The Storm inside Andrew Lansley (health secretary)

This is just a note for those of you have a strong tendency towards reason.  A preference to draw evidence based conclusions and the use of logical deduction is primarily what gets me through the day without causing myself or anyone else a serious injury.  Though it does have to be said I did spend yesterday afternoon in A and E, but what can you do, we all have our bad days!

An afternoon in the hospital did give me a little time to think, and being where I was I just kept coming back to an article I read recently that highlighted Andrew Lansley’s obvious distaste for logic and evidence, and preference for narcissistic, self indulgent whimsy.  Lansley is proposing financial penalties for hospitals and/or trusts (I’m not really sure of the difference) for discharging patients if they subsequently return within thirty days.  Here I am going to rely on you reading the article yourself, but the key statement in the article for me was:

“…..a paper published by the DH in December 2008 said there were only “very weak and statistically insignificant” links between shorter lengths of stay and rising emergency readmissions.”

The fact that Lansley intended to proceed with his proposals despite a lack of evidence or any rational rationale worries me with regard to whether Lansley will make all his decisions for the entirety of his tenure based on erm……nothing!

Considering what I had read in the paper, and Lansley’s obvious love for self indulgence I thought maybe I’d get ivolved too. Jumping on the bandwagon and drawing some conclusions of my own without any evidence seemed like fun.

Lansley is probably a wealthy right-wing tosser with excellent private medical healthcare.

Firstly to believe that punishment is a better incentive than reward in any situation is abhorrent; I’m guessing Lansley never got any sweets as a child.  Furthermore, to financially punish a cash strapped PUBLIC service, which will only be able to provide a worse service as its’ piggy bank is raided by these fines is ridiculous.  Do you think Lansley realises by fining NHS run, government funded hospitals, the government is fining itself!

Moreover, from a humanistic perspective, the fact that Lansley seems to believe that sending a patient home for a week, or maybe even just a day, to spend time with their family somewhere comfortable when they are feeling their worst suggests to me Lansley did not recover from his stroke in a city center NHS run hospital.  A man who believes instead that leaving people alone in an impersonal, probably overcrowded, (hopefully) sterile environment, with the £5 a day day time television as the only distraction from their misery is obviously a prick. And anyway, a free bed for the night can only be a good thing!

Excitingly, it turns out after a little research that my irrational unfounded conclusions are right – or maybe a little bit right anyway. It turns out my argument for evidence based conclusions may be a good one!

Okay, so yes Lansley is wealthy. He has a moderate fortune of £700,000 that I presumed would cover a rather extensive private healthcare package, though disappointingly for my rash conclusions, he does claim in The Independant, despite having unfortunately suffered a stroke in 1992, never to have used private healthcare. So, he may be wealthy but no evidence just yet for being a tosser! (I have nothing against private medical care, just those who believe that the niceties of NHS treatment are somewhat comparable.)

So a little more research and things start to look up.  It turns out Lansley was bankrolled a tidy £21,000 by John Nash, the head of private healthcare provider Care UK, to ‘fund his personal office’.  It is reported Nash will benefit greatly from the Conservative health policies that will significantly increase the reliance of the NHS on private companies.  Now feel free to draw your own conclusions, but this for me this is just a little bit of evidence that the guy may be a prick.

Okay, so my research has generated no proof he exchanged personal monetary gain for everyone else’s right to be ill in a little bit of comfort, but it did establish Lansley is willing to take action and implement policy that will affect the lives of everybody in the country without any evidence, which is equally as unforgiving.

The complexities of the health system are of course beyond my understanding, and many factors I have not considered will be important. My argument was of course singular, weak and driven purely by emotion, but this is a relatively small issue. Lansley’s willingness to ignore evidence (or lack thereof) when making decisions about the future of a nation is despicable and scary, and far more significant.

In conclusion, my advice can only be to make sure you take all you own to hospital if you’re feeling a bit under the weather.  There is every chance they might not let you out until your dead and they can be sure you won’t return within thirty days!

Let’s hope Lansley is but an exception within government, but my gut tells me that he is just a light breeze before the arrival of a monumental (low budget) Storm…..(beware, bad language NSFW)


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