Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Joined-up Thinking

Governments just love to talk of  joined-up thinking, but I have yet to see any. Government Departments are solely concerned with their own activities and spending their budget on their own pet projects. They have no interest whatsoever in how their actions might affect another Department, or indeed anyone else, as long as they can do what they want.

The Daily Telegraph reports today that doctors are warning that "Bed-Blocking" in NHS hospitals has reached the state that if the trend continues over 100,000 of the available 170.000 NHS bed will be filled with people who are well enough to go into residential care. Last month alone, there were 4,600 "delayed discharges", meaning that a similar number of patients awaiting treatment had to wait that much longer. The reason seems quite clear; Local councils, who have the responsibility for providing residential nursing care have cut back their budgets. The coalition has in fact pledged extra funds to local authorities for such care to the extent of £2 billion over the next four years, but it is not "protected" and the councils are free to use it for any purpose within their remit and are doing so.
The result is that the councils are getting the budget (and no doubt using it to employ more diversity officers, racial/female equality enforcers and the like) whilst leaving the NHS with the cost of coping with these elderly patients. These councils simply don't care how their actions affect other arms of government, it's the old trade union "I'm all right, Jack" in a new disguise.

The local councils are clearly misusing funds provided for a specific purpose and this is effectively fraud against the government and hence the taxpayers, and should be of concern to all, young as well as old, as none of us can foresee what might happen in our sunset years.

Although there is no direct evidence, it seems  that the delay in getting British Citizens out of Libya was probably the result of similar budgetary squabbles, no doubt with the Foreign Office arguing that it was MoD's responsibility and vice versa. Probably the failed aircraft on the runway at Gatwick was as a result of them going to the cheapest tenderer (It wouldn't be MoD, they go to the dearest!). After all, the Foreign Office needs to guard its budget so that it can continue to fly officials, first class, to essential conferences in exotic locations.

Joined-up Thinking - You are joking!

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