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, 28 March 2013

A Dangerous Weekend for NHS Patients

After the Christmas/New Year break, the Easter break is one of the most dangerous times of the year for anyone who is suddenly taken ill, and of course this applies particularly to us oldies who are prone to possible strokes or heart attacks.
From this afternoon until sometime Tuesday morning, the NHS will virtually cease to exist for emergencies. Indeed, the holiday started today, as our surgery was not booking patients for blood tests as the laboratories will be closed by the time that the samples arrive.
If you are taken ill over the next few days and need to be admitted to hospital, you are only likely to get basic care. The chance of getting an X-ray or a scan of any type is minimal, even if a radiologist was available, there is little chance of a specialist also being available to interpret the results. That is, of course, if you were lucky enough to get to that point; with normal waiting times in  A&E of something like 4 hours, your chances of survival get slimmer by the minute.

I have previously mentioned that I used to work in the aviation industry where the majority of those employed from cleaners, baggage handlers, check-in staff right through to air traffic controllers, engineers and of course air-crew all had to work shifts throughout the whole year. Thinking of taking leave at Easter - you must be joking!

Yet looked at objectively, it is far less important to have aircraft flying over the Easter weekend than it is to have fully staffed hospitals. Whilst many people would be angry, it is unlikely that anyone would die if all flights were discontinued for the four day break, yet it is a statistically proven fact that the number of emergency NHS patients dying over this weekend is likely to be about double that which would normally be expected.

But then the airlines have to serve the customer to remain in existence, whereas when it comes to the NHS, there are far to many individuals and unions who are only intent on serving their own private interests. There is something seriously wrong when a non-essential service can be provided by a largely private industry, but an essential service like the NHS, provided by the state, fails to meet even their customers' basic needs and can allow people to die unnecessarily.

The NHS has had about 65 years to get organised and provide a proper service, which is surely more than enough time. It is time for drastic action, not just the re-shuffling of the management structure being carried out by this government.


  1. The most dangerous times to be ill in hospital used to be the two times in the year when doctors changed their jobs and you got complete greenhorns - doing their best - but quite ignorant.

  2. This has been going on up here for years EP. Basic care is all you get over weekends and public holidays.