Posts Tagged ‘NHS’

Coming Soon To America (Thanks To Obama And Democrats): ‘Production Line’ Government Healthcare

December 30, 2011

Obama fell in love with government health care; you’ll learn to hate it more than you’ve ever hated anything in your life:

Scandal of NHS ‘production line’
The number of NHS patients who have to undergo emergency readmission to hospital within a month of being discharged has increased by more than three quarters in the last decade, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.
By Robert Winnett, Political Editor
9:54PM GMT 29 Dec 2011

Hospitals have been accused by ministers of treating patients “like parts on a production line” after official figures suggested that hundreds of thousands of people every year are being sent home before they are well enough.

More than 660,000 people were brought back to hospital last year within 28 days of leaving, statistics show, sparking allegations that patients are being “hurried through the system” so the NHS can meet waiting-list targets.

The official figures show that some NHS trusts have seen their emergency readmission rate rise more than three-fold over the past decade – while some hospitals have seen only a modest increase.

Last night, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said that the “hugely distressing” trend must stop.

“Patients have a right to expect that when they go in for treatment that they are looked after properly and that the treatment they are given helps them to recover,” he said.

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“Having to be readmitted and treated all over again is hugely distressing. These figures show how Labour’s obsession with waiting time targets meant that patients were treated like parts on a production line to be hurried through the system rather than like people who need to be properly cared for.”

The Department of Health has released detailed information on the number of emergency readmissions in every area across Britain.

The figures show that 620,054 patients had to be readmitted in 2009-10 – compared to just 348,996 a decade before, a 78 percent increase. Over the past five years, there has been a 31 percent rise and a five percent increase on the previous 12 months.

The data also highlights the widespread regional variations. The rate of readmission in the Kensington & Chelsea PCT area has risen by 287 percent over the past decade to 1,582 people.

However, North Lincolnshire PCT has only experienced a 3.37 percent rise over the same period.

Hospitals within the Hampshire PCT area readmitted 13,239 people last year. The nearby area covered by the Isle of Wight PCT only had to readmit 1,098 people.

The figures, do not include patients suffering from cancer or mental health problems or maternity patients.

Most of the areas with the highest increases in readmission numbers are in London and the south east, where pressure is greatest on the NHS. The Department of Health has analysed the social make-up of each area and concludes that the so-called “thriving London periphery” – the relatively wealthy commuter hinterland around the capital has suffered the biggest recent deterioration.

Some of the rise in readmissions may be due to the increase in population in these areas or changes in the way that the data is collected.

About 10 million people are admitted to hospital wards each year. Critics claim that government targets, such as the demand that patients be admitted to hospital for treatment within 18 weeks of seeing their GP, mean hospital managers are pressured into releasing patients early to make beds available.

Earlier this month, The Daily Telegraph disclosed that the Government is moving from a system of targets for hospitals based on waiting and treatment times – to a system of so-called “outcomes” which measures the success of treatment.

In a criticism of previous targets which he blames for the increase in emergency readmissions, Mr Lansley said: “Instead of focusing on the results which actually matter for patients, they focused on narrow processes to the detriment of patient care. That is why we have taken action to address these increases in emergency readmissions.

“One of the new goals we are setting the NHS is reducing emergency readmissions. In order to help achieve this we have created a re-ablement fund of £300 million and we have taken action to stop hospitals being paid when they readmit a patient after discharging them too early. These steps will turn Labour’s poor performance around.”

Under the Government scheme, hospitals will effectively be responsible for people’s care in the weeks after they return home and will be financially penalised for discharging patients too soon.

Ministers have also increased funding for so-called “tele-health” where people can “manage” their long-term conditions independently at home but are remotely monitored by doctors.

The official figures have been released as NHS managers claimed that one in four people being treated in hospital should be at home – which could lead to even more re-admissions if the programme is not properly monitored.

Mike Farrar, the head of the NHS Federation, said: “Hospitals play a vital role, but we do rely on them for some services that could be provided elsewhere. We should be concentrating on reducing hospital stays where this is right for patients, shifting resources into community services, raising standards of general practice, and promoting early intervention and self care.”

However, concerns are growing that GPs will be unable to cope with the demands of more people being treated at home. Earlier this week, it emerged that some GP practices now had up to 9,000 people registered.

Yesterday, Jacqui Davis, head of the NHS Consultants’ Association, said: “Why would you want to have people isolated in their homes? This is not going to save money and it is unfortunately the wrong message.

“GP’s are swamped, social services are having their budgets cut. While it may be more appropriate for more people to be treated within the community we simply can’t do it without making much better arrangements than we’ve got at the moment.”

Here’s another example of what will surely be “coming soon” unless ObamaCare gets repealed:

NHS delays operations ‘as it waits for patients to die or go private’
NHS managers are deliberately delaying operations as they wait for patients either to die or go private in order to save money, according to an official report.
By Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent
10:00PM BST 28 Jul 2011

Health service trusts are “imposing pain and inconvenience” by making patients wait longer than necessary, in some cases as long as four months, the study found.

Executives believe the delays mean some people will remove themselves from lists “either by dying or by paying for their own treatment” claims the report, by an independent watchdog that advises the NHS.

The Co-operation and Competition Panel says the tactic is one of a number used by managers that “excessively constrain” patients’ rights to choose where to be operated upon, and damage hospitals’ ability to compete for planned surgery.

It claims unfair practices are “endemic” in some areas of England and pose a “serious risk” to the Government’s drive to open up the health service to competition.

But managers, who are already rationing surgery for cataracts, hips, knees and tonsils, say they must restrict treatment as the NHS is under orders to make £20 billion of efficiency savings by 2015.

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Lord Carter of Coles, chairman of the panel, said: “Commissioners have a difficult job in the current financial climate, but patients’ rights are often being restricted without a valid and visible reason.”
 
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “It is outrageous that some primary care trusts are imposing minimum waiting times. The suggestion that it could save money because patients will remove themselves from the list by going private or dying is a callous and cynical manipulation of people’s lives and should not be tolerated.”
 
Since 2006, NHS patients who need routine elective care have had the right to choose between at least four hospitals including privately-run units. But there have been claims that trusts, the local bodies that pay for treatment, restrict choice and favour some hospitals to balance their books. The panel investigated whether the allegations were true.
 
It found “many examples of PCTs excessively constraining patients’ ability to choose, and providers’ ability to offer routine elective care services”.
 
Managers restricted GPs’ ability to refer patients to some hospitals by imposing “caps” on the number a provider would be paid to treat and by imposing minimum waiting times, its report said.
 
Under government targets, patients should be treated within 18 weeks of referral by a GP. But even when surgeons could see them far sooner, the study found that some trusts made hospitals wait as long as 15 weeks before operating. The tactic forced private hospitals, which were more likely to be able to treat patients quickly, to operate as slowly as overcrowded NHS units in an “unfortunate levelling down”.
 
Some managers insisted that longer waiting times would lead to overall savings as “experience suggests that if patients wait longer then some will remove themselves from the list”. Interpreting this statement, the panel noted: “We understand that patients will ‘remove themselves from the waiting list’ either by dying or by paying for their own treatment at private sector providers.”
 
It said that minimum waiting times should only be used as a “last resort” and told trusts to publish their policies on the home page of their websites.
 
The panel also found that trusts tended to give elective business to their local NHS hospital, rather than allowing choice, in order to ensure its other services such as casualty departments remained financially viable.
 
The findings come as the NHS is under pressure from increasing demand and tighter budgets. Waiting times have lengthened since last year’s general election and more trusts are increasing the number of procedures of “low clinical value” they turn down or insisting that patients’ conditions worsen before they are seen.
 
Labour yesterday unearthed Treasury figures that show health spending totalled £101.985 billion in 2010-11, down from £102.751 billion in the last year of Labour, despite David Cameron’s pledge that “the money going into the NHS will actually increase in real terms”. The Tories pointed out that the fall represented the last part of the previous government’s five-year spending plan.
 
Ministers welcomed the competition panel’s study. Paul Burstow, the care services minister, said: “This report illustrates exactly why we need to modernise the NHS and increase choice for patients.
 
“Trusts will want to take a hard look at practices in light of this report and ensure they are always in the best interest of patients and the taxpayer.”
 
Under the Health and Social Care Bill, which has been watered down in the face of opposition from the medical profession and Liberal Democrats, power to buy treatment will be handed from trusts to new bodies led by GPs.
 
The new Clinical Commissioning Groups are intended to be more accountable to patients, while the number of sectors where choice and competition apply is being extended. David Stout, director of the NHS Confederation’s primary care trust network, said: “Today’s report rightly acknowledges that each situation will be different and the extent that any benefits outweigh the loss of choice should be considered on a case-by-case basis.”
 
He added: “Commissioners will still be left to decide the right course of action when faced with trade-offs between patient choice and value for money. The suggestion that many current trust decisions are not justifiable on these grounds is largely unsubstantiated by the detail in the report as the CCP has not investigated specific cases in detail.”

A wise woman once looked at what she saw coming under ObamaCare, looked at the hell that such socialized medicine was based on, and saw “death panels.”

There are actually about 160 death panels created by ObamaCare:

When you see NHS (or “National Health Service), just think “ObamaCare for England.”  And then think about the hell that you voted for your parents to experience in voting for Obama.

The beast is coming – that is, if you’re still healthy enough after ObamaCare gets its fangs into you that you’re still alive to suffer under his tyranny.

What Lies In Store For Your Parents Under ObamaCare (It Will Be Even WORSE For You!)

April 30, 2010

ObamaCare, in a picture:

Thursday, April 29, 2010
This Is What Government-Run Health Care Looks Like

Those of us who see Obamacare as a distinct step backwards are often branded as alarmist and out of touch. When we point to the regular horrors of government run systems, especially the UK, we’re shouted down with healthy dollops of “it-can’t-happen-here-because-the president-said-it-won’t.”

Read on.

But before you do, look at this photo from London’s MailOnline:

Not pretty.

It’s a photo taken in a UK (government run) hospital of 84-year-old Clara Stokes. The photo was taken by her outraged daughter who discovered that her mom was living a nightmare – starved, dehydrated, and lying in her own feces.

Apparently, the ward was very short-staffed, to the point that Clara’s family members were not only forced helped her, but also other patients who were in similar circumstances.

Here’s a partial list of horrors. If this isn’t clear, cold abuse of a person with a severe medical disability, I don’t know what is:

Maltreatment 1:

Doctors and nurses who misplaced health notes even thought Mrs Stokes was a man for the first two days, after she was admitted on December 16.

Maltreatment 2:

A temporary nurse misread Mrs Stokes’ notes and forced uncrushed tablets down her throat, almost causing her to choke to death.

Maltreatment 3:

She [Clara's daughter] added: ‘We finally walked in and my daughter said what is that under her arm? We lifted it up and she was covered in her own diarrhoea.

Maltreatment 4:

Helpless and confused after suffering a stroke, the 84-year-old was left dehydrated, hungry and lying in her own faeces in a hospital bed for six hours. . . . ‘She was paralysed and couldn’t call for help. This was after 3pm in the afternoon and the last time she had been checked was at 9am.’

Maltreatment 5:

Just 24 hours later the family found a stricken Mrs Stokes’ foot trapped between bed posts caused by a faulty bed pump. It was not known how long she was trapped and had to be freed by the matron.

The hospital, of course, denies, denies, denies. Here’s part of the snippy statement issued by the hospital spokesperson:

‘We regret that Mrs Stokes’ family have felt the need to complain about her care while she was on ward 17 and ward 15 and the hospital has apologised for any distressing circumstances recognising how upsetting some aspects of personal care can be for relatives.

Stay tuned, because I’ll bet my last dollar that the pro-death crowd will spin the horrible photo above as a case of people dying “without dignity,” and use it as a propaganda tool, captioning Clara’s abuse with: This is not dying with dignity: Support legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia.

If anything, the Daily Mail article referenced reveals that the story of this poor woman who was abandoned to die in her own filth by the government health care system is even worse.

And what the author of this article points out in the last paragraph is exactly right.  The federal government took over a massive chunk of the health care system with Medicare and Medicaid.  They broke it, and then they used the fact that the system was broken (thanks to them) to call for ObamaCare so they could finish the job of socializing the system.  You don’t think that the same people who did that will ultimately point to the fact that the people who are dying in their own filth (thanks to the left) should instead be humanly euthanized?

I think D. James Kennedy put it best when he said:

“Watch out, Grandma and Grandpa!  Because the generation that survived abortion will one day come after you!”

It’s happening.

Sarah Palin desribed her fear of her Down Syndrome son Trig being forced to one day stand before an ObamaCare death panel.  There are 111 death panels under ObamaCare in a byzantine bureaucratic maze that looks like this:

It’s now an obvious and open fact that the death panels are real:

Via Breitbart TV:

Amazing. First [New York Times columnist Paul] Krugman and now Obama’s own OMB Director confirm what Governor Palin has been saying all along: the advisory panel within ObamaCare responsible for rationing health care will effectively be a death panel for those deemed unworthy of the cost of the care. More on Orszag’s vindication of Governor Palin from Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey here  and Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft here.

The Democrats’ have flat-out stated it: “We’re going to let you die.”  And Obama’s own handpicked czars already have a policy (“the Complete Lives System”) to carry that policy out.

The horror that ObamaCare will quickly become will be biblical.  So it takes the Bible to put it into proper perspective:

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools – Romans 1:22

For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth – Romans 1:18

You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right. — Psalm 52:3

But he who sins against Me injures himself; all those who hate Me love death — Proverbs 8:36

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20

You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones — Micah 3:2

In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of the Messiah, who is the image of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:4

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Democrats, Please Explain Why You Want To Inflict Americans With This Vile Health Care System?

March 2, 2010

Up to 1,200 needless deaths, patients abused, staff bullied to meet targets… yet a secret inquiry into failing hospital says no one’s to blame

By Fay Schlesinger, Andy Dolan and Tim Shipman
Last updated at 1:45 PM on 25th February 2010

  • Up to 1,200 patients died unnecessarily because of appalling care
  • Labour’s obsession with targets and box ticking blamed for scandal
  • Patients were ‘routinely neglected’ at hospital
  • Report calls for FOURTH investigation into scandal

Not a single official has been disciplined over the worst-ever NHS hospital scandal, it emerged last night.

Up to 1,200 people lost their lives needlessly because Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust put government targets and cost-cutting ahead of patient care.

But none of the doctors, nurses and managers who failed them has suffered any formal sanction.

Enlarge   stafford

Relatives of patients involved in the report hold pictures of their loved ones outside the Moat House hotel near Stafford, after Robert Francis QC delivered his report

Indeed, some have either retired on lucrative pensions or have swiftly found new jobs.

Former chief executive Martin Yeates, who has since left with a £1million pension pot, six months’ salary and a reported £400,000 payoff, did not even give evidence to the inquiry which detailed the scale of the scandal yesterday.

He was said to be medically unfit to do so, though he sent some information to chairman Robert Francis through his solicitor.

The devastating-report into the Stafford Hospital-shambles’ laid waste to Labour’s decade-long obsession with box-ticking and league tables.

The independent inquiry headed by Robert Francis QC found the safety of sick and dying patients was ‘routinely neglected’. Others were subjected to ‘ inhumane treatment’, ‘bullying’, ‘abuse’ and ‘rudeness’.

Enlarge   Stafford

Anguish: Sandra Whitehouse with pictures of her mother Joan Morris and a copy of the Francis report

The shocking estimated death toll, three times the previous figure of 400, has prompted calls for a full public inquiry.

Bosses at the Trust – officially an ‘elite’ NHS institution – were condemned for their fixation with cutting waiting times to hit Labour targets and leaving neglected patients to die.

But after a probe that was controversially held in secret, not a single individual has been publicly blamed.

The inquiry found that:

• Patients were left unwashed in their own filth for up to a month as nurses ignored their requests to use the toilet or change their sheets;

• Four members of one family, including a new-born baby girl, died within 18 months after of blunders at the hospital;

•  Medics discharged patients hastily out of fear they risked being sacked for delaying;

•  Wards were left filthy with blood, discarded needles and used dressings while bullying managers made whistleblowers too frightened to come forward.

Last night the General Medical Council announced it was investigating several doctors. The Nursing and Midwifery Council is investigating at least one nurse and is considering other cases.

Enlarge   Stafford Robert Francis QC outside the Moat House hotel near Stafford

Ministers suggested the report highlighted a dreadful ‘local’ scandal, but its overall conclusions are a blistering condemnation of Labour’s approach to the NHS.

It found that hospital were so preoccupied with saving money and pursuit of elite foundation trust status that they ‘lost sight of its fundamental responsibility to provide safe care’.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham accepted 18 recommendations from Mr Francis and immediately announced plans for a new inquiry, to be held in public, into how Department of Health and NHS regulators failed to spot the disaster.

But Julie Bailey, head of the campaign group Cure the NHS, condemned his response as ‘outrageous’ and backed Tory and Liberal Democrat demands for a full public inquiry into what went wrong.

Tory leader David Cameron said: ‘We need openness, clarity and transparency to stop this happening again.’ Gordon Brown described the scandal as a ‘completely unacceptable management failure’ and revealed that the cases of 300 patients are now under investigation.

He told MPs the Government was belatedly working on plans to ‘strike off’ hospital managers responsible for failures. The hospital could also lose its cherished foundation status.

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said ‘These awful events show how badly Labour has let down NHS patients. It should never again be possible for managers to put a tick in a box marked “target met” while patients are pushed off to a ward and left to die.’

The Francis probe was launched following a Healthcare Commission report on Stafford Hospital in March last year. It found that deaths at the hospital were 27 to 45 per cent higher than normal, meaning some 400 to 1,200 people died unnecessarily between 2005 and 2008.

Enlarge   Stafford

Sonia Burnhill, of campaign group Cure the NHS, who lost her husband Peter whilst he was a patient at Stafford General Hospital

Two weeks before the report’s publication, the Trust’s chief executive Martin Yeates was suspended. He eventually resigned in May after being offered £400,000 and a £1million pension pot.

The Francis report said staff numbers were allowed to fall ‘dangerously low’, causing nurses to neglect the most basic care. It said: ‘Requests for assistance to use a bedpan or to get to and from the toilet were not responded to.

‘Some families were left to take soiled sheets home to wash or to change beds when this should have been undertaken by the hospital and its staff.’ Food and drink were left out of reach, forcing patients to drink water from flower vases.

While many staff did their best, Mr Francis said, others showed a disturbing lack of compassion to patients.

He added: ‘I heard so many stories of shocking care. These patients were not simply numbers. They were husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandparents. They were people who entered Stafford Hospital and rightly expected to be well cared for and treated.’

Family who lost four loved ones

Kelsey Lintern was at the centre of one of the worst tragedies in the hospital’s appalling catalogue of failure.

She lost four members of her family within 18 months, her grandmother, uncle, sister and six-day-old baby.

Mrs Lintern, 36, almost became the fifth victim when a nurse tried to give her pethidine while she was in labour, despite her medical notes and a wristband clearly stating she was allergic to the drug.

The horrific story began in January 2007 when her baby daughter Nyah had to be delivered by her own grandmother because a distracted midwife was not looking.

Laurie Gethin 37, was one of four members of the same family who died at the hospital within the space of 18 months

Laurie Gethin 37, was one of four members of the same family who died at the hospital within 18 months

The baby was not breathing but she was resuscitated, then discharged by a junior paediatrician just two days later, despite the family’s fears she was seriously ill.

She was not feeding properly and still appeared blue. She died four days later. A post-mortem examination revealed four holes in her heart. Mrs Lintern accepts that Nyah may have died in any case, but said the hospital should at least have ‘realised there was a problem’.

It was when she was in labour with Nyah that a nurse arrived with a syringe of potentially-fatal pethidine, oblivious to the fact Mrs Lintern was allergic to it.

In April 2007, Mrs Lintern’s sister, Laurie Gethin, 37, died of lung, bone and lymph cancer, which had taken 18 months to be diagnosed, even though she was displaying tell-tale symptoms.

Lillian Wood Latta, 80, died after hospital staff failed to give her enough fluids, her family claimLillian Wood Latta, 80, died after hospital staff failed to give her enough fluids, her family claims

Her body, with her eyes still open, was left on her blood-splattered bed in full view of other patients. Tests revealed that Mrs Gethin had ‘markers’ in her blood which can indicated cancer.

But it was only when she was sent for a scan at another hospital that tumours were discovered. Mrs Lintern’s uncle, Tom Warriner, 48, died in January 2008 after his intestine was accidentally pierced in an operation for bowel cancer.

A coroner ruled the death was accidental. That summer, her grandmother Lilian Wood Latta, 80, died hungry and dehydrated after suffering a stroke. She was left in her own excrement during her final days and the family said the dehydration was caused by staff failing to give her adequate fluids.

Mrs Wood Latta had been referred to the hospital by her GP after suffering a series of mini-strokes at home. She was moved between wards three times, and it was left to relatives to change her incontinence pads.

Her dying wish had been to see Mrs Lintern’s new baby Khalen, so, after checking with staff, Mrs Lintern took her daughter in. But as the frail pensioner held her great-grandchild, a nurse appeared and said: ‘What on earth is a baby doing here? You do know we’ve got MRSA and C-Diff on this ward?’

Mrs Lintern, who lives in Cannock, Staffordshire, with husband David and their two daughters, said: ‘It is called the caring profession. But where is the care?’

James Reay died in agony after a junior doctor at Stafford Hospital failed to check his medical history and gave him the wrong drug.

The 67-year-old former miner was admitted to A&E in May 2006 with a swollen leg. Medics administered the anticoagulant Heparin – but failed to take into account Mr Reay’s history of stomach ulcers, which are known to react badly to the drug.

Two days later he was rushed to another hospital where he died from internal bleeding after three weeks of intense pain. Yesterday his widow Olwen won a five-figure pay-off in an out-of-court settlement after Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust admitted liability.

Mrs Reay, 69, said: ‘I have won my case but to me it is blood money and I cannot enjoy it. I would rather have my husband.’

‘Failed boss with £1million pension pot’

StaffordStafford Hospital former chief executive Martin Yeates was suspended on full pay in March last year

With a background in the hotel and catering industry, Martin Yeates was brought in to help Mid Staffordshire achieve the holy grail of foundation trust status as a supposed beacon of quality in the NHS.

A profile on the Trust’s website, since removed, boasted that he had developed ‘a more businesslike approach for the organisation’ after his appointment in September 2005.

The Trust finally achieved foundation status two years later. Mr Yeates’s career in the NHS began when he switched from the hotel trade to manage the catering department at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in 1977.

It has now ended with a £1million pension pot, six months salary and a possible £400,000 pay-off for the father of two – despite the Trust’s catastrophic failings.

Mr Yeates, who lives with second wife Lynn in a converted barn in a hamlet outside Stafford, was not at home last night and a neighbour said he had not been seen since Christmas.

It is believed he has spent at least some time in Egypt since being suspended on full pay of £169,000 in March last year – two weeks before an investigation revealed the deaths of at least 400 more patients than would have been expected, and an ‘appalling’ catalogue of failings in care.

Yesterday’s inquiry report said Mr Yeates resigned with effect from June 14, and was paid six months full salary in lieu of notice.

In his report, Mr Francis said Mr Yeates had failed to resolve ‘governance and staffing issues’ at the Trust and that he and colleagues had ‘focused on systems’ instead.
Stafford

The probe was launched into events at Stafford Hospital after a damning report last March from the Healthcare Commission revealed a catalogue of failings

Of the other Trust bosses, former chairman Toni Brisby resigned in March last year after the NHS watchdog Monitor said it intended to remove her. She told the Francis report she received no termination payment of any kind. Jan Harry, the trust’s director of nursing from 1998 to 2006, oversaw disastrous changes to the organisation of wards.

But she told the inquiry she could not recall a decision to axe 52 nursing posts and was ‘not aware’ of plans to drastically alter the ratio of trained to untrained staff. She also said it was not her job to monitor ward standards – a claim later described as ‘absurd’ by Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing.

Helen Morrey, former director of operations at the trust, admitted that risk assessments about the impact of job cuts were inadequate and accepted responsibility for a failure to thoroughly investigate complaints by patients. She was put on paid leave last July, before leaving the trust in November.

‘Crazy Claims About Death Panels’ Sadly Not Crazy At All

October 13, 2009

Are you familiar with the phrase, “the banality of evil”?  The opening paragraph in the Wikipedia article on the subject summarizes the concept quite well:

The banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.  It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.

Again and again, we have seen great evils inflicted by governments upon their people.  And we want to find monsters, because that’s who we want to believe would alone be capable of such monstrous evil.  But again and again, we find ordinary people – faceless bureaucrats performing faceless functions – had carried out what we later realize were monstrous deeds with a blithe acceptance of the premises of their government’s policies.

One of the reasons that these policies – later correctly described as “evil” – were allowed to begin, develop, build momentum, and ultimately turn monstrous is because too many people dismissed the possibility that such evil could ever happen.  “Our government would never do such a thing.”

Only it did.  It’s happened too many times before, and it will happen again.

With that introduction, let us look at the ubiquitously mocked term, “death panels.”  Nothing like that could ever actually happen.  Right?

Wrong.  If you go to Europe, it’s happening right now.  And the same sort of quasi-socialist liberals who want to create government health care here were created it there.

Hazel Fenton, an 80-year-old grandmother who was placed under a controversial care plan and left to “starve to death” after doctors identified her as being terminally ill, only recovered after the intervention of her daughter.

By Richard Savill
Published: 10:30PM BST 11 Oct 2009

Terminally ill grandmother 'left to starve' by doctors

Hazel Fenton pictured with her daughter Christine Ball Photo: ANDREW HASSON

Mrs Fenton, from East Sussex, is still alive and “happy” nine months after doctors declared she would only survive for days, withdrew her antibiotics and denied her artificial feeding, her daughter, Christine Ball, said.

“Without my persistence and pressure I know my mother would be dead now,” she added.

Mrs Fenton, a former private school house mother, had been placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) scheme, which was originally developed as a way to care for cancer patients towards the end of their lives.

However, there has been recent criticism that not only cancer patients but others with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under the NHS scheme.

Last month six prominent British doctors and health care professionals wrote to The Daily Telegraph, expressing concern that some patients were being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced in England, medical staff can withdraw fluid and drugs from dying patents and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away. But this approach can also mask signs of improvement, it has been argued.

Miss Ball, who had been looking after her mother before she was admitted to the Conquest hospital, Hastings, East Sussex, on Jan 11, said she had to fight hospital staff for weeks before her mother was taken off the plan and given artificial feeding.

Miss Ball, 42, a carer, from Robertsbridge, East Sussex, said: “My mother was going to be left to starve and dehydrate to death. It really is a subterfuge for legalised euthanasia of the elderly on the NHS. ”

Mrs Fenton was admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. Although Mrs Ball acknowledged that her mother was very ill she was “astonished” when a junior doctor told her she was going to be placed on the plan to “make her more comfortable” in her last days.

On Jan 19, Mrs Fenton’s 80th birthday, Mrs Ball said her mother had lost “an awful lot of weight” but was feeling better, and told her she “didn’t want to die”.

But it took another four days to persuade doctors to give her artificial feeding, Miss Ball said.

Mrs Ball said the fight to save her mother had been made harder by the Mental Capacity Act. “I was told that we had no rights, and food and hydration were classed as treatment, which meant they had the right to withhold feeding. It gave a doctor the power to play god with my mother’s life,” she said.

Mrs Fenton is now being looked after in a nursing home near her daughter’s home.

A spokesman for East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Patients’ needs are assessed before they are placed on the [plan]. Daily reviews are undertaken by clinicians whenever possible.”

At the same scripted event in which White House aides handed out white coats to create a propaganda moment, Barack Obama recently said:

“We have now been debating this issue of health insurance reform for months,” Obama said.  “We have listened to every charge and every counter-charge — from the crazy claims about death panels to misleading warnings about a government takeover of our health care system.”

Death panels.  Crazy, right?  Nothing like that could ever happen here.

Unless it occurs to you to stop and THINK, and ask yourself why you would think that corrupt House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Charlie Rangel – or the Democrats who refuse to hold him accountable for his crimes – would be so much better than British liberals.

Provide your case that they are only evil over there in Britain, but our big government liberals here are ontologically good, and simply incapable of creating a system that would grow and degenerate until it tries to starve human beings to death.

There are all kinds of things going on in the United Kingdom and in Continental Europe that will very quickly be going on here, too, because too many of us just shut our minds off to the banality of evil that we have already seen time and time again.

And it’s already going on here.  Right now.  Under the very sort of medical system that Barack Obama wants to impose across the nation.

Take the story of Barbara Wagner, who was condemned to die by her state government medical system.  They denied her the drugs she needed to save her life, but agreed to pay for her to be euthanized.  Some faceless liberal bureaucrats “who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal” decided that Barbara Wagner’s life was not worth saving, but only worth taking.

The banality of evil.  Coming soon to a hospital or a doctor’s office near you.

And right now, Democrats are trying to expand the banality of evil.

The Wall Street Journal exposed that ObamaCare will cut essential cardiology and oncology care in order to lower the cost of the health system:

In President Obama’s Washington, medical specialists are slightly more popular than the H1N1 virus. Compared to bread-and-butter primary care doctors, specialists cost more to train and make more use of expensive procedures and technology—and therefore cost the government more money. Even so, the quiet war Democrats are waging on specialists is astonishing.

From Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus’s health-care bill to changes the Administration is pushing in Medicare, Democrats are systematically attacking specific medical fields like cardiology and oncology. With almost no scrutiny, they’re trying to engineer a “cheaper” system so that government can afford to buy health care for all—even if the price is fewer and less innovative ways of extending and improving lives.

And the results of such measures and others will be a holocaust of the elderly.  With all measures undertaken in the spirit of bureaucratic efficiency:

The Congressional majority wants to pay for its $1 trillion to $1.6 trillion health bills with new taxes and a $500 billion cut to Medicare. This cut will come just as baby boomers turn 65 and increase Medicare enrollment by 30%. Less money and more patients will necessitate rationing. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1% of Medicare cuts will come from eliminating fraud, waste and abuse.

The assault against seniors began with the stimulus package in February.  Slipped into the bill was substantial funding for comparative effectiveness research, which is generally code for limiting care based on the patient’s age.  Economists are familiar with the formula, where the cost of a treatment is divided by the number of years (called QALYs, or quality-adjusted life years) that the patient is likely to benefit. In Britain, the formula leads to denying treatments for older patients who have fewer years to benefit from care than younger patients.

It is also highly relevant that Medicare denies treatment at a rate of more than double any private insurer’s average right now.  Is government care the thing you should most trust, or the thing you should most fear?

When Barack Obama mocks “the crazy claims about death panels,” it is ultimately up to you have to ask yourself just how much you implicitly trust the government to take care of you even when it is in the bureaucrats’ economic interests to allow you to die.  And it is up to you to decide if history is incapable of repeating itself.


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