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Sunday 26 July 2015

Gove Puts His Foot In It

What better way to give voice to the Government’s claim that the NHS is not properly open for business at weekends than one of its ministers discovering that first hand? And what better way to get the information out there to a still sceptical public than having that minister married to a tabloid journalist? So when Michael “Oiky” Gove injured his foot - falling over a toy, for Goodness’ sake - the opportunity was obvious.
Oiky”, who has form for falling over and making a prat of himself, was driven to an NHS Treatment Centre by wife - and Daily Mail writer - Sarah “Vain” Vine, only to make the Shock Horror discovery that they were unable to X-Ray the potentially broken foot because he’d turned up at the weekend. Here was the smoking gun, the evidence that proved Jeremy Hunt (the former Culture Secretary) was right.

The Telegraph was clearly not best pleased: “Michael Gove left on crutches because he couldn’t get an X-Ray over weekend … Michael Gove’s wife has called for all NHS services to be available 24/7, after her husband was let down by the lack of Sunday services”. Ms Vine told the Tel that “Oiky” “has been unable to receive treatment for a possible fractured foot because parts of the NHS shut down on the weekend”.
Ms Vine was deeply insulted: “His work diary was packed (he left home before 8am and returned after I was asleep); Tuesday’s, too … The foot has not yet been X-rayed. Obviously it’s not life threatening. But it is very painful … Trouble is, like most people, he doesn’t have a spare half-day to sit around awaiting the pleasure of the hospital radiographer”. There was more. Rather a lot more.

No one is suggesting NHS staff don’t work very hard and do an excellent job. Just that the service needs to be a 24/7 one. And that means all departments - not just acute emergency departments - need to be available at weekends”. The problem for Ms Vine is that radiology departments at many NHS hospitals are open 24/7.
So the Tel then had to issue a “correction”: “Yesterday’s article … wrongly implied that Michael Gove could get no treatment because all NHS radiology departments close on Sundays … These departments are in fact open 24 hours a day for emergencies in many hospitals other than the minor injuries unit that Mr Gove attended”.

It got worse: the NHS Treatment Centre in Shepton Mallet, where “Oiky” and Ms Vine fetched up, is run not by the NHS, but Care UK, a private provider. So the rotten socialist NHS, which Ms Vine was so joyously attacking, already provides a 24/7 service, but the Very Wonderful private health providers that the Tories want to see lots more of do not.

And so the latest attempt to demonise the NHS in pursuit of another needless and misleading Tory campaign has been unmasked as a sham, driven more by the cluelessness of a Mail pundit than reality. Still, generates column inches and gives Young Dave and his jolly good chaps a nice warm feeing. Mustn’t grumble.


Paul said...

As @beaubodor points out on Twitter, how fortunate that a photographer happened to be passing by.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't the thick tory twat go private?

After all, he's a millionaire who doubtless one day will be a director in Gove Health Care (UK) Inc.

The rest of us can keep our credit/debit cards handy in case of a street accident and the arrival of a privatised ambulance.

As for Gove's "broken ankle"......it should have been his neck. Then they could bury him in an unmarked grave, you know, like Leon Brittan.

rob said...

Foot hurts, much pain
Wife writes so vain
Important not to queue
Like all plebs have to do
So much work to do, make a ballyhoo
"NHS so poor, week ends shut the door"
Foot hurts
Foot hurts

Some fools rave of Care UK
That's to say, they'd love to pay
Some fools fool themselves, I'd say
But they're not foolin' us

Truth hurts, the truth hurts

Arnold said...

"We are happy to make this clear". Why don't I believe it?

Paul said...

Also, Tel headline suggests it was the lack of X ray that led to him leaving on crutches. Somehow I doubt whether getting the foot X rayed would have stopped it hurting.

Rivo said...

I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure an X-ray won't magically mend broken bones and allow Govey to walk un-aided. I assume the "treatment centre" (a mealy-mouthed term if ever I heard one; what's wrong with calling it a clinic?) provided him with those crutches, too?

rob said...

@ Rivo

"provided him with those crutches, too?"

Couldn't he have rung Uber for a wheelchair? Oh.....

Anonymous said...

Just a point, the MIU is run by the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
From the website: The MIU, based at the Shepton Mallet Community Hospital, is on the same campus as the treatment centre but is in a different building and run exclusively by the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, not Care UK.


@MikeMcGWirral said...

CareUK were quick & clear in updating their website & responding to a comment on Twitter to clarify that the MIU is run by NHS.

However, they did not respond to my request for clarification as to whether specifically the closed radiology dept at Shepton Mallet was run by them (CareUK) or the NHS.

CareUK SM's webiste clearly has "Diagnostic Imaging...x-rays..." amongst the services they provide.