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Anorak | National Hearse Service

National Hearse Service

by | 13th, August 2004

‘FORGET for a moment fat, smoking, alcoholism and lack of exercise and know that the biggest drain on the NHS resources is ill people.

Shipman’s book is now required reading for medical students

The selfish sick are costing the health service millions of pounds every year.

But, as the Independent reports in a small article on its second page, medical workers fed-up with treating the ill are taking matters into their own hands.

Researchers writing in the British Medical Journal estimate that 40,000 deaths (or ‘adverse events’ in medical speak) in NHS hospitals are down to medical errors.

As the Times says on its front page, this means that one in ten patients admitted to the NHS each year will die at the hands of the NHS.

This is encouraging news for an overstretched service keen to free up hospital beds and slash waiting lists.

And what Dr Harold Shipman begun with such gusto, his colleagues in white coats, filthy hands and rusty scalpels are taking on a stage further.

And GPs like the efficient Shipman are still doing their bit.

A charity called Action Against Medical Accidents tells the Times how the latest figures do not even take into account the work being done in GPs’ surgeries.

That they do not, but there is additional evidence that not all plots to streamline the NHS go to plan. Things can yet be improved.

Take the case of Australian Pat Skinner.

When most people show the folks back home their holiday snaps, they’re of Buckingham Palace, a British bobby and Japanese tourists walking across the shot.

For Pat, the lasting memory is the 4×2 glossy of a pair of scissors left inside his body after surgery.

This is clearly an outrage, and had the NHS not done a stock take, Pat might have managed to slip out of the country with some much needed NHS goods secreted in his pelvis.

But the NHS knows a chancer when they see one and recalled Pat and duly retrieved the scissors.

What happened then to Pat is not revealed. His story ends there.

As such, his holiday snap, reproduced in the paper, should serve as a warning to all that the NHS will not stand for anyone who abuses the system.’



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