Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Speak Up! - It's your health

The Great British Public is known for its civic-mindedness. (As I know much of humanity is).

People such as Tom who often drives the family from home to the hospital and back, is retired and an official volunteer (non-emergency) ambulance driver, unpaid and using his own car, just receiving an expenses-per-mile reimbursement.

There are many such as Tom – who devote their spare time to public and charitable service. They work in charity shops, soup kitchens and night shelters for street-dwellers, St John's Ambulance at public events, shake charity donation bottles on the street on Saturday morning ...

When the July 2005 bombs went off on the London Transport system (both terrestrial and sub-terrestrial), Jane and Joe Public stopped in the middle-of-the-road and went to help.

That is Great British Public.

Over the last two years the “local” Strategic Health Authority and the “local” Acute Care Trust (directly responsible for the local general hospital) have conducted their consultations to “reform” hospital services in the Greater Manchester region. Regardless of what us “punters” said, regardless that we (in one of the most impoverished areas of the UK) didn't want them, the cuts in services at the local general hospital, have gone ahead. No longer will Kezia be diagnosed with leukaemia on a Sunday afternoon at the local general hospital – there will no longer be A&E, paediatric or obstetric services – don't have a baby on the weekend!). We were consulted about “cuts”. Nobody wanted them. We were told to “fuck off”. We were shafted.

Now the local Primary Care Trust wants to consult us. Well, we ain't got much confidence in NHS consultations any more ... our town's citizens must be saying “You've just ignored our opinions in two major consultations – what the fuck is the point of completing another loaded questionnaire, attending another public meeting?” (Sorry, wrong jargon - “Consultation Event” - “see page 14 for further details” – the pdf download has no page nos, there are no details about where exactly and at what time these “Consultation Events” will take place - what the fuck company have they paid to produce this document?) ...

... and I think they realise.

So they are bribing us to complete their biased questionnaire, following Lord Darzi's example.

On offer:

1st, 2nd and 3rd “out-of-the-hat” will be offered either a) Wii and Wii Fit (what the fuck are those?) b) a weekend break for two (where not specified and who's going to look after the kids?) or c) a one year Leisure4Life leisure pass for two (repeat comment on a) plus where can we use it?).

The next hundred “out-of-the-hat” will receive a calendar clock.

We are not told if we will receive a canapee at or even a bus-fare to a “Consultation Event” (so why bother going?).

Such is going on throughout the country.

NuLabour is taking the “Great” out of the British Public.

P.S. for Dr Rant – I'm not as good at expletives as yourself! You should have been struck off long ago!

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