Today’s announcements in the media by Tory PM David Cameron will I’m sure be laughed at by the demoralised staff in our NHS. His suggestion that nurses will carry out hourly ward rounds, and that they need to learn that ‘caring is their main job’ and his proposed survey asking them if they would be happy to let their relatives use the same services is at best a complete insult to the fantastic hard work and dedication of our nurses – under ever more pressure , and at worst just another attempt to divide and rule the NHS as well as undermining public confidence – all more evidence of the Tory agenda ultimately to privatise the NHS through the back door.
Let’s face it – no one ever really trusted Cameron’s promise to protect the NHS and the real terms cuts now being made are clear proof of his real intention. Cameron and his incompetent Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, are determined to pursue a badly thought out NHS restructure which is costing £100s of millions in redundancy payments to doctors and bureaucrats who went on to get good jobs elsewhere, and at the same time their claimed ‘protection’ of NHS budgets is in reality a cut as inflation will mean that the cost of providing services will exceed budgets.
So before everyone starts believing the Tory press rhetoric it’s worth remembering a few facts – under Labour 149 new hospitals were built, under Labour deaths from heart disease fell by 40% (that’s 180,000 lives saved), 99% of suspected cancer cases were seen within 2 weeks and began treatment within a month – saving 60,000 lives (a pledge scrapped by the Tory led Government) and significantly there are now 80,000 more nurses than there were under the last Tory Government. And under the last Tory Government NHS waiting lists rose by 400,000, over 284,000 had been waiting for more than six months and nurses struggled to cope in crumbling buildings that hadn’t had investment for decades.
When the elections come round again it will be time to judge the Parties on record not rhetoric – so remember these facts because I’ll be amazed if Mr Cameron has genuinely discovered a heart and his actions match his words!