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Hospital Visit......well I never!!!!!

So went for my Xray yesterday and of course totally forgot there was the doctors strike on.  So there was I feeling pleased, because on my three other visits to this Xray dept it took an age and was annoying how they could take so long doing so few people, when I overheard one of the other people there talking about the strike.  So when I saw the nurse again to tell me the xrays were ok, who had done the work, I remarked how much faster it had gone to which she beamed and said "It does go a lot more efficiently without the junior doctors getting in the way doesn't it", guess that says it all then!!!!!

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You've been treated as an emergency by the people who usually manage the junior Drs.  These guys who are on strike and supported by the consultants who dealt with you can be working 80 hour weeks including right through every other weekend.  They are saying they're not safe to work the extra hours on top of that the government is demanding.  This is a really cynical attack on the NHS in England to soften it up further for the mostly US companies that half the cabinet has been "advising" on how to bid for NHS contracts.  They know if they smash the doctors, they can make all the other NHS workers take flat rate money for working out of hours shifts.  The NHS is run on staff goodwill now.  Once that is smashed you will be praying for a junior doctor or any doctor to get in your way in hospital.  Or, of course, you can just go private like the government and their families do.  Then it is not your problem.  Oh hold on, where will 'your' doctors and nurses learn their jobs?  


Hi Venusflytrap, thanks for your reply.

   Firstly, my post was tongue in cheek, not a criticism of junior doctors, just my surprise that on the strike day at getting my xray done so quickly and the nurse's reply to me likewise was equally a tongue in cheek reply.  Sorry you took it as a personal attack on the junior doctors.  I take it you are personally involved in the strike in some way.  I and others might be interested in where you got these facts from especially the facts about the gov trying to introduce US interests into the NHS, I for one haven't heard of this anywhere in the press.  Perhaps next time I'll be a little less subtle with my sense of humour, I prefer to take a humorous approach on life and what it gives us all, still apologies to anyone else out there if I upset you....

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This article is a couple of months old and sums up some of the worries on privatisation.



To cliffhilton1969

Sorry it just pressed my buttons as I read it immediately after the coverage of the strike.  I did check your post quite carefully for irony.  And apologise for missing it.    

I used to work in the NHS before I retired.  Although not in a clinical capacity.  So that is my interest declared.  Have a look at the current Minister for Health's previously declared consultancies.  They do include a company that would be in line for bidding for privatised sections of the NHS.  I think he may even have written a book about it!    I am going from memory here, and my memory isn't brilliant any more.  Not sure apart from wading though Hansard etc where I could check this info.  Found it: 


 In England, parts of the current NHS have been hived off to become public entities outside the NHS, this is a first step in any privatisation process.   Because this has happened, these organisations now have to pay VAT on supplies which the NHS was exempt from.  So their supplies are now costing them 20% more than they used to from inside the same budget.  This means that they can't always afford what they would want to deliver care to individual patients optimally.     

Whenever any part of the NHS is privatised or separated out, one of the first steps they take is to manage down the wage bill.  This is usually done by reducing staffing levels, pay, holidays, sick leave, pensions etc.  With clinical staff, it results in people leaving as soon as they can and reduces recruitment.  At the very least this skews the balance within the workforce as the experienced leave and can only be replaced by those trapped by family circumstances or the recently qualified.  Not a recipe for the optimal workforce.  At its worst it leaves significant vacancies.  These factors do tend to reduce the quality of the service, in spite of people's best efforts.  

Fractioning the purchaser and provider setups and links results in all kinds of wasteful use of staff too.  Especially in community settings.  As clinicians are asked to deliver across several geographical areas separately and cannot make sensible use of their time or their journeys.  

There is a major problem with attacking the junior doctors.  The  expensively trained clinicians in all our health professions are operating within a world market for health care workers.  As the newly qualified medics, ie those starting to be junior doctors, now view themselves as citizens of the world, we are seeing a significant percentage moving abroad at that point in their career.  We don't know yet, but they do not seem to be coming back.  Because of the pressures of working in the NHS, probably the most efficient public health care delivery service in the world, with its 95%+ occupancy rates etc, we are no longer attracting the number of medics we used to from overseas.  This is leaving gaps in areas already.  I cannot imagine that making conditions of employment worse in the UK is going to fill these vacancies, but rather increase the gaps.  Everyone currently working in the NHS is very aware that if the junior doctors lose this fight, they will be in the firing line next.  This could be why there is so much support from their colleagues, including the consultants and teams covering for them.  

It is interesting that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where the NHS is managed by the devolved governments, are not participating in this fight.  And are avoiding any steps towards privatisation.  They have even brought back in house most of the contracted out arrangements that they inherited.  Finding that they get a better performance for less money by doing so.  

This attack is nothing to do with running the NHS better or more efficiently and all about setting it up for increased privatisation.  At the very least, it is an ideological attack designed to make us all think we would be better off paying for our healthcare via private individualised insurance by introducing even more rationing to the current system.  

Sorry to go on so long, but you did ask.  And I should declare another interest.  I am an increasingly elderly user of the NHS.  I just want it to be there when I need it.  



Hi Venus, thanks for the reply.

So that's what all this is about, I honestly didn't know any of that so a big big thankyou.  I guess my humour produced something worthwhile even if it was badly written and ill thought out humour.  I have to say, that I too have an interest, my cousin was a nurse and then he got a job with a company supplying the NHS, which is own by some Nigerians (I think).  What I couldn't understand was why he a nurse was suddenly getting paid large amounts of money for whatever he does, I assumed he was good at his new job, but I have always been suspicious about what exacvtly his company actually does.  Anyway now I will take a bit more notice of what's going on.  By the way are you saying that after spending up to 10 years training as a doctor paid for by the NHS (ie us), a newly qualified junior doctor can just walk away and go abroad without giving back to the system that paid to train them, not sure that sounds fair.

By the way, I too am getting on and need the NHS more and more, probably gonner need a new hip soon, so I will try to be a bit more informed.  But just in case, to anyone out there reading my drivel it's not mean't to be taken seriously, just my warped sense of humour and blinkered view of life...

CH :)


Have just read that article by Frankie Boyle in the Guardian, "WOW" what an unbiased and so even argued article, it totally inspired me to become an ardent fan of all Frankie Boyle's work (just in case you are wondering that was me being ironic).  In fact the way he just used the fact that Jeremy Hunt was an upper class person to heap bile and vitriol on Hunt's whole life want's me to have one of Frankies babies.

Sorry I don't think so, but I'm sure his character assassination was appreciated by many.  Me I prefer intelligent argument with straight facts, preferably put in simple, clear and concise language, but I suppose that's old fashioned these days, what with the infantile and purile attitude of the press and worse still by most of the politicians, I for one have become cynical of most of what I hear on the TV and read in the press, hence my attempt at humour (even if I'm limited talent wise when writing a post).

Sorry mister Boyle, I will use your article where it can be most useful, wiping my a**e...

CH :)


Glad I didn't offend you, cliffhilton1969.  By jumping on your first post so hard.  But I have been around the NHS for more than 30 years.  And have seen all these mad ideas politicians come up with fail over and over again.  Just hoping I'm seeing this again!  That the politicians fail this time too.  Have a good bank holiday Monday.  

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