Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Sorry seems NOT to be the hardest word

Even though delegates at the Royal College of Nursing conference today passed their vote of no confidence in Andrew Lansley, the UK Health Secretary, I had decided not to post a blog on the subject. I seem to be constantly harping on about the poor man and felt that maybe I should give him – and my readers – a break.

But then I saw the headlines on the BBC new website ‘Lansley sorry as nurses pass no confidence vote’ Sorry? Sorry! Had Mr Lansley finally admitted that his reform plans could significantly damage patient care and put an unnecessary burden onto GP’s?  I could imagine strains of the Hallelujah chorus ringing in my head……

But no – a quick scan of the report confirmed that my temporary elation was unfounded. Lansley is ‘sorry if what I’m setting out to do hasn’t communicated itself’.  ‘Communicated itself’ - the detachment of responsibility is staggering.

Lansley went on ‘I’m here to listen not lecture’.

In hope – I clicked on the video link to Lansley’s discussion with a select few nurses. He said he wasn’t there to lecture – but what did he do? Launch into the same old speech – hackneyed phrase after hackneyed phrase. Still no substance – no explanation on how this could work.

As I wrote last week – the Healthbill’s architect has now become a bigger issue than the Bill itself. This is more than a bad piece of legislation – it has been promoted by constant rehashing of weak arguments, poorly researched hypotheses and arrogant intransigence.

How many more health professionals will have to take previously unprecedented steps to bring about a rethink of the government strategy? The nurses didn’t vote for extra pay or better conditions – they voted against an individual who is in a position of great power and influence regarding patient care.

Someone asked me the other day why I ‘have it in for Lansley’. As stated previously – I was not a political animal before I started investigating the Health and Social Care Bill and it’s implications and I have no reason to ‘have it in’ for Andrew Lansley personally.

But I must confess that if I had the genes of the incredible hulk (some may argue that I do) – I would have now turned a very bright shade of green and suffered a significant wardrobe malfunction. Anger management may be the next step.

Enough. We don’t need an empty apology. We don’t need the government to listen. We need them to HEAR. And to act.


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