Last week my post commented on the services that are being squeezed out of the NHS. Now after a barrage of stories in the media over Christmas and into January about a ‘potential’ winter crisis a clear strategy is becoming clear. Here are some of the emotive headlines:-
- “Doctors left in tears over ‘battlefield conditions’’
- “Flue outbreak feared after jabs targeted wrong strain”
- ”Take your elderly home to free beds”
- ”Winter crisis cripples NHS”
- “Doctor’s used as bouncers at A&E entrances”
Just in case there might be a flu epidemic or a mysterious norovirus outbreak, the newly formed Emergency Pressures Panel have cancelled all non-urgent operations and stationed specially trained bouncer doctors on the doors of A&E Departments to turn patients away. The Health Secretary, Jeramy Hunt and the Prime Minister, Theresa Maynot, have both apologised to people who have had there operations cancelled. They were almost in tears, but I expect they will get over it.
Of course if there is no flu outbreak in January at least the NHS will have saved a lot of money. Or Maybe not ? There again, if the ‘potential’ outbreak doesn’t happen until February or March, they may have to postpone operations for a few more months.
Wishing to learn lessons from this, the Emergency Pressures Panel is now considering shutting down the NHS for the winter to everyone except emergencies. Providing they can get passed the bouncers and can prove they don’t have norovirus.
In the long-term, the Emergency Pressures Panel is envisaging that this could create an opportunity to close some hospitals altogether. This would relieve the pressures on the NHS staff, although sadly some of them may have to be made redundant. The managers will be able to be redeployed to organise the closures and redundancies, before taking golden handshakes for the excellent work they have done.