WHAT a difference a couple of years makes.
It is two years to the day — the last Thursday in March — since the UK first started the “Clap for Carers”.
Two years since the British public applauded at our front doors and hung out of windows banging pots and pans for our front-line NHS staff.
It had long been said that the NHS is the national religion. But in those days it became a religion everyone believed in. People judged others on the intensity of their faith. Nobody wanted to be seen missing the Thursday evening devotional.
But today the figures show a different story. A survey out this week reveals that public satisfaction with die NHS is now at the lowest levels of any time since 1997.
The authors of the survey describe the findings as “the most extraordinary set of results we have seen”.
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And it is not surprising. Net 36 per cent of voters surveyed said they were content with the way that the NHS is being run and is performing.
No wonder. For after the applause comes the reckoning.
It was understandable that at the height of Covid, when the virus looked worse than it turned out to be, we wanted to show gratitude to the NHS.
And in those days, when Covid looked like it would kill a vast swathe of the population, we allowed the NHS to focus on it alone.
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We accepted that if the NHS was going to put all its energies into this fight then other things would have to suffer.
So intense was the focus that we forgot that one of the things that would suffer would be us.
We talked so much about protecting the NHS that we seemed to forget that it is the NHS that is meant to protect us.
The cost for all this is now visible. And unbelievably high.
The Government has recently pushed through major tax increases to pay for the always-more-expensive NHS. This cash injection is meant to address the now vast failings of the service.
These include the fact that it has never been harder to get a face-to-face doctor’s appointment. Waiting lists for operations are at an all-time high. And the backlog of diagnoses for cancers are a national disgrace, leaving people in a state of ignorance and terror for weeks.
This and much more needs to be addressed. But even as the Government pours another £12billion into the health service this year, its bloated priorities remain clear.
The NHS’s directors always insist that more money is needed because front-line staff need to be better rewarded.
But is that really where it is going? And what exactly does the NHS now regard as front-line staff?
Before the pandemic, the average nurse was paid about £33,000 a year (minus, natuurlik, the exorbitant amount they must pay to park their cars in NHS car parks). And if they got a salary uplift then not many people would complain.
But today the figures show a different story. A survey out this week reveals that public satisfaction with the NHS is now at the lowest levels of any time since 1997. The authors of the survey describe the findings as ‘the most extraordinary set of results we have seen’.
These people work hard, long hours at the front line of the nation’s health.
But the NHS has bizarre priorities.
How else to explain the fact that a Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Lead in Sussex should be paid so much more than a nurse? The NHS has recently advertised for a diversity chief for Hove. The salary was between £47,000 and £53,000 a year.
The same fee has been offered in Manchester for a Matron for “Wellbeing, equality, diversity and inclusion”.
But even that is not where the big bucks are.
To get top whack in the NHS you used to have to be one of its bosses.
Today the NHS is offering a salary of up to £114,000 a year to be a “consultant in gender healthcare”. The gender-nonsense brigade is now among the best-paid in the NHS.
And it is a growing industry. Na alles, this is a health service which, in places including Liverpool, now expects doctors to ask ALL patients under the age of 60 whether they might be pregnant. In order to avoid presuming someone’s sex this now leads to the absurdity of doctors being expected to ask men whether they might be with child.
Any doctor asking this question should either be sent back to medical school or fired for having so much time on their hands.
But the guidance comes from the top. And it is at the top of the NHS that there is such a mess.
All the woke nonsense is going on while the most serious problems go unaddressed. How can bosses justify wasting everyone’s time like this, when four in ten people in England are now either on an NHS waiting list or have a family member who is.
While England has a waiting list of more than SIX MILLION people it is grotesque that NHS bosses distract staff with such idiocies.
Ek is so jammer dit klink aaklig
When the NHS needed the support of the public we gave it. We did as we were told. Now the public needs the NHS.
And if its bosses fail to step up then it won’t be clapping they’ll be hearing next, but a chorus of angry boos.