This is just a (lengthy) excerpt, but you can draw your own conclusions.
Everything’s going to plan. Asked about the 55,000 operations postponed in hospitals so far this winter, the Prime Minister said: “You mention operations being postponed – that is part of the plan.”
It shows how dedicated this Government is that they’ve gone to such lengths to meet their targets. Maybe they’d only cancelled 53,000, but Jeremy Hunt calmly rang every hospital and told them to cancel 2,000 more to complete their plan.
Then NHS staff, already exhausted, worked overtime to ensure the figure was met. Perhaps Hunt himself marched into operating theatres and personally shoved appendixes that were being removed back inside the patients because he’s determined to meet the targets.
One spokesman for the Government, Philip Dunne, answered a question about hospitals that had run out of beds by saying there were seats available so they could sit in them. This is the ‘outside the box’ thinking we need for a modern health service. Why are we so obsessed with the old-fashioned bed?
There are X-ray machines and MRI scanners they could lie in, and if they were switched on the radiation would give them extra warmth, so patients would not only emerge from hospital with their gallstones removed but could boast a healthy tan.
Or there are the car parks where you could fit hundreds of patients, which would be excellent value after 7pm because they’d only be charged the night rate of 80p an hour.
This system could be spread throughout hospitals, so beds are renamed parking bays and each patient has to put money in a meter. If they go over their time or their foot creeps outside the sheets, they’ll get a ticket.
Several hospital officials have written a letter to the Health Secretary complaining about the lack of beds. One of them says that, at his hospital, “120 patients a day are being treated in corridors”. This proves how under-used corridors are.
Every office has corridors – we can put the sick there.
This exciting modern outlook for health can be explained in a little slogan – “Strokes are more jolly when you’re left on a trolley” – and bit by bit we’ll complete the plan.
We should get David Attenborough to make a documentary about this wonderfully inventive method of running our health system, in which he says: “Now we see the Government dutifully going about its task of thinning out the herd. Left in corridors, only the strongest will survive – and in such ways the species will complete this part of its plan.”
The head of NHS Providers has also written publicly to say the National Health Service has fallen further behind the targets set in its constitution than it ever has before. So a few MPs have suggested the solution is to change the standards set in its constitution.
This is a magnificently efficient method for dealing with falling short of your standards. Instead of going through all the palaver of raising the standards to meet the targets, why not lower them to whatever your standards already are?
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