Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gale's View - Ask Nanny

In his first Gale’s View after deciding to suspend his column in the Isle of Thanet Gazumph, Roger Gale takes a hard look at the shambles being managed by our nation’s very own” Nanny.”

Prime Minister Blair has, we are told, taken personal charge of the Health Service.  Not quite enough charge to personally face the nurses, of course but enough charge to be held responsible for the financial shambles that the "Nation's  Nanny", Patricia Hewitt, has allowed to evolve.

So perhaps Mr. Blair would like to come to East Kent and to visit Fordwich Ward at the QEQM hospital in Margate.  He will find that it is shut.

Fordwich Ward began life as the Hatfield Ward, taking the hospital’s private patients until the opening of the new Spencer Wing at the end of the last(20th) century.  It was then transformed into a fourteen-bedded short-term surgical ward operating for five days a week as Fordwich Ward.

In August 2004 the ward** was closed, fully refurbished and extended to take24 beds and re- opened for business on a seven-day a week basis in January 2005.  A dedicated team of  more than 20 nursing staff was built up and ran the surgical ward until December 2005 when an overnight switch was made to create a medical ward to respond to the "Winter Crisis" that did not happen.

Medical wards take mainly elderly and longer stay patients  Surgical wards tend to take younger, fitter  patients who attend for operations, recover and leave.  It is, therefore, easier to switch from surgical to medical treatment than to reverse the process.

Nevertheless, it was expected by nursing staff  and patients that Fordwich would revert to the surgical use for which it was designed on 3rd April.

A Government funding cut of £20 million, not bad management as has been suggested, precipitated the planned closure of the ward at the end of May.

The ward was in fact shut when a toaster caught fire on 10th April and it has not re-opened.

As a result of this closure “outlyers" - patients for whom there are now no beds on specialist wards -  are having to be regularly  accommodated and last week nine extra beds, for which there are no curtains and no privacy, were being crammed onto other wards.

And all this while Fordwich lies shut through lack of funds.

The dedicated Fordwich nursing staff are, I understand, now peripatetic.
They turn up each day (or night) not knowing where they are going to work or what kind of services they are to be required to provide.  Nurses are trained to do, and will do, whatever nursing tasks are demanded of them but patient-contact and relationships and job-satisfaction matter and, for these people, no longer exist.

Are you proud of this "best year ever" Mr. Blair?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course he is. This lot,having shown that sleaze, fiddling and bonking juniors is a requirement to be a minister of the crown, now actually believe their own propoganda ( a much better word than spin). Deluded meglomania rules!

Anonymous said...

anon again!

I believe it is called 'corruption'

Same as the Electricity/Gas/Water boards holding us all to ransom, due to their MIS-mangement of funds. Thus 'creaming off' the profit, before adequate supplies at a cheaper price are organised.
These profit's could easily 'help' the unhealthy 'health service'.

Anonymous said...

Gale in his usual way cannot make a point without being gratuitously offensive. If he has a serious view to offer about the health service he could and should make it without cheap and personal "nanny" cracks. And for a veteran of the Thatcher years of vicious and misguided government to offer any criticism of the present administration over health care is an absurdity.

As for the earlier comment about sleaze and fiddling, that is one thing at which the Tories do excel. Let us not forget that one of their local crooks - Aitken - was sent to prison for his activities.

Old Codger said...

Anon of 10.00pm, you are beginning to worry me. You seem trapped in a time warp "18 years of tory misrule, 18 years of tory misrule...... Your labour Govt has had 9 years and the first 7 years were spent implementing Tory policies! I wonder if you can remember Mr harold Wilson's nasal mantra " 13 years of Tory misrule; 13 years of Tory misrule......" Why do all Labour Govts spend their time in charge chanting "x years of Tory misrule" instead of running this country properly?

Old Codger said...

Anon of 10.00pm, you are beginning to worry me. You seem trapped in a time warp "18 years of tory misrule, 18 years of tory misrule...... Your labour Govt has had 9 years and the first 7 years were spent implementing Tory policies! I wonder if you can remember Mr harold Wilson's nasal mantra " 13 years of Tory misrule; 13 years of Tory misrule......" Why do all Labour Govts spend their time in charge chanting "x years of Tory misrule" instead of running this country properly?

Anonymous said...

It is obvious, Old Codger, that you are a strong Tory supporter, which you are perfectly entitled to be. The fact that this blinds you to the hypocrisy of people like Gale, and you ignore the criminal offences of people like Aitken is a bit different; it is sad.

Old Codger said...

You might be surprised if i told you I voted in 1997 for labour because the Tories had arrogantly introduced a poll tax without consideration for the ability to pay; my wife was a housewife bringing up our 4 children with no personal income and yet she had a bill! Whilst Tony & co were running this country on sound lines I supported them! No longer I'm afraid. The difference between you and i may be one of bigotry. I have started to support Roger Gale,NOT because he is a Tory but because he is a superb local MP and in his personal approach to peoples problems lives the Christian message about "love your neighbour as yourself". A number of years ago he helped me find a home for a down and out, ex prisoner of 17 years of age; that home for 5 weeks was his own! Roger Gale is no hypocrite but a bl***y excellent MP for ALL his constituents no matter what their background or political allegiance. I'm sorry, but see the man for what he is and does and try not to judge him on the basis of the party he belongs to.

Old Codger said...

Oh, by the way, Aitken was an out and out scoundrel and deserved what came his way; just as that nasty bully called two jags, two jabs and now two s***s has discovered.
The difference could be that the Tories never defended Aitken but Blair hasn't the cojons to dismiss Prescott as his Deputy! Try not to allow your political allegiance to blind you from correct conclusions about what you see going on.
Mao tse Tung was a hero of mine until I discovered he was happy for his cadres in the 60s to force fathers who were politically 'unsound' to bury their own children alive and had a personal penchant for pretty young secretaries and a luxorious lifestyle while literally millions lived in poverty and starved in China.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, Old Codger, to those who believe chritianity has no greater relevance or foundation than a belief in fairies at the bottom of the garden, whether Gale follows "chritian principles" or not is of no consequence. Secondly, your memory is perhaps faulty on how the Tories as a whole sought to cover up, protect, and excuse those who were guilty of criminal offences, or finacial or sexual indiscretions within their ranks. Thirdly, Gale supported Aitken up to and beyond his criminal conviction - do some website searches. Fourthly, Gale would almost certainly not be so keen to help those whose lifestyle he dislikes - like gay people. Just a few thoughts there.

Old Codger said...

Deriding Christianity and Christian principles is your perogative so lets call Roger Gales actions 'personal socialism' or would 'humanist' suit your level of anti-tory bigotry?
Have you evidence that Roger Gale has failed to help any of his constituents on grounds of sexual discrimination or is this just further evidence of your jaundiced outlook that because he is a successful Tory MP he must be guilty of anything you can throw at him?

Anonymous said...

I imagine you are a person of integrity, Old Codger; I would ask that you make the same assumption about me. I "throw" at Roger Gale only examples of double-standards, double-speak or hypocrisy on his part. I do not necessarily seek to deride or demean his views and principles. I do not share them, but I recognise his fundamental right to hold them.

I have had private correspondence with him in which he a) refused to support the (LGBT) Pride in Canterbury event held last year because he "does not agree with people parading their sexuality in public" - a wilfully dismissive attitude towards the real purpose of the event, b) refused to condemn, or even comment on, the homophobic murder of a man in South London, and c) refused to say whether or not he would support a gay person asking for his help with any eqaulity issue. That is my evidence.

Old Codger said...

I must admit I view the idea of a Gay Pride event in Thanet with some concern on the same basis. I personally find an elitist event like that excludes the heterosexual majority. I am all for an inclusive party but doesn't our annual Margate parade do that?

If you ask a Councillor to comment on happenings in another ward you get the same response that Roger Gale gave you. Unless you were one of his constituents bringing your problem of discrimination to him he is entitled not to comment on a hypothetical case. Our experiences of the same man are clearly different.

Anonymous said...

We will, Old Codger, have to agree to differ on the subject of Roger Gale's merits or otherwise. No problem with that. I respect your viewpoint, as I hope you respect mine.

On his capacity or preparedness to comment on a Canterbury issue, there is a difference between the case I have outlined and demarcation lines between electoral divisions. The event had an East Kent remit, and was held in Canterbury simply as it is, in some eyes, the main centre for the area. Moreover, it was an event of wide social relevance and impact, and many "personalities" were asked to lend their support and freely did so. Gale chose not to on a point of principle, in no way because it was in another MP's constituency.But there you go...

Picking up on your comments about elitism, do you also think that church parades and public religious events are equally a matter of concern, on the basis that people should not parade their religious views in public? Where do you draw the line?