Poor NHS performance and local accountability

It seems a good moment to introduce a press note from the Northern Ireland Tories on the performance of the NHS, which seems to have gone missing elsewhere. You can get the PDF from their site, but here are their basket of stats:

– 140 people per week lie on trolleys for more than 12 hours

– Hospital waiting lists for in-patient and day cases stand at 40,2851

– 181,038 people2 are waiting for a first outpatient appointment

– 36,400 people2 waiting more than 12 months

– We have the longest UK waiting lists for orthopaedic, ENT and ophthalmic surgery

– Scan waiting times are now so long that critical diagnosis and treatment is delayed

– Hospital activity per member of staff is 19 per cent lower than the UK average

– Hospital activity per pound of health spend is 9 per cent lower than the UK average

– Hospital activity per available bed is 26 per cent lower than in England

– There are now more administrators in the NHS than there are beds!

The last figure is kind of shocking, though I’d take Tory indignation with a modicum of salt since the sharp rise in management comes from a earlier Tory administration’s temporary love affair with the Management Consultancy industry.

Nevertheless hese figures reflect the kinds of deficit that tend to arise when there is poor political leadership. In Northern Ireland’s case, direct rule provides weak political oversight and virtually no local public accountability.

No doubt these kinds of figures will be grist for a bear headed Chancellor’s mill, which in turn may provide an incentive for Northern Ireland’s political class to justify the large expenditure invested in them.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Nevertheless hese figures reflect the kinds of deficit that tend to arise when there is poor political leadership.’

    These figures just reflect what everybody knows but that many ignore due to political bias . Public sector expenditure has an inherent + tendency to ‘overspending, waste, and inefficiency ‘ not just in NI but everywhere . Because the NI economy is 70% dependent on the public sector then it follows that there will be a lot more of ‘overspending, waste and inefficiency’ . IIRC an extra 600,000 people have been employed by the NHS since Labour came to power in 1997 . The theory was that this would lead to better care , shorter waiting lists etc etc etc . It has’nt in Northern Ireland and neither has it in other parts of the UK from what I read.

    Health services will be a major issue in the Republic’s coming election for many of the same reasons as it is in NI .

  • nmc

    I’ve had a couple of nightmare experiences in the Royal recently. The birth of my son, a day of what is supposed to be joy, will haunt me for the rest of my life.

    More recently my mother was hospitalised due to a mystery illness. The A&E staff (fair play to them they did their best) told my mother she would have to sleep on a trolley in the corridor of the stinking dirty A&E. We talked to the doctor, an absolute gentleman from the Czech Republic, and asked if he would allow her to go home and come back early in the morning. He said yes and that he would make a note on her file saying that he agreed she could go home for the night, at which point we asked him to make a note that there were no beds. His response nearly knocked me for six. He said:

    If I put down that there are no beds I’d be arrested.

    I assumed that this must be a clause in his contract or something. The worst thing is that the front line staff can’t help, they don’t have the resources. It’s not their fault, but if you need to complain these unfortunate workers are usually the ones that end up getting it.

  • elvis parker

    ‘Nevertheless these figures reflect the kinds of deficit that tend to arise when there is poor political leadership. In Northern Ireland’s case, direct rule provides weak political oversight and virtually no local public accountability.’

    There may be political leadership but do you think it will improve under the ‘Red-Green’ coalition when 100 out of 108 MLA are ‘supporters’ of the administration?
    Will devolution bring accountability – where is my opposition party and my alternative government?

    Labour should at least have the decency to stand for election!