Saving the NHS

One of the main reasons given for the national lockdown earlier this year was to get the NHS ready to handle a wave of CV19 cases. They expanded the Intensive Care capacity substantially, putting in new Nightingale hospitals as part of the answer, increasing intensive care beds in existing hospitals and buying more ventilators.

To increase capacity further they cancelled all non urgent operations in main hospitals, took over the capacity of the private sector hospitals to undertake some non CV 19 work for them and were keen to move patients out of hospital as soon as possible after treatment.

Today some people are still worrying about NHS capacity. Of course we all pay tribute and say thanks to the dedicated staff who bore the brunt of the first wave of CV 19 in hospitals, gave diligent care and pioneered treatments to respond. By now I assume more have been trained to handle CV 19, and we see the good news that there are better treatments with the death rate falling substantially as a result

Today I would like to ask a crucial question.

What is now happening to NHS output for non CV 19 conditions? Ministers tell me the NHS is operating again as before for non pandemic conditions. Is it? What is your experience of access to non urgent treatments, and to treatments for serious conditions like heart attacks and cancer .

The NHS England/DHSS budget for 2020/21 was £148bn at the start of the year, up from £140bn the previous year by £8bn or 5.7%. The NHS had been offered an increase of £33bn by 2023/24 as part of a five year settlement to allow growth and improvement. Special money to handle CV 19 has now added an additional £31.9bn to this year’s total to provide protective clothing, to introduce Test and Trace, to buy in private sector capacity, increase ventilators and provide extra facilities in the Nightingales.

I am seeking information from government about how output in the NHS now compares with this time last year. We know there was a large dip in activity during the intense period of the CV 19 crisis in the spring. It would be good to know we are more than back to normal, given the backlog and the resource now being committed. It would also be good to know when we can stop paying for the private sector capacity as well.

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282 Comments

  1. Everhopeful
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    But surely you must see that to remove the sick from hospital….( and I personally know three people who were) ….on a PREDICTION is just not how things should be done?
    Why didn’t the entrails or runes or whatever tell the powers-that-should-not-be to prepare a SEPARATE isolation system?

    • Hope
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      JR, before Covid my NHS invited all over 55 yrs for colonoscopies every couple of years to detect and prevent cancer. The policy has now changed back to what it was.

      So clearly the policy they introduced only a few years ago will mean more undetected colon and bowel cancers as this was their stated reason to introduce regular testing for people over this age group. In contrast no reason given for changing the policy back to what it was previously! Clearly to reduce demand on services immediately but going to cause larger demand, cost and suffering in the longer term! I will not clap these incompetent fools.

      Loads of admin and unnecessary management jobs advertised. Johnson could buy his extra nurses from getting rid of bureaucracy. Most are paid higher than nurses. Same cull at local authorities required. More front line delivery less back room staff.

      Perhaps the NHS has bad memories like govt ministers.

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. The NHS has too many administrators like my nephew – no degree but on a six figure salary being paid for the last 6 months to ‘work’ from his holiday home with family in tow on 100% pay. Before lockdown he was home by 5 every day. Meanwhile my Junior Doctor son after 6 years at Cambridge and a whopping debt hanging over him working all the hours God sends is on a salary of under £30,000. There is something seriously wrong somewhere but don’t expect Johnson to do anything about it. A huge cull is long over due but unfortunately we need a Conservative Government for that and we haven’t had one of those for a long time. 1990 in fact.

        • Hope
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Jool’s, it is overwhelmingly stupid and known for years. None of the Fake Tory Health Secretaries sorted it out.

          There are operational planning officers who are responsible under the Civil Contingencies Act to plan for pandemics with other public sector bodies and the like for local risk registers! Any of them sacked-no!

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted October 25, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          The fact your nephew has no degree should not stop him being paid a six figure salary if he is worth it JoolB.

          However, what is he doing to justify a six figure salary in administration? He is not bringing in revenue and he is not making sure that revenue is used wisely so I am at a loss as to what else might require that salary.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Britain would be better off with Joe Biden
      I was a great supporter of the Republicans under Ronald Reagan, but today it’s the Democratic challenger who best embodies his great legacy

      SAJID JAVID – Daily Telegraph

      Is there any reason to vote Conservative after reading that?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Silly Javid – I do hope Trump wins if only for his sensible stance on the climate alarmism con trick, his far better economic policies, his pro Brexit and pro UK stance. Plus of course his general modesty is rather endearing.

        • JoolsB
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          And for standing up to China and calling the virus what it is I.e. the China disease. Unlike other kowtowing world leaders who can’t bring themselves to say a word against them.

          • Hope
            Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            WHO told all countries to carry on trading and traveling with China. Our idiot PM allowed flights to carry on from there and now thinks lock downs are the answer!
            Trump stopped flights from China called out the WHO unlike our idiotic PM who gave them more hundreds of millions of our taxes!

            For good measure Trump also called out the trading scam. Conversely weak insipid Johnson has give over £300 million in orders to China since March! He is beyond help and now JR and chums should oust him before we are totally bankrupt under and EU rule!

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        There are too many ‘Conservative’ MPs with a track record of supporting Democrats in America. Perhaps Javid should resign and stand for another party.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Brilliant Speech – everything you would want to say – can be found on You Tube

    “Herd stupidity!” Desmond Swayne calls out coronavirus fearmongering

    Conservative MP Desmond Swayne gives a passionate speech in the House of Commons on fearmongering around the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      If only the death rate and that of serious complications were just one order lower, then all these exhortations would be absolutely solidly grounded.

      Sadly, the facts do not permit the actions urged.

      • Hope
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        SP, It must stop. We cannot afford this utterly stupid tiered policy. Great Barrington Declaration is the only way forward. Hancock should be gone. Johnson now admits his govt failed in test and trace. Is Dido Harding going to be sacked as well?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        But this is exactly the approach used in Senegal Martin, and you told us we should base our response on what they did.

      • Philip P.
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Please try and keep up. The death rate in October is within the normal range for this time of year (ONS).

      • NickC
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        Sadly the facts show you are wrong, Martin. This is not an issue of whether covid19 is a serious disease or not, we know it is. But it is an issue of whether covid19 is serious enough to trash the economy. It isn’t.

        • No Longer Anonymous
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          +1

          Martin cocks a deaf one to that argument.

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Martin

        I wore one of your masks today for a full 8 hours. I did so dutifully, obediently and without complaint (until now.)

        Whatever you say about them I cannot feel other than being totally oppressed.

        Aside the breathing issues (I’m an outdoorsy type) it is the restriction of vision, the inability to communicate and smile (see smiles) which I find psychologically unhealthy, but the underlying suspicion that the Left are LOVING it.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Does any MP ever deliver the reality speech on cancer in this country?

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I recently moved to St. Albans. My GP ordered a blood test and an ultrasound scan. I was surprised how quickly these were done, as it was not an urgent case.
    I found the Staff to be efficient and friendly.

    Based on this I think, the NHS is performing well. Others may not have had such a satisfactory experience in their area,

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      I’d say you were lucky to get on a GP’s list as a newly moved person!
      Many surgeries here have closed.

    • ukretired123
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      See my Cirencester comment below by contrast.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Startlingly unusual…..I think Wokingham ‘older’ people will all be consulting Rightmove this morning.

    • Hope
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Consultations are by telephone where I live.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        I had a telephone consultation about a blood test delayed by Covid six months ago. I havent seen a Doctor face to face. I rang up and asked about when I could have a blood test. Luckily, I was sent to the local hospital for it.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      My GP surgery is closed. Has been for months.

    • Al
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      The NHS is a tale of two halves.

      My GP surgery is still working though most consultancies are by telephone. I will say I prefer it as it is much easier to phone up and tell them it is a repeat of an existing condition and get the standard treatment than wait in the waiting room for an hour for them to find the same thing.

      I cannot say the same for another branch of the NHS, which messed up my treatment in 2019 (due to failure to read medical records), then conveniently closed for lockdown. After lockdown they refused to correct it, book another appointment, or give a referral due to “Covid Concerns”. I went private after they refused to correct the error and was immediately referred to two specialists to correct the NHS incompetence and the aggravation to the injury due to the NHS delaying treatment. It is costing me significant out-of-pocket expenses even with insurance.

      In my personal view, certain branches of the NHS are using Covid to cover up mistakes.

  4. Pominoz
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Even from here in Australia I know that the NHS is, in at least parts of the country, being badly affected by new waves of Covid and is certainly not “operating again as before for non pandemic conditions”.

    My brother-in-law was due to have a knee reconstruction in a Nottingham hospital on 16th October, but, just two days before, he was contacted to say that the hospital had just been told, because of the upsurge in Covid in the area, to cancel all non-urgent surgery.

    Is a knee reconstruction non-urgent? It probably is unless you are the one who has been suffering significant pain for a few years and increasingly intense pain in the more recent months.

    The Nightingale Hospitals should be used for Covid, whilst other hospitals should be allowed to get on with what, for patients, is absolutely essential treatment.

    • Bill B.
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      There is no ‘upsurge of Covid’. There’s an upsurge of PCR+ using an unreliable test, and an upsurge of people in hospital for respiratory problems. The same as every year, once the colder weather starts.

      Together with an upsurge in what a Tory MP (not this one) recently called ‘herd stupidity’.

      But also, a bit of an upsurge in people who can now see through the lies and deceit.

    • Hope
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      P,
      Where are the military medics? Why can’t there be on the job training for nurses rather than useless degrees never required before?

      • L Jones
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Well – because the ”military medics” are people employed in military wings of hospitals and as regimental MOs – there aren’t any ”spare” ones.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      ”New waves”? More tests = more positive (and often false) test results.
      There is absolutely no excuse for not using hospitals at their capacity. To say ICUs are at 80 per cent capacity – that sounds like an efficient use of facilities.

      I have a friend who’s been fortunate enough to be having cancer treatment. He says that the hospitals he’s been in for his treatment are like ghost towns.

      And now the Nightingales are being dismantled, we are told. So much for the dreaded ”second wave”…. though it’s been useful to scare the Terminally Terrified.

  5. Sea_Warrior
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Shortly off to a funeral service for someone whose lung cancer didn’t warrant any interest by the NHS, despite being caught at an early stage. Interest shown in her during the pandemic? Nil. I suspect that she was just too old for the NHS to care much. I really don’t want to hear another politician talking about ‘Saving the NHS’; it’s the job of the NHS to save us.
    I remain appalled at the cost of Test & Trace. We need some MPs to start doing some vigorous interrogations of ministers, inside the Commons chamber.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      +++1
      Why are Nightingale hospitals being dismantled- they should be Used as infection hospitals and the rest of the hospitals returning to normal service

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Its the sort of app that a few smart kids in UNI could have developed for £1m.

      • Al
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        It is the sort of app that Google and Apple had already developed for significantly less. (and which don’t require expensive “contact tracers”).

        The only reason for the NHS one to be centralised is to turn it into general population data collection and aggregation, nothing to do with the disease at all.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          and to transfer umpteen £millions into friend’s business accounts.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Completely Agree

    • Original Chris
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      The failure of Tory MPs to hold Johnson and his government to account is the biggest dereliction of office. We are waiting.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Sorry about the sad news.

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Mark.

  6. DOM
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    You just can’t say what needs to be said and that’s why things will simply get worse

    You (your party) are abusing the taxpayer to finance your own refusal to confront necessary reform for fear of being seen as Anti-NHS or the nasty party. It’s pathetic and infantile and the taxpayer is being hit for your lack of moral fibre

    The NHS is bankrupt on all levels. It’s politicised and infected with waste and a desire to expand its influence and control.

    It is my belief that at some point they will restrict or halt access to anyone who refuses to adhere or agree to a political statement of intent regarding race, gender or sexuality.

    As we now see in education with the Marxist poison that is Critical Race Theory the NHS will also try to institute a similar culture against the indigenous population

    Your party’s refusal to confront head-on NHS reform and its complete capitulation to Labour’s health provider has cost lives and billions of pounds.

    It is shameful that you continue to pander to this now most powerful political player

    We elected you to do a job. You’re not doing that job. Labour’s client state is out of control and you haven’t a clue how to stop them

    • piglet
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Much truth in this, unfortunately.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      +1
      Oh yes! Spot on. Very good.
      And maybe a silly point…but every personal NHS ( clap, clap) experience has been terrible. They do not employ kind, empathetic people…nor train them to be so. My terror of the NHS increases with the years.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      The NHS should become a mixture of paid for and provided service. Everyone should have to pay a little extra when using it with the majority of cost being covered by the taxpayer.

      The NHS should only receive funds for procedures and services delivered, not a block sum. Each trust should invoice the tax payer (and patient) for activity.

      • robert valence
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Indeed. I should add that “medical tourists” – those who come from abroad with the specific aim of having babies or specialised treatment should be made to pay up front: no money, no treatment

      • SM
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        The NHS is already a mixture of paid for and provided service.

        I will cite an actual event – an adult trips up on a pavement, breaking her arm, a tooth and her spectacles. The NHS attends to her arm for ‘free’, but she has to pay a charge to her NHS dentist to fix her tooth, and must also pay an optician for her new glasses.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        The NHS should only receive funds for procedures and services delivered, not a block sum.

        Brilliant idea. How many unnecessary procedures would then be done for the money?

        Throughout my life I have had periods of visiting a dentist for 6 monthly checkups and periods (usually after moving house) of not seeing a dentist until I need to – sometimes managing 5 years or more without needing anything done. During the periods of visiting a private dentist regularly, they seem to find something to do at least every other visit.

        If the NHS operated on the same basis we’d all have regular knee and hip replacements and heart bypass operations if our cholesterol was a bit high.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted October 25, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          I would suggest that the NHS has plenty to occupy itself with delivering what is needed, without going looking for work.

      • matthu
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        The NHS should become a mixture of paid for and provided service.

        Or alternatively, offer patients a genuine choice to have consultation over either smartphone or at a GP surgery or at A&E (the latter via NHS helpline appointment).

        The appointment vie GP surgery would involve delay and inconvenience, while the smartphone appointment would be more immediate and involve less disruption to your working day.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. And each trust should be made to compete for each and every patient.

      • Timaction
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. Our police, schools, local authorities, in fact all public services are seriously infected with PC wokeness. Everyone knows it and the former Conservative Party after 10 years in office have done…. nothing to reform them back to commonsense recruitment and selection policies. They have all been politicised. Blair’s appalling legacy.

      • Longinus
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        Have paid NI for 30y and never used NHS services, why should I pay more when I need it?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted October 25, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

          So it is actually there when you need it.

    • Nigl
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      +1

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Spot on Dom. With the exception of a our host and a handful of others, John’s so called Conservative party (in name only) are just a different sort of socialists to Labour and have no desire to reform the NHS, the client state or anything else for that matter but to carry on with the useless status quo and do nothing, by far the easiest option.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      It has cost £billions and probably tens of thousands of lives. A sleeping giant that has taken too many sedatives! And nobody is prepared to shake the beast.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      The collapse of the current fiat money arrangements will do the trick.When the reset to the system comes,and an increasing number of sources are talking about it including the IMF, the UK,unlike in 1945, will be relegated to the ranks of the vanquished and the banana republics which we increasingly resemble.If we are present at the top table for these discussions it will be to hand out the drinks and canapes.

    • Stuart
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I was very surprised, yet delighted, that my mother received an MRI scan for suspected Head/Neck cancer within two weeks 0f seeing her GP at an NHS hospital in York. Hearing that others have not been so lucky is most distressing. Thankfully, all was well with her results and I thank all the NHS staff who cared for her in this process.

  7. BeebTax
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I’m supposed to have an annual check up each August/September for an eye condition (glaucoma – if untreated you go blind). No sign of any appointment yet.

    Incidentally I initially missed last year’s appointment, because their letter inviting me to it arrived after the appointment day. You wonder why they can’t send these things by email.

    • Iago
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      ditto, except that my checkups are six monthly. Last checkup exactly a year ago.

  8. Everhopeful
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Maybe JR feels a national tour coming on?
    A fact finding exercise.
    Armed with many masks and recording gear he could visit various hospitals and interview patients? Or his local ones at least.
    I bet the police would stop him!!
    Surely though there must be some clues from constituent mail/contact?

    I certainly have not been offered a dental check-up despite enquiries.

    • hefner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      My dental check-up originally scheduled for the end of July was cancelled four days before it was due and was then put off to an undetermined date (‘when the Covid pressure abates’). However, due to a strong tooth ache in September, I was able to get an emergency appointment within three days. So, not so bad …

      I am lucky enough to be a rare visitor to my NHS surgery, but I noticed that although open my surgery only accepts visitors with proper appointments (there are huge signs at the entrance). Friends told me that to get one such appointment the procedure is 1/ call 111, 2/ answer a questionnaire over the phone, 3/ be told that a medical practitioner will call you back within 24 hours, then 4/ be called and have to tell again your problems/symptoms, and 5/ if ‘serious enough’ be eventually given an appointment with a proper GP or otherwise get a prescription sent to your local pharmacy. Which roughly translates into a few days to a week delay …

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      ‘’’I bet the police would stop him!!’’’

      Liverpool Echo reporting – Merseyside’s police officers could end up working in its call centres and administrative roles as the force faces more budget cuts over the coming years

      Merseyside police are harder to see on the street than the covid-19 virus

      • Everhopeful
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        I thought that the police were going round shutting shops that defied the Lockdown in the North?
        And early in the “crisis” a bloke was jailed for going into an hospital, filming the total emptiness and posting it on FB.

    • John E
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      The private dentists are back working pretty much as normal in my experience. Which is fine for those of that can afford to pay.
      For those that need the NHS dentists, they have by no means finished dealing with the urgent cases from their total shutdown. We were the only country in the world that did that. They are still very much in triage mode.

  9. Nigl
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    A good topic nevertheless a waste of time. Inefficiency, no accountability, bureaucracy embedded so deep in the organisation there is nothing that can be done apart from fiddling round the edges for political purposes. Even more so when the politicians allegedly in charge have zero organisational or change management experience.

    All we get is political jargon also known as bolleaux whilst ‘failures’ like Dido Harding glide serenely on without a care in the world.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      As always the urgent part is, by and large, working efficiently. The occasional stupid hiccup but that would probably occur in a private system.

      Otherwise, though, it’s a bad joke away from the clinical front line. Standard operations on a year’s waiting list. A mess of bureaucracy with well-meaning headless chickens running round. No appropriate use of technology to communicate and organise. No real management of resources from cleaning up. Just dreadful if you compare to most supermarket efficiency.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        I can’t see any reason for not selling off the elective surgery side and basing it on insurance apart from political frit.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      ++1

    • Hope
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Nigel, Totally agree. Now Johnson states test and trace failed why is Hancock and Harding still in place? Hancock is required by law under Civil Contingency Act to prepare the nation for this situation, he failed as did Hunt before him!

      The three month lock down was also to allow to prepare and get services in place, Hancock failed again!

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      80:20 rule
      I would suggest that 80% of the NHS runs okay but the remaining 20% is in constant flux, is problematic and in the media eye

      You don’t have to fix the whole system, just identify and fix the 20%

    • RichardP
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      +1

  10. Everhopeful
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I don’t know about “tribute” but we certainly all PAY!
    Yet it wasn’t there when allegedly we all needed it so badly!
    Sad little clap, clap 😷 !

  11. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    If we had a competent Health Secretary you would not have needed to ask any of these questions. These things would have been done as a matter of course and probably months ago.

    As we go into what looks like a very bad winter for the health of the country, the nation needs someone with experience of the NHS – and some management skills – to make the absolutely necessary reforms.

    Nothing will improve with NHS Test and Trace until someone with experience of turning round failing call centres is appointed to sort things out. The taxpayer deserves better for the ~ £18b invested so far.

    • Nigl
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      We have not had a competent health secretary in my lifetime. A competent one would scrap “free at the point of use” (for all who can afford to pay) and would have a level playing field with private medical care services. Freedom and choice is what is needed and some fair completion between private care and state care. This would also benefit schools, transport, the BBC , housing, universities and energy too. It would get more money into healthcare, more doctor and nurses and real choices.

      About 50% of doctors, very expensively trained in the UK, do not even go on to work for the NHS so unattractive are they as an employer. What a waste that is.

      But the NHS cannot compete so it is structured so as to kill completion. They tax you then you get what you are given or not given and take it or leave it. Hobson’s choice mate we have you cash already.

      But no one dares to address the real issues of our dire healthcare system. Like climate alarmism it is another deluded religion. It fails millions.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        BBC Chairman, Sir David Clementi says “perceptions of political bias are age-related the over-50s think we are biased towards the left he says”.

        Is this man the right person for the job? Left and right can mean different things to different people. But the BBC bias towards climate alarmism, every bigger government, the state monopoly NHS, for every higher taxes, anti-landlord, anti-business, for ever more red tape, anti-Trump, anti-fracking, anti-real science, woke lunacy, pro quotas and anti-men and pro the even identity politics and politics of envy is overwhelming.

        Perhaps too many of the young have been indoctrinated at school and by the BBC to see reality.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          PPE Oxon yet again!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Hancock has been revelling in wielding his power to control us.
      All those calling for a total lockdown are employed by the taxpayer.
      It’s time to stop all this nonsense and let people mitigate their own risks.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I heard on radio the other day, some test and trace are being done by the NHS direct (I didn’t know that) and are working to about 94 percent efficiency as against the private company effort which is much lower at a cost of 12 billion. Why are the same old firms given these major contracts when they have no such experience?

      • zorro
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Probably because the owner of that firm might be related to an influential Tory…..

        zorro

    • NickC
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Sakara Gold, The last thing we need is the Health Secretary managing the NHS. It is not his job to do so. The taxpayer does indeed deserve better – but the culprit is the NHS’s own management which is stuck in 1950’s socialist top-down mode and has failed dismally.

      I’ll give you an example. A GP practice I know wanted to re-configure their clinic to utilise a spare room to separate out covid19 suspected patients from non-covid. The local NHS management failed to respond quickly and finally refused. A private local business came to the rescue by providing them with an exhibition tent which they used instead.

  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    The NHS are not back to capacity partly because people are too scared to risk going to hospital. As it seems 20% or so of current Covid cases are people who were in hospital when they contracted the virus this seems a reasonable position to hold. Quite why the NHS is performing so badly in comparison to better health services like Germany is an interesting question which all politicians will avoid, most will simply refuse to accept it as true. Lack of proper quarantining of Covid cases inside hospitals is a purely clinical failure, nothing to do with lack of money or (in genera)l the wrong government policies. I would concede that as the Welsh NHS is even worse under Labour than there must be some political dimension to it, but not much.

  13. J Mitchell
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The NHS is emphatically NOT operating normally. Operations are being cancelled. Wards are below normal occupancy rates. Many doctors are under-employed.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      sounds like the normal NHS to me!

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    took over the capacity of the private sector hospitals to undertake some non CV 19 work for them

    Why don’t you suggest to our charismatic Chancellor that he removes Private medical insurance as a taxable benefit in kind for 20/21 tax year as we have been unable to use the benefits.

    He might also remove the 12% Insurance tax on this product as most people are paying to maintain the cover as they are unable to use the services,

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The government manipulate statistics to support their ever increasing power grab. People need to wake up and ask themselves why any government which had their best interests at heart would use unspecific tests to produce daily figures of CV19 ‘cases’ and slant the death statistics to include any actual cause of death as a CV19 death if it occurred within 28 days of a positive test for CV19? Which other illnesses, and there are many far more serious, have the mortality figures issued on a daily basis? None of course. We need more speeches like yesterday’s by Desmond Swayne. Are we to remain free people in a democracy or imprisoned in a totalitarian state?

    • Barbara Bebbington
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      +1

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I read yesterday (from an unofficial and unverified source) that within the rising daily cases announced of Covid there are included the results from people who tested positive the previous week and who then test again to see if they are clear. It is not the number of positive people but the number of positive tests.

    This seems rather odd but a spreadsheet would find it difficult to differentiate.

  17. Everhopeful
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Were the hospitals closed for the same dinghy-reason as the hotels?
    Politicians just LOVE to be generous with our paid-for-dearly assets.
    NHS nasty socialist trick from inception.
    “….to each according to their needs.”
    ie …we’ve decided that YOU don’t need ANY! But you’re good enough to PAY!

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    You ask about our experience.

    We can not get an appointment to see the GP. They fortunately hand out repeat prescriptions like confetti but I would not want new symptoms.

    My wife was able to see the nurse for a cervical screening quickly.

    My wife is unable to get an appointment to get an IUD removed, we are told to phone at a time convenient to the clinic but it is always engaged.

    My daughter has been waiting for a routine Dental Consultation which was cancelled in June (we had already been waiting four months). We have been referred to three hospitals in the area in order to try and get an appointment which is holding up the conclusion or orthodontic treatment and so will lead to more cost for the NHS .

    The NHS is plainly not working in the manner for which we are taxed. The private services I use for physio and dentistry have managed to start seeing routine patients again as if they don’t there is no money.

    I think we have identified the problem. The NHS should be paid on delivery not just for being there

  19. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I hear that the Manchester Nightingale hospital is to be used only for rehabilitation of covid patients, meaning that the sick go into a general hospital first, and are then removed at additional cost and time (both wasted). Presumably that also means that those who are dying will stay there too.

    Given we know covid spreads in general hospitals this seems like more NHS management incompetence. Were we not told initially that the Nightingales were there to take all covid infections and suspicions to keep general hospitals running without interruption.

  20. SM
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The experience of friends and relatives in the Essex area and the Greater London North East area has been dire. Phlebotomy is apparently a nightmare, getting a GP appointment ditto, and major operations delayed multiple times. One woman, following a post-natal episiotomy that had become infected and very painful, tried to get a hospital appointment and was asked if she could just send in a photograph of the affected area for a diagnosis!!!

  21. Translator
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I was admitted to A&E in July and again a fortnight ago. The paramedics and A&E staff were magnificent, and follow-up appointments are being rolled out at a speed of knots. However, my husband was due in July for a colonoscopy following bowel cancer surgery and no word has been heard. It is nigh on impossible to contact GPs and Airmid UK is a nightmare!
    A top-down restructuring of NHS management and administration has been sorely needed for quite some time.

  22. Caterpillar
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Since we still hear the **** you words of “protect the NHS”, one can only suspect that it is still failing alongside the utter failures of Hancock, Sunak and Johnson. Nonetheless it is good to try to find out the data, though as many have observed the data is muddied on covid and ICU capacity, presumably with political intent, so there is no reason to expect anything forthcoming will actually track truth.

    The elderly I know still cannot get GP appointments, but I guess this depends on GPs. So data on GPs though and after the lockdown would be interesting.

    I don’t understand why the ONS page https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/quarterlymortalityreports/octobertodecember2019 was the last quarterly report for causes of death. Two more should have been published at this usual location by now.

  23. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    From my recent experiences the block to services is what used to be called a GP Practice but now in Wokingham is a Medical Center.

    I needed treatment for an injury (not what I would call A&E type ) so took the standard route of phoning for an appointment. After a week of being held in a queue waiting for a response I presented myself at the door to arrange an appointment. The person behind a security screen (its not possible to get as far as the reception) with a clipboard said I couldn’t arrange an appointment without phoning ‘first’.

    Eventually I got to speak to someone. A Doctor did phone back, I was asked to send a photo. So on and so on. Once I managed to get through the defence mechanism I was referred to the Royal Berks, now out of the local system everything has started moving as I would have hoped.

    In the same vein, the flue jab. Must phone for a flue jab, answer phone said that I would be attended to shortly. Three hours later still no answer. Still no flue jab from the practice. Irony, collecting a prescription from the pharmacy, they had a notice up for the flue jab – they did it there and then.

    I am guessing here, given the changes locally (medical wise, increased population) there seems to be an underlying situation at this center. It doesn’t appear to be Corvid, more a top down management situation as from what I understand it was the same before. Doctors, there is a high turnover therefore lack of consistency – they just cant attract and retain them. Not enough administration staff to handle the vast increase in traffic due to population overload.

    Sir John, this gets back the build, build, build without having infrastructure, everything around this philosophy is not thought through or catered for in the correct manner.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      It has always ‘Required Improvement’ – – change to another group – but where?

  24. Mark B
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The only things we saved was a lot of very highly paid executives their jobs and union bosses their salaries

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      and lots of NHS workers not needing to go to work.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      +1

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      And don’t forget how much money the billionaires have made.
      Lots!

      • Mark B
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        And they are going to make even more with all those repossessed houses they will be buying for a song, only to rent back to Local Government for ‘newcomers’ 😉

        • Everhopeful
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          And the closed down shops!
          One big chain has already decided to do this.
          No more shops…just rentals.

  25. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Save the NHS? The people of this country don’t want to do that. They want to fill the hospitals with lifestyle diseases caused by obesity, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. The NHS was already overwhelmed before Covid-19 came along.
    Are excess deaths up because the NHS has taken its eye off the big killer – heart disease? All for a mild infection that mainly targets people with other worse conditions.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      No we don’t want to save the NHS – it should be dismembered into county or other regional format. Then within the unit various specialisms should be concentrated in hospitals where administration could be efficient and people sent to adjoining county units depending on demand and waitlist.
      Postcode but with a difference – it might work.

  26. Harry
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Have you actually been to a hospital this year? I’ve been to four and all of them were largely empty. No treatment for real illnesses just a whole load of paranoia about an alleged virus that even if real kills far less than flu. In one hospital the respiratory had all it’s lights off and tha doors locked. According to reports some hospitals have allocated approximately 1-2% of their beds to covid. If this were not so serious I’d be laughing. This is not a pandemic, it’s a fantasy.

  27. BW
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Sir John. To answer your question. I have had no diabetic appointment which would normally be around August. I had had no eye screening appointment either.
    I had a filling in my tooth come out and I could not get an NHS appointment just to examine it for nearly a month. So I had to go private. The private surgery do NHS work but not at the moment. I got in within days. 4 fillings £600. So the capacity to do the work is there ?? That stung a bit and took my whole months pension and more. Not having the treatment was not an option. Lucky for me the shops are still selling beans and bread.

  28. I AF
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I have lived in this country now for over 20 years and from the onset my biggest issue was the NHS -even in normal times the system is third class compared to for example the German system I am used to -at least the way it used to be. I find it incredible that the specialists don’t practise on the High Street and that people cannot access them directly -no wonder you have the worst cancer survival rates despite having some of the best scientists -there is no preventative medicine being practised-I called a few weeks ago to have my moles checked as a regular checkup and was told by the GP that unless I had a particular concern This was considered a waste of time by the NHS. I also wonder why the Nightingale Hospitals are. It being used to solely treat Covid patients -it is utterly unacceptable to delay cancer treatments and treatments of heart disease etc because of Covid -you cannot get a face to face GP appointment and the diagnosis is made over the phone -funny old thing -doctors and dentists all work since months in Germany and France and the appointments are face to face -so we are protecting people from Covid -which is deadly fo an absolute minority but accept that others will die due to lack of treatment -the words Poi’s-up and brewery Spring to mind and it is about time that the system changes -people always tell me -the NHS is great because it is free!!! I am baffled -where is it free ???? All those who work pay for it 🙈 needless to say I despair and wish that someone would have the guts to tackle the issue and restructure the whole thing as it is archaic and not a suitable medical care system for any developed country.

    • Iaf
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Apologies I meant piss-up not poi’s up

  29. Richard1
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Hancock needs to be fired, he is very weak. It’s not only his fault of course, he is subject to a barrage of ‘expert’ advice from our hopelessly over centralised public health system which it is increasingly clear is bogus. Not through bad intentions, just wrong. We are not seeing a second wave of deaths and intensive care hospitalisation. Overall Deaths are even below average – suggesting many deaths which would in the ordinary course have happened now happened in the spring. ICU occupancy is slightly below the recent average. Yet the govt and their advisers pour out selective statistics to make it sound alarming, to justify the ruinous economic policy.

    And before anyone jumps in and says Starmer and Labour would be better – look at what they want. Even more lockdown. From Khan in London to the twerp in Wales, Labour local govt are shroud-waving, demanding lockdowns and ever more money. Even Burnham, who I always thought was relatively sensible, is against lockdown for Manchester but in favour of it for the whole Country!

    Meanwhile it is clear the NHS is being told to prioritise Covid over everything else, and is running at far below normal capacity as a result. And the cost will be paid in healthcare and lives in the months and years to come.

    Time for Conservative MPs – the useless left wont do anything – to up the ante and stop this madness.

  30. Sharon
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    My local hospital seems to be making an effort to encourage people in. They even messaged the local residents association to ask the word be put out that the hospital is Covid safe.

    I recently had a blood test and an x-ray. I kid you not, I was back in my car in 20 minutes! It was drop-in for both.

    On one occasion on arriving st a clinic for an appt, there were two ladies each on a pc, as one had about four people waiting and the other had none, we went across to the latter. We were told that pc was for people leaving. Now how much effort would it have taken to switch screens?

    That’s the stupid sort of (minor, but annoying) inefficiency that causes delay. There’s too much rigidity in thinking. And I’m sure there’s a business model name for it but – I’ve seen it in banks too, when someone is only trained for that one role,

    Some years ago, a friend of my husband, who teaches MBA students, was in hospital. He said he couldn’t stand to see the inefficiencies; and discharged himself!

    And to finish, my private consultant said on Wednesday, it’s rumoured that operations may be suspended again. If correct, that’s outrageous!

  31. Caterpillar
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I do not agree with the Govt regional multi level lockdown strategy, but if for the sake of argument I presume it is correct and effective it seems terribly high risk.

    At the moment the so-called second wave is out of step around the country. This means areas where the NHS is (supposedly) under higher demand can not only use their local surge strategies but can utilise the rest of the national system. If the Govt suppresses the virus in the so-called hot spots, then the outcome is that it brings the country into step with the associated risk of simultaneous outbreaks. Creating systemic risk seems odd.

  32. ukretired123
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Just on basic blood tests in Cirencester alone this busy drop-in unit was shut down *to save costs and efficiency ” replaced by local GP surgeries nurses or travelling to Gloucester or Cheltenham instead. After numerous complaints of waiting 3 weeks and instead of the streamlined local service an online petition with 3,600 folks signed to reverse it :-
    “The clever people in charge have decided to close the blood test clinic at Cirencester hospital. The closure, kept under the radar until now, is due in April. Even though 2500 new houses are being built as we speak in Cirencester.This creates more demand on services but instead they close them !! Please sign this petition to help stop this stupid decision.”
    There are too many chiefs in the NHS and highly paid “Burning £££££s Big Bucks” and giving poor service. Time for revolutionary thinking back to core business with proven business experience not in line with EU bureaucracy.

    • ukretired123
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The 2,500 houses are being built on Prime high yielding farmland, but that is another story altogether despite the townsfolk objecting.

  33. villaking
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I speak as someone running a business supplying sterile barrier packaging to all the NHS trusts in the UK, a key consumable linked to operating theatre activity. Business is still down by about a third compared to normal levels, the decline having begun a month or or two into the CV19 panic. We are a good barometer of NHS theatre activity. Our sales people are slowly being allowed back into the hospitals to meet with people in the sterilization services departments. They tell me that the hospitals are still eerily quiet and that the new cleaning regimens mean that theatre turnover time is much slower meaning that fewer procedures per day are possible. The NHS is most definitely not back to normal and it seems predominantly focused on CV19.

    • NickC
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, Your information that theatre sterile consumables turnover is about a third down for your business supplying the NHS is an important metric.

  34. Sea_Warrior
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I’ve started to look, daily, at the infections and deaths figures for the UK and ROI. I was spurred into doing this by ROI’s opting to start a nationwide lockdown at the beginning of the week. Early days, but ROI’s figures are already falling – and that’s obviously not as a result of something put in place just a few days ago.

  35. Lifelogic
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Indeed. The NHS is unfortunately free at the point of use (rationing, delay or non treatment) so customers are a nuisance and not an income stream that has to be served as with a normal business. Doing little or nothing (and often using covid as the excuse) is therefore rather attractive to such organisations and some GPS.

    Furthermore being free at the point of use also kills all early competition and alternatives. It also kill most healthcare innovation too. Hence we have about four times as many Covid deaths as Germany and I suspect far more non Covid deaths too.

    Some staff at the NHS are excellent of course but the system, management structure and funding systems are appalling. The even dumped infected many patients untested back into care homes to infect others rather than care for them in suitable isolated hospitals.

  36. JayGee
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The NHS is there to save us. Not the other way round.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      No apparently it is out duty to pay for the NHS in huge taxes and then not to use it when we need it in order to protect it!

  37. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Afraid the NHS is full of internal political conflict (to try and gain more and more money) and has been for years.
    No complaint about front line staff at all, its the management and administration that has been absolutely dire for decades.
    Family member had their cancer treatment stopped mid treatment 9 months ago, its due to start again next week.
    Its not just hospitals though John is it, just try to get an appointment with the doctor for a proper consultation.

    Having said the above some lessons need to be learn’t here by management, A&E departments now appear to be working more sensibly for those who genuinely are needing emergency treatment, because all of the very minor cases which previously overloaded the hospital waiting rooms are now not allowed into the department.

    The speed at which additional capacity was made both in the hospitals and in the construction of the Nightingales was a huge surprise and shows what can be achieved when all of the politically correct nonsense is put to one side.

    Shame the nightingales were not used properly to allow the major hospitals to help cope with the regular treatments.
    Do the Nightingales have enough staff for Covid treatment, or is that now the problem, why not use them as recovery convalescent type establishments, to release hospital beds, as in decades ago.

  38. Private
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    A positive story from me. My wife noticed a lump. Spoke to the GP the same day she asked for an appointment and was offered a scan for 4 days later. Turns out all is well. So that worked well.

  39. Stred
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    My smartphone is only three years old and the NHS app would not download to it. It’s a pity that it lets the owner spend ten minutes going through the stages before it tells them to stop trying. Surely they could ask this important question at the start.

    There is a graph showing the rate of covid cases, or more realistically positive tests, in each region of the country. There is a big difference between the South West and northern regions but all should be compared with the positive rate during the peak epidemic when much smaller numbers of tests were on really ill patients and the real rate was estimated to be ten times higher. In all of the graph lines the rate has flattened and is now reducing.

    Many of these new cases are with young people who catch the virus at university and school. In my area the cases at the university ward were ten times the general rate. If the number of cases has reached such high levels the theory that herd immunity will lead to a reduction is looking to be correct. Instead it appears that Hancock and Johnson believe that the infection is spreading in pubs that only sell drinks. The previous NHS estimate for infection in entertainment including pubs was 5%. Does bankrupting pubs and handing an enormous bill to the taxpayer make any sense?

  40. Maylor
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The stories in the MSM of people dying or suffering because of a lack of treatment are heart-breaking. Especially, since we were told that covid 19 infections and hospitalizations were minimal during the Summer months.

    I hope that these issues and those responsible will be investigated.

    I follow Prof Karol Sikora, an oncologist, who highlights many of these problems on his twitter account.

  41. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    You can get a rough guide to how much NHS capacity is in use by the state of their car parks.
    In normal times you had to queue up for a parking space a good 10-15 minutes – now you get straight in…. with plenty of spaces – the spaces have gradually become less over the last couple of months.

    NHS staff car parks are pretty solid as they always were, suggesting that the hospital is fully staffed, but are the staff fully engaged?

    My wife is getting hydrotherapy treatment – she is often alone in a pool meant for 6.

    Getting specific real effective treatment for a spinal condition proves to be impossible through a specialist. With a follow up telephone appointment scheduled for 12 months away – That’s hardly optimum, but hard to say if that was the result of CV. Certainly, promised blood tests and scans take months just to arrange – I fear I’ll be dead before I get a full diagnosis.

    GP surgeries are still working below the capacity at which we consider normal.

  42. DOM
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Saving the UK from the extremist, racist poison of Critical Race Theory which is now being surreptitiously taught in UK schools.

    Badenoch stood up yesterday and declared the teaching of this vile, divisive poison a ‘criminal offence’

    Like Trump this government should not pander to the fascist bigotry of BLM and ban CRT from our nation before it taints and poisons the minds of thousands of young people

    Stop your silence and confront this movement before it causes social damage

    • Original Chris
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, DOM.

    • steve
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      + 10 !

    • beresford
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Apparently the F1 driver Lewis Hamilton has complained about the appointment of Vladimir Petrov as a steward for this weekend’s Grand Prix because Petrov doesn’t support kneeling for Black Lives Matter. Nobody is allowed to hold an opinion which differs from that which i politically correct.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        the FIA and F1 owners should never have allowed such a pathetic display of pandering to a ‘movement’. Co-ordinated support-chanting videos and the like surely do not appear in their contract. The lip-serving Hollywood insincere drama is pathetic. Hamilton got to be the best by using his talent, dedication, family support and belief shown by several team owners. No racial preferences or advantages.
        End this stage production now!

    • Ginty
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      It’s for the benefit of 40-year-old male pupils sitting in class – to make them feel welcome.

  43. Andy
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The Brexiteers have signed a proper trade deal! Forget the successes they’ve had so far with such giants as the Faroe Islands, the Ivory Coast and Narnia. This one is with the mighty Japan. A proper deal with a proper country. Of course, as EU members we already had a trade deal with Japan – and this one appears basically the same – but let’s credit the Brexiteers with something more than lorry parks, portaloos and cheap tampons for a moment – because Japan made a concession on CHEESE! We know Liz Truss like cheese. And now, thanks to her, exports of blue cheese to Japan – currently worth a few hundred thousand pounds a year – might double. A success like that will recoup the costs of Brexit in as little as 5 million years.

    But as part of the deal Liz also signed as up to some quite tough state aid restrictions. Tougher than the ones being demanded by the EU. Why have you given up our sovereignty and our ability to dish out as much cash as we like to companies run by Tory donors Mr Redwood? We voted for freedom from such rules.

    Of course we don’t know full details of the Japan agreement yet because the government hasn’t shown us – and MPs in our sovereign Parliament do not get a meaningful say on trade deals. Taking back control means giving control to Dominic Cummings – an unelected bureaucrat.

    Mrs Truss also wants us to join the Trans Pacific Partnership. A small trade club with bureaucrats based in Auckland. Who are these foreign bureaucrats, who voted for them and how do I get rid of them? The British people have never been asked about this and our MPs do not get a say. This is not the splendid isolation we voted for. The effect of all this is to have swapped the best trade club in the world which is on our door step, for a significantly less good one half a planet away. Without asking the British people.

    To celebrate I am going to swap the brand new Aston Martin, which is on my driveway, for my uncle’s second hand Reliant Robin which is kept in a garage to which I have no key on the other side of town. Because Brexit.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Enjoy your Reliant.
      Careful on the corners.

      Are we meant to believe your fantasy rant?

      • bill brown
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        At least Andy’s contribution has reaal facts about the new trade deal with Japan. And the outline he has given is according to my information correct.. So actually your contribution is very poor,

        • Edward2
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Real facts !
          It was just a made up rant.

          First you two say we will not get trade deals and then when we do you carp about them
          Pathetic both of you.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            You are the one who is pathetic I have always said that we will get trade deals also with the EU.

            So kindly read it again my dear chap

          • Edward2
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            I have said since 2016 that we will get trade deals and we are getting trade deals.

            Your disappointment is palpable and boringly predicable.

            And pathetic.

    • beresford
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      You fibber, Andy. Your uncle doesn’t have a Reliant Robin.

      • ChrisS
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        And I bet Andy doesn’t have a brand new Aston Martin either !”

    • Richard1
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha you don’t like it do you?! You said there wouldn’t be any trade deals, no one would want to deal with the UK. You said we would have to sign a subjugating deal with the EU and then it would take years to do any more. You were wrong. Again.

      The Japan trade deal is great. It’s better than the EU’s deal. And there will be more. So what if the TPP admin is in Auckland. You don’t need to vote for them it’s just a free trade arrangement. By contrast the EU is a government. Read the treaties if you don’t believe me.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        How, exactly, is it better than the previous one through the European Union?

        Details on materially significant improvements, please.

        • NickC
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Because, Martin, we’re not governed by the EU (or Japan).

      • bill brown
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Richard 1

        “EU a government”

        you do write a lot of nonsense

        • Edward2
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Read the treaties.
          Anthem Flag Courts Presidents, a Parliament a Commission and Ambassadors.
          A body that is making laws rules directives and regulations of its member nations is governing.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            Edward 2

            But as they ahve to be finally approved by local Parliaments, recommended by national government they are not a government.
            Get the facts right

          • Edward2
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

            The power is in the Treaties and controlled by the unelected Commission.
            You need to try harder bill
            Very weak.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 25, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            I am sure you meant to say predictable.

            But it does not change what I ahve writtan about trade deals in the past.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 25, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            No I said palpable deliberately bill.

        • NickC
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          Bill Brown, Not only is the EU a government, it’s your top tier of government, and is recognised as such in international law.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            NickC

            Kindly prove this fact you have just presented?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

            Ehy keep denying it bill
            You like the EU so promote it and be proud of its powers.

    • Stred
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Andy’s Independent Translators sign on the side.

  44. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Just had an email from DHSC – It is implicit propaganda… and yet more brainwashing

    First there is an offer to make “CARE” badges available – “These materials will help remind you and your colleagues of the actions needed this winter”

    Then, far worse — there is a picture of someone with a label on their shoulder – “I’ve had my flu jab” — This I object to because it’s a way to change attitudes …. for people who didn’t take their flu jab to be socially ostracized … and one step away from health passports.

    THIS IS APPALLING

    My reply to DHSC:
    “Please do not perpetuate this social brainwashing – I’m sure the NHS has better ways to spend it’s money, sorry, our money.

    Suggesting that it is socially irresponisible if people do not take up a flu jab is also something I do not want to see. Next you will be insisting that people are not allowed to do anything without this questionable vaccination.”

    https://dhsc-mail.co.uk/campaign/Sx1iaZDJ/552900546748dfb12a012dde/5bb6b443aeaccb410288fef83f508e28?wp-linkindex=0&utm_campaign=Coronavirus_social_care_update_CARE_badges_e-shot&utm_content=dhsc-mail.co.uk&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Department_of_Health_and_Social_Care

    • zorro
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      The whole country is being subjected to an ongoing psychological operation to wear us down. Coercion and guilt shaming is pandemic…. The gems you mentioned above will have come from the ‘nudge unit’ aka Behavioural Insights Team…

      ‘I wear my mask to protect strangers!….. I mean really

      zorro

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        +++

  45. ChrisS
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Health care in Dorset has always been very good and we have experienced none of the delays and problems we read about elsewhere.

    Two weeks ago I had a positive bowel cancer screening test.
    The result came back to me by return of post on a friday in three days.
    Last Monday I had a half hour telephone appointment with a nurse and was offered a Colonoscopy in Poole that Friday or in my preferred Hospital, Bournemouth, the following Thursday, which I accepted.

    Last Thursday I had the procedure on time and was in the hospital for less than four hours The cheery Australian consultant assured me before I left the operating table that there was no cancer.
    The samples taken were analysed and on Monday this week had a phone call to say that indeed, there was nothing to be concerned about. An exemplary performance from Bournemouth Hospital.

    Diabetic reviews are carrying on as normal here as well.

  46. Everhopeful
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    It has been decades since competent people were left to get on with their jobs.
    Probably decades since competent people were recruited on merit.
    “Initiatives” for mad,empire- building “improvement”suck up resources and invariably make things worse.

    Our “Health Service” has suffered because of this.
    No shortage of dosh for barmy nonsense.

    All the boxes were ticked…and Baby P. died.

  47. James Bertram
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Sir John, relevant to today’s article was the report by David Rose in the Daily Mail on the 20th October:
    ‘…Experts say the analysis suggests that even after the pandemic ends, it will take years for the NHS to catch up with backlogs – and it will be too late for tens of thousands of patients….’
    They found:
    – Delays in treatment are set to cause a 20 per cent rise in deaths among newly diagnosed cancer
    patients in England – 6,270 excess deaths this year;
    – Treatment for strokes fell by 45 per cent during lockdown and there were more than 2,000 excess
    deaths in from heart disease;
    – More than 50,000 operations for children were cancelled;
    – Organ transplants fell by two thirds, with the number of those who died on the transplant waiting
    list almost doubling;
    – Total waiting lists for routine orthopaedic and eye operations are at record levels;
    – Calls to child abuse helplines rocketed;
    – As rates of depression and anxiety doubled, thousands of recovering alcoholics have relapsed.

  48. glen cullen
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Trying to get an appointment with my GP is harder than getting an appointment with the Prime Minister

    Trying to get an appointment with my Dentist is harder than getting an appointment with the Pope

    Remember the only treatment you get for the Covid virus from the NHS is paracetamol – from day one the government instruct was to save the NHS, well they have…..at the expense of the peoples health

    Over six months and we’re back to square one – the government policy isn’t working

  49. agricola
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    If there is a weakness in the NHS it is not on the front line dedication of the medical staff. It is in the way in which the pandemic has been allowed to impact on the current medical programme. I accept that there are other impacts such as shortages of staff including consultants in some disciplines, orthopaedics being a case in point. These problems come down to lack of long term planning, an administrative and government deficiency in fact. To this you could add a lack of PPE and Isolation (Nightingale) hospitals. One friend has experienced some of the above by waiting over two years for a prolapsed rectum to be operated upon. Covid 19 has merely highlighted existing weaknesses in the NHS system, most of which could be rectified by professional management.

  50. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    As some have noted it is odd that the NHS decided to go against centuries of best-practice and didn’t have specific quarantine hospitals just for Covid patients. They did in Germany.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      It’s for the same reason that Bottom-Line-Is-The-Lord Anglo-American economic disciples – the English Tories – sold or caused to be sold so many snow ploughs.

      It costs less – in money, that’s all that counts – over time to endure the disruption of a hard winter than it does to be prepared for them.

      It’s the same with pandemics.

      It would also be true, on average across the population, with not insuring your house against fire, if you want to grasp the madness of this.

      • NickC
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Snow ploughs were sold on the basis of the “global warming” panic that you implicitly believe in.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        We had three full recent terms of Labour under Blair and Brown.
        Yet everything is the fault of the Conservatives.
        Hilarious.

  51. John Miller
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John

    I have no medical training at all but I wonder how you break the news to a patient that you are not going to operate on their bowel cancer because they might catch covid?

    Does any NHS employee have the right to take that decision?

    Certainly, I can see no moral case.

  52. Andy
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    The UK government has released a short little video on social media – of an old couple sitting a nice setting drinking wine. And the caption says ‘Settled in France. Check your passport to see if it’s valid after Brexit.”

    The picture is of old people because they were allowed to retire to France. My generation won’t be able to do that because those same old people took away our right of free movement. My taxes are literally being spent on an advert by a government rejected by most of us bragging about the rights it has stolen from us.

    On the plus side when I retire at least I will not be behind bars. Unlike some of the Tory charlatans.

    • steve
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      “On the plus side when I retire at least I will not be behind bars.”

      To be honest, Andy, I don’t see you reaching retirement.

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      ‘… to retire to France. My generation won’t be able to do that …’ I’d be very surprised if you weren’t able to retire to France. You might have to leap over more administrative hurdles but that shouldn’t faze someone old enough to retire.

    • beresford
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      What do you mean ‘retire’ Andy, you despise pensioners and want them stripped of their pensions, remember? Anyway by the time you retire the collapse of the EU will mean that wild horses couldn’t drag you to France. Assuming that we do actually disconnect ourselves from that collapse.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        “The euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012” – Nigel Farage.

        Have you learnt nothing?

        • NickC
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          “For every £1 we put into the EU, we get almost £10 back” – Remain leaflet 2016. And if the EU hadn’t broken its own rules the Euro would have been dead by 2013.

          Have you learnt nothing?

        • Fred H
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          mostly that you and the boy wonder keep repeating your posts!

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      You won’t be able to retire.

      The taxman is after you.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Dave Spart speaks!
      Andy you are comedy gold.

  53. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    My husband has to have cancer check ups. The last one was late but at least it was done. Another is due but we’ve not heard anything. I can’t even get an appointment with my GP for a blood test and our dental check ups have been cancelled twice now. At this rate I wonder even with a vaccine if we will ever get back to normal. From what I can see many people are just going about their daily business and not showing concern about the virus. 30% of the tests showing positive results are wrong. How can we survive like this? We need accurate monitoring and we need to know if the people dying having other pressing health conditions whereby they would have died anyway even with a case of seasonal flu. I was speaking to two GP’s only this morning who are both working from home. A ridiculous situation. How can they see patients working from home? It’s all a nonsense.

  54. Martyn G
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Last weekend when on my boat on the upper Thames I had a medical emergency for which friends thought I needed medical attention and dialled 999. The response to that was very impressive, bearing in mind my boat location was only accessible up a narrow track leading to a lock and then into a barren field against which I was moored. The ambulance arrived in under 15 minutes. I recall little of what then happened until coming to in A&E around 7 p.m. I was seen by a nurse (I think Eastern European by sound of voice) who then tried, painfully for me, four times to extract blood. Then a painful op to fit a canula to my right hand. After that, nothing. I sat where I was without any attention at all until 2 a.m., at which point I decided to go home. Arranged a next day appointment with my GP (great service at local level) who, after examination tried to get me accepted by the appropriate hospital team. The hospital denied him, so he referred me to them and I received a letter 3 days later telling me to use its code etc to log in and make an appointment. I did so, selected an appointment date and time, only to be faced with a notice saying ‘appointment cannot be made’ – that and nothing more. I am quite OK by the way and wondering if I will ever be able to make an appointment or will have to go private (assuming that is still possible, since the NHS has, I believe, taken them over?). So far as I am concerned not all is well in some areas of non-covid hospital workings.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Marty G

      Typical of Hospital Administration.

      Happens time and time again.

  55. AndyC
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Hello Sir John, this is a simple one to answer. The NHS has never been less busy. General NHS bed occupancy averaged 88.9% for the 2010-2019 period. So far in 2020, the equivalent percentage is 62.8%.

    Data here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/bed-availability-and-occupancy/bed-data-overnight/

    This raises a number of very awkward questions. In what sense is the NHS ‘overwhelmed’? The above figures are for general beds, but critical bed occupancy is no higher than in previous years, and trusts in any case are able to expand critical provision from the general stock as needed. Also, what has happened to the 20% or so of patients who would have been in hospital, who are not? Are they patients being deined treatment? Are they elderly patients who have been kicked into care homes?

    • NickC
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      AndyC, Your figures for NHS bed occupancy declining from a previous average of 88.9% (2010-2019), to 62.8% in 2020, is alarming. NHS management has a lot to answer for.

  56. graham1946
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    No, things are not back to normal, nor will they be. You have to jump through hoops to get to talk to a GP or nurse after a giving Receptionists a detailed description of your health problem and they decide if it warrants a call back. They are unusually aggressive.
    Simple things like blood tests, where we used to just turn up with our form at the local hospital have been stopped. It is all now done by appointment, which means a phone call to a central booking system, accepting a time they give you whether or not convenient as regards buses etc., a grilling on your health, instructions not to turn enter the hospital early. Waiting room seats have been taken out and just one on each wall. My cancer investigation has been put back to a phone call in February.

    Normal? Hancock and co are having you on.

  57. agricola
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Having suffered nine months of Covid disaster why do we have to endure a parallel depiction of all that is negative in the human being called Emmerdale, an ITV soap for all those who have never heard of it. The actors do a convincing professional job, deserving every penny they get. The script writers however must come from a nether world where no one can depict genuine success or even the ability to get on with ones fellow human beings. It is the most negative monument to all that is evil. After almost every episode the audience are invited to contact whoever, if they are experiencing similar failings and have issues to discuss. A formula for guaranteed manic depression. There is more positivity and occasional humour in the weather forecast preceding it by Lucy on ITV and Des on ITV Central.

  58. John E
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I needed a routine blood test yesterday. Previously my doctors ran a Wednesday morning clinic and I would have walked down and waited maybe ten minutes.
    Now we have to drive 11 miles to Bracknell instead. Then when I arrived I was told that their systems are unable to talk to the systems at my doctors so I had to drive back, collect a paper form from them and then return to Bracknell. So in all 45 miles driven and an hour of waiting for the very simplest of procedures.

    The Royal Berks Healthspace in Bracknell is definitely not back to normal. The Urgent Care facility is “Closed due to COVID” . The overall feel of the place is more post apocalyptic than welcoming.

    As ever the nurses and other staff I met were professional and helpful. It’s the management that is not joined up.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      A few days ago I went to Bracknell, with my Test form, arrived about 10.15 1 space left in carpark, waited 2 minutes at the blood test office, a ghost-town, called in, tested and out in 3 minuites. Superb!

  59. Lifelogic
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Sajid Javid today: – Why Britain is better off with Joe Biden in White House.

    Wrong (as usual) just like William Hague. Trump (for all him many faults) is far more pro UK, is sound on energy, fracking, taxation levels and climate alarmism and he would be far better at getting a rapid economic recovery post Covid. At least in the US they have a real choice over climate alarmism unlike the UK. Where we have the endless, entirely one sided (and wrong) BBC propaganda.

    It will be a shame if the USA has to suffer Biden policies (due mainly to Trump being blamed for Covid).

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      LL yes and we have to endure Labour because of Covid

    • Original Chris
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      The one world government globalists, apparently including Johnson and Javid (and many other Tory MPs), are going to get a rude awakening if P Trump has a landslide victory, which I believe is highly likely.

      A Trump victory is of vital and immense importance for the freedom of the western world. Otherwise we will be condemned to UN Agenda 21 and 2030 of the globalists, with the US being destroyed and the single remaining global power, China, assuming the reins of power in the global government.

      It is no coincidence that the CCP have been infiltrating the USA major institutions, apparently with the aid of the radical Left Democrats, in order to destroy America from within. The infiltration by the CCP has been happening here, but apparently our politicians are either too blind to see it, or are complicit. Wuhan style lockdowns are happening here and that is no coincidence either.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        A landslide is rather optimistic – but I do hope he wins if only to annoy BBC types!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          That appears to be about the extent of what you have in life.

  60. Christine
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    From my own experience:

    1) My husband had to wait 4 months to get a heart monitor that he was told should take 2 weeks.

    2) Tried to get an appointment with the doctor this week and was told it’s a 4 week wait.

    3) I normally have my diabetic check up every 6 months. My last one was a year ago.

    4) Decided to go private for a biopsy but the surgeon said he couldn’t guarantee it going ahead as his entire list was cancelled last week to free up beds for covid patient.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Disgusting. Perhaps if you contract Covid you might gain entry to hospital.

  61. NickC
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    JR, I was seen by my GP within one day, about a month ago, for a problem that could have become serious, but was cured by quick simple medical treatment. A builder I know had a minor eye injury a few days ago and was seen immediately.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Nick C seems like it must be the post code lottery

      • NickC
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Fedup, I think you are correct – there is a postcode lottery element. But figures from Villaking, and AndyC, show that in general, NHS hospitals have not been pulling their weight (operations down, and bed occupancy down).

  62. MWB
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The useless NHS is the new religion, against which facts and logic are to no avail. The UNHS should be privatised and follow a German model.

    Who appointed the Harding woman ? A usless individual who was a spectacular failure at TalkTalk.

    Johnson is compeltely out of his depth, and looks pathetic.

    What do they teach these people at their taxpayer subsidised private schools ?

    There is a large general hospital in Manchester that still has old buildings from well before the NHS was formed, and I’ve told ministers many times, to get this sorted out. Now at last plans are afoot to replace them with a new hospital, decades baehind London of course.

    You have a few Conservative MPs for constituncies in Greater Manchester, but I fear that their tenure will be brief. Might make a difference in the next election.

  63. oldwulf
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    “What is your experience of access to non urgent treatments…”

    In March, I was due to have a minor procedure performed by the nurse at my local GP. I received a ‘phone call shortly before lockdown. The procedure was postponed/cancelled. I have heard nothing further since. However, I have received a text message to ‘phone for a flu jab.

    As a separate matter, in February I developed a “minor” health issue which required surgery. I recollect that the appointment with the GP was around a week after my contact. The GP, of course, could not be specific but suggested that surgery might take 6 months. I did not wish to live with the health issue for 6 months (or maybe longer ?) andso I said that I would be prepared to pay. I do not consider myself to be wealthy although I suppose that everything is relative. I met with the surgeon in March and the surgery was to have taken place on 8 April. However, lockdown was announced and the NHS apparently commandeered the hospital so that the surgery was postponed. It eventually took place on 10 August, during a window of opportunity. If I were cynical, I might feel that the NHS was unable to perform the surgery within a reasonable time scale and then made sure that no-one else could either. Having said all of this, I am very well aware that many people are in a far worse situation than me and, in the end, I have been lucky.

    From what I have read, many people believe that the NHS needs more white coats and blue uniforms and has far too many suits. It seems as though the management and structure needs a total overhaul.

    • NickC
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Oldwulf, I agree completely that NHS management has proved not fit for purpose – they neither pre-planned, nor exercised flexibility in the emergency.

  64. Messenger
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    A friend of mine had her previously very successful treatment for macular degeneration cancelled between March and August, She has now been told that the subsequent deterioration in her eyesight is irreparable.

    Clap for the NHS? I think not.

    • NickC
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Messenger, That is disgraceful behaviour by the NHS. More likely to be the NHS management’s fault rather than doctors and nurses.

  65. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    As per my previous posts, the eConsult online form seems to have a question for every known symptom. Basically unless you complete go away. The seemingly chaotic pre CV system of telephoning for an appointment (telephone or face to face) or even calling into an open door surgery for sit and wait advice from that endangered species i.e. GP seems ancient history. Once you are identified as online you are trapped in bureaucracy on steroids. For non online patients endless hanging on that is if you have a landline, if not the mobile calling cost can be astronomic. Is 111 basically eConsult?

    The GP service has been struggling for decades with GPs bailing out early through paperwork and not being medics. Now the concept is self destructing.

    GPs working in shifts 24/7 in A&E would be a good starting point.

  66. Pieter C
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    The biggest problem in the NHS is that they see the customer as the Government rather than the patient. According to the Beveridge Report of 1941, 90% of people had insurance cover to see their GP and 11m workers had cover for hospital treatment (but not their families). The sensible policy would have been to build on this with a compulsory insurance scheme, subsidised for those on low incomes. Instead we had the Labour party’s promises of a state funded socialist nirvana in order to get elected in 1945. Demand for an essential service which is perceived to be free will always be un-manageably high.

    • NickC
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Pieter C, Yes the top-down 1950s socialist style NHS has proved dismal when tested in an emergency. My parents told me that the standard GP visit (to the patients home!) fee was 2/6 (12.5p) but that the Doctor reduced his charges for the poor.

  67. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-serco-group-contract/serco-mears-win-2-9-billion-refugee-housing-contracts-in-britain-idUKKCN1P216Z

    £2.9 billion of our taxes to house etc refugees – – clearly the Priti and Dan show is there to do NOTHING to stop the invasion.

    • RichardM
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      These are contracts given to companies run by Tory party donors. Probably without any proper bidding process.
      It’s in the government’s interests to keep this relatively trivial issue in the headlines. It deflects from their failures in addressing the real issues that actually affect us.

  68. Iago
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    From the jonova website in Perth, Australia today, an excellent article about the present course of the disease, which our ruling elite will not read. Near the end, it contains the words:

    Spread the word about Vitamin D, and Zinc. Write to politicians to why they will spend billions, lock people indoors, but not bother fixing known deficiencies with five cent vitamins?

  69. Christine
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Latest ONS figures for week 41:

    Influenza and pneumonia mentions – Five-year average = 1,600

    Influenza and pneumonia mentions – current figures = 1,183

    Covid- 19 mentions = 438

    Added together the current Influenza, pneumonia and Covid-19 mentions are 1,621

    So analysing the figures we are only 21 deaths higher than the 5-year average for this type of cause of death.

    Why are we locking down the country for Covid-19 but have never done this for flu, which is currently killing nearly three times the number of people?

    Just to put this into prospective the total number of deaths in England and Wales for the latest week is 9,954 of which 438 had COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate. Out of these 438 how many died of other conditions?

    We are seeing 143 deaths above the 5-year average. How many of these are attributed to patients receiving substandard treatment?

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Good post – thanks for the info

  70. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    My hernia operation (I have had it for a year now) was cancelled this week, so I have to go private (£3000 – no insurance of course – I have been paying for my NHS membership). A friend has a wonky knee – thousands of pounds which he says he cannot pay so he will endure the pain. And so on. If I know people, then there are lots out there. And our complaints are nothing compared with people who find a lump and get told to take an aspirin over the phone.
    Meanwhile covid is being hyped. the number of deaths may be increasing, but measuring percentage increase (hat tip my economics lecturer at Pembroke) is not the same as monitoring actual figures and computers only give back what you put in …

  71. Newmania
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I would as soon entrust Sir John Redwood with the NHS as I would entrust a young ladies delicate and exposed neck to a Count Dracula
    Personally I found the service much improved , partly because GP`s are less clogged up with old ladies who want a chat and partly because they are finally up to speed with the a device called the “Telephone “. Ye gods what next, email ?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      No desire to improve then?
      Copy better modern health systems like Germany or France for example?

      • bill brown
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        Do the world a favour and read past comemnts before you make rash judgement. Not very good I am afraid. I am sure even you can do better?

        • Edward2
          Posted October 24, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for your wonderfil advice bill.
          I will definitely try to do better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      It is a great shame someone sensible like JR did not sort out the dire NHS many years ago. We need it to start charge those you can afford to pay and we need fair competition between the private sector and the NHS not a rigged market that kills fair competition. We need tax rebates for people who go privately. If you are on the list for a knee, hip or other op they should perhaps give you half the cost if you go privately. Thus saving the NHS 50% and shortening the waiting times for others for example.

      The German system is far from perfect but clearly hugely better than the UK’s. The NHS is one of the worst systems in the world for such a developed nation. It kills nearly all competition and innovation. It had incentives to rationing and delay treatments and does so. It is hugely inefficient and it kill and fails millions.

      It does however have some excellent people working for it despite this.

      • RichardM
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        The German system is better for one simple reason. They fund it better with higher taxation.

        • steve
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Also the german health system is not left wing PC woke and all the rest of that crap, unlike ours.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          I think you mean they fund it due to the other 26 paying into their GDP by buying everything Germany makes – they have no choice left.

          • hefner
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

            How ridiculous! Do you ever think before writing such a stupid thing?
            Healthcare in Germany is paid by the German population through a mix of statutory (compulsory) health insurance (around 7.5% of an individual’s wages) and private health insurance.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          No it is the structure of the NHS that is dire and will never work. They have little interest in responding to customer’s needs as they do not pay. This also kill most alternative suppliers. To the NHS patients are a nusance to be kept away if possible. They treated with complete contempt by much of it.

          • RichardM
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            Hefner no need to resort to insults. Germany spend more of their GDP than we do on health. Money is taken directly from salary and paid into a state controlled scheme. This is taxation.
            You can argue they spend it better, as we have a government who seem to spaff billions away to private companies who don’t deliver. When are we going to get this ‘world beating’ covid tracing system we were promised delivered by them?

          • hefner
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

            RichardM, Sorry but the comment by FredH was simply ridiculous. It had nothing to do with your original comment.

            Indeed both Germany and France (as other countries) take money explicitly every month from one’s pay check via an agreement that the States have with employers or ask for a monthly payment by self-employed people.
            The UK does the same via the tax system (general taxation and NI contributions).

            And I can only agree with your comment about how the UK is presently spaffing money to private companies for a hardly functional T&T system.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 24, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

            So does the UK via National Insurance and Income Tax which pays for the NHS.

    • steve
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      “…partly because GP`s are less clogged up with old ladies who want a chat”

      Thats because they’ve been dumped onto the Pharmacies instead.

  72. a-tracy
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    It makes me sad when relatives say to me I’ll be glad when the doctors go back to normal. I want to say I think it will always be like this in the future, the surgeries have got used to not being at everyone’s beck and call and some people were abusing the system. Some surgeries don’t answer the phone half the time now, yesterday a clinic in London didn’t answer for an hour. Some people have been abusing local services just rocking up without appointments demanding to be seen, being aggressive with receptionists insisting on appointments and when seen by the GP it wasn’t so serious. Now there is a blocker, in a lot of surgeries you have a triaged appointment online, or you have to fill in an e-form and send a photo.

    As for hospitals, every appointment gets at least a £3 extra parking charge. Every visiting relative the same £3- £5 in England only. That’s if you can find a space sometimes you have to go 40 minutes before just to park, no train links, poor bus connections that create super long journeys and extra expense. Now the NHS want elderly people to go to hospitals over 20 miles drive away in places/towns they don’t normally travel to causing them anxiety and often at short notice. Procedures are also cancelled at short notice – it seems they forget how anxious people get before procedures arranging things in their lives for aftercare, food deliveries, time off work! I have known people to have taken 24 hours pre-treatment fasting and get their procedure cancelled.

    There have been some improvements though, we used to have to go for phlebotomy services a half-hour drive away and queue up first come first served, goodness knows what time some of the retired people got there because every time you would be about 20th in line but when a fasting blood test is required some people can’t wait until midday without food because of sugar disorders (people were often just sat there for over two hours waiting feeding the parking machine). We asked and asked and finally got local blood testing with an amazingly good phlebotomist who now does 500+ appointments in just six months during covid locally.

    John, the Test and Trace people were put in place by your government, who gave them the contract? Surely a group of you MPs can call their bosses into a meeting to explain exactly what is happening?

  73. Qubus
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Before we can expect any real change, we have to disabuse the population of the belief that the NHS is the envy of the world.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      And that our “democracy” is too.
      Politicians have traded for far too long on these two fallacies.

  74. glen cullen
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Tier 1 = Medium, Tier 2 = High, Tier 3 = Very High

    What’s Low or Zero? – perhaps Tier 0 = Low, Tier –1 = Zero

    Does this government think we’re that stupid

    We don’t believe you

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I posted this before Nicola Sturgeon – she robbed my idea

    • steve
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      “Does this government think we’re that stupid”

      …..er..yes. All governments do.

  75. forthurst
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Why is the Health Service run by English people with Arts degrees and the hospitals and GP surgeries staffed by large numbers of women and foreign doctors? Where are the Englishmen with medical qualifications? In Australia? Apart from being unemployable elsewhere except such as the meeja, is there any particular reason why the public sector should be run by Arts graduates? Is it not time to close down most Arts courses and replace them with science? Why should people go to university to study something easy but useless purely so they can boast letters after their names which imply neither intelligence nor competance. In countries which have had a good war against the virus, are there large numbers of no-nothing Arts graduates in the mix e.g. in charge of their national Test and Trace failures?

  76. XYXY
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    It’s difficult to know. People in my family have been waiting for treatments but they always take a long time with the NHS, so how can we tell?

    A friend who went to start work in Singapore got to see a Dr the same evening she called.

    What is working well is the appointments with a doctor on the telephone – so much easier than sitting in a waiting room for hours with snuffling people and noisy, uncontrolled kids. Perhaps we could keep that system post-covid?

    I know appointments for X-rays etc take about a week and you’re in and out in minutes. Consultant appointments, even those done by phone to discuss test results, are taking a very long time – but to be entirely fair, they may be dealing differently with those who are found to be ill and those where nothing is found (even if further investigation is required).

  77. roger
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    We know there was a large dip in activity during the intense period of the CV 19 crisis in the spring
    My wife has experienced a large dip in activity having died from five months of being fobbed of by qualified practitioners from behind their drawbridges, and my brothers wife, whose investigatory appointment on day one of lockdown was cancelled, has succumbed to liver cancer and is also now inactive.
    Before the new regime of telephone and internet appointments becomes enrooted, someone in government needs to ask quite how a diagnoses can be made without touch or smell and with reliance on colour settings for sight?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      What an absolute unmitigated tragedy. I’m sure all posters send condolences.

  78. Morris Driver
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    As long as patients are unable to make a GP face to face appointment the NHS will not be back to normal (or our day to day experience).

    Writing ‘I’ve got a pain in my arse’ in an eform or dictating to an always short of time receptionist currently elicits the response request to send a photo to be evaluated by a health professional.

    If you’re fortunate you might be added to a list for the doctor to call when it suits them (it’ll definitely be today!) but face to arse, never.

  79. Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The NHS will now be hated by about 50% of the UK, the same amount who hate the Lockdown and MPs who wear rainbow badges. It is divide and conquer.

  80. Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The NHS will now be hated by about 50% of the UK, the same amount who hate the Lockdown and MPs who wear rainbow badges. It is divide and conquer.


    Who was getting all the nurses dancing in empty hospitals during lockdown?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Anon. Some idiot with nothing better to do which would seem to be most of the nhs staff at the moment

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      I seethed at that.

      My job is one that’s on the line.

  81. Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I have always had horrendously bad experiences with NHS, literally any other model is preferable.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes.

      A father misdiagnosed and dying of prostate bone cancer (one of the worst ways to go.)

      A mother crippled by a dye injected in her spine for a scan. Pain killers for life and deleterious effects on organs.

  82. John Hatfield
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    There are more staff than patients at our local hospital it seems. At least you can get a car parking space more easily nowadays.

  83. No longer Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    If we don’t earn soon there will be no NHS to save.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      +1

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        +2

      • No Longer Anonymous
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Thanks.

        I would hope that tubular scarves are being exempted from VAT. They are easier to use than masks and I would hate for the government to be accused of taxing us for the air that we breathe.

        In fact why aren’t masks provided free seeing as we’re being forced to wear them against our will ?

  84. Barbara
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe anyone, especially any MP, is discussing anything else when Boris is sending the army into Liverpool to ensure that businesses ‘comply’ with tyrannical government rules and the police are setting up road blocks along the Welsh border to stop anyone going out or in.

    Sorry, but this has gone too far. This is nothing to do with our health.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Barbara I tend to agree.

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Me too

  85. L Jones
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    ”Today some people are still worrying about NHS capacity…”

    So why are the ‘Nightingales’ being dismantled if there are ”fears of a second wave”?
    Is it because it is actually KNOWN by the powers that be that there is not and will not be a ”second wave”?

  86. hefner
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    A somewhat related 5-page item in this week’s (22/10) Investors Chronicle ‘The Price of Health’ by Megan Boxall and John Hughman, with various insights on ‘the cost of a life’, the distribution of health expenses related to the patient’s age, comparative ways to fund a health system, how clinical commissioning groups deal with their budget, the (successful or not) digitisation of the NHS, and prevention.

  87. Lifelogic
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I see that lockdown sceptics.report that;

    Medical Journals Refuse To Publish Landmark Danish Mask Study

    I assume this is because it suggests that masks were not very effective or even that they did more harm than good. Only follow the science if it works with the politics it seems.

    Rather like the BBC failing to report anything that suggest that Climate Alarmism is to say the least “somewhat exaggerated” as most sensible scientist know very well. Or that the renewable solutions simply do not work even in CO2 terms as most sensible scientist also know very well.

    • cornishstu
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you can guarantee if it had been pro mask it would be in print and the likes of the BBC would be shouting about it 24/7

    • Javelin
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 3:44 am | Permalink

      According to a recent study 85% of people reuse their mask. Thus turning them into a means of distributing the virus.

      Disposable masks should be destroyed as medical waste between each use. Even it is for a few minutes in one place, such as a shop. A new mask should be worn at each location.

      I say this on the basis that the proper use of masks is completely unsustainable.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Possibly because it was not conducted according to established scientific principle?

  88. Rachel Chandler
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, On a broad level (ONS stats) it is worrying that while the overall level of deaths has been around the 5 year average since mid-June, fewer people are dying in hospital and more are dying at home. There has undoubtedly been missed cancer and treatments, undiagnosed cardiovascular disease, increased domestic abuse, mental health problems, etc. David Rose has gathered information and published it in the Daily Mail on Tuesday. The NHS does seem to be in a greater mess than we ever imagined and sadly ill people seem to be thinking the government’s message is : “Protect the NHS, die at home”.
    Another problem is the NHS’s unnwillingness to adapt so that they properly separate facilities as “isolation” hospitals. It seems that many people entering hospitals for other conditions end up infected – or at least testing positive so contributing to so-called “cases”.

  89. William Long
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The failure to make ‘Track and Trace’ work in a timely way says everything about the incompetence of the management of the NHS. You would have thought that the failure of the centralised new IT system would have taught the people in charge that the organisation is far too big for everything to be micro managed from the centre, as has been proved by the fact that the few locally run ‘Track and Trace’ operations operate much more effectively than the central one.
    There is no hope that things will improve without a government with the determination to take on all the vested inertia that is set against change, but there is little sign that the present Government meets this descrription. indeed it has been made still less likely to happen by the promoting many of the inertia merchants as ‘experts’ in the Covid press briefings.

  90. RichardM
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Are you also seeking disclosure of the secret contracts given to the likes of Sitel, Serco? Who is monitoring these contracts ?

  91. steve
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    JR

    Good article.

    However I suspect things are going to get worse for the NHS before they improve.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      The NHS will never improve.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 24, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Somehow the powers that be have moved the NHS into the nation’s psyche. Akin to your religion it cannot be criticised, restructured, or reduced. Reaction to any threat has been to chuck £billions at it as if that will cure all ills.

  92. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    We as a GP service are not back to normal and are not likely to return to the previously wrongly used service

    We can operate from home, if required ,with access to file and prescribing services.

    The in house consultations are mainly telephone consultations which prevents waiting rooms full of people mixing in these times.

    Clinics for baby immunisations and cervical cytology are well timed with one person allowed in the waiting room at any one time.

    Severe chest pain will go straight to A&E, however for heart problems that are not as straight forward I will take an ECG and bloods there and then without the wait in A&E.

    As usual secondary care , primary care and paramedics can liase by telephone between themselves. Paramedics provide an excellent service . If an ambulance is called out they can prevent admission to hospital by undertaking treatment there and then ; For example an asthma attack .
    The services which in our area are falling by the wayside are chiropody , reviews of Diabetes mellitus, wound care and dressings .In previous years we have had contracts called QOF for which if we met standards of review and intervention we would get paid extra . These reviews cannot be carried out due to Covid. A&E are still referring wounds and dressings back to the GP which I do not undertake any more and the wound service is refusing many patients who they think should be able to manage by themselves ,,. but they cant!

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      And the serious stuff like long term high blood pressure leading to cardiovascular death is being missed.

      Children screaming in pain unable to sleep due to ear ache are still ignored.

      It’s not a health system any other developed country would recognise.

      • Margaret bj
        Posted October 25, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        No I consult children with earache immediately and give appropriate treatment however we do suggest city a simple £20.00 blood pressure monitoring can be done at home and records taken. Blood samples can still be undertaken and if patients are concerned they can have an emergency review.

        • M Brandreth- Jones
          Posted October 25, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          The way the system works in my area is that all can phone in from 8.0am . There will be a multitude of problems from chest infections , tonsillitis to all ear problems , swollen glands , headache , generally unwell etc. These are addressed within 2 hours of the phone call . Anyone who needs a face to face appt will be invited in to either my surgery or to see the lead practitioner. No one asking for help is ignored.

          Blood pressure problems are addressed and the advice of many leading physicians is that patients should purchase a simple sphygmomanometer and record their blood pressure . It is not a difficult thing to do . We are always on the phone.

          The monitoring is not as aggressive as I would like , however with changing times people must take more responsibility for their own health .

          • Iain Gill
            Posted October 29, 2020 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            hard to afford a blood pressure machine when you are living on universal credit with kids to feed. hard to know what good looks like if you have had no education on that. hard to know you even have a problem that needs monitoring if you have never had your blood pressure taken.

            I am glad your patients get timely service, the same cannot be said for many other patients in this country.

            try having a kid screaming with ear ache on the first day of a long bank holiday in this country, and see how hard it is to get any help at all out of the system.

  93. BetterTimesAhead
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    My son is suffering reduced vision in one eye.
    He was referred by the optician for NHS investigation.

    We waited and waited and eventually paid for a private, initial consultation. Problems with precious vision is very worrying indeed.
    Still not heard from the NHS.

    My wife had a problem with a toe, and was seen within 2 weeks by a podiatrist.

  94. Ginty
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    So …err… what’s this Tory government doing allowing 40-year-old men to pose as school children with our kids ????

    You really do put everyone but your own people first, don’t you !

    Think you’d get away with it ?

    • Jasper
      Posted October 25, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Read about that yesterday- absolutely disgraceful. The school even tried to intimidate the family who raised their concerns by accusing them of bullying. What is a parent supposed to do in these circumstances, why are teachers not raising concerns. If children can identify these individuals who purport to be children why can’t an adult!! Coventry council and the Government have a lot to answer too here. I understand Home Office have asked for an urgent review – however this should have been done in the beginning!!

  95. beresford
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    It seems that France is feeling its oats and is now threatening to end the vapid Brexit talks unless Britain makes ‘concessions’ in the next few days. If they follow through on this I would have no problem nominating Macron for a statue on the vacant pedestal in Trafalgar Square.

  96. Lifelogic
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Indeed. China, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, Taiwan ….. it is all very worrying indeed.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Our pathetic CV-19 response has handed the world to the CCP.

      In the free world it was essential that we shield the vulnerable and keep buggering on.

  97. Iain Gill
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Gloucestershire police guarding the border with Wales, and stopping English people crossing the border, enforcing a rule made up by the Welsh assembly which it has no power to make. We really are turning into a tin pot dictatorship

    • Javelin
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 3:38 am | Permalink

      It’s vital we police the Government bank accounts as well, so no English tax payers money get into a defacto independent Wales.

  98. Nicky Roberts
    Posted October 23, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Today I went to the Royal Free Hospital following remote treatment from my GP for blepharitis which had got worse. I got into A and E and was seen by a receptionist, then a nurse within 10 minutes. I then saw a junior doctor again within about 15 minutes. He explained my condition to a senior doctor who suggested I went up to the eye clinic. I got an appointment for an hour later. I was given a very thorough examination by an eye specialist, a scan, an eye test, and the doctor finally gave me a prescriptions The whole process was swift, detailed and efficient. After months of suffering with this condition I was able to see someone face to face and benefit from their experience and expertise. I just cannot fault the process. Very impressive.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted October 25, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      So good to hear a positive story, thanks for sharing.

  99. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 24, 2020 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    The NHS – or rather our health services – need to:
    – End free-at-the-point-of-use in order to generate non-taxation revenue and manage demand; the charges can be modest
    – Recruit and retain more nurses by giving them a pay rise
    – Allow doctors to work a lot of overtime
    – Encourage doctors to delegate more to nurses and pharmacies
    – Isolate all COVID-19 patients in fully staffed Nightingale hospitals
    – Reduce the amount spent on geriatric medicine
    – Invest in care in the community for the mentally ill

    Finally, recognise that major services and industries are not best run by a cabinet of 20 generalists held to account by 650 quarrelsome generalists and a near senile second chamber. So, after reform is complete, politicians please butt out.

  100. agricola
    Posted October 24, 2020 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    A litany of incompetent or maliciou administration is the story behind the majority of responses you have received to this article. Can I suggest a grouping within Parliament of similar effectiveness as ERG to formulate a rectification of the administration of the NHS. If I am to believe all I read above, and I do, it could be the single greatest act of public service to be performed by a group of MPs since the abolition of slavery in the UK.

    The front line of medical workers must be freed to perform the service they have trained for many years to give.

    • agricola
      Posted October 24, 2020 at 4:21 am | Permalink

      PS.
      When the service of salvation itself requires saving, “Saving theNHS” , you are in dire trouble, so please give it serious thought.

  101. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    It is Sunday morning and we should sing our new hymn….

    Amazing State

    Amazing State, how sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost, but now am found
    Was blind but now I see

    Was The State that taught my heart to fear
    And The State, my fears relieved
    How precious did that State appear
    The hour I first believed
    Through many dangers, toils and snares
    We have already come
    T’was The State that brought us safe thus far
    And The State will lead us home
    And The State will lead us home
    Amazing State, how sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost but now am found
    Was blind but now I see
    Was blind, but now I see

  102. Mel Drew
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I watched Dispatches regarding Covid 19 and was appalled by the limited and seemingly misinformed content. My letter to Channel 4 is as follows:-
    Dear Sir/Madam
    Since watching your Dispatches program last Monday I have tried to contact you regarding this very important issue. I invite you to read my original email below and hope you will accept that as a fully trained and experienced but now retired environmental health officer, having spent 20+ years at county council level I am able to comment on the current situation from a public health viewpoint. My main concern, particularly after yesterday’s lockdown proposals, is that there are many other areas where we should be doing much more, both environmentally and immunologically to reduce the spread of this virus. For example we have the Hands, Face and Space slogans but where are any messages about the need to ventilate and to take sufficient vitamin D and zinc supplements. With regard to the latter topics I have just received the latest daily video from Dr. John Campbell, a well respected British nurse trainer with a worldwide following of almost a million subscribers. The evidence he gives regarding low levels of vitamin D in admitted Covid 19 casers is very convincing. See https://youtu.be/HxtddpoPMKo. Yesterday’s BBC News broadcasts also contained interviews with some very eminent public health specialists which I found very informative
    If you accept that the government should be doing more, much of it very inexpensive when compared with what has already been spent, you may wish to carry out some further investigations and broadcast an update to your previous Dispatches programme. I am as keen as anyone to help reduce the spread of this disease while a “magic bullet” is sought and my contact telephone number will be found on my earlier email below. Incidentally my interest in this matter is driven purely by vocational public health professionalism, not financial.
    Kind regards
    Retired County Environmental Health Officer

  103. quick loan
    Posted November 1, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

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    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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