Saturday, 13 October 2007

C Diff

I have deferred blogging about the C Diff scandal at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, partly because it was a massive story, covered by everyone, partly because it was so shocking, partly because I think there was little that I could add, and partly because it is my local trust and I know quite a few people there.

It is difficult to estimate the shock of the tragedy and certainly there is a lot of anger among people in Maidstone (and across much of West Kent). My heart goes out to all those who have suffered and died.

The focus on targets and finances that has been at the forefront of blame, seems likely enough. Clearly the NHS had a rough ride during that period with money. Star ratings were everything.

We must put people at the heart of care, but what happens when the money runs out? What happens when we are pushed to meet targets at the expense of care? People suffer...

Other countries manage to find more cash for their health services, the UK still lags behind in investment in health care. But the British electorate doesn't want to pay more taxes. Look how the inheritance tax bung from the Tories swung the polls. Of course most people don't have to pay more tax for us to have a better society. Sure, lets tax the rich more and the poor less - you can't do it the other way round, but lets stop building more roads / airports / nuclear power / arms / armies and stop fighting illegal wars before we say there's not enough money around to look after sick and vulnerable people properly.


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