NHS admits outsourcing threatened patients but responds with ‘Look at the money we’ve saved’

Everybody should be deeply concerned by the attitude of NHS England.

After admitting that outsourcing back-office services to privateers Capita had caused a risk of serious harm – serious harm – to patients, the only defence was that the change had saved £60 million.

This just demonstrates how badly the NHS has its priorities muddled, thanks to Tory mismanagement.

Can someone please point out the bleeding obvious:

In the NHS even a saving of one penny is not worth it if a patient comes to harm.

Patients could have been put at risk of serious harm after NHS services in England were outsourced, a report says.

Nearly 90 women were wrongly told they were no longer part of the cervical screening programme after Capita started running back-office services in 2015, the National Audit Office said.

It said services had been “way below” acceptable standards, although no harm to patients had been found.

NHS England acknowledged “difficulties” but said the change had saved £60m.

Source: NHS outsourcing ‘could have caused harm’

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4 thoughts on “NHS admits outsourcing threatened patients but responds with ‘Look at the money we’ve saved’

  1. Lauretta Pearson

    This is what happened to me yesterday. I have removed names. This is an email I have sent to my Cardiologist’s secretary.

    As brief as I can make it: Today (16th May 2018) I had an appointment/interview with my new GP Dr ……….. at …………….. Medical Centre. It may be me, I just don’t know, but he seemed to be obsessed with why I left ………….. Medical Centre and the cost of the Coagulation Strips to the NHS. [At this stage I offered to pay]  I just explained briefly that there was one Nurse I didn’t get on with and left it at that. I didn’t tell him this but the Nurse concerned told me I was fat and that was the problem with my neck and vertigo and that if I went to over 5 reading on my INR Machine I should miss a dose.  My new GP then asked me my medical history and went on to mention how bad it was to interfere with my dosage (after being told by the nurse to do so),  he also mentioned my weight, and asked if I did any exercise, I told him about my appointment with the Spine Surgeon Monday 14th May 2018 with regard to my Cervical Spine, vertigo and falls and a brief history of my Heart Conditions and my ENT 15 month appointments for BPPV and being told it had been too long for BPPV and they suggested Meniere’s (which after I phoned the ENT department they now deny Meniere’s and told me I had been ‘struck off’ because I missed an appointment but I could go back if I wanted). I didn’t get round to telling him about my Thyroid and Heart Failure after surgery. I managed to get in my metal heart valve, patch and HOCM.  He then went back onto the subject of the INR strips and how many I use and then went on about a patient with OCD who was using them just for the sake of using them. 😲 Well that was a step too far.  I am the worlds biggest optimist, I don’t get depressed as such (I cry if upset) and I don’t have OCD, surely I am too fat and lazy for that?!  I told him about my past bleeding episodes and that’s probably why I was given the INR machine in the first place, to save money by NOT having to go to hospital. I thought I was saving money because I no longer go in and out of hospital on a regular basis through my managing my conditions quite well, well I think I do.  I also told him about my experience with Dr ………. a few years ago, who, when I told him about blood in my urine he insisted I had been eating beetroot, tested my water and said he wasn’t duly concerned about the blood in my urine.  That night I was rushed into hospital with internal bleeding.  

    Before my appointment I registered on line with the ………………. Medical Centre to re-order my tablets, after returning home after my bizarre interview/appointment I went back on line to see how my prescription was doing to find all ordered medication was just showing ‘Unknown’, so not yet released to the pharmacist and yet Dr …………… had my prescription up on screen when I was being interviewed.  If still the same tomorrow I will check with the Surgery.

    After seeing Dr ………. I then saw Mrs …………(practice nurse/sister?) to ‘calibrate’ my machine.

    After returning home after my interview/appointments,  I received a call from Mrs …………. at …………, Mrs ………… told me she didn’t think I would be prescribed the strips from the surgery and made me an appointment for 4 weeks time for another INR test. Mrs ………. also mentioned she had also spoken to ……….., your …………. Liaison Nurse.   When we tested at the surgery my machine was out by point 6.  After reading the site for my machine model apparently the calibration for my machine is carried out every time after inserting the new chip with every batch of strips.  No fluid calibration is mentioned, Mrs ………… said I needed fluid to calibrate the machine and that I needed to contact the charity I got it from (……….. is kindly doing that for me).  I also asked if her machine was okay and could it be the surgery’s machine that was wrong, as my reading was 3.1 and Mrs ………… was 3.7.  She emphatically said ‘Yes’! her machine was fine. She also told me that I was prescribed the strips through ……………… because they must have felt sorry for me.

    I am always, and I mean always mindful of cost.  Once registered and set up with the Star system I can just phone in my results, surely saving money.  80% of Patients who test weekly have better control of their INR fluctuation’s (last look mine was 83%), this falls to at least 50% when patients are left 4 weekly.  I know of three people who have had a bleed on the brain through being tested monthly, they had no machine at home.  As far as I know, and touch wood, I haven’t had a bleed on the brain since using my machine. I am sure the suspected mini strokes are because my INR was set between 2.5 and 3.5, now Dr ………… has changed this to 3 to 4 range, again touch wood, I have been fine and also we have now discovered that I have a bone growth in my neck, two herniated discs which could be trapping blood causing the light-headedness (advised by a doctor in saw), which has decreased since my range change also (not diagnosed by the Surgeon as he couldn’t load up the CT Scan).   The only time I use extra strips in a week are if my gums bleed, I have a nose bleed or I feel extremely cold when I should be warm and if, after testing due to the ‘aforementioneds’, I register above 4, just to check I am going back down into range.  Normally every three days, if I do it for a couple of days in a row it’s to ensure my INR reading is going the right way.    I know that my virus medication has an adverse affect on my INR reading, I only use this medication when necessary and also use the strips to keep an eye on my INR readings.

    Anyway, to round up and conclude (phew), I don’t have OCD because surely I am ‘too fat’ and lazy to be so because of my lack of exercising. I know, I am getting facetious now.  😐  On a serious note, I have felt for a while that someone somewhere has entered something on my medical record not too kind. My poor dad had something entered on his notes; “this old man is very nervous”, my dad just shakes slightly because of his illness, he definitely isn’t nervous.  I am  too optimistic and chilled to be anything else, apart from after today’s experience which was extremely upsetting. I thought that the NHS;  “is there to improve our health and wellbeing, supporting us to keep mentally and physically well, to get better when we are ill and, when we cannot fully recover, to stay as well as we can to the end of our lives.”  Also “It is available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or marital or civil partnership status.”   I may write and suggest ‘fat’ is inserted here as I understand the Constitution is changed every 3 years. 

    Hope I haven’t sent you to sleep. This was how it happened and what was said. I will send ………… a copy once I have spoken to her again and obtained her email address. 

  2. Dez

    Bit more info and challenge on so called savings against what?….if Crapita mirrors Carillion, and their Boardroom priorities ie massive pay and bonus payments for incompetence then probably the whole outsource costs of excessive payroll and shareholder payouts dwarfs this so called saving. More scrutiny needed on all outsourcing delivery and so called saving stats before the NHS goes private.

  3. David Penson

    I could not agree more Mike, something really rotten and dehumanising is going on in our society, aided and abetted by hopeless and inept politicians , the most worrying aspect of this is many highly paid directors and senior civil servants are no longer able to relate to their fellow human beings , treating them as commodities and numbers to be manipulated at will to suit their ends, this statement by NHS England does not surprise me in the least, indeed it sums up their thinking perfectly.

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