Knowing where money comes from is key to keeping healthy…

Unilever has always been a fairly progressive company – although there are certainly arguments about its products and advertising strategy so I was interested to see this piece in this week’s ‘Sunday Times’:

Giving hand sanitiser to the NHS is all fine and dandy but I strongly suspect Jope has no idea that this does not actually save the NHS money – any more than the half million strong – or more – army of volunteers save the NHS money… Though I would not wish to downplay the sense of commitment and motivating common purpose that volunteers or even voluntary contributions, can engender.

Of course all of this will assist the government to make the NHS budget slightly smaller than it might otherwise be, but as we know it really doesn’t much matter.

An interesting and lengthy article by a former BBC correspondent points out that the NHS has been ‘hot run’ for far too long by all recent governments and surely there is little dispute about that.

That is one of the reasons why ‘Exercise Cygnus’ designed to model a pandemic and indicating that the NHS was short of ventilators, was pretty much ignored by government and later, the desire not to stock goggles/ visors was justified by “a very low likelihood of cost-benefit based on standard thresholds.” On what basis was not clear, though it would be entirely natural to suspect austerity… Facemasks were similarly under-resourced

The same article concludes:

But whatever comes next needs to look beyond the big hospital system. Discharging patients promptly in the coming weeks will rely on social care – a sector that is, more even than the hospitals, wildly short of capacity.  It has been starved of cash and allowed to wither. Some of the most serious problems are likely to emerge in the community.

We will also see the perils of having run our network of GPs into the ground. They are responding to the virus, building their emergency responses: setting up “hot” hubs for suspected Covid-19 patients and visiting the sick in their homes.

But they, too, have been run down and kept under-resourced. Their current caseloads are already beyond them. And one-third of GPs are over 50, too, putting them at risk from the virus. Dr Habib Zaidi, a GP in Essex, has already died – a victim of his vocation

It makes for rather sad reading,

The optimism that I have is that the writer still doesn’t yet understand where money comes from