the surgery. Truly bizarre. Perhaps she watched too much Scrubs?

(Ok, so this didn’t happen in an NHS hospice, but the hospice gets £2.5m of NHS money a year, which accounts for over a third of its total funding. It is also regulated by the government-funded Care Quality Commission).

6. A nurse dragged a patient along the floor by her arms after a row:

A nurse failed to properly address a patient, and instead restrained her and dragged her 15 feet along the floor back to her room after she demanded a cigarette from him. The Nursing and Midwife Council today heard that David Miller was “charged at” by a patient at Cross Lane Hospital in Scarborough, but instead of trying to calm her down or ringing his emergency alarm for help, he took matters into his own hands. He has now been suspended for nine months.

7. And at a private hospital, a nurse was struck off for pretending her dad was dead:

Laura Kane pretended that her father had died so she could get three weeks off work from a private hospital in North London. So in the NHS you can expose yourself to children, sexually harass people, drag mental patients across the floor, and be guilty of causing death through bad habits. But when you lie about your dead dad and bunk off work in the private sector, you’re immediately sacked.