Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday 24 September 2005

NHS monopoly fails patients - again!

According to a report in the Daily Record, one of Glasgow's major hospitals 'ran out of mops' earlier this week and the shortage was not rectified for two days.

Can you imagine a commercially-run establishment of any kind, far less a hospital where hygiene is supposed to be a major factor, running out of something so basic as mops? One imagines that some Soviet-style five-year plan for the production of mops is to blame - or simple inefficiency on the part of the people who are supposed to be running our shambles of an NHS!

Do the letters M R S A mean nothing to these people?

It is not as if the Victoria Informary has a perfect record so far as cleanliness and control of infection is concerned - if this statement put out by NHS Greater Glasgow in April this year is a guide, or this report from the Scottish Executive Health department relating to a salmonella infection there in December 2001 and January 2002. Or this report in the British Nursing News Online issue of October 2002 (scroll down the page) reporting on nine cases of MRSA having been confirmed there.

And still they can't ensure that basic supplies, such as mops, are always available?

(An elderly relative, in the days when this still meant that British hopsitals were a by-word for cleanliness and order, was many years ago Matron of the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow. She has had, unfortunately, her own major health worries in recent years, but I know how bad she feels that basic standards within the NHS have deteriorated so much since the role of matrons has largely been dispensed with for reasons of 'efficiency'. Some efficiency!)

I'm not sure if an attempt at major 'reform' of the NHS will help - it has become so monolithic and schlerotic that it needs an axe taking to it. We need to find a better way of offering health care. Thankfully I am able to afford private health care whenever I need it!

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