Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lethal Legacy Haunts Ministers

A lethal legacy of misguided failures is coming back to haunt New Labour ministers, yet these hapless hypocrites hide behind a shield of accountability, blaming everyone but themselves. Shuffling up and saying sorry to parliament just isn't good enough.

Last week it was a damning report into the scandal of Baby P, this week an equally damning report from health watchdogs on needless deaths at a Staffordshire hospital. 

The arrogant response to both from ministers was to say 'sorry'. Burying their heads in the sand, sweeping it under the carpet, forgetting about the pain, suffering and deaths.

Both Brown and his health secretary, Alan Johnson, were quick to say sorry to parliament today. But not for the sorry state of their misguided and useless policies in the NHS which has left 400 dead. 

Brown apologised for the appalling failings at what has been branded a 'Third World' hospital. Johnson waded in and apologised for the "pain and anguish" caused.

But both steadfastly refused to own up to their  failures and mistakes. 

The deluded prime minister rejected suggestions NHS targets had contributed to the problems, instead blaming it all on "low standards of management."

But the damning report from health watchdogs exposed a bunch of health chiefs obsessed with form-filling and targets, while squirrelling away millions of pounds which could have been spent on helping patients. 

As with the Baby P scandal, when children's secretary, Ed Balls, refused to shoulder any of the blame, ministers can play the blame game and pass the buck on to someone else. 

Yet it is the obsession with form-filling, targets and a hospital more bothered about saving cash for a trust status bid than spending taxpayers' money on patient care, which is at the heart of the problem.

Tuesday's healthcare commission report revealed deficiencies at "virtually every stage" of emergency care and managers pursued targets to the detriment of patient care.

And NHS watchdogs said Staffordshire Hospital put the bid for foundation status ahead of patient care and up to 400 people died needlessly.

The report cited low staffing levels, inadequate nursing, lack of equipment, lack of leadership, poor training and ineffective systems for identifying when things went wrong.

But it's that pursuit of targets and a form-filling culture which are at the heart and that's down to government policy.

Targets and the application for foundation trust status are no excuse for neglecting responsibility to patients' safety but clearly they were.

The catalogue of failings identified by the report is a horrifying indictment of the way targets are placing financial goals ahead of the patient.

Once gain this exposes the target driven culture, where ministers and managers are obsessed with the process rather than the outcome. 

A management process of hospital or child protection administration, rather than putting the patient or the child as the number one priority. 

A process where, if everything looks good on paper, then it must be all right. Where managers spend all their time putting the final touches to some ludicrous trust status bid imposed on them by the very government which now hides away from any responsibility.

Arguing the toss over the rights or wrongs of Blairite New Labour policies and vision is one thing. Letting that get in the way of reality, when people suffer and die as a direct result of those miserable ideals, is a shocking indictment of a blind discredited vision which should be confined to the scrap heap, before any more pointless deaths. 


Oldrightie said...

Your profile says left leaning. If you use aricles as good as these to justifiably attack a Labour Government of failures and cretins, would it not be an idea to lean a little right?

the orange party said...

Oldrightie - I would suggest this is not a 'Labour' government. It is a sham. It's the 'New Labour' brand I find distasteful.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster said...

The Labour party died with John Smith. These cunts don't deserve to live for what they've done to us.