Shame on the NHS
30 May 2007 - JG
Eric Friar is a 91 year old RAF war hero. Now Mr Friar isn't having the best of times at the moment, he suffers from mini-strokes, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkins lymhpoma, has been diagnosed with bowel and colon cancer, shingles, dementia, is almost blind, has MRSA and is currently in hospital with pneumonia. His condition means he cannot eat unaided, can barely walk and has difficulty sleeping because he is in constant discomfort. His local NHS trust has assessed the case for assistance as "moderate" because the couple have savings of more than £21,500. Moderate!? Has the NHS gone barmy?
As regular readers will know, Picking Losers would like to see the NHS undergo privatisation, and so you might think that the NHS is making the right decision here by not handing out the cash when it is deemed that the "customer" can pay. But the privatisation of the NHS is not just for financial/tax reasons. Far from it, it mainly to do with the management and effective running to ensure we have a service fit for prupose. I do not see that Mr Friar is getting a service fit for purpose here. Take his Gloucestershire PCT which says he does not qualify for "continuing nursing care" because medical needs must be "complex, or intense, or unpredictable". What is not complex, intense or unpredictable about Mr Friar condition? They have not allowed Mr Friar any dignity at all. This is a scandal and, dare I say it, Mr Friar is probably better off dead than in the hands of our NHS. Also spare a thought for Mrs Friar who has said "-How bad has he got to be? We have never asked for anything in our lives. I'm angry, really angry-." And she has every right to be.