Every morning, my radio-alarm goes off. It is set for Radio 4 and, at 6.30am, it's the Today Programme. It seems without fail that the headline story is always a bad news story and on many occasions it is a story about the National Health Service and how it is not fit for purpose, in a dangerous state, crumbling, financially strapped, risking lives, straining morale and on and on and on.
The NHS is under so much scrutiny and rightly so because it is critically important to keep what is working well working well and to fix things that need fixing. Like any other service or business, the NHS is a daily grind that needs management routines, operating procedures, efficiency and due diligence second to none to fulfil its very reason for being. The NHS website summarises:
"Since its launch in 1948, the NHS has grown to become the world’s largest publicly funded health service. It is also one of the most efficient, most egalitarian and most comprehensive. The NHS was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth – a principle that remains at its core."
The NHS is undergoing major changes in its core structure, including who makes decisions about services, service commissioning and the way money is spent. There is nothing wrong with that approach but the NHS is also a political football presided over currently by Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt who has form in not liking the way the NHS is run and funded.
It does not take a genius to see that if a publicly funded NHS is struggling to cope in areas because of financial cutbacks and the head honcho Hunt seems content to bring the whole organisation to its knees, the ultimate aim is clear: break up the NHS and sell the pieces off to private investors and get the public used to the fact that if they visit A&E or stay in a hospital bed or visit their doctor, they should have a debit or credit card handy or else they can get stuffed.
If a Chief Executive of a company presides over a failing business, he or she will be booted out. It is the same with football managers whose teams do not score enough points - the boot. But, Secretaries of State wear Teflon suits, it appears and take the stance that the buck stops somewhere other than at their doorsteps. Jeremy Hunt and many before him have been in charge of a struggling NHS but now, with daily news reporting more negative stories and surveys, the organisation is being strangled brutally and deliberately in plain sight but not with honesty.
We are being brainwashed with bad stuff and prepared for the end of the NHS as we know it. It might take a generation but if you allow a wrecking ball to swing and connect with a structure long enough, the structure becomes rubble and something else will take its place.
The wrecking ball has been in motion for some time and it is not going to stop any day soon. The 6.30am alarm will confirm it tomorrow and the next day and the next day.........
Significantly, the UK electorate voted back into office the very people operating the levers and switches, a bit like (if I can mix up my thoughts) saying the Boston Strangler was a safe pair of hands.