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Saturday 29 August 2015

NHS v Private - Press Hypocrisy

The right-leaning part of the press spends a disproportionate amount of time passing adverse comment on the NHS, especially when something goes wrong. Particular emphasis is given to the instance of “never events”, those events which should quite literally never happen, such as when objects are left inside a patient after an operation. If only they were as keen when the private sector messed up the same way.
Yes, today I welcome Zelo Street readers to the rank, stinking hypocrisy of those who spend their time trying to undermine the NHS. I’m thinking particularly of the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail, whose keenness is exemplified by headlines likeHealth secretary said some serious errors happen six times a week … He said: 'Twice a week we leave a foreign object... inside someone's body’”.

Readers were told “the latest figures from NHS England show there were 312 so-called 'never-events' in hospitals last year – or six every week”. Another article told ofThe 150 NHS incidents that 'should never have happened’ … The incidents - called 'never events' - are regarded by the Government as so serious they should never happen”. The Mail is hot on “never events”. Well, it’s hot on somenever events”, anyway.

You think I jest? Let me introduce you to Helen Reynolds from the Staffordshire town of Rugeley. She suffered from arthritis in her knees and back, and so underwent gastric band surgery in order to lose weight and thus ease her pain. To this end she went to hospital in Manchester. After the operation she was in pain for a whole year, before further surgery revealed a length of tubing had been left in her body after the first operation.

This has been reported by the BBC, and also by related titles the Mirror and the Birmingham Mail. Helen Reynolds is taking legal action against the hospital concerned. So where is the Mail? Come to think of it, where is the Sun? Where is the Telegraph, the Express, the Times and the rest? The law firm representing her “said to have the tubing inside her for a year constituted ‘a “never event”  … such occurrences are unacceptable and completely preventable if the appropriate procedures have been implemented’”.

Ah well. Helen Reynolds did not have the gastric band procedure carried out in an NHS hospital, but by the private Spire Manchester Hospital. As there is no NHS to kick, the Mail has decided it can’t be bothered reporting the case. Nor can the Sun. Nor can the Telegraph. And the only Express on the case is the Wolverhampton Express And Star.

Had she gone to a nearby NHS hospital, like, well, just up the road from Rugeley is Stafford Hospital, and that foul-up had happened, we would never have heard the last of it. The Mail would have carried dozens of hostile comment columns. There would have been several thunderous editorial condemnations. Every rent-a-quote NHS basher would have been wheeled out. But as it’s a private hospital messing up, they stay silent.

Your free and fearless press - a bunch of unprincipled, stinking hypocrites.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About time someone got onto this.

An acquaintance with private health "care" malpractice in the USA would be useful for those who really want to know. Which of course excludes the gutless jobsworth cowards in Brit mainstream media.

No wonder people loath journalists.