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Did I give my patients Covid? Over the past year, I've watched my hospital make mistake after mistake

Photo by HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Photo by HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


March 19, 2021   10 mins

At the very beginning, before there were any confirmed cases in the UK, Covid was a source of morbid fascination for us junior doctors. We’d sit in the office over lunch and guess the number of reported daily cases in Italy. As these numbers rose we soon began to count deaths instead. We were shocked when the daily toll reached 100. It just didn’t feel real; it was some scary and abstract thing that was happening to other people in other countries.

But as the first cases emerged in Britain, a huge gulf developed between those staff members terrified of the new virus and those who didn’t believe it to be any more than a normal flu, if it even reached Britain at all. I was in the “terrified” camp.

It’s easy to forget that we had no data on how severe this infection was, how it was transmitted, who was at high risk and what — if any — its long-term impact would be. We relied on anecdotes read online, initially from Wuhan and later from Italy.

I’d like to say that as a doctor I was always only concerned for my patients, but in truth I was mostly worried for myself and my family. I didn’t want to be responsible for the deaths of my parents or my partner as a result of going into work each day.

Then in early March it began to feel far more real. We’d had one confirmed Covid case in my hospital so far when I went to review a patient in Accident and Emergency. He’d had a fall here in England while on holiday from Milan — the epicentre of Europe’s outbreak — and needed an operation to fix a fracture.

I asked the A&E consultant if he had screened the man for any Covid symptoms and he laughed, admonishing me — semi-jokingly — for my “racism” against Italians. I suggested that we should isolate him until we had tested for the virus, to be on the safe side.

At this point I was told sharply “whatever next? We test everyone who walks through the doors for covid?” Looking back, that comment feels entirely absurd — today, of course, every patient has a rapid Covid swab before they are admitted to the hospital — but a year ago such an idea didn’t even occur to anyone.

While it was not within my powers to question a senior A&E doctor, I was able to suggest to my surgical consultant that the patient should be isolated “just in case”. We moved him from the open ward, alongside all of the other elderly patients with fractures, to a side room.

At the time tests were hard to get and results took 48hrs, although our hospital had developed a more informal 24-hour test which was “not yet clinically validated”. The result came back negative, although in block capitals underneath the result was written DO NOT DEISOLATE PATIENT UNTIL FORMAL 48h TEST. And so… we deisolated the patient immediately, because, so I was told, “He has a fracture that we need to fix. He’s got no symptoms anyway!”

The following day the result of the clinically-validated second test came back — the patient had coronavirus. By this point he had already been intubated and ventilated in theatres, itself an aerosol-generating procedure, and on several separate open bays full of patients. It’s hard to know how many infections resulted; how many deaths.

It’s worth remembering at this stage that masks were strictly Not Allowed when reviewing patients, unless they had either tested positive or had symptoms, and had also recently returned from China, Italy or Iran. When we were assessing our Italian patient in A&E, we were told sternly to remove our masks, lest we “scare the patients and other staff”.

My colleague, who had reviewed the patient with me, developed a cough several days later. Initially she stayed at work, since she had neither shortness of breath nor fever; when she called in sick the next day, many of the consultants laughed at how she had clearly been scared by her Covid contact, and was being ridiculous to not work through her “mild cold”. She was later admitted to our hospital with moderate “Covid pneumonitis”, as we would now say, requiring oxygen to help her breathe.

Available workspace had become tighter in the hospital in recent years, with old doctor’s offices making way for patient bays. Our shared office was now — quite literally — an old cupboard, roughly two metres by two and a half. It had no windows, let alone windows that opened; six junior doctors shared that office as the coronavirus epidemic hit Britain.

Our team raised the issue that we had shared an office with our now-sick colleague, but were told that since none of us had symptoms we should continue working as normal. We called down to the hospital housekeeping department to try and at least arrange a deep clean of our office, but were told that hospital housekeeping teams are not responsible for doctors’ offices, since they are “non-clinical areas”, and that if we wanted it cleaned we’d have to do it ourselves, on top of 13-hour days on Covid wards. And that was that. We had always joked that the office looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in five years, but that turned out to have been an accurate observation.

Much of March 2020 was terrifying; some of it was exciting. One morning our seniors seemed to click just how bad the pandemic was going to be. We stormed around the ward, discharging every post-operative patient who wasn’t actively dying, much to the dismay of the physiotherapists who lamented that they hadn’t yet passed their stairs assessments.

We told them that their patients had a higher risk of catching Covid and dying in hospital than being discharged early and risking a fall at home. It felt like being in the beginning of a post- apocalyptic film, both incredibly real and surreal all at the same time. At this point there was no denying that we were in the middle of a catastrophe; we were part of history.

And we were completely unprepared for dealing with an infectious disease of this scale. Sure, at the hospital we were used to occasionally isolating one patient with TB in a side room, but not to questioning every patient who walked through the doors. It was all new to us. Doctors also aren’t involved in deciding where patients are moved — mysterious “bed managers” are in charge of that — and often arrive in the mornings to find that patient A6 has inexplicably switched with C4, and D3 has been moved to another ward entirely. This turned out to be rather a serious issue when C4’s test result returned positive, adding to the number of covid-exposed patients who would require isolation.

Initially, isolating potentially-infected bays was an endless cycle in which patients testing positive would be removed from the bay and the bay isolated. We would then immediately test other patients in the bay. This is what happened with our first Covid patient, the Italian tourist: we immediately tested everyone, and when those tests came back negative we then deisolated them, allowing the patients back. Several days later, one of those patients developed a fever. We isolated her and she, of course, tested positive for coronavirus. Whoever was making the isolation policy didn’t seem to understand that the incubation period was an average of five days, and a negative test immediately after exposure is next to useless.

I can make many excuses for our policies in the early days, but this one seemed idiotic — even at the time — for anyone with the most basic knowledge of virology.

I was soon placed on a ward for patients deemed “not for escalation”, which meant that if they required ventilation on the high dependency unit (HDU) or intensive care (ICU) they wouldn’t get it. These patients were generally 60 or over, but often otherwise fit and healthy until Covid struck. Occasionally we’d get called by the nurses to assess a patient when they deteriorated, and we’d ask if they were on maximum oxygen and then we’d leave again. What more could we do? There was no real treatment for the virus; it was a lottery and some got unlucky.

And soon it was my turn. My mother had developed a fever and a cough. I tried to instruct my father over the phone on how to assess her, so I could have a better idea of how unwell she was. I ordered them a pulse oximeter from Amazon — just before they sold out — and eventually, I became so concerned that I felt unable to avoid assessing her in person. There was no other way.

I had accepted at this point that I would inevitably catch the virus from her. I felt great guilt over that decision; I knew how much stress my colleagues were now under, and how my absence would impact on them if I became symptomatic. However, much as I cared about my patients and colleagues, I selfishly cared about my own mother more.

I arrived home after work that evening, and immediately made the decision to drive her the hour and a half journey to A&E.  Understandably, the hospital didn’t allow me to stay with her — I was, after all, another source of infection to other patients and staff. So I sat and waited in the hospital car park for hours, until at 2am I decided to drive home. Two hours later the hospital phoned — my mother was ready for discharge and needed to be picked up now, even though she still had Covid. The nurse on the phone suggested that I should order her a taxi, since “taxi drivers don’t know if their passengers have coronavirus anyway”. I drove to the hospital and picked her up.

This was a common theme in the early days: Get The Patients Out Of Hospital At Any Cost. It was the same thinking that led to tens of thousands of preventable deaths in care homes via infected hospital patients. Some of the thinking seems justifiable, or at least logical: we didn’t know how full the hospital was going to end up, so how could we turn seriously unwell patients away at the door because we hadn’t been able to discharge Mrs Jones back to her care home with a mild case? Yet we did this for some time even after we knew what was happening as a result.

I emailed my consultant the next day, informing him that I had had close contact with a Covid positive patient and should self-isolate for 14 days. I was told that since I did not have any symptoms myself, I should continue to go to work. So I did. Five days later, I was eating lunch when I complained to my partner that they must have changed the recipe for the soup we were eating, because it tasted of absolutely nothing.

He looked confused. I went around sniffing at all the strongest-smelling things I could find — vinegar, mustard, garlic — but I couldn’t smell a single thing. I’d read online, and heard via friends, that Covid could cause anosmia and ageusia (loss of sense of smell and taste), but it was not yet a recognised symptom. I Googled and found some mentions of the Covid association in other countries, but it wasn’t in the UK guidance until 18 May, long after doctors knew about it.

Again, I emailed my consultant, asking if I should isolate, but was told that since I had none of the “three major” symptoms (at that time: cough, fever, shortness of breath) I should continue to work. So I did.

At the time, the situation was desperate and elective surgery was being cancelled, and medical staff brought in from doing academic work. During the worst days of April 2020 even our oxygen began to run out, and a doctor came round every ward asking us which patients were on oxygen and whether any of them could reduce their intake. So saturation levels for patients were turned down to 92% as oxygen was rationed.

Likewise with PPE, where we were totally ill-prepared for the coming onslaught. In the beginning, FFP3 masks were required for confirmed positive patients and no masks were needed for other patients. Later, surgical masks were required for even asymptomatic patients. However, supplies started to run low, and we often had to go to several different wards to find a box of masks in order to start work in the morning.

We were given stash of masks left over from the stockpiling for the 2009 swine flu epidemic, with stickers over the “use by” dates. We didn’t mind as long as we had something. But when even those stocks began to run low, the guidance on mask requirement changed — it’s funny how masks are suddenly “required” in fewer situations when supplies run low.

While this was an ongoing problem, we’d crowd round a phone — which seems strange in a time of Covid but in our tiny office we had no choice — to watch the now daily Covid briefings, with politicians claiming that there was no shortage of PPE.

TV cameras were always directed at ICU, where PPE was prioritised, and whose teams ended up with the lowest infection rates as a result. We on the regular Covid wards were never shown on the news with our flimsy plastic aprons and surgical masks.

There was a disconnect between what we knew on the front line — about how there was not enough PPE, about how poor patient and staff isolation was — and what we heard being said by politicians.

We had the feeling that both staff and patients were being viewed as expendables, and the most important thing was to avoid headlines about ICUs overloading. This is why we discharged Covid-positive patients to care homes, and why we also handed out huge numbers of Do Not Resuscitate orders for older-but-healthy people, who once might have been given a fighting chance but who now risked overwhelming the system.

Some mistakes are understandable; we were in a pandemic, with a system facing a new type of disease, but if we junior doctors were readily recognising these errors, and learning from them, then policy makers could have responded faster.

We learned from some errors; we got better. We learned to move patients to “Covid contact” wards, and only deisolate them if they tested negative on Day 5. Our ICU unit was the first to catch on to the fact that proning helped, even though the anecdotes had come from Italy before we even had our first patient — another thing we should have learned more quickly. We didn’t start proning patients on the ward routinely until well after the first wave. We stopped discharging infected patients to care homes — but it took thousands of deaths before this happened.

Some mistakes we still haven’t learned from. From the start, there was always a focus on touching contaminated surfaces, while countries like Japan emphasised the three Cs: closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact. We still focus on aprons and hand washing, even though we know of virtually zero confirmed cases of fomite transmission. So little is still done to ventilate rooms. Indeed in my wards, built in the post war era, we cannot even open our windows, where they exist at all.

We have learned many things since, but throughout last spring we continually under reacted and failed to update our policies rapidly enough. We under reacted when PPE was required, we under reacted with patient isolation, and with staff isolation. In every way we were underprepared and often underprotected, a group of young people some straight out of university sent out to fight the biggest threat facing Britain since the Second World War. Many of our older colleagues died doing so but for the junior doctors who lived through the epidemic, March 2020 was a month we can never forget.

But I wonder if we’ve learned enough over the past year to not make the same mistakes next time. Because of the nature and size of the NHS, it’s difficult to tell if the lessons we juniors learned so hard were also absorbed by our superiors. We’ve got to hope so.


Jane Smith is a pseudonym for a junior doctor in England.


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Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

“These patients were generally 60 or over, but often otherwise fit and healthy until Covid struck.”. What were they doing in hospital then?

This idea that people need to be in hospital because they have particular symptoms but are not ‘ill’ in general strikes me as symptomatic, if you’ll forgive the pun, of everything that has gone wrong in medicine and in the country in the last 50 years or so. And why many people are frightened. We used to have communities we were part of, now we are atomised individuals. We used to be people who required help from others in times of illness or trouble, now we are bodies with symptoms requiring pills.

My mother trained as a nurse during the war . From what she told me about her experience then I get the impression, that in those days patients were treated not as otherwise healthy individuals with specific symptoms, but as ill people, who needed looking after. Probably because of greater understanding and better medication this seems no longer to be the case. Hence the idiotic and cruel carry on you have just described.

Also hospitals used to be airy spaces with high ceilings. Now they are stuffy unventilated, overheated, and pre Covid, overcrowded. The TB sanatoriums used to wheel people out in the fresh air and sunshine every day. These things were understood as beneficial in times before doctors and nurses became the servants of pharmaceutical companies. And when the largely Christian members of those professions perhaps still believed in God and loved their neighbours as themselves – not as a set of isolated symptoms.

Marilyn Shepherd
Marilyn Shepherd
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

And suddenly viruses are living things who can stalk and hunt the healthy and strike them down all over so everyone has to face nappy up, pretend the world is ending, become hysterical, love being spied on and locked down like diseased things. I have never seen anything so medieval and deranged as this voodoo

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Well said!
Voodoo is about it.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

We are seeing tremendous push back in draconian measures in the US. Outside of poorly managed states like California and New York (still hurts to see my home state so impacted by such massive incompetence), life is moving back to normal. Many states never had mask mandates and didn’t do any worse than those that did. But even some states that did have them have dropped them. People are laughing at Anthony Fauci double masking after having the vaccine, he is no longer seen as the authority he once was. Other doctors are stepping forward to provide information the Fauci doesn’t like but he can’t point to any studies that show people who have had the vaccine or the virus should still be masking up. Restaurants are open and people are out and about.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago

And Joe is spending so much time wearing two masks, being oxygen deprived, no wonder he’s deteriorating so fast. He’s suffering brain damage from that, along with age-related cognitive decline.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Lucy Smex

Yes he appears to be compromised. But in fairness he did even before the election. Hence the effort to keep him isolated.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

They were presumably in hospital to be treated for Covid.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Yes but the majority of the population have been denied any GP or dental care at all. Since there has been no referrals , tests etc surely this should have freed up the critical hospital side? If the government is going to have lockdown every time a virus emerges they are not sure about , how is this country going to manage? Plus the first lockdown still allowed millions of people to come in via airports , private yachts and planes-these people had to go somewhere-so everyone here being careful was a waste of time if unknown to us the government was throwing massive ‘measle’ parties into the system.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Perhaps I’ve been lucky, Kathleen, but my dentist has been operating more or less normally since last summer. I’ve also been able to consult my GP, both by telephone and physically, whenever necessary.
My GP daughter tells me that after difficulties in the first few weeks of the pandemic, 95% of her cancer referrals have been seen within the specified timescale and treated appropriately. Criticism of the NHS is justified but let’s keep it grounded in reality.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago

I am not blaming the NHS , they like everyone else were told to prepare for a major disaster. Usually if there is a large fire for example with expected great loss of life and injury -hospitals re-call staff and try to clear wards for the emergency. However once the incident is over things gradually return to normal-when is the government going to call off the state of emergency?

Barrie Clements
Barrie Clements
3 years ago

You have been lucky. Here in the UK midlands Dentists have been emergencies only – if you’re lucky. Our GP’s surgery locked up and GP’s available by Phone or E Consult only. Neither of which systems work very well and seem more to do reducing demand than anything else.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago

Guess it depends where you are. My annual dental check up was cancelled, with no offer of a later date. Emergency only….

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago

The majority of people were denied access to any dental treatment for months, including my sister, whose root canal treatment was not completed for for months.
People were forced to remove their own teeth because they could stand the pain of an infected tooth, and couldn’t get access to any dentists. Hospitals didn’t want to know, and dentists were forced to close.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

You forgot to mention that prior to this Scamdemic our vaunted NHS Facilities were awash with MRSA, C-difficile, and other unpleasant surprises.
Some of this was attributed to the conceit of Consultants failing to “scrub up”, nor change out of their ‘smart’ Saville Row suits, whilst flitting from facility to facility.

Perhaps in future we should take advice from Dante and place a very large notice above the entrance of every NHS Facility, reading “Despair of Hope all ye who enter here”.

Incidentally I have avoided using the word Hospital as its Latin origin means ‘guest’, which off course is completely inappropriate under present circumstances.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago

My mother died in hospital in 2007. She’d had a fall and broken her hip, but when I went to see her it was obvious she’d had a stroke (hence the fall). She was unable to speak and one side of her face was paralysed. She was on an orthopaedic ward, though when I spoke to the nurse in charge she conceded she’d ‘probably’ had a stroke. She was not being treated for that however. The ward was crowded with elderly patients and smelt of piss, like the worst-run care homes. I was shocked – I thought hospitals were clean hygienic places! A week later we were told she’d contracted C-difficile. That’s what she officially died of, two weeks after she entered the hospital. The staff seemed uncaring, but I think they were basically demoralised.

The NHS has been systematically run down and poorly managed for years before Covid arrived. I feel very sorry for this young nurse, and anyone working in a hospital who cares for patients as human beings.

At least we were able to visit my mother frequently in her final days, and she had a visit from a priest and the last sacraments, which perked her up no end and even restored her speech a little, two days before she died. Heaven help patients dying in hospital now, and their loved ones.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

As you say this has been coming for years, despite Review after Review. Of the 1.5 million employed by the NHS only about 50% can be described as ‘clinical’ staff, the rest are that indefinable species known as ‘managers’, who would be better off managing a Mink Farm in Denmark.

As to the last moments you are only too correct, and as you say at least your late mother had a dignified death in 2007.
However now in 2021, “Heaven help patients dying in hospital now”.

Face down, throwing up the contents of their lungs into a plastic/vulcanised bucket, alone and terrified, it’s more like a scene from Dante’s Inferno.
What on Earth happened to Emergency Ward 10, Sir Lancelot Spratt and Matron Hattie Jacques?

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

1.3 million NHS Staff (1.2 mil full time equivalent) – 990,000 are clinical or scientific professional or support staff (inc 110,000 doctors, 300,000 nurses plus healthcare assistants, physio assistants, ambulance staff etc.) There are 40,470 managers. The rest are made up of central support staff, Estates, Cleaners etc. Data Source is the Kings Fund, October 2020.
I think it’s helpful to introduce some facts and data into these discussions, occasionally.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

one manager for every 30 odd people. That’s a high number. Thank you for explaining.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic S

If you think that’s a high number, you should try the major private sector company I used to work for. Reducing managers to 1-in-30 would have released a flood of people who could do something productive.

Steve Craddock
Steve Craddock
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic S

That is a pretty good ratio since matrix management became a thing I have seen instances where one ‘worker’ can have 4 managers all telling what to do

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Thank you so much, but these figures don’t seem to add up.

110K Doctors plus 300K Nurses + do not make 990K, therefore is the residue of about 580K Support Staff? If so what are they exactly?

However ratio the of 1 Manager to 32 others seems reasonable.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

The residue are Healthcare Assistants, Physio Assistants, Audiology Assistants, Anaesthetic Assistants etc. Basically clinical support staff who don’t hold professional medical or nursing qualifications.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Many thanks you have dispelled an ‘urban myth’.

Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I’d be surprised if there are many NHS staff who are cleaners. Most cleaning is done by contract companies. And it’s done extremely poorly in my opinion (hence all of the issues we have with MRSA, C-dificile etc.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

My Grandfather died in the same way, aged 99 in 1999. He’d been to the library on the bus and collapsed on the pavement bringing home his supply of literature for the next fortnight.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

Our population has grown by 9 million people since 2000. That’s equivalent to the whole population of London. Imagine the increased pressure in only 20 years. That is a 14% increase. Imagine having to increase the NHS budget in real terms by 14%. The 2020 spend on NHS is likely to have doubled as a share of GDP between 1950 and 2020 to around ÂŁ158.4 billion (Source: Nuffield Trust).
Can that be considered as ‘run down’?

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

The big question is HOW did our population grow that much? The white British are not having enough babies for population replacement and the middle classes are especially slow at reproducing. Granted, some of us have been living a little longer, but that effect goes nowhere near explaining how the population has been growing in such a spectacular manner. The vast majority of the growth has been the massive influx of ll-qualified, thoroughly unsuitable third worlders, whose arrival has been unabated since New Labour came to power, while government after government have declared intentions to control and shrink the flow, to no avail.
Meanwhile, young people (amusingly the ones most in favour of facilitating migration) howl that they can not afford to buy houses or pay the rents required to secure a place to lay their head. I wonder why that is? Have they not heard of the effect on price of rising demand on a scarce and much desired commodity (housing)?

Last edited 3 years ago by Tom Fox
Micheal Lucken
Micheal Lucken
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

On the one hand we have the globalist nationless melting pot ideology saying let everyone come. At the other end there is the allure of an over supply of labour for those in a position to employ, especially when many are used to and happy to accept much lower wages and conditions. Thus we have the alliance of the liberal left with the neo liberal multinational corporates and employer middle class versus the conservative working classes, which would have sounded ridiculous a few decades ago and I suspect something to do with the focus shift to identity politics we now have. I daresay Hegel would have approved at least in part.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

What most do not realise is the main reason the NHS was made into its modern format under Blair was to provide a platform to push Third World Immigration. That is why NHS worship was made to replace CofE, because it gave sainthood to the legions of third world health workers poached from their native lands by Gov Policy. UK Nursing and Doctors training was reduced till foreigners had to be brought in as their were not not enough created from natives. Then the NHS staff, and the millions of unskilled hone care, janitorial and so on workers pushed in on that model, and suddenly unskilled Third World workers were given the open border – on the basis of how they were the new health care workers, and UK could not exist without them. Check out ‘Chain Migration’ as another thing.

It is all Social engineering of the most worrisome kind. When I left the family home in London to move to USA, 1970s My old parts were still almost all British natives, now they are a minority. WHY? Did the voters demand this? London is well less than 49% native British, and falling fast as the oldies like my mother are forced to move out to because their great age.

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Here we go again. I wondered how long it would take for this discussion to be taken over by those obsessed with immigration.Yawn.

Peter Dawson
Peter Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Smith

Where else has the population increase come from? It’s not an obsession it is a rational point of discussion made more pertinent due to hospitals being rebuild with only 80% of beds compared to the ones demolished.
We see daily (not on the BBC of course – but on reputable sources nonetheless) examples of large numbers of mostly young men coming across the channel and being escorted to 4 star hotels for free board and lodging.
You may yawn – others more sensible – warn.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Smith

So you think we should be proud of taking medical and nursing staff from countries with a possibly greater need of them than ours?

Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

Quite. We should be training up our own citizens as medical staff.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

It’s a viscous circle . The white middle class abhor the generally appalling State Education on offer and therefore ‘ crucify themselves by paying for Private school fees (Eton currently £42K+.)

Thus they tend to have only two children if lucky, which is well below the rate needed.
I think the ‘bonk rate’ figures are : actual 1.8 Required : 2.8.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Most of the white middle class are happy with state education. Especially when they look at the arrogant third-rate conscienceless products of the private sector, whose failures and cronyism have given Britain the highest Covid death toll in Europe and the third highest rate of deaths per million population on the planet. Any Old Etonians spring to mind in that connection?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You prejudice betrays you.
I was educated at a dead-end comprehensive in the north-west. In my working career I have had to deal with a great many individuals from a public school background and overwhelmingly I found them to be far more educated, rounded, thoughtful, dutiful, competent and decent than those educated in the state sector.
I honestly believe that these people are essential to this country. My concern is that being taken from their families at a young age is a very high price that they have had to pay.

Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

I couldn’t agree more with your comment. My daughter is 33 – and so few of her contemporaries (all working and most with degrees) have children yet. Very few of them have been able to afford to buy homes (in London/south east). And yet…..they’re all in favour of immigration. All violently opposed to the sensible discussions of Brexit, UK Migration Watch etc.
As for “The white British are not having enough babies for population replacement and the middle classes are especially slow at reproducing.” – they just can’t afford it. My daughter has just had her first baby – at 33. They wanted to own their own place before having a family – to have a secure financial footing. Both she and her husband are solicitors. They haven’t been having lavish holidays, luxury cars etc – they’ve been saving hard for a deposit.
Working families should be subsidised to have babies. The non-working should not (they currently are). We need to change the benefits system.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Your politicans hate you, that is why they decided to replace you as a people. The funny thing is they seem to hate the newcomers almost as much. Maybe Politicos really are sociopaths, like one always suspected.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The Ancient Greeks believed that anyone who actively sort Political Office was obviously suspect.

Therefore they introduced a system where appointments were made by lot.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

We have the Roman system of ‘Partonage’, which only works in an authoritarian system, and is as corrupt a way of governing as has been invented, although it does work better than almost all other authoritarian systems as it is a pyramid structure with the sort of consent of those under it (although they may have no other choice) so rides on the success of those in the middle levels, the ones who actually do and produce stuff. I always found the Roman system of ‘Patronage’ to be the most fascinating thing about them, do a search on it if you do not know of it.

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

The main issue is that as the population has increased, the number of available hospital beds has decreased.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

One might almost conclude the NHS is not the best way to do healthcare. Unsurprisingly, no European nation decided to emulate the ‘envy of the world’

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

“The staff seemed uncaring..”
Too many ward staff have seemed that for decades. Actual hands-on nursing appears to be beneath them. Much nicer to spend their time in the nurses office, looking at notes or a computer screen.
And having spent time on various wards in various hospitals, doctors are as rare as hen’s teeth, with a few exceptions, e.g. the doctor in Dorchester Hospital who was looking after my dad who’d been admitted for stage four bladder cancer.

Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

Part of the problem with the NHS is the outsourcing of cleaning. Years ago hospitals were extremely clean, now they are cleaned by contracted private companies who recruit slovenly 3rd world cleaning staff who slop a dirty mop around when they can be bothered. The NHS needs to bring back the permanent staff cleaners who had a pride in the wards they cleaned and who were directly accountable to the Sister on the ward.

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago

Norovirus is a particularly special gift that the NHS hands out to people each year, which you seem to have forgotten.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Are you pretending that there is no norovirus in countries which don’t have the NHS? Dream on.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic S

I got norovirus at the NHS hospital my father was in! It was dreadful, we spent half the day every day sitting with him, and I got it and missed my flight home. They locked the ward after I caught it, my father did not get it though, but he was exceedingly tough. They did drop him wile moving him out of the bed, giving him vascular dementia from the resulting head injury. I ended up moving him to USA to live with me, and he did till his passing, and now my mother is living with me full time. NHS is a terrible thing for old people! They will force you to spend your inheritance in endless rules of ridiculous mandated home care, even if the family is doing the care! Their mission is to get all inheritance money spent, if you have any, and then care very badly for those who do not, using entirely third world and a few East Europeans in elder care, home care. – I spent 6 months there on and off dealing with him and all that till giving up and taking him home with me.

I do not like the NHS, you may have noticed.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

You are an American. Your healthcare system consumes almost 20% of your GDP, compared to around 9.5% in the UK. Also your GDP is larger per person, so in absolute tems you spend around three times as much as us. Yet thousands die in the US, because they don’t have money, from conditions which would be treated by the NHS on the basis of need.
Agree?

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

And your point is? Of course something as critical as good healthcare (if it is important) would/should cost a lot?
By doing it on the cheap and not making people pay for their own you just got non-appreciative use, misuse and fraud.
Most of the great inventions/discoveries used in hospitals come from US medicine where they invest the money because it is worth it.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Nock

The US system is massively inefficient in its use of that money. Corporate profits and $2 million salaries for consultants mean the money leaks away in all directions. Americans know that. Even Republican voters want the system reformed. And the spending does not save Americans from death and disablement which would be prevented by the NHS. But since you didn’t respond to my comment on that, perhaps it’s not a concern to you?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

BUT USA health workers are Americans! Visit the doctor, the hospital, the home health care, they are Americans! In UK they are foreigners to an insane degree!

So those $ are paying Americans, not cheaping out so you cannot afford to train your own workers – OR have lowered the pay so far that Natives will not do it!~ AND have removed the status from health work that natives will not do it as they see it as something third World people do.

NHS S*CK S. It is a Pathology in its self. It is a political and social engineering machine which does health care badly on the side!!!!!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Nock

This attitude that the goal of healthcare is to spend as little as possible is bizarre. It’s almost a point of pride with some, look how little we spend. As if healthcare wasn’t a huge quality of life issue.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Chris, You know nothing of USA health Care.
1) USA has universal health care: All gov workers at every level get it, even the guy who sweeps the park sidewalks. All Military get it, and their dependents, and after retirement at 40. All Corporate workers get it subsidized, All over 65 get it as Medicare, all poor people get it as Medicaid, all the rest get highly subsidized, OR FREE ‘Obamacare’. Hospitals may NOT turn away anyone in need.

UK care is very poor, BUT anyone who is anyone also has private health care insurance in UK, and also uses private Doctors and Dentists with cash. UK is 2 tiered.

I could go on for hours as I know Both, and I do not like the NHS as it is First a political organization, second a Health one.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

It does seem particularly brutal to older people.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

I can tell you stories! End of life care was a job I took when I first moved to USA, I worked in a Hell Hole home where the people without money and family were sent to die – I can tell stories of the USA back then that are horrific (1970s).

But things moved on, although end of life care (Hospice) is bad everywhere where the person does not have family in attendance. Without an advocate they get shoved aside as care time is rationed and the squeaky wheel gets the grease, also you need to visit to help feed and do light care as workers are just too busy everywhere.. If you can, care for your family members at end of life in your home, I did for my father, and will for my mother.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I have had a couple of experiences with hospice, one at home and a couple at a hospice facility. In all cases they were excellent and I do not know what the families would have done without them.
The home hospice care helped a very dear 50 year old friend die of brain cancer at home. They were excellent but unfortunately this woman’s three children, including a 13 year old, saw and heard some really horrendous things when my friend’s pain was no longer controllable without killing her with drugs. I would not have wanted my child to see or hear any of that at that age but the family really wanted her to be at home. In her case I do think care in a hospice would have saved her youngest child from a lot of pain.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic S

I seem to remember something like 1,000 beds had to be shut down a couple of years ago due to norovirus outbreaks in NHS hospitals. Is it a cleanliness issue?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago

For several years now, Charles, all hospital patients are tested for MRSA on admission. The NHS has actually been very successful in reducing these infections. Credit where it’s due.
Nevertheless, hospital acquired infections have been a thing ever since there have been hospitals. Anyone without a fully functioning immune system, the elderly for example, should stay away from hospital if at all possible and, if that’s not possible, then get out asap.
The decision to discharge as many elderly patients as possible, as quickly as possible, at the start of the pandemic was clearly sensible – as this article demonstrates, they would have very likely contracted Covid otherwise – but obviously the manner of achieving this was (fatally) flawed.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Many thanks for that sound advice!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

“Awash” is exaggeration, despite the harmful effect of privatising hospital cleaning. MRSA has been declining in recent years.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

And when the largely Christian members of those professions perhaps still believed in God and loved their neighbours as themselves – not as a set of isolated symptoms.

I agree that ventilation is key here (I recommend following Zeynep Tufekci’s work on this, she’s been consistently right and right before other people changed their minds). However, God isn’t real and we need to find a way to live ethically with that knowledge rather than complain about the number of people who’ve worked this out. I’m quite a fan of the modern Stoic revival myself.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Surely ZT is a Sociologist with zero medical training?
If her crusade on mask wearing had any validity surely the state would have equipped us all with ‘proper’ gas masks as they did in 1939?

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Tried reading some of her stuff, right about ventilation as it’s basic stuff, she was hardly the 1st on that. Overall she seems very biased and usually wrong, she talks fondly about all the restrictions as if they’ve obviously been a success – and yet ignores the reality that multiple studies by far more honest people have found many of the restrictions to be unrequired, low value, useless or even counterproductive.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Almost all the anti-lockdown stuff I see is from the scamdemic fantasists (symptoms include going on about PCR, saying the virus hasn’t been isolated, talking about Resets and Agendas, along with the usual anti-vax/holistic woo crowd). If there are people saying “yes, the disease is real and the restrictions will work to reduce cases, but here’s a better way” and they have evidence/models rather than just “why don’t we just do X, it’s bound to work”, I’d like to see it.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Of course the disease is real, claiming ‘almost all’ the anti-lockdown stuff you see is from nutters is just confirmation bias. I’ve seen a lot of stuff from pro lockdowners that is equally nuts, full of hysteria, lies and assumptions and with plenty of politics thrown in.

See GBD and various other groups for alternative ways, and Sweden, Texas, Florida, South Dakota etc for far more limited restrictions and no worse outcomes than comparable regions with more restrictive polices. The GBD declaration was from several emininent scientists in the field and backed up by many others. Ironically it’s proposals were far more inline with established policy, but more humane.

Is there any clear unequivical evidence that our severe restrictions are worth it? You point to models, but these have consistently proven worthless. Restrictions are not the norm, they need evidence to back them, not counter them.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Strangely, the King of Sweden thinks you’re wrong about his country.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-europe-55347021

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

To quote: Sweden’s king has said his country “failed” to save lives with its relatively relaxed approach to the coronavirus pandemic.

Or the PM: “Of course the fact that so many have died can’t be considered as anything other than a failure,” Mr Lofven told reporters.

So the UK with all it’s restrictions, and far worse outcomes than Sweden, or almost any other country…. is that a success? You can compare Sweden to Scotland if you want to play the population density card. Both nations of course are actually highly urbanised with some massive empty wildernesses.

Ah we’ve made massive sacrifices and killed lots of other people with out sadistic lockdowns, and crippled others with fear, so it must be worth it.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

It is clear that the king needs to do some reading about what is going on in the rest of the world.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

A hardline Republican know-nothing Governor in South Dakota eased restrictions and the disease took off.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

And that never happened in other countries when they did a lockdown?? You can only compare the average and the average non-lockdown US state had fewer deaths etc than the average lockdown.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Nock

That’s because predominantly rural states with Republican Governors are going to have very different tendencies towards person-to-person disease transfer than predominantly urban states with either Democrat Governors or the type of Republican who isn’t completely nuts.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Nock

Indeed, see Florida vs New York. And Florida has more people and an older population. But it shielded the elderly better. And didn’t toss its economy in the trash.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The GBD failed to explain how its aim of protecting the vulnerable could be achieved in a country like UK where the clinically vulnerable numbered 2.3 million – many of whom live in multigenerational households. Effectively the income of all those isolating would have to be met by the state plus the cost to employers of replacing those isolating with other staff. Add the cost of other support to isolating families such as the need for individual online teaching for children support with shopping and you get an idea of the impact of placing around 10% of the population under a sort of health based apartheid. Before you address the ethics of doing that and how you would end it.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

You point to models, but these have consistently proven worthless.

As Adam Kucharski (an epidemiologist) says: “Anyone who says ‘countries can reach herd immunity through vaccination’ is using a model. Anyone who says ‘we can have big epidemic but keep it away from risk groups’ is using a model. Anyone who says ‘that model suggests X could happen but I think otherwise’ is using a model.”
If all models are worthless, the GBD authors’ model is worthless. If you don’t agree with this, you need to provide evidence that their model reflects what what plausibly happen if their recommendations were followed. Because (as far as I know) there is no published paper or code for this, we don’t have that evidence. (EDIT: Neil O’Brien MP ran some numbers on Twitter, not convinced the GBD plan works).
As I’ve said before, we didn’t need much of a model to work out the possible consequences of an unrestrained pandemic in the UK, just our (population specific) IFR and R values, and some multiplication. Anyone who thinks that (say) the Imperial model from March was the only way we reached that conclusion hasn’t been paying attention, Imperial’s contribution was to lay out “what if” scenarios for various approaches (which does need a more detailed model than “with this R, this many people will get it before it peaks, and with this IFR, this many of them will die”).

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul Wright
Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

…yes and all those nutbags down at the IMF! Conspiracy theorists the whole lot of them!! With their ‘following evidence’, and ‘world economic initiatives’. 😛

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The fantasists are those who’ve taken a bunch of sunlit uplands pieties about “stakeholder capitalism” and “sustainability” as evidence of a vast conspiracy to fake a pandemic.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I thought the conspiracy theories around Great Reset were that Covid was planned or made up to bring about a Great reset? Not that lots of people think capitalism needs an overhaul.

Sean L
Sean L
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

From a strictly positivist scientific standpoint the self isn’t real:no examination of the organism which incarnates you will yield the person you imagine yourself to be, the agency you imagine yourself to possess, which are wholly immaterial.

Ann Ceely
Ann Ceely
3 years ago
Reply to  Sean L

The Self is continuously developing and changing and needs looking after.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

We need to continue to love our neighbours as ourselves. God is love and love is real, even to people who refuse to accept it as God.

Zap Zenn
Zap Zenn
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix

Dominic S
Dominic S
3 years ago
Reply to  Zap Zenn

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” – God.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Dominic S

Actually, that was St Paul in Romans. I’ve read the NT at least twice, so I should know.

Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Alison, I fear Paul might not believe in this “love” you speak of, at least not in the same way you and I might. I have a feeling he believes it to be, nothing more than chemical.

Judy Simpson
Judy Simpson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I don’t believe in God and I therefore don’t believe that love is God. However, I do think love is real and that you are absolutely correct, we do need to love our neighbours as ourselves.

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Simpson

Lol, not when you have a crazy, alcoholic, spiteful neighbour like mine!

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Well, of course. When I say God isn’t real, I mean by God what Christians mean: the all powerful, all good, all knowing, creator of the universe. If you mean something else by the word, fair enough, but why confuse matters by calling that God?

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul Wright
Elaine Hunt
Elaine Hunt
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

God isn’t real to you. You have no special knowledge in this area.

However, I have seen in person the comfort that a belief in God, and the presence of a specialist in their faith can give to both patient and their lay friends and relatives. It is in my experience very discreetly offered.

Would you deny people that comfort ? I wouldn’t deny you your stoic philosophers.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Elaine Hunt

I’m not sure what “not real to you” means. God is either real or not, there’s no “real to you”. I’m a former evangelical Christian, so I have some inside knowledge, although I’m far from being the only ex-Christian atheist, so not special in that respect.
In general, I think it’s better to believe true things than comforting falsehoods. Of course, I’m not able to deny people anything, they form their own beliefs.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

The point is rather that atheism is as much a faith as Christianity. There is no more evidence for your assertion that God is not real than there is for the opposite view. As you say, “people… form their own beliefs.”
However, it should also be borne in mind that most of the great charitable hospitals which were absorbed into the NHS were founded by practising Christians. I’m sure they’d be appalled to see the preservation of life subjugated to the form filling, box ticking, and looking after the organisation we’ve seen described above, both in the article and in other BtL comments. Whether the Christian God is real or not, bureaucracy has proven no substitute for Christian teachings.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

Specifically for Christian God (3 omnis, loving, created the universe), I find the best arguments against God’s existence are the Evidential Argument from Evil (from Rowe) and the Argument from Divine Hiddenness (from Schellenberg). As a former Christian, I find these good evidence that God does not exist.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

It seems you have followed the atheist habit of mentioning your personal view that God is not real. Whatever you believe, that bald statement can neither be proved or disproved. Nevertheless, the belief has given a reason for a way of life to most of the world for most of the time Homo Sapiens has been here and possibly for previous variations of the species.

Mike Page
Mike Page
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Newsflash! Gods aren’t real- sorry. If you estimate perhaps a 100 vastly different gods in the variety of cultures around the world, the only one could be real – it’s fatuous to believe that your own culture’s GOD is THE ONE! On the other hand there are strong psychological arguments for why the different religions have come about.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mike Page
Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Page

Now all you need to do is show the proof!!! I got my popcorn. For the record, I’m an agnostic.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago
Reply to  Bits Nibbles

Specifically for Christian God (3 omnis, loving, created the universe), I find the best arguments against God’s existence are the Evidential Argument from Evil (from Rowe) and the Argument from Divine Hiddenness (from Schellenberg).

Susie E
Susie E
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

I think you’ll find that the ultimate stoic was Jesus himself… anyway, who are you to declare that “God isn’t real”? He may not be real to you, but is real to millions of other living human beings. I grew up an atheist, but the more I learn about the teachings of Christ the better my life gets. Alison put it beautifully when she said “God is love and love is real”.

Ann Ceely
Ann Ceely
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

However, God’s Ancient Wisdom still exists, so Love other people as Yourself!

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

“These patients were generally 60 or over, but often otherwise fit and healthy until Covid struck.”. What were they doing in hospital then?”
They were there because they had Covid and needed some form of high pressure oxygen therapy (but not invasive ventilation …yet). Sounds from this para as though they were short of ventilators at that particular time and / or had realised that invasive ventilation was possibly not the best management option for these patients if it could be avoided.
The regularly updated ICNARC reports give a good picture of what has been going on : “ICNARC report on COVID-19 in critical care:England, Wales and Northern Ireland12 March 2021”
Patients with confirmed COVID-19 and basic respiratory support only – Admitted up to 31 Aug 16.1% had very severe comorbidities. Admitted from 1 Sep 9.9% had very severe comorbidities. These numbers are even lower when you look at those requiring advanced respiratory support. The age and social demographics of these cohorts are also worth a view in the adjacent tables – Mean age 60.2, Median age 62. 89% able to live without assistance in daily activities.

Last edited 3 years ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

People do have accidents, break limbs and get sick from illnesses that strike whether one is basically healthy or not. Example: cancer.
Did you consider the UK population size in the 1940’s. In 1941 there were 48.2m souls It is now 67m, that is 19 million (+39%) more people, with sharpest growth between 2003/4 and present day. That’s similar in population to the whole of London and the South East. In 2000, it was still only 58.8m, 9 million less than today (London’s population now).
We have not been able to match resources to population growth.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Now it is well over 70,000,000, nearing eighty, if food sales by the grocers estimates are good guesses. The Gov gives its guess at population to achieve its agenda, not so you know how many people are in UK.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The decennial census, due this weekend by coincidence, tells us the population to within 1-2%. Don’t believe urban myths.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Labour didn’t spend less than needed. It increased NHS spending by putting 1% on National Insurance to fund the increase. But then the Tories got in, the PPE stockpile was run down from ÂŁ840 million in 2014 to ÂŁ510 million in 2019, and the NHS started missing targets on A+E waiting times and cancer treatment commencement waiting times in 2019 – before anyone had heard of Covid. You may think it significant that Tories are generally those who go private for non-emergency health issues, so have always left the NHS in a mess which Labour then has to clear up.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Explain how private patients leave the NHS in a mess. If I go private, less people use the NHS, and someone else gets my place in the treatment queue. Countries with more of a public private mix have better health outcomes, even France and Germany.

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

You are correct. The model used in the UK has not been replicated anywhere else… including the ex colonies like Australia and New Zealand. In Australia you are incourage by the tax system (only if you can afford it) to utilise private medecine The result as far as I can see , is that this reduces pressure on the public system and increases overall the money in rhe wider health infrastructure. When I moved to Australia I was astounded how much better the health care system is than the UKs. In the UK my personal experience had been that the NHS was very occasionally OK but mostly hopeless, bureaucratic and staffed by uncaring jobsworths.

From what I can see the UK NHS has become the new state religion ….. witness the laughable “north korea” style clapping in the street that occurred last year. (Created by a govt funded marketing company director claiming to be a ” London mum”)

If the NHS is ” the envy of the world” then its a very strange type of envy

Last edited 3 years ago by William Harvey
Michael Cowling
Michael Cowling
3 years ago
Reply to  William Harvey

According to world odometer, life expectancy in the UK is 81.77 years while in the US it is 79.11. In many other “first world” countries (Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Spain) it is closer to 84.
So neither the NHS nor the US system can really be described as “the envy of the world”.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Life expectancy is not based solely on a healthcare system. Americans drive many more miles than Brits do, for example. More miles driven, more auto accidents.
But if you do want to compare the US and U.K., compare cancer survival stats. That is a function of a healthcare system.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

You’ve just made the basic argument for something Enoch Powell advocated: the abolition of National Insurance to combine it with general income (employee contribution) and business (employer contribution) taxes.
NI is there to provide for state pensions and unemployment benefits. That Labour decided to plunder it to fund the NHS tells us all we need to know.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

It’s not just population, it’s medical care itself which is radically different today than what was available in 1941.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Because they won’t remain in power if they raise taxes enough to pay for the needed improvements. There’s a reason the worlds top tax havens are primarily British. No British government has ever spent the needed funds or raised the needed taxes. Under any government, the NHS has still failed on things like cancer survival. And it isn’t just wait times, it’s access to diagnostics and treatments available in other countries, yet denied the NHS patients.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Cancer wait time targets were being met under Labour. Under the Conservatives, they started to be missed (and that was pre-Covid).Happily, we have a Labour party which will fund the NHS properly once it gets into power and rebuilds the NHS, just as it did in 1997 after 18 years of Conservative rundown. And the NHS doesn’t have the massive profiteering and wastage, and callous disdain for those who can’t pay, which are seen in the heartless US system which you favour. Don’t pretend you care about those who are just above the threshold for Medicaid but can’t afford much or any private health insurance. What are THEIR wait times? They will never get their hips or knees fixed. In a previous posting, you stated that they “chose” how to spend their money. What a sick joke.

BTW, cancer survival statistics (lifespan after diagnosis) have a glitch – the earlier you detect the cancer, even if you do nothing to cure it, the more “years of life after diagnosis” are clocked up, and that’s the standard statistical measure on cancer. A vast number of men in their 80s have slow-growing prostate cancer which won’t kill them this side of 2070 and thus are rightly left alone. The same goes for a friend of mine in her 60s with “blood cancer” which is not being treated because it is not a threat (surprising, I know, but that’s what she says). If you spend money detecting those cancers, you can really improve your statistics in order to brag about them, but it doesn’t help anyone.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 years ago

Spending on publicly funded NHS healthcare has doubled as a percentage of GDP from 3.5 to 7% since the 1950’s.
Countries with more private healthcare, particularly in diagnostics like Australia and Germany, have better health outcomes but also provide free healthcare.

Last edited 3 years ago by Deb Grant
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Yes, I’m sure it has but that won’t keep up with population growth or with medical advances. 7% won’t pay for what’s available today compared with what was available in 1950.
I prefer a public/private system as well. I’ve never seen a system that provides free care. It’s all paid for. In Germany, Australia, everywhere.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Actually, the NHS is funded through taxes.

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago

Endlessly creating money from thin air only goes so far for any country. Witness the debates of Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe and Argentine.
Eventually the currency becomes worthless. That holds true for every country except perhaps the USA. Money is just “trust that you will pay me what you owe me” so far the US hasn’t renaged on its debts..nor has the UK. Im not sure that will hold true forever, especially as the US and UK get poorer and weaker compared to China and China continue to hold so much US soveign debt.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  William Harvey

It also explains why you fail to make the connection between taxes and the NHS.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Sorry to disappoint many, but money does not grow on trees, it has to earned. Value has to be created. If there was a magic money tree, there’d be no poverty in the world. Try doing absolutely nothing and see who pays you and how much they pay you.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

The idea that government’s have money of their own without taking it from taxpayers is truly bizarre but unsurprising that some segment believes this today.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Deb Grant
If that were true then nothing is unaffordable. 
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

If it were true that the government could just print up all the money it needed then there would not be constant battles over funding the NHS. Everyone could simply have any operation they needed at any time, all drugs would be available, no problem. Bring all hospitals up to 2021 standards, and build a few hundred more so you don’t have bed shortages every year. You appear strangely unaware of how the NHS is funded. How can that be?
in fact, why should the government not simply hand out £1M to each and every Brit? Everyone could immediately become a millionaire! Think about it. No more funding issues for the military, whatever it wants, hey, here it is. Schools, public services, immediate raises for everyone. How does £1,000 an hour sound? Let’s get to printing!

Linda Jane
Linda Jane
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

My mother also trained as a nurse in the war, and worked through until the early 1980s. Yes – high ceilings, windows you could open, lots of fresh air. Each ward had its own cleaner who was part of the overall team, and answerable to the ward sister. Hospitals now have top-down management systems that make it impossible for the medical staff to have any input on these important details.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Linda Jane

Hospital cleaning has been privatised. What’s received has to cost less than the taxpayer is paying, in order to leave a profit for the supplier. And its management team. And its shareholders. And the merchant bank and corporate lawyers which advise it. Yes, Right-wingers on Unherd, YOU are responsible for supporting this!

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

“These patients were generally 60 or over, but often otherwise fit and healthy until Covid struck.”
What were they doing in hospital, Alison? Perhaps they were in for elective surgery for bunions or kidney stones, or whatever? You know, all those little things that hospitals are there for. Perhaps they had broken an arm. None of those things preclude one from being otherwise fit and healthy in my book.
One of the most annoying features of the past year has been the tendency for people who like to downplay the seriousness of Covid to take the phrase “underlying conditions” as synonymous with “at death’s door”, i.e. not really a tragedy if they die. My 30-something daughter in law is CEV with severe asthma. Provided she doesn’t catch a serious respiratory disease, she has decades of happy, productive and fulfilling life ahead of her. Don’t write her off because of her underlying condition, please.

Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago

Sorry, anyone with severe asthma (and my young son is one of these people) is unlikely to be considered ‘healthy’ as defined and understood by the majority of people and definitely healthcare professionals. Nobody is “writing off” these people, but the maddening way in which most media reports have painted all of these supposed “healthy people” dying of Covid, is purposefully dishonest! The other f*****g day, I still saw a headline here in the US claiming that another ‘healthy 20 year old’ died ‘of Covid’. Then you read the actual body of the article, look at the picture, and you realize he’s about 60-80 lbs. ‘overweight’, does nothing outside of work and play video games (sitting for hours at a time), and diagnosed with ADHD. :-O

Richard Long
Richard Long
3 years ago

I suffer from a bit of hip arthritis, not bad at 72 and was persuaded by my very nice man consultant to pursue a yoga and exercise approach as opposed to surgery.
He told me of the NHS obsession with joint surgery and his anger at the number of people who historically had hip and knee surgery at great cost only to go home, sit in an armchair, stuff themselves full of tramadol, that famous brain neutraliser, watch TV all day and rely on as many disabled aids as possible.
That is not treatment that is a passport to a care home and tragic vunerability to hell’s little microbe’s.
In a pursuit for extended life, we created a hell with full board.

steve eaton
steve eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Beautifully put Allison.

Athena Jones
Athena Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Well said. Doctors in past times may not have had the whizz-bang techo toys and drugs but they did have common sense and they did know how to diagnose, using a combination of knowledge, instinct and intuition. They knew that a nutrient rich diet was important, as was fresh air and sunshine.
Today doctors are secretaries ordering tests and chemists prescribing drugs. It is little wonder they have gone along for the ride in the utterly irrational reaction to Covid-19.
There is no concept of health nor respect for the human organism, just a trainload of drugs to diminish or remove symptoms, which in itself must guarantee poor health because it is not cure.
Modern medicine if it cannot cut or drug something ‘out’ is largely helpless. Modern medicine is sourced in materialist reductionist mechanistic science, drowning in dogma, particularly the illogical but very convenient germ theory, producing generic treatments for generic humans who do not exist.
It is no wonder this form of medicine is now one of the top killers, most of it from prescribed medication, and a system which rarely cures. Medication for life and having body parts regularly removed is not cure.
We need doctors who can think for themselves, challenge the prevailing dogma and have respect for the innate brilliance of the human organism which can never be simply reduced to a machine or bag of chemicals.

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 years ago
Reply to  Athena Jones

the illogical but very convenient germ theory

What is illogical about the “germ theory” — assuming that by that you mean the rather well-supported notion that many human, other animal and plant diseases are the result of infection by parasites, fungi, bacteria, or viruses?

Lucy Smex
Lucy Smex
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

They might have been there for something else, and caught CV19 in hospital, along with 25-40% of the other CV19 cases.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

This pandemic has generated much heated discussion about the advisability of lockdowns and other aspects of the response to the virus. No doubt we’ll be arguing over that stuff for years.
For me, though, there’s one clear conclusion. We owe a tremendous debt to the medical staff who were on the front lines of treating patients, especially in the first phase of the pandemic. Doctors, nurses, other hospital staff, ambulance personnel, all of them. They treated desperately sick and highly infectious patients as best they could with ridiculously inadequate PPE and with treatments that weren’t up to the job. And as the author said, some of those staff, especially older ones, lost their lives. Thank you to all of them.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

..again we come back to my above post. Top senior scientists, doctors, immunologists, virologist, all knew that Ivermectyn, HCQ, Azithromycen, and zinc were already proven to eliminate the corona virus, as was proven by Fauci’s own 2011 study, and this was pulled down off the CDC’s website early on (not before I screen shotted it though), and as we saw, HCQ was banned, and vilified by the WHO, CDC, and the media, and all the medical professionals who were successfully using it, were struck off, banned, deplatformed, and silenced. Those doctors were issuing a 5 day course to patient upon first consultation, and completely iliminated the need for hospitalization. I also have a screen shot of the World Bank Trade Tariffs, which clearly show that “Covid-19 testing kits” were being sold to every country who had signed up for Event 201, and what is the date of that screen shot?…..2018. This was all pre-planned and pre-determined.

Simon Latham
Simon Latham
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

The myth that Covid19 was untreatable is one of the hardest things to explain, yet Ivermectin (by any measure a wonder drug) is still being ignored and Dr Tess Lawrie’s attempts to alert the Government are ignored as it would challenge the narrative they have chosen, “only a vaccine can help”. The continued misuse of PPE also makes little sense, pointless flimsy, plastic pinnies for example and ill fitting useless masks in the general population.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Are those screen shots available/visible online anywhere? Surely that World Bank one would be dynamite if it could be shown to be true. You can’t be the only person who’s happened to see it, if it is in fact real. And I say this as someone deeply sceptical of the official narrative. But if we’re going to oppose it we need verifiable evidence. Anyone can claim they’ve seen a screenshot.

Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

I think we need to qualify your statement. HCQ is only effective in folks in severe distress – ICU, with ‘lung jelly’ like symptoms. In those cases, its a damn miracle drug.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

HCQ has been trialled and found to be ineffective. The reasons claims for it still circulate on fringe websites is that Trump backed it, so it became a culture war issue.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

HCQ was trialled and found to be ineffective.
Other drugs have been trialled and found to work (Dexamethasone was the first, there have been others since). They are now mainstays for Covid treatment across the world. For some reason, doctors tend to favour treatments which have been shown to be effective in trials rather than those which have been shown to be ineffective in trials, I can’t imagine why.
The fact that you push a discredited treatment, which has become a totem pole for fringe right-wingers because the great Donald Trump promoted it, shows the reliability of your other claims. It’s all rather reminiscent of 1940s Russia: “Comrade Stalin says that XYZ doubles wheat yields, and Comrade Stalin is never wrong!”

Last edited 3 years ago by Chris C
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

A very interesting, honest, and painful article, although none of it surprising. I warned my elderly parents a year ago not to go anywhere near an NHS hospital during the pandemic. It is indeed incredible that the loss of taste symptom wasn’t officially registered until 18 May. One or two friends of mine experienced this as early as March, and it was widely known among the population last large.
The role of the ‘bed managers’ as mentioned here is just another example of the waste and insanity of the NHS, caused partly by the fact that we have vastly fewer beds than we did 30 or 40 years ago, despite a massive increase in population. The money spent on the bed managers would surely be much better spent on more beds. For a start, beds don’t require pensions and holidays, although of course they do require more nurses etc. Even so, it surely better to spend the money on nurses, not bed managers.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Bed Managers are normally very experienced Senior Nurses who have responsibility for managing the distribution of patients within beds in hospitals. This includes facilitating the transfer of patients from ITU to less intensive beds and vice versa, patients from emergency wards to longer term care, identifying side rooms for infected patients, making judgement calls on which elective cases are cancelled to accommodate emergencies etc. It’s a highly clinical role. As the UK has historically operated at a much higher rate of bed occupancy than most comparable healthcare systems (95 to 100% compared to the more usual 80 to 85% or less) Bed Managers have a crucial (and actually extremely stressful) role in making decisions about which patient is placed where, why and what the risks associated with any decision are. Especially in crisis times.
In the account of events above the Bed Managers would have been working with limited information, as were the Junior Doctors. One difference would be that the Bed Managers had responsibility for the safety of all the patients in the Hospital, while the Doctors, rightly, were responsible for their patients.
I’m sure Jane Smith did not intend her article to be interpreted as a criticism of her clinical colleagues.

CJ Henderson
CJ Henderson
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

I was a doctor in the NHS before bed managers were invented. Much as I dislike my patients being moved by someone with a clipboard and a spreadsheet, it works better than it did. There used to be lacunae of quiet where few patients sat among empty beds tended by bored nurses. Hardly the best use of resources.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

My daughter has been warning me never to go near a hospital unless unavoidable ever since she became a doctor, years ago, never mind at the start of the pandemic. Hospital acquired infections have been around for as long as there have been hospitals.
The reason we have fewer beds these days is because we’ve become much better at discharging patients earlier (I know it can be overdone) rather than keeping them in for prolonged convalescence during which time they are at risk of acquiring an infection.

Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago

Totally agree Dougie. Doctors and nurses (in my immediate family at least) will convince anyone they can to stay the hell out of hospitals, clinics, or the healthcare system completely, if at all possible. Simply because the risk is high that you will be worse off than when you started. Case in point, one of my favorite writers, John Prine. Went in because he broke a hip on tour, contracted Covid in the hospital and died of complications. My mom even sets bones herself around here. But then she’s one of these ‘nutters’ that others reference in the thread above, that practices “homeopathy”, or as we’ve always called it in my rural part of Eastern Europe – “medicine”.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Bits Nibbles

I adored John Prine and I know his wife. He did not contract COVID in the hospital. He was admitted after he suddenly became very ill and at 73 with numerous health issues in addition to COVID, he sadly died. He was a really wonderful guy. This is not to say that you could not catch COVID in the hospital, my daughter did. But she is an ICU nurse.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

Unprecedented literally means an event about which little is known beforehand. It will take many years of data to answer specific hypotheses about the potential impact of interventions, which were applied while the pandemic was unfolding (as it still is). The confounders are enormous, many yet unknown, and the baseline differences- in demographics, health care provision, a potential for implementing population level changes- so diverse that the chances of finding statistically meaningful patterns are near negligible. Meanwhile everyone can claim to be correct: lockdown versus no lockdown, school closure versus open, strategy a versus b etc.
I sympathise with the young medic. But while castigating policy makers for not knowing what they were doing, she was also googling symptoms, not being helped by years of her training.
we need to kind to each other. Everyone has suffered. There is no mummy or daddy we can run to and complain that life is unfair. I am not making this comment about this young person who has been candid and thoughtful about her experience, but about the nature of societal debate that relies on hindsight wisdom.
one illustration, according to the WHO two – thirds of all death globally were unrecorded before the pandemic. Some countries have only now instituted mandatory death recording forms. And yet we merrily produce tables of country performance on COVID by death rates. Even in countries with similar socioeconomic conditions, the way deaths are recorded varies so much that we should be wary of simple comparison.
time will tell. Meanwhile everyone assumes they are right.

Last edited 3 years ago by Vikram Sharma
Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

> castigating policy makers for not knowing what they were doing, she was also googling symptoms, not being helped by years of her training.
This is not a fair or accurate interpretation of this comment.
There is a systematic problem with disconnection between the front line and policymakers across government. See Crewe and King’s book The Blunders of Our Governments from 2013. This results from the way UK government is structured.
Pointing this out is not to “castigate policy makers”.

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago
Reply to  Cassian Young

So which country is best structured for health? Which government hasn’t made mistakes and in which era? What form of restructure of UK government would have led to better outcomes? and how can you prove that other than by hindsight wisdom.
Front line workers by definition see what is immediately in front. Policy makes have to make decisions on what is all around, including what is not visible to the front line worker.
The point I was trying to make was that Black Swan events can’t be prepared for. Technological or scientific advancements do not mean an end to uncertainty. Hindsight wisdom is unfalsifiable but that does not make it true.

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Improvements result from frankly acknowledging failure not by ‘castigating’ the people who reveal them.

This isn’t a black swan event. It has been top of the UK risk register for years.

Its true that there is a lot of hindsight about, but the disconnect between front line and policy has long been identified as a systematic weakness in the UK. This couldn’t be further from hindsight.

Sean L
Sean L
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Pandemics occur every flu season: WHO just changed definition. Average Covid fatality age exceeds average life expectancy. Statistically Covid prolongs life. Mortality figures have been higher in previous years and no one batted an eyelid. According to corporate fraud lawyer lawyer Reiner Fuellmich Covid is better understood as “organised crime”. He believes he can prove it and the technical basis of his case has already been proven in a court of law. Just because things aren’t reported in media doesn’t mean they’re not real. Quite the contrary. In the words of his friend Dr Wolfgang Wodarg who thwarted previous plandemic in 2009: ‘The emperor has no clothes’

Susie E
Susie E
3 years ago
Reply to  Vikram Sharma

Sweden. My Dad has been living between the UK and Sweden for years. The way things are set up over there are so much better for the residents. Less having to fill in the same form 100 times because different agencies won’t speak to each other, less covid crap… less mistakes made in hospitals early on in the pandemic. I have elderly relatives out there who caught covid and survived after hospital treatment. I doubt they would have been so lucky here in the UK. I’m not saying Sweden is perfect, but it’s most likely a whole lot better!

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago
Reply to  Susie E

Not true. Swedes have major problems in access to healthcare. It is great if you can get to see a doctor or a specialist; not so good if you have to wait. The maximum waiting time for medical specialist assessment by law in Sweden is 90 days, but a third of people have to wait longer. Health outcomes very enormously by socioeconomic status. There is nurse shortage in three -quarters of health care services, despite the huge tax burden on citizens. New Karolinska hospital in Stockholm was the most expensive in the world when built, yet many departments got easily overcrowded and had to be transferred.
There is no perfect world.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 years ago

The lack of good prophylactic advice has been and remains an astonishing dereliction. There’s still an emphasis on hand-washing. I am told that after a routine procedure next month I must take extra care to “clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces” in my home. This would serve no useful purpose.
On the other hand, I have seen no mention of whether it would be a good idea to use an electric fan if one is indoors with others, to disperse the aerosols which are reportedly an important vector in enclosed spaces.
Providing sound, up-to-date and easy-to-follow advice would cost very little. It would help restrict the spread of infection by focusing efforts where they are effective. And it would give people a greater sense of control over their lives. Why is not being done?

Last edited 3 years ago by Richard Powell
Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Very good post. My answer to your concluding question is that ministers and their advisers took far too firm a view in the public health advice issued last March, so that it would be embarrassing if they had to change that advice and switch to something more evidence-based, like the three Cs mentioned in this article and in previous ones on this site going back to last autumn or earlier. I guess it will be hard for any inquiry to find a smoking gun on this, but there seems to have been a complete unwillingness on the part of the authorities to ask exactly how is the virus being transmitted. Hence the continuation of outdoor restrictions which are clearly not based on good evidence.

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
3 years ago

Probably the only laughable thing about this pandemic in the UK is the ridiculous worship of the NHS. Both it and the Department of Health have failed miserably in just about every way. The only reason we have managed to have a vaccine triumph, is that the Department of Health was prevented from running it and a special team was set up outside the normal health department umbrella. Clap for the NHS on Thursday evenings? Not likely.

Last edited 3 years ago by Tom Fox
Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

The NHS has done its best despite a decade of Tory underfunding. NHS staff have worked at an intensity most of the rest of us couldn’t cope with. I applaud them.
But since you hate the NHS so much, what would you do about it? Do please be specific? How about a US style system, as favoured (generally covertly) by the American contributors?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

It appears to me that the deification is because some people take accurate criticism of the NHS as a personal attack, as though they themselves were around in 1948 and have some personal responsibility for it.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Annette, as an American, why are you bothered by what health system we British choose? What business is it of yours?
Sorry, I’m forgetting, as a Trump supporter and someone who favours the US health system even though thousands die without treatment because they can’t afford it, you find the NHS an ideological offence. Treating people on the basis of need rather than wealth – what an appalling idea! And don’t pretend that Medicaid takes up the slack for those on low incomes, especially in Republican States where the income threshold for Medicaid eligibility is set lower than it is in Democrat States.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fox

Vaccine procurement was handled by Vaccine Task Force. The Vaccine Delivery Programme is NHS. Test and Trace is Dept of Health (not NHS).

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
3 years ago

Interesting read, but the author is overly dramatic and a touch hysterical. I would suggest that the author read a very interesting short book by Dr. Sebastian Rushworth entitled “Covid: why most of what you know is wrong”. The contrast is remarkable. Dr. Rushworth is a first year Swedish junior doctor working in the ER of a large Swedish Hospital. i.e. at a similar career stage to the author. His take was entirely different from the author’s. Indeed in the middle of Stockholm, the ER departments were absolutely not overwhelmed, and he went from seeing 8 patients per shift to about 2-3 – while the majority were all COVID positive, the total number of patients decreased as people with cardiovascular events etc… didn’t go to the hospital. Further, as he rightly points out the mortality of COVID is a lot less than was first thought. And most importantly the average age of death from COID is higher than the average life expectancy: in Sweden 84 versus 82.

Tim Gardener
Tim Gardener
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

The book by Dr Rushworth is definitely worth a read.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Sweden. They knew from the get go that they were short of ICU beds and were concerned that Stockholm, in particular, was going to be another Bergamo so they triaged elderly patients up front – they were never taken to the hospitals – only 13% of the people who died in hospital in the first wave were > 70

From a pal of mine in Sweden in May :
I’m witnessing and living an humanitarian catastrophe. Hospitals are closed, they do not let people looking for help in. One needs to be previously allowed after a very hard screening by telephone. Only a tiny part of the covid19 symptomatic patients are allowed to go to the hospital to get treated. Sweden has officially 2653 deaths so far. There are doctors made calculation in internet based on official numbers of hospital utilization that conclude that only around 400 people died at the hospitals. More then 2200, more then 80% dies at home because they couldn’t get treatment. It’s too much scary because I don’t know whether my family will have treated if needed despite we are covered by the public health system, in theory. Information is slowly going out of the swedish state sponsored media bubble, but it’s taking too long.

On 10 Decmber, the Karolinska Institute had no spare capacity in its ICU (increased from 38 to 200 beds in the spring) and opened up an adjacent field hospital to free up beds in its main facility

Last edited 3 years ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Would you rather die in hospital or at home?
For myself, home, without any doubt whatsoever.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Covid means you can’t breathe. You need oxygen. Are you anticipating an oxygen system at home to mimic what hospitals provide?

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
3 years ago

I think this article unintentionally begins to circle in on the key issue.
If you have an out break of Virus which in the main only kills the elderly and co morbid (we did know this from Wuhan) and nearly a thousand unfortunate young medical people, who were overwhelmed by what is known as Viral Load (I will leave experts to judge in retrospect if that analysis stands up to cool deliberation) you need to rethink your entire admissions policy.
What this article proves is the NHS was not fit or ready for a Pandemic and therefore anyone with a fighting chance of survival or a highly likely hood of death should never have been taken anywhere near hospital. I remember very early on a medic turning to camera in Italy and said all these people in ICU will be dead at the end of the week maybe one will survive. So what on earth are we doing taking these people to hospital.
Why on earth did the NHS send out a non resuscitation order. If you think someone is to frail to be resuscitated why put them under at all, why not indicate that they are to call for palliative care and stay home with a family in a well aired room.
As for the returning people to spread in nursing homes this point is drastically over made 21,000 people died of Sars CoV2 in 2020 (ONS) in homes out of an overall total of 171,000 (ONS). News just in, people go to nursing homes to die with life expectancy of 2/3 years unless your demented.
Deal compassionately with people with a dreadful deadly virus in terms of pain relief but do not take them to hospital. Out of the 20,000 admissions in the 0-60 less than 500 died (ONS)who were fit and healthy thats a fantastic and worthwhile outcome and perfectly manageable.
The way this has been dealt with is to throw the 0-60 age group to the wolves either by destroying their lively hoods or expecting them to pay for this in the future. What should have happened is the 80 plus age group should have been given palliative care and a handful of fever hospitals created. Capacity issues should have been avoided by not taking these people to the hospital in the first instance.
The NHS barely manages in ordinary times with a high number of elderly and 30% obesity and 8% of the budget goes on type 2 diabetes, this article proves everything was done on a wing and a prayer to avoid criticisms of lack of compassion and if anybody thinks all those elderly lives saved (not the fit and robust many of whom got it and survived) are going to come out and enjoy the green uplands of post pandemia, they barely were able to before, now they will be terrified obsessed endlessly with health, thats what happens when you keep people alive with just one aim survival at any cost.
We need a great reset the acceptance that we die and do not live for ever and the future belongs to the young between 0-60 who have everything to offer and everything to lose.

Last edited 3 years ago by Michelle Johnston
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Some months ago there was a very interesting comparison of Covid deaths in Lombardia and neighbouring Veneto. (Surprisingly for such an interesting article, it was in the New Statesman). Anyway, Veneto did much better because they did not rush every Covid case into hospital. And we all know that the last place for sick people is an NHS hospital.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The most dangerous place in England is an NHS Hospital.
The logic is irrefutable.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Drivel, on the same level as your ill-informed comments about the number of NHS managers which Mark Bridgeford had to painstaking deconstruct and put you right on. If your Covid gets bad and you are suffocating to death, you need oxygen and maybe a ventilator. That means a hospital.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

If they are suffocating due to Covid and need oxygen, a hospital is exactly where they need to be. That’s why they go to hospitals all round the world, whether it’s an NHS hospital in the UK or a non-NHS hospital elsewhere.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, it became obvious that not every COVID case requires hospitalization where you could infect other people. Many cases can and should be handled at home where people can better isolate and not infect others. NHS hospitals do seem to have issues with infectious disease spread even during non pandemic times.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago

Unlessof course they can infect others at home in crowded conditions.
Will hospitals now be designed with windows that open?

Elaine Hunt
Elaine Hunt
3 years ago

I totally agree. One the one hand we seem to be terrified of death and postpone at terrible cost of suffering and misery (anyone who has visited a dementia ward will know what I mean). ; on the other hand we refuse to condemn behaviour which will bring a premature decline in health .

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago

As late as January 2021 Captain Tom Moore caught CV in hospital. I find that staggering.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

The NHS is more dangerous than a Tiger Tank. If CV hadn’t got poor old Captain Tom, MRSA, C-difficile or something equally hideous would have done.
In fact he was probably safer storming the Normandy Beaches.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

And I find it inevitable.

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago

And died after having the vaccine, I understand.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

It’s emergency conditions, with a highly infectious disease (the Kent variant being 50-70% more infectious than even the previous version). In a country where third-rate right-wing political leadership has ridden the golden conveyor belt to power, leading to an unnecessarily high rate of infections and consequently hospitals having to do the best they can with the facilities and staff available after ten years of Tory rundown, rather than having ideal conditions.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

And the rest of Europe, where the situation is much the same, also the tories?

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago

If you look at the ICNARC reports dating back to the spring you will see that the sort of triage you are talking about – not putting 80+ bods on ventilators (or any sort of respiratory support) was in operation from the start :
Age + demography of admissions for any sort of respiratory support : Mean age 60.2, Median age 62. 89% able to live without assistance in daily activities.
The morbidity associated with ventilator management of the frail and old has been known for years.
As for DNACPR, in a well managed health care system advanced care planning / advanced directives ought to be something your doctor discusses with you long before you become really ill.
It will be interesting to see what recommendations the CQC come up with after their invstigation of all this.
In the meantime everyone has the option to be very American about this and take personal responsibity fo organising enduring powers of attorney and personal preferences re : end of life care and laying in supplies for simple self deliverance as assisted dying is ostensibly still illegal in the UK.

Last edited 3 years ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Russ Littler
Russ Littler
3 years ago

The reason your initial tests were reading negative, is because you used a conventional testing method (which was correct), but the 48 hour test was a PCR test, and this was giving you up to a 90% false positive result, because a PCR test “CANNOT” identify, or isolate covid nineteen. (or any other virus for that matter) all it can do is pick up remnants of DNA strands, so the question needs to be asked. What person up the command chain knew that this was the wrong test, and why did they allow it to be used? Was it a lack of competence, or a deliberate ploy to “create” the illusion of a pandemic? Either way, there needs to be a serious scientific inquiry, and those found guilty of crimes against humanity need bringing to justice. We need to establish at what level were senior virologists, immunologists, and senior NHS managers were complicit in this deceit, and criminal negligence.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

Yes, the PCR tests are one of the great rackets of our time, and indeed of all time. But a lot of people are making a lot of money from them, and that’s the main thing!

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

PCR tests are manufactured to contain specific primers – strings of amino acids that will bind to specific target regions of the Sars Cov 2 genome (or of any viral genome – you can manufacture a string of amino acids to match any bit of any viral genome). The test mechanism amplifies these bound sections of the viral genome and these are what is measured in a quantitative sense. The Lighthouse labs in the UK have primers that will bind to 3 different bits of Sars Cov 2 – N (nucleoprotein) ORF 1a/b (open reading frame 1a/b) and S (spike).
This article written in June describes the PCR test in a bit more detail and gives a history of the manufacture of the initial primers.
“Primer design for quantitative real-time PCR for the emerging Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2”

SARS-CoV-2 incidentally is an RNA virus.

We know what the operational false positive rate is with this test from the ONS random sampling in the summer when there were very few people carrying the virus – FPR about 0.08%.
For Test and Trace at the same time about 0.9% of tests were positive – you would expect a higher figure because T&T test more people with actual symptoms, they are not testing a random sample. You can’t have more false positives than the actual number of positive tests.

If PCR was hopeless overall (for whatever reason) it wouldn’t match & predict Covid hospitalisations and deaths as it does.

Does it pick up people who have had Covid and are no longer infectious ? absolutely which is why NO single test should be used as a single metric to determine an individual’s current situation – this applies to the rapid lateral flow tests as well. How do you get over this problem ? – by repeat testing, by using differnt types of test, by examining contact histories, by examining other signs and symptoms.
I certainly subscribe to the view that the Test & Trace system in the UK has been shambolic – this because of how it was set up and how it has been used rather than intrinsic problems with the tests themselves, limitations which are documented and well known and continuously scrutinised.

Last edited 3 years ago by Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
3 years ago

Very interesting and powerful piece. I think the other reason the response was originally so bad even in hospitals and even or especially with the senior staff (of the same age/generation as myself) is that there has been a generation or more without real experience of proper infectious diseases and how to handle it. What used to be common knowledge has been forgotten.

Hubert Knobscratch
Hubert Knobscratch
3 years ago

Infectious diseases you say?
I live very close to a famous large hospital in Aylesbury. Next door to the hospital is a small Asda. My ex-partner was an infection control nurse at said hospital and most of her job was spent trying to keep on top of the management of possible infection spread. For years, many staff of all descriptions and levels were told many times, some of them embarrassingly often, about getting changed before venturing out to meet the great British public. I.e. do a spot of shopping at Asda’s.
Every single time I go into Asda, there are NHS staff in full uniform wandering about the place buying things. It appears, even with all this COVID palaver, lessons still aren’t being learnt


LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago

Interesting article. One thing that really stands out is that the hospitals and care systems (throughout the West) had very little planning/capacity in place for handling pandemics – in terms of infection control. Indeed it would suggest that in hospitals virus/infection control is worse at normal times – how many fragile patients with say a broken bone end up catching a killer bug whilst staying in hospital? How many carers wih no sick pay and under pressure to work (same for Nurses/Doctors) routinely soldier on when possibly infected – or how many wouldn’t even know they were ill? The general public shouldn’t be let off either, how many people visit patients in hospital when feeling unwell themselves?

There’s some low hanging fruit like more nurses, doctors, carers and sick pay and better PPE and testing for them – we need our own industrial capacity for this. Also whilst not cheap rebuilding more hosptials to have individual rooms per patient – and good ventilation would help with this and make life better for most patients. Previously I’ve viewed the horror of trying to ‘get better’ on an open ward with coughing patients as an annoyance, how would you sleep? Now we’d view the coughing itself is of more concern.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

‘Indeed it would suggest that in hospitals virus/infection control is worse at normal times – how many fragile patients with say a broken bone end up catching a killer bug whilst staying in hospital?’
A lot. Certainly in the UK – and Scotland is three times worse than England.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“Scotland is three times worse than England.”

Situation normal then.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
3 years ago

Yes, but it’s Westminster’s responsibility (just standing in for Ms. Sturgeon).

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeremy Poynton
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

It’s always England’s fault, but we’ve got used to it.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

or SNAFU, as it were.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago

Forming a consistent opinion about lockdown has been difficult with new information appearing and contradicting existing information. Perhaps the key question to answer is this: What proportion of those who died from Covid 19 contracted the disease either in hospital or in care homes?
https://www.physicaleconomics.org/copy-of-liberty-equity-wokestry

Marilyn Shepherd
Marilyn Shepherd
3 years ago

Probably no one, we now know the PCR’s are 1. not diagnostic, 2. were invented by Drosten without a drop of virus and approved by the FDA also without a drop of virus, 3. were all cycled at a ct value of 45 on the recommendation of the WHO, who only changed that in January this year. The whole thing is based on PCR’s and they are fake.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright
3 years ago

Almost the full house of nutter conspiracy theories, but you forgot to mention Bill Gates. Also needs more Great Reset. Please rectify this oversight immediately.

Last edited 3 years ago by Paul Wright
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Whose this Bill Gates chap you keep banging on about?

Does he play for Aston Villa?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

He is the guy watching you through your computer camera as you type. He is the reason most of us put a piece of black electrical tape over the camera hole.

Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Wright

Bill Gates is a fan of the big reset Paul (wonder why?):
https://news.bitcoin.com/the-great-financial-reset-imf-managing-director-calls-for-a-new-bretton-woods-moment/
Not sure why you keep bringing it up as if its some internet meme? This has been talked about by financial industry trend-setters for at least 2.5 years. Covid is just going to speed this up. Ultimately the aim is for governments’ central banks printing of money (digital of course) directly into cattle, i mean, citizens’ bank accounts. If you’re watching the industry at all, you know they’re clamoring for it, and have been for a while. Lots of fees to be made here. Lots and lots of untapped clients.

Tony Turner
Tony Turner
3 years ago

Some months ago, SAGE suggested that 22% of COVID transmission in the UK happened within hospitals. I’d suggest that pubs and other hospitality venues would be much safer places to be.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Turner

I suspect that’s an underestimation. But even if it’s correct, that’s the figure for ‘transmission’, not deaths. Those in hospital are elderly or already ill so the death rate will be considerably higher. How much higher really needs an investigation.

David Butler
David Butler
3 years ago

None of this surprises me and corroborates what my wife has told me. Shortage of office space meant she worked, ate and drank in various poorly ventilated offices often with 6 or more nurses and HPCs, without PPE except for face to face contact with patients. When she became ill early in the pandemic occupation health said because she only had a low grade fever and no continuous cough it didn’t tick the boxes for Covid so she should come back to work if she felt OK to work. She had a weekend plus 2 work days off. Fortunately most of her colleagues had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic although a few (mainly BAME) had a more serious illness although none were hospitalised. I upped my daily vitamin D dose and fortunately despite being in my early 60’s only had a mild illness (BMI<25 possibly helped).

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Thank you for that poignant essay.
It sounds like Scutari all over again, except this time on a simply massive scale.

How was the worlds eight largest economy so ill prepared? It is a national disgrace, perhaps without equal in our history.

Jeremy Poynton
Jeremy Poynton
3 years ago

We were prepared. The pandemic plan was in place, and the intent was to deal with it via herd immunity. As we have done with all previous pandemics. Then SAGE weighed in, Johnson and co. panicked, and here we are a year later, with the economy destroyed, many SMEs destroyed, many people’s lives destroyed, and the wealthy rolling in the aisles laughing.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton

Yes agreed, even worse than the Charge of the Light Brigade!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

More like ‘The Retreat of the Light Brigade’ where to save them from the danger of the charge they were ordered to rush to the rear, and thus, lemming like, off the cliff.

Vasiliki Farmaki
Vasiliki Farmaki
3 years ago

I appreciate the time and effort of the person writing this piece. However, 1. I would like to see on UnHerd essays, articles etc.. discussing the other side or the indeed many alternatives on the issue, instead of constantly promoting similar writings. And to my understanding aiming to keep up the fear the longer the possible.. 2. Who has decided that corona is the most important and the only issue in people’s life? Why are they keep pushing us to think on those terms every single day? 3. Why vaccination is the only choice, and not medicines and natural immunity? There are already medicines like invermectin. For me, the most serious, credible, and honest strategy is the Great Barrington Declaration. And I understand herd immunity is a natural process.. when the term is used along with vaccination is misleading and a kind of abuse and appropriation.. a kind of disrespect and distortion. We have already heard/read similar stories.. What about Ours stories? What about how corona IS a blatant Disrespect to everyone human? Is there a scientists/doctor/politicians who can explain why the so called cases go up.. whereas in lockdown? I do suspect that something else is going on.. perhaps it is a biological war, to keep us under control, they spread the virus here and there, to keep on with their agenda. I do not think that the virus is spread in those terms they describe .. Please see the video with Dr Daniella Anderson from Singapore says: it is not Airborne.. Why they keep telling us otherwise??.. I am a healthy person and good citizen, and I take democracy seriously, it is my duty to uphold and honor my right to decide everything about me. I take care of my health because I care of others. And by no means I was waiting for a virus to tell me what to do.. I do not insist and I do not give names to anyone who takes drugs, alcohol, smokes, feels safe with vaccines and if they wish they could inject themselves everyday.. enjoy! But..  they do expect that everyone in the world will comply to be forced into a global group of weak individuals unable to defend ourselves..! Are we babies here? Freedom, free will, tolerance, diversity and most of all Respect to each other are fundamental principles for adults’ health. Is corona a blatant Disrespect everyone human? Around the corner, there is only the Anti-anti-vaxxers propaganda.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g47wD55Nl8.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago

Bolsinaro is running a real time experiment in natural herd immunity in Brazil, right now, isn’t he ?
You can watch it unfold (from the perspective of the hospitals) in glorious technicolour here : COVID-19 Observatory points to the biggest health system collapse in the history of Brazil 17.03.21

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Isn’t Belarus doing the same?
A chance for some interesting comparative analysis methinks.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago

And Florida. And in most ways, South Africa’s last wave. This list is long.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

So Elaine G-L’s cynicism maybe misplaced.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

South Dakota, the one State which just let it rip, and fared the best out of all of them, search for a speech by the excellent governor about it.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Others may disagree about “best out of all of them” – even given SD’s natural advantage of a predominantly rural and thus naturally socially distanced population.

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

From CDC (with all the attendant problems of how certain states are very slow about reporting deaths of any sort). A league table from a couple of weeks ago for all cause excess mortality compared with population adjusted average from the last 5 years :
1st Arizona +31%
5th N Dakota +25.3%
6th S Dakota +24.4%
21st California +19.9%
25th Florida +19.3%
62nd N Carolina -7.6%
Does anyone actually know what is going on in Florida ? (or anywhere else). Pals of mine who live there say that it varies from county to county – some didn’t open schools when De Santis ordered them to, some have bar and restaurant restrictions, different flavours of mask mandates etc. etc.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Yes, Florida public schools (some private schools never closed) were ordered open by the Governor and they had to open five days a week (or lose funding) although parents were allowed to choose to keep their kids homeschooling. The teachers union tried to block it and temporarily succeeded but de Santiago used an emergency executive order to get them open. Individual bars and restaurants can ask you to wear a mask as can grocery stores, although many people do not.
Florida focused on vaccinating the elderly first and it has a high percentage of elderly as it is a retirement state for many. It also never forced covid patients back into nursing homes.
Florida did better than many states (its death rate is 8% below the national level) that had lockdowns and now has the economy to show for it. It will take a long time for California and New York to come back even if they do impeach/recall their governors.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yes, and didn’t destroy its own economy in the process.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Florida is vaccinating people in huge numbers. And with a larger population and an older population, it still has a lower death rate than states that did have lockdowns. Florida was not banking on natural immunity. But it also didn’t want to destroy its own economy..

Vasiliki Farmaki
Vasiliki Farmaki
3 years ago

I think we agree then in one point.. all in all corona is something else of what they say.. a political virus, a mind virus, an economy virus.. a culture and religion virus.. or perhaps what they really mean is that WE are the virus.. they want us to suppress and put under control… Most likely for me, it is a biological war.. they control it.. they spread it when and where ever they want.. If it appears that Herd immunity does not work .. of course!!.. it is because that is their Plan.. they will do all it takes to vaccinate with poison as many humans as they can.. Lies is their specialism..

Last edited 3 years ago by Vasiliki Farmaki
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

How Dr Joseph Goebbels would have laughed!

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Any sane organisation tries to ensure that it speaks with one voice, and that what it says is carefully considered rather than people who don’t have the full picture blowing off steam after a hard shift. The same is true of companies, like the one I worked for.
You yourself made spectacularly ill-informed claims about the number of NHS managers, a few screens above. Would you like to have found that a journalist put your views on the News, as a statement by the organisation you happened to be working for? Followed by Mark Bridgeford, who set you straight (a few screens above) by explaining that the facts utterly contradicted your prejudices, to the great embarrassment and public discredit of your employing organisation?
Think about it.

Geoff H
Geoff H