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It's not a bug, it's a feature

NHS hospital death rates among worst, new study finds - Channel 4 News.

It's a good job I am unlikely to reach my maximum age in this country, because I don't think I could stand many more years of listening to the bureaucrats in Britain's soviet healthcare system. 

Here they are again, expressing surprise about its performance comparing badly with other countries. They pause for a second to sound shocked, promise to do better in future and then return to platitudes about 'our NHS' and how it is admired (no it bloody isn't) 'all over the world'. Within a minute they are using whatever horrors have been exposed to justify extorting more money from taxpayers to improve their own working conditions, pay and pensions.

Any service funded by force does not need to satisfy its customers to survive. Many of its employees will rapidly cease to care about them, because they don't need to. It's not a bug, it's a feature. Whatever pieties the politicians and bureaucrats may recite such an organisation - in practice - is not there to serve the patients, but the staff.

As witness the career of Sir David Nicholson, poly history and politics grad (odd qualification to run a health service) and 'tankie' member of the British Communist Party until the shamefully late date of 1983 (ah, there's the qualification). He presided over mass deaths (compared to the performance of other countries' systems) and yet will retire next year a rich man. If he had faced the downside as well as the upside of a soviet aparatchik's life - the sort of management a 'tankie' might be expected to approve of - he would have been shot or spent serious time in the gulag. Under Britain's softer socialist state, it was reported in 2011 that he enjoyed benefits of £37,000 and claimed expenses of almost £60,000 on top of his salary of £200,000+.

Interestingly, the monster expenses were for a London flat. He was required to work in the capital, though his main office is in Leeds. However his home is in Broome, Worcestershire. By Google Maps calculations his 124 mile commute to London was therefore an improvement on that to Leeds! And let's not dwell on the happy coincidence that the NHS found a high-paid and no doubt better-pensioned job as head of Birmingham Childrens' Hospital for the woman for whom he left his wife.

It's a tough life being a British aparatchik, isn't it?

As for why the American system these mandarins despise so much kills so many fewer patients, the answer is simple enough. The medics there answer to patients, not bureaucrats. And the truth about any failures of care is available for them to learn from, not suppressed by aparatchiks to flatter the politicians and bamboozle the proles.


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No Tom, I agree that _just now_ he can expect them to worry how high to jump when he says frog.

But in the longer term he knows he will have to move on to something else, ahead of his flock of roosting chickens. You can see them gathering. It would make sense for him to have insurence.. cover his ass if you like ^_^


I would take your money if there were any way to verify it. The aparatchiki of the NHS don't need private cover any more than Stalin's top guys did. They will go to the head of every queue, the medics attending to them have good cause to worry about service quality in their case and God help you if they need an organ and you are looking a bit peaky in a nearby ward.

When price is not used to regulate supply and demand, power is. As I have more chance of getting money than power, I prefer price.

As for Sir David's partner, she's the head of an NHS hospital; appointed as such during his time in charge, so she doesn't need private cover either.


I wonder if Mr Nicholson has private medical cover. I would bet money either he does or if he want's to hide it his partner has a "family" policy. He would be insane if he didn't and hypocritical if he does.

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