NHS crisis isn’t a crisis because the government has a plan!!!

Health spokesperson David Willets says it isn’t a crisis – just a bit uncomfortable for patients who have had operations cancelled!

“A crisis is when you haven’t got in place mitigations and you haven’t got a plan to deal with it. We’ve gone into this winter in a way that we’ve never prepared before, so we went into the winter before Christmas having cancelled fewer elective operations than we had previously, discharges from hospital were at a lower level than they had been previously, so we were better prepared.

We’ve also set up a national, regional and local structure – if you like, a winter pressures protocol – which we are invoking now and we are monitoring a whole series of things, activity in the service and the pressures.

We are monitoring the weather alerts in anticipation of weather changes because we know that’s important, and we also monitor the seasonal illnesses like flu.

Asked if what was happening would feel like a crisis to patients, he replied:

I fully accept that for the individual that will be really very uncomfortable, but what we know is if we don’t have a plan in place and we don’t do this in a structured way, what will happen, as we’ve had in previous winters, is lots of last-minute cancellations which is really distracting for patients, it’s inconvenient, it upsets the plans they’ve put together with their family, particularly for elderly patients where their care needs are often quite significant.

He said it was possible that further delays to non-urgent operations could be announced. Asked if there could be further postponements, he said:
That’s certainly a possibility … Intention always is not to cancel patients or postpone patients more than once – that’s one of the principles we try to follow – but clearly it is unpredictable, we don’t know what the weather we do, we don’t know the pressures in the system, we’re taking precautionary action here. …”


3 thoughts on “NHS crisis isn’t a crisis because the government has a plan!!!

  1. So still the government is in denial, they simply do not get it it! We have wonderful, dedicated, hardworking doctors and nurses; but very sadly we have a government who has totally failed us. Of course people will suffer, of course people will die, but do they care? no not a jot.
    Hospital beds have have been cut, hospitals closed all over the country, NHS is underfunded; that is why the NHS is in the state it is now…. and the government is still in total denial. The government has no care or respect for people. Do they have no shame?


  2. To claim that an emergency is not a crisis because some planning has been undertaken, is, of course, total nonsense, as well as being insulting. Planning might be inadequate and out of all proportion to the emergency so, when chaos reigns, can any self-respecting organisation, faced with strong and justified media criticism, blithely claim that it is not a crisis? This merely offers more ammunition to the media.

    I have been involved, as an advisor, in major industrial crises and have taught hundreds of companies, in the U.S, Europe and Australia how to handle crises as far as the public is concerned. This was NOT spinning but an effort to teach organisations on how to prepare for the media onslaught when it occurred. I can assure everyone, that, whatever the extent of the planning, there is always an aspect of an emergency that has not been anticipated. That is often where the problems really begin.

    Would ministers care to tell thousands of patients, whose operations are postponed, and who are in pain, that this is not a crisis? The public are able to determine when a crisis occurs and government denials will merely increase scepticism and confirmation that the NHS is declining fast. Aneurin Bevin remarked “the collective principle asserts that no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical attention because of a lack of means”. Surely, the lack of means applies not just to the individual but society as a whole?


  3. So what David Willets is really saying is that it is a planned crisis rather than it not being a crisis at all.

    Which in mind is somewhat worse – in essence he is saying “we knew there would be a crisis, but rather than resource up to meet the needs during the crisis, instead we have planned ahead of time that we will cancel operations and leave patients in pain and difficulty (or perhaps in some cases allow them to die) because they won’t be getting the operations they need.”

    Shame on the lot of them, but especially Jeremy “Thick” Hunt.


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