NHS-Wise, The First Cut Is The Deepest
Recently, Andy Burnham, (pictured) former health secretary and heavy user of the mascara wand, has attacked plans for a radical shake-up of the NHS by accusing the Coalition Government of taking a "reckless gamble". Oh how easy it is for old panda eyes to cast the first stone and forget how New Labour would have probably ended up using the late serial killer DR Harold Shipman if they thought that he could have got waiting lists down.
The fact was New Labour's record on health was hardly enviable with a very unpleasant record that covered a whole swathe of nasty headlines across the media. Anything and everything from unsanitary and overcrowded, mixed wards to staff shortages and MRSA that made Carry on Nurse look like a centre for hospital excellence.
Yes, the National Health Service has always had problems but it's generally accepted by NHS survivors of a certain age that getting rid of Matron as a symbol of firm government was a huge error of judgement. Just ask anyone who's been caught in Accident and Emergency at Poole Hospital in Dorset, on a Saturday night. Oh, yes, that must have been me left waiting almost 5 vacuous hours.
There was only one doctor on duty and he alone was attending a plethora of scrapes, fractures and injuries of various booze-related incidents which gave me a salutary lesson in never underestimating the resourcefulness of the much-maligned NHS.
That night there was a one-armed, one-legged man who kept flitting near the triage who WAS that doctor on duty. He was agile, he was dutiful and a credit to his profession for managing to do with only two limbs what all other doctors do with a complete set of four. To see him manoeuvre his crutch with all the deftness of a ballet dancer was beguiling and a testament to his mindset in coping with such a disability. He was inspiring.
This is a true incident; it actually happened. But this episode of a a one-armed, one-legged doctor wasn't anything to do with true life imitating art as a variation of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's legendary 'One Leg Too Many' Tarzan sketch. All the time he was attending to me, I couldn't help but think that this could be what the Government really means whenever they mention cutbacks in the NHS.