Waiting for treatment

No-one should have to wait a long time for NHS treatment. Our hearts reach out to any child and parents who have had a bad experience. It is not what any of us wants. The government has rightly pledged more money and more staff. It is important this is well managed to prevent these unacceptable incidents in future.

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90 Comments

  1. percy openshaw
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Well said. But we must not isolate the issue of health from wider political concerns. If the population grows and does so by taking in impoverished migrants then the demands on the health service and all such institutions can only grow. It is like housing. What’s the use of building enough homes to accommodate everyone if you are taking in hundreds of thousands of newcomers year on year? This is why the points based migration system is key. I hope that it is being properly sold across those communities who well understand the pressures put on their support systems by uncontrolled demographic change.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Percy, you rightly slam the rail operators, for blaming The Wrong Kind Of Snow when they offer a poor service, and yet you fall over yourself to excuse the austerity-crazed Tories for offering shocking public services such as health and education, on the grounds that there is The Wrong Kind Of Public.

      Two-out-of-three hospital beds have closed since Thatcher came to power in 1979, yet the population has grown rather, and also aged markedly since then.

      New arrivals are generally young and fit though.

      How does that all work, please?

    • bill brown
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      percey Openshaw

      the problems in the NHS and enough homes has very little to do with impoverished migrants and more to do with not enough construction and on spending too little on the NHS compared with similar countries

      • Oggy
        Posted December 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        If you believe that you’ll believe anything.
        Come to West Yorkshire and I’ll show you a few of our local hospitals and towns and you’ll see exactly what the problem is.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Most of those people in, say, Bradford to whom you allude were actually born here, so are not immigrants, even if their forebears might have been.

          In that regard they are like nearly all Britons, whose ancestors include Celts, Romans, Vikings, Saxons, Angles and various other incomers.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Crazy!
        You are spending borrowed money to build houses and treat people who can’t repay it and didn’t contribute in the first place.
        Look after contributors first!!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          What, cash-in-hand, tax-dodging, BXP-voting tradesmen, you mean?

      • Edward2
        Posted December 10, 2019 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        How can you keep up?
        First you dont know how many will come here each year.
        Second it takes years to build a new hospital.
        Labour told us 20,000 Polish people would come to the UK but over 600,000 came.
        This lack of immigration management or proper immigration policy means it is totally impossible to train enough staff and plan properly the funding and infrastructure needed in good time.

    • forthurst
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      The points based immigration system is rubbish. It was invented to multiculturise the immigrant intake into Australia from the previous system which ensured an intake of culturally compatible people. We do not need an immigration system because unlike Australia we are already full up. This is our country; foreigners have no inherent right to come here.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 10, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        yep I agree, I think now we should be controlling immigration down to hardly any. I think this is a majority view everywhere except in politics and journalism.

        I also think the NHS is a joke, and should be replaced with something like the New Zealand, Australian, or Belgian systems, all the politicians treating it like the emperors clothes, when we can all see its crap, is getting silly.

        so this election is not going to sort out the massive gap between the population and our political class.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely agree!
      Trouble is politicians won’t admit it.
      Too scared of being called a waaycist!
      I guess the Tories can’t criticise Labour immigration policies since they are equally but more covertly responsible.
      So no doubt thousands will be spent reupholstering chairs in waiting rooms or some such. Just to show they “ care”.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Your wasting your breath. The liblabcon are wedded to mass immigration and only recently May signed up to the UN no illegal immigration directive.
      You may have noticed that non EU immigration has been controlable by the government but they’ve never made any effort.
      Boris is toting an Australian points system which is completely at odds with EU freedom of movement which the WA more or less guarantees it continuing.
      What’s the betting that net immigration is still over a quarter million in 2020.

      • Simeon
        Posted December 10, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        No effort has been made to control immigration because it suits big business to have an endless supply of cheap labour. And the party of big business is…

    • Hope
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Tory govt is to blame for the overwhelmed public services. It is not possible to keep up with demand allowing hundreds of thousands people here each year when three quarters are a tax detriment to the country. Latest figures proving this. Tories promised three times to cut immigration, it deliberately did this to get votes knowing it would still actively encourage historic numbers in and have done nothing to achieve its promises and three election manifestos. This continues this time around as well. Dishonest policy and promise.

      No good trying to say the right thing when your govt is directly to blame through lies.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      You’re right, Mr Openshaw. Immigration is the elephant in the room every time the problems of the NHS are mentioned. We all know it is overburdened because of having to cope with too many people – not simply an ageing population, as they would wish us to believe. Those people coming in to work may be young but they come with dependants, some of THEM older people, and often with the propensity to produce large families, because that’s their custom.
      Andy will call these concerns ”wacist” and she/he will say that older indigenous people are to blame (though they were the ones who helped build the NHS in the first place). But then ”I’m all right, Jack” is actually the mantra of the privileged, not those struggling to make ends meet, who are deeply concerned about health issues, as they have no financial safety net – as have the Andys of this world (or so she/he would have us believe).

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Percy

      I wonder how many foreign tourists were taking up a bed in NHS hospitals at that very moment, and using up our generosity.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 10, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        I wonder how many elderly British, who have retired to Spain are using their facilities too?

        Generally, people who come here are young, fit, and productive on the other hand.

        That is one reason why John’s party and the others allow them to come.

        • Pud
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          I can believe that the so-called asylum-seekers are young and fit. They must be to row those rubber dinghies all the way from the Mediterranean to the UK, instead of stopping at a much closer safe country and claiming asylum there.

        • Shibusa
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Are you suggesting with a straight face that British expats are a net drain on the Spanish economy?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            According to analysis last year by Oxford Economics, over the duration of their stay, people from other parts of the European Union on average pay seventy-eight thousand pounds more in tax than they cost to the UK. On the other hand, UK-raised people just about break even. British taxes will have to rise, when our young, fit, ready-educated, productive, fellow Europeans go home.

            John complains that capital costs for increased population are not included, but that would be needed whatever the cause e.g. increased birthrate.

        • JohnK
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Hi Martin,

          Thanks for your ever helpful comments. Your cheerfulness and optimism never fail to inspire.

          FYI, the retired British people in Spain do not drain the local economy. They pay property taxes, and do not claim any benefits. Their spending is a boost to the Spanish economy.

          Under EHIC rules, any treatment they receive in Spain will be billed back to the British government. In contrast, it is most unlikely that the NHS would ever bother to bill the Spanish government for any treatment a Spaniard received over here. Our socialist apparatchiks are just generous that way.

          I hope that has cleared things up for you Martin. No doubt your next snide comment will follow shortly. You’re welcome.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted December 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            Some evidence for your rather fanciful claims would help your case, perhaps.

            As it is, they just look like invention.

        • s matthews
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          Quite a few, and effectively subsidising the Spanish health system either by cross billing the NHS or from health insurance.

      • Andy
        Posted December 10, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        Probably close to none. Most of the beds would have been taken up by pensioners – they are the real burden on the NHS. Not foreigners.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          The old do not take up maternity beds !

          Please think things through.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Exactly

  2. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    John, I think that what interests people about this incident is not yet another example of the fact that the NHS is overstretched, but your leader’s reaction to being confronted with evidence of that fact.

    He took the reporter’s ‘phone from him. He did give it back eventually, so that did not meet the technical definition of theft – intention to deprive permanently – but nonetheless it was trespass to his property and generally uncivil behaviour.

    I think that to be rather telling, as do many others, it seems.

    • GetBrexitDoneBoris
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Oh Dear!

      Labour are truly desperate now…

    • Edward2
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      It wasn’t “evidence of fact”
      It was a mobile phone showing a picture of a child lying on a hospital floor.
      No context, no real explanation, just a claim that the Tories were to blame and demanding an immediate comment from the PM.
      Yes the NHS is overstretched but this was a political stunt deliberately done in the way it was done to make a political point score during an election campaign.
      You and your pals would think it was telling but then you would never vote Conservative anyway.

    • steve
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      MiC

      In principle I’d agree, however I suspect it was a set up.

      I don’t think Boris handled it very well at all.

      He should have responded thus – ‘Oh my word his is awful, I will personally go to the hospital concerned and demand explanation, and I give you my word I shall in the very least not be leaving without their sincere apology, may I borrow your phone ? ‘

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted December 11, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        John’s piece implicitly accepts that it was not a set-up, I think.

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I’m not at all sure that its just a question of money. I think its because so many people are using the NHS. It is struggling to keep up with the burgeoning population.

    The same is seen in the Education system, and the Housing system too.

    The fact that so many NHS staff are leaving because of the enormous pressure they are under, hasn’t helped.

    • rose
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      And when they leave, where do they go? To lightly populated Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Our German doctor has fled to New Zealand, not back to Germany.

    • Pominoz
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl,

      It is imperative that a charge, albeit modest, is made for each use of NHS facilities so that a prospective user at least considers whether the visit is really necessary. Such a charge would also give value to the service, both in the mind of the patient and the NHS professional. There must be an easy way to permit exemptions or refunds to those who are genuinely impoverished. It is essential also to ensure that any foreign visitors are charged the commercial rate for treatment.

      A lessening of pressure on the NHS staff would perhaps then reduce the numbers of those leaving. Without urgent action, the situation will increasingly implode – a disaster in any country, never mind one supposedly in the first world!

  4. Iain Gill
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    “well managed” is an impossible pipe dream in the NHS.

  5. Ian @Barkham
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Perspective, there are 2.3million people actively employed full time in the NHS. That is 1 in 10 of the entire UK workforce. The NHS is the World’s 4th largest employer. Larger employers tend to be the other countries military.

    UK population 66 million, a 10% growth since 2010. Migrant growth 626K in 2018. So, demand is growing.

    It is obvious just due to the shear size at some time somewhere something will be out of kilter. As distressing as it is for the individuals on the receiving end, when it is compared pro rata to any other service it is a brilliant.

  6. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Pity the PM did not simply say those words. Pity Sir John, that you are not the ….

  7. rose
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    My husband suffered far, far worse in an NHS hospital under the Blair/Brown regime, when as we understand, a lot of money was being granted. Nothing would have induced me to allow him to be used against them in an election, no matter how strong my feelings were. Where is people’s sense of dignity and decency?

    • L Jones
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Ah – Rose. You say what the silent majority feel. Many many people have suffered, but understand that what we’re up against can’t be ameliorated by promises of more money, or a demand for ”compo”.
      I’ve always felt the same, though never having been in your husband’s position. They’ll get their ”compo” and it’ll come out of the hospital budget. What’s the good in that? So much has to change, not the least the sense of entitlement from the top end.

  8. ukretired123
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn backed by the Mirror newspaper front page picture of the boy on the floor says as much for Labour’s policies as anything. Dirty tricks by desperate MSM and ITV.
    The boy should not be in the floor and neither should a baby be on a chair in A&E but promises to just throw money at the NHS will not solve this enigma.
    The NHS was designed 71 years ago and needs restructuring into smaller organisations as it has become a billion pounds sinkhole.
    It needs to be run like any large business by doctors combined with businessmen and women who would focus changing priorities to modern technologies and techniques.
    Labour are blind to this as they think they own it. They dont!
    It will not change until folks recognise political appointees are not the answer.
    Dancing around the problem is not the answer.
    In the meantime Labour’s NHS problems persist in Wales.
    SNPs NHS problems persist in Scotland.
    And Labour know the NHS is extremely difficult in Winter.
    Which is why they add to the problem holding back NHS progress by bleating non-stop like
    24 hours to save the NHS!
    Except they have never solved the conundrum and never will just by throwing £££££_billions at the bureaucratic monster it has become.
    Even IBM and Apple recognised they had to restructure into smaller units to keep growing yet light of foot to respond quickly to ever greater demands placed on them survive!!!
    That’s how you get folks off the floor.
    It’s a red hot potato but Labour haven’t got a clue short term nor long term.

  9. BOF
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Why has no one mentioned the reasons for A & E overcrowding?

    Out of control immigration and T. Blairs disastrous deal with Doctors, since when patients have been faced with long waits for appointments, so instead go to A & E.

    Instead, old people get the blame, again.

  10. MickN
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    It seems yesterday’s “incident” was a set up. Again !!

    When I saw the photo it smelt wrong. I said that if my 4 year old was in hospital he would not be on the floor – he would be sat on my lap with a comforting arm around him.

    I also see it reported that credit for the photo goes to a professional photographer from Leeds.

    How low have we got ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      It was not a set-up, despite misleading posts propagated by social media to that effect.

      That is how low some people have sunk, indeed.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 11, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        How is the poor child , do you know Martin?

      • rose
        Posted December 11, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Set up or not, it was a gross invasion of a child’s dignity and privacy. I thought we had laws against that.

        The reporters get down into the gutter when they interview the PM. He tries to keep things decorous.

      • Pud
        Posted December 11, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        As low as sitting on a train floor and pretending there wasn’t a seat available, like Corbyn did? It’s that sort of stunt that makes any sensible person suspicious of incidents that appear to be manufactured.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Indeed but the way the NHS and GPs, and Social Care, Social services are structured funded it can never work efficient just like nearly anything else the government runs. The patients have already paid in taxes so they are just a nuisance to the NHS and treated as such. So waiting times and other back door methods are how patients are deterred or pushed for pillar to post. If in say London one hospital became efficient and had low waiting times it would be inundated by patients from the other similarly for GP. So they do even try to do so.

    Long waiting times can and does kill people. As does misdiagnosis and negligence which is far worse still in the NHS. Hence some of the worst outcome for a developed nation. Also the reason why over half of the doctors expensively trained in the UK do not choose to work for it and often inferior ones are imported instead. The NHS is the envy of no one. A socialist disaster but no one dares to deal with it.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I “eventually” had it done privately I meant.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Lots of pointless small time delaying ops or treatments and other pathetic tricks seem to be done by the NHS so as to massage the figures rather than doing the real larger op that was needed and will still be needed. A complete waste of time and money in most cases. Not without risk either.

  14. Everhopeful
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    However…I do believe that many on here could have run a better election campaign…and that is probably saying something ( as they say).
    Why are Tories not more wary??

  15. Stred
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The hospital was obviously overloaded and the child should have been able to be diagnosed and treated for tonsillitis and flu or cold by the GP. Almost half the population has had this virus.
    The hospital management has apologised for having no beds and having only chairs available. The photo shows a trolley adjececent to the boy who has been lain on a coat on the floor. Who put him on the coat on the floor rather than holding him while sitting on a chair? Was the oxygen supplied from the trolley and how soon was he put on a trolley before he was found a bed, diagnosed and sent home.
    The BBC is showing Boris as being callous because he took the phone from the activist journalist to look at it, which he did and apologised within seconds. These deliberate stitch ups using children are sickening.

  16. Polly
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    An extraordinary story. Particularly as it exactly mirrors recent and similar shock stories at crucial moments before pivotal events.

    Is this the latest in a series of extraordinary coincidences ?

    I suspect it might be, and very carefully stage managed throughout.

    Always think for possibilities outside the box. Notice in these coincidences that the utmost heart tugging is central to the story.

    Irrespective of this event, there can be little doubt of much secret and subversive activity taking place behind this election.

    Polly

    • steve
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Polly

      “there can be little doubt of much secret and subversive activity taking place behind this election.”

      I believe you are absolutely right Polly.

      Personally I don’t like this style of politics one bit. I find it very cheap and tacky.

      I’d prefer to evaluate the policies of dignified candidates, rather than have an undignified rabble who spend far too much time throwing sh*! at each other. It really doesn’t do it for me.

  17. Dave Andrews
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The media focuses on the individual whose health needs are not being met. What they don’t show is the number of people who have caused the rationing of care by not taking care of themselves and ending up with hospital need. Let’s have the complete picture please.

  18. John Fitzgerald
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    It would appear that the child sleeping on the floor was a staged event! If this is so then this is a despicable act to politicise your child to score a questionable political point! I hope whoever staged this is named and shamed!

  19. NigelE
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    In fact, it’s not “these unacceptable incidents” we should worry about – they are merely the visible symptoms of a systemic disease in the weakened NHS body (to use a medical analogy).

    Why is the NHS not charged with reducing waiting times AND improving its outcomes in comparison with other European countries. The data is available and it mocks the often proclaimed view that ‘our’ NHS is the ‘envy of the world’.

    Merely throwing more money at the NHS – as politicians of all shades are prone to do – will achieve less than nothing.

  20. Peejos
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Being cynical and having two sons and occasionally visited Casualty, it struck me that it was just the pose that either would had adopted by having to wait totally bored, for the declared 4 hour attention, by lying on the floor and draping his jacket over himself. Was the illness self identified?

  21. outsider
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, The political class, rightly or wrongly, reached a consensus that UK taxpayers should devote a fixed percentage of our total GDP to international development. It is time that we had a national debate on what percentage we should devote to the National Health Service. One tenth of GDP might be fair, given that there is also spending outside the NHS, from over-the-counter medicines to private insurance.
    Only when we clarify the long-term resources of the NHS in this way will there be a proper context for rational debate on how that money should be spent. We can then decide what can and cannot sensibly be provided free at the point of use so that we can ensure that those services that the NHS does provide are of top quality and available to all.

    • DaveK
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      Good idea, maybe the cost of running the International Health Service could come out of the 0.7% aid bill.

    • rose
      Posted December 11, 2019 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      We should be getting rid of these pre ordained percentages, not bringing in more.

      This is like the FTPA, full of unforeseen disadvantages. We have just learned of another in the FTPA, that we have to have a six week election campaign, whether anyone wants one or not. It is dangerously long and was in 2017 too.

  22. Doctor Ideologist
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    (money, staff) “…important this is well managed…”

    The staff.

  23. John
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Today I went to an appointment with the respiratory nurse at my local practice for COPD tests. I have been treated for it for 7 years but in that time I have told them that I do not need the appointments or medicine because smoking was my problem but there was no disease. My tests proved my point because I gave up cigarettes 2 years ago and my results were perfect. As a thank you I mended her broken printer that had not worked for 3 weeks. The moral of this tale is once you are in the NHS system they waste money on you rather than finding if there is anything wrong.

  24. James Snell
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Your hearts reach out- A Tory with a heart?

  25. Paul
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    More money and more staff isn’t going to fix it, as you well know. The NHS cannot function in a country where the population is nearly 70 million. I don’t know what the answer is as the immigration problem is too deep to do anything about but this is a problem created by politicians and it’s about time they owned up to it.

    • RichardM
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Paul try educating yourself with some facts. Immigration is not the main problem.

  26. Oliver
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    There is quite a lot of bickering on the BBC about the propriety of calling £34b for the NHS £34b, and not “£20b in real terms”.

    Given that we’re going to be borrowing most of the money – I wonder if someone can point out to the BBC that the principal we will have to pay back is £34b, plus interest?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      The BBC’s daft art graduates and the luvvies never do sums or science, it is all based political correctness, feelings and emotions.

  27. John S
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    It may be of interest to share with your readers, my experience of hospital treatment in my lifetime. I have had 8 operations for various things since a child through into adulthood. I had 3 (unsuccessful) operations to correct a squint from the age of 3 in 1948 to age 7. The squint ,incidentally, was as a result of contracting mumps at the age of 18 months. I remember bad-tempered nurses, including criticising me for not eating all my meals. The truth was that my eyes were bandaged up and I missed some on my plate. I was also moaned at for being sick as a result of the anaesthetic, although I managed to hold on while they fetched a container “Dirty little boy.” I was called. As an adult, I had yet another unsuccessful eye operation as an 18 year old. I had 2 for knee cartilage removal and an appendectomy in the 1980s. The quality of the nursing staff depended on who was on shift and I felt obliged to write complain about the filthy state of the ward on one occasion. The C.E.O. told me he did not realise! Oh, for the days of matron doing her rounds.
    This year I had major open surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). I had to admire the skill of the consultant and his team together with the anaesthetist and her team. The nursing staff were absolutely brilliant and were very patient with demanding patients. Probably, because of MRSA and the like, a premium was put on hygiene. I wrote to the CEO to tell him this.

    • acorn
      Posted December 10, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      So we reckon you equate, in today’s money, to a £200 – 250, 000 cost to the NHS. That would be about eighty times more than the average immigrant would cost it. We have a reasonable idea of how much “gross value added” the economy gets from immigrants, which is significant. Alas, we don’t have the data to know if you have actually done anything to show you have covered your costs to the UK economy.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 11, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        So to become richer this nation just needs to encourage millions more to come and live here.

        • acorn
          Posted December 11, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Exactly E’2. The immigrants are far more productive. Just look at the number of crop pickers that turn up for harvest work on GB Farms? If a Brit lasts more than a day, let alone a week on the job, it is an exception.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 11, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

            Doing a temporary job on minimum wage doesn’t quite fit with your claim that they make a “significant ” positive contribution to the UK’s economy.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted December 11, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        @acorn
        Without debating the “gross value added” of immigrants, which I suspect can be cut several ways depending on your viewpoint as the increased costs and inconvenience imposed on the populace by rising population is not factored into those calculations, our GDP per capita is reducing ergo immigrants contribute less than the existing population do so if John is average he is likely to have contributed more towards his care than the average immigrant.

        Further the founding principles of our welfare and client state deem that some take out more than others, again I am happy for this to be a topic of debate as a small contribution to any received taxpayer provided service seems reasonable, but the founding principles of the welfare and client state did not expect nearly half a percent immigrant population growth annually.

  28. RichardM
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    A growing, aging, more obese population has caused demand to grow massively. At the same time nearly a decade of relative Tory under funding, cutting the bursary, and Brexit driving away tens of thousands of EU doctors and nurses has resulted in the perfect storm for the NHS.

  29. Helen Smith
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    The mother should not have allowed her child to lie on the floor, it would have been an infection risk and a trip hazard. If necessary he should have been lying on one chair with his head on her lap.

    The whole thing is mad.

  30. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    No point in chucking more money at it. Listen to Prof Dalgelish – so many posts unfilled because clinical staff are fed up with being pushed around by politicians and managers.
    Let the market free on this dreadful monster, push competition to close down the bad bits and expand the good bits.

  31. Gareth Warren
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    It is most important that the wealth exists before it is spent, something entirely devoid from Labours plans.

    I have had serious issues that required hospital visits, the best funded one discharged me with high brain pressure at 3AM, the least funded gave far better care.

    I want to see doctors and surgeons, not bureaucrats, put in charge, then I believe we will see better care and less money wasted.

  32. Richard1
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be continued dispute as to whether this claim is also false. Perhaps best to drop the issue

  33. RichardM
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    For those who have been taken in by the ‘fake news’ bots on Facebook and Twitter parroting that was a staged event need to take a visit to their local A&E. The waiting times are at the worst levels since records began.

    • rose
      Posted December 11, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      I went the other day after an accident. I was seen much more quickly and with much better courtesy and care than under the Blair/Brown regime. As for the Callaghan days! I don’t know where you get your information from. Not real patients.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 11, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Richard M. Any decent mother would be cradling this child and not seeing it on the floor. The drip is not being used and there is a bed right next to him in the cubicle. I have to say it smacks of troublemaking.

  34. Irene
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely shocking to read on this blog that immigration is responsible for the sickness that pervades the NHS. My recent experience follows. URGENT referral at beginning of May 2019. Referring medic said if you hear nothing within a matter of days, please chase it. So I did. Fobbed off again and again, so gave up chasing because I had run out of steam. URGENT appt came thru for beginning of July. Attended and was given what I can only call a disturbing prognosis. Told to attend in 3 months time. Chased that follow-up appointment and told to wait patiently. Five months later, a follow-up appointment emerged. Is that the fault of immigrants? Or is it a system creaking at the seams because of lack of attention having been paid by our MPs to the cracks that have been seen for years now? Lack of attention to detail? Lack of funding before a General Election sharpened thinking? You tell me. Because I’m buggered if I can work it out. JR, this is on your patch of the RBH. So you should be able to answer me.

  35. steve
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    JR

    I assume this topic has some reference to the little boy who was reported as being ‘forced’ to sleep on a hospital floor.

    Firstly I suspect Boris was attacked with this by a biased journalist.

    Secondly anyone who has children will know it is virtually impossible to ‘force’ children to go to sleep.

    I think there is more to this story than meets the eye.

  36. You what!
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    There has been a deliberate attempt to influence the outcome of our Election all day., by Sky News.
    If I take a camera into certain hospitals, it will lead to mass sackings in some hospitals and perhaps their administration suspended. Don’t test me!!!!

  37. Peter D Gardner
    Posted December 10, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Rational comment on the NHS is becoming impossible. Its structure is fundamentally flawed because financial incentives do not align with patient outcomes. We have the media asking the PM idiotic questions about one oatient’s bad treatment. A truthful answer would be politically injudicious. The only PC answer is to throw more taxpayer money at it without even a hint that there is anything wrong requiring fundamental reform of it. Because it is ‘our’ NHS. So it deserves every penny.

  38. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted December 11, 2019 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    As long as the NHS is free at the point of use, i.e. with no demand management – there will always be incidents like this. Increased expenditure and resources will lessen the problem but not cure it.

  39. margaret
    Posted December 11, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I have also had 8 operations and served millions in my lifetime with the NHS . The trouble with acquisition of staff is often they are managed by business, non nursing staff, Dr’s and those who do not understand ward life. Each NHS ward is run the way a good home manager would look and take pride in what they do.
    Dr,s visit wards, business people make profits and cut corners , visitors visit and always want their visits to take priority . All manner of staff wander in and out of wards on a daily basis , The qualified Nurse/sister oversees the movements and if she is not given staff who have not been trained in the basics of patient and disease management , her job is hard.
    The matron was a figure head and had little impact on daily routine , however it was like having a headteacher who if there was an under performance you were sent to her. This is not how it should be .
    The Nurses are highly intelligent and have a worthy profession of their own. They learn on an ongoing daily basis how to keep patients comfortable and alive . They clinically input in every aspect of medicine and surgery, They are not theoretically allowed to give out medications without a knowledge of the medication and why they are giving it, the side effects and the benefits and risks of the medication and monitor the patients regularly to ensure there are no problems. At each change of shift there is a report on patients progress with details of disease/ operation and treatment given and ordered. Of course without the understanding of these different conditions , close monitoring on a 24 hour basis , the Nurse would not be able to function . For ‘the classic example’ if she noticed that a patient,s heart rate had fallen then she would automatically omit certain medications and offer other medications up for discussion, This is the same with every type of medication given . If she were not to do this, it would be classed as neglect and she could be struck off the register.
    Imagine if you had been on many NHS wards giving medication in relation to disease , monitoring the effects of medication and patients progress , had passed exams in medicine and had been practising this for years and then when the Nurse had started diagnosing and prescribing was called non – medical , how insulting it is. We need to give the Nurse professional respect . I am not stating that young Drs and senior Drs should not be given respect , but please do not undermine the knowledge of the Nurse and say it belongs to the Dr .

  40. Brigham
    Posted December 11, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    There is only a finite amount of money to pay for the NHS. If this money runs out in a particular area then perhaps a child wouldn’t have a bed or a patient may have to be left on a trolly, etc. This can’t be helped. Where I draw the line is in non-urgent spending. Fertility treatment costs a fortune and there are too many people on this planet already.

  41. margaret
    Posted December 11, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I attended A&E with my daughter and grandson who had croup and needed his upper airway inflammation reducing . There were no available seats or rooms , so I lay down my coat with a sheepskin lining on the floor until the staff gave him dexamethasone which I had asked for 4 hours earlier. In the meantime verrucas and colds were seen .

  42. Dunc.
    Posted December 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    You cant have free universal health care and open borders.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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