It’s nice to be back (and to finally take these naff fairy lights off the top of the blog). Just a wee short post today to get me back into the swing of things. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. During my break I didn’t bother checking the comments facility which meant that a few relevant ones weren’t posted so apologies for that. Normally it’s only the stuff about Asian brides and fake designer handbags, neither of which are any use to me, that go straight to spam. One was quite interesting though, and has taken the blog off in a different direction to that originally intended:
“Anyone that pretends that the NHS gives anything like the care suitable for a modern western state is an idiot.” Oh well, my 4 years at college for my electronics degree were actually wasted – I was an idiot all along. Hmmm…
I had a nice early wee Christmas present in the shape of a phone call the Friday before from the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank to say that they’d had a cancellation for the 27th which I was welcome to fill for a minor op on my wrist. Since I was travelling outwith the NHS Lothian area they even gave me a form for travel expenses! I binned that of course. Nurses bringing me cups of coffee and making sure I was all right, porters wheeling me to and fro, and a full theatre staff to perform the procedure… I’m hardly going to thank them by handing them a bill for £56. I know it’s obviously budgeted for but maybe elsewhere that’ll put a stookie on some bairn’s ankle. One thing I’ll believe until my dying day: if it costs £56 to fit a plaster cast on someone, no greedy bstrd should ever get £120 for doing it.
One of the nurses said to me, “Nobody ever hears about the good work.” She’s right of course and the North Briton are at it this morning: “Patients waiting for 12 hours in Scotland’s A&E crisis” screams the webpage, designed to have us all thinking that the Scottish NHS is at breaking point with the subliminal message that we obviously can’t run it ourselves. Of course when you actually read the article it becomes clear that there’s “exceptional pressure” on the service because of the norovirus but that wouldn’t lend itself to a very good headline. “Frontline staff battling bravely against unprecedented epidemic.” Nah – just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
There was another good one on the EBC: “NHS Scotland facing equal pay timebomb”. Naturally this caused great consternation and fake outrage amongst opposition MSP’s who were only too glad to pick up the stick they were offered and start bashing the Scottish Government with it. Anyone reading the headline would think that the NHS was facing a financial crisis brought about by incompetent management. However, anyone actually reading the article would see that the vast majority of these equal pay claim cases are unlikely to succeed and even if they were successful the liability would be limited to a 6-month period back in 2004! I wonder who was in power back then? “Labour’s Legacy of Incompetence” – I doubt such a headline would make it past the editor somehow.
When you look at the sheer scale of the NHS operation it’s quite amazing it works as well as it does. Let’s make a wee comparison… in the summer of 2012 a computer glitch in one of the UK’s major banks crippled its network and left around 100,000 of their 1.9 million customers unable to access their cash for over 14 days. What would have been the result of an equivalent crisis in the NHS? You shudder to think.
Things do go wrong of course and are gleefully leapt on by the press and the opposition parties. I can only speak from my own experience though and my argument is that it’s a miracle that we don’t have more crises when you consider the size of the organisation. When my good lady spent a week in hospital, whenever a patient left the ward the sheets were immediately stripped off the bed and the whole frame disinfected. You never hear about that though and how often it happens every single day. You never hear about the teams of selfless individuals that have dedicated their lives to making sure you and me can live ours in greater comfort.
We must protect this precious gem from all the ramifications of a No vote. The thought of what the blue or red “you plebs can’t expect something for nothing” crowd might do to our NHS is enough to make you sick.
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