‘Dark clouds’

Like drawing forth recalcitrant eye teeth out of a particularly awkward and halitotic gub ,with rusty pliers, the BBC grudgingly (you could sense it pained them to do so) have reported, on their online news page, a paper by the health charity, the Nuffield Trust. This report suggests that the health services of the other component countries of the current eeksy peeksy, we ‘re all in it together, partnership (except that is if you are Northern Irish and are required to be bribed to keep the Tories in power) known as the United Kingdom could learn a thing or two from Scotland’s NHS.

In a report entitled ‘Learning from Scotland ‘s NHS’ the Trust highlighted the benefits Scotland has gained in sticking with a plan, a unique system for improving the quality and safety of patient care, instead of “chopping and changing” every few years, as other health authorities have.

The report also noted that better ways of working are tested on a small scale in Scotland, where they can be changed quickly if necessary, before being rolled out, and pioneering Scottish initiatives, like the use of video links for outpatient care in remote areas, to tackle Scotland’s geographical challenges, concluding that such systems should be considered in other parts of the UK facing similar issues.

Shona Robison, the Scottish government Health Secretary is obviously chuffed at this, and responded stating that the Scottish NHS patient safety programme has led to 20,000 fewer deaths, the lowest recorded levels of healthcare associated infections and significant improvement in sepsis and surgical mortality.

Well done Scotland’s NHS and those thousands of committed health professionals, dare I say it, some of them EU citizens, who work extremely hard, with diligence, with resourcefulness, and with a clear focus, because they care about their fellow human beings. It’s a vocation as well as a career for them. To put it aptly, gawn yerselves!

Oh! Hang on. There’s a catch. I knew it was too good to be true. Wait for it. The real focus of the BBC report, the ‘But’.

The study also warned that Scotland’s strengths could be undermined by a “dark cloud” ( mentioned twice) of financial pressures, and that the country’s “polarised politics” could make it hard to make difficult decisions.

There we go then. In other words, Scotland is outperforming the rest of the UK in most of the key performance indicators and standards set for health care, often by a significant margin, but see Scotland, see handling money, see that SNP and their wacky policies about spending public money on the public despite getting the financial rug slowly pulled out from under them on an annual basis by Big Sister. Where did they get the idea that this was what public money was for? The BBC at its best. The positive becomes a negative.

No, let’s get back to the good old days, we’re obviously far too wee, too poor and too stupid to look after our own governance or the health services of our people. Let’s get back to the halcyon days when London Labour’s northern branch used to go into partnerships with the private sector and use public money to build public buildings that fell down ten years later, when they’d hardly started paying back the interest on the exorbitant loans they’d taken out to pay the builders. That’s clearly the way to go. Or alternatively, hand the keys of the Accident and Emergency Department to the media’s darling. Colonel Ruthie, Queen of Scots, seeing as she won the General Election in Scotland by a clear margin of minus 22.

When you add the BBC report to the hysteria in tomorrow’s chip wrappers, en masse, it seems the Scottish NHS must surely collapse into a pit of molten lava sometime around teatime today. Don’t believe the hype.

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