It’s a Bank Holiday and I would’t normally intrude into your inbox.
But… as it turns out, I'd guess a lot of you will be working.
Sometimes we transition into a new year bringing the best of the past into a future, full of optimism.
Other times we segue, taking what’s happened and repackaging what we know, into something new.
Other years we will have made a full-stop, a promise and a resolution.
This year we are lurching into a year where we have no idea what’s happening, no idea what we are supposed to be doing.
A year that has started with a leaked memo from a prominent hospital to every member of staff;
‘An internal critical incident was declared across the Trust late yesterday and continues into today, due to extreme and unprecedented workforce shortages meaning that we are unable to maintain safe staffing levels.
An internal critical incident was declared on Saturday night due to compromised staffing levels across multiple areas at xxx and xxx hospital, combined with pressure on our urgent care pathway.
The rapid increase in staff absent because of sickness is the largest factor in this deterioration in staffing levels, although reduced bank and agency fill is also a factor.
We are urgently appealing for both clinical and non-clinical staff to come forward and support our services over the next 72 hours.
To volunteer any hours, please contact…
All non-urgent meetings should be stood down for the next week, to free up capacity for clinical support.’
In other words, we've run out of staff, the place isn’t safe and the NHS is over the edge.
The whole of the NHS?
Pretty much. My contacts throughout the service are all saying the same.
I don’t care what the DH Press office say and I’m sorry to say it, but I no longer care what blush Captain Mainwaring wants to use to polish his endless Twitter trails.
As far as I can see and hear, the NHS has pretty much had it.
Another week of this and it will fold. Relatives will be working on the wards, bringing in meals and taking the laundry home .
Why is this happening? Simples…
Bojo no longer runs the government. Brexit hard-man, Steve Baker is in charge. He organised BoJo’s recent defeat in Parliament.
An evangelical christian who believes we should return the economy to the gold-standard.
He decides what happens to our families, our friends and our colleagues.
If yer-granny is parked in a tent and she’s sent home with the help of the Red Cross… it is not the third world… that’s the state Johnson has got the NHS into.
Why are they doing it? You have to take a step back…
The principle consideration is the economy. Two factors have damaged it. The first is Brexit and the second is the management of Covid.
Political strategists now have their eyes on the next election.
How to persuade the electorate that the Conservative Party have managed both issues well?
The only way to do that is to demonstrate economic growth. To generate growth, the economy has to be left open… at all costs.
Our growth numbers must be better than the EU, whatever it takes.
The thinking goes; the longer Germany and France and Spain and Italy and the others are locked down, the better for us.
It is true, Omicron is less veracious than its cousins but is more pervasive. Thus, if a small percent of Omicron victims end up in hospital… a small percent of a big number is still big number. The NHS cannot cope now. It’s obvious.
This level of infection is incredibly disruptive for all industries and downright dangerous in healthcare.
Elective procedures are being cancelled. Waiting lists will, surely top eight million and possibly ten. The cost is unimaginable, money and lives.
A simple hip replacement that might have cost £5,000 will now have extra costs, created by delay;
home support services,
repeated outpatient referrals,
meals on wheels,
home bathing and...
...suddenly five thousand becomes eight, or ten…
…except most of that is provided by social care…
... and there isn’t any…
… and yer-granny dies waiting.
If the NHS had a leader, if the NHS had a chief nurse, if the NHS had a medical director, if the NHS had a board of directors, if the NHS was properly represented, if patients had a voice, if staff could tell what is really happening, if there was an effective opposition in Parliament… they would all face-down this hopeless rag-bag, of a rotten government.
There is no mystery to this, the decimation of the NHS is Baker's price with paying.