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Scandal of the NHS Fat Cats

THE NHS is in crisis and with a third of GPs in the UK planning to retire in the next five years, things can only get worse. GPs say high stress levels, unmanageable workloads and too little time with patients is the reason for them retiring early. If you thought trying to get an appointment with a GP was difficult now, you will wonder what you were moaning about in the future. It’s likely that you’ll have recovered before they can fit you in.

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Meanwhile, at the top end of the NHS food chain, it has been revealed that hospital chiefs got a whopping £35 million in pay rises last year and 50 bosses raked in more than £400,000.
Some executives earned more than £1 million last year and even at hospitals with poor standards of healthcare, directors received pay packages worth up to £5,000 a day.
NHS bosses Mike Walker, Lorraine Lambert and Tricia Hart managed to earn more than the Prime Minister. Tricia Hart from South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust earned a staggering £4,960 for every working day last year. That’s despite the fact her Trust is predicting £50m losses by next year.
The average pay package taken home by hospital chief executives in England last year was £189,000 while David Cameron’s salary is £142,500. Almost 600 NHS bosses got a pay packet worth more than the Prime Minister’s salary. One NHS chief even claimed a £252,500 tax-free lump sum by retiring and then going back to the same job a day later.
Meanwhile, lower down the food chain, at the actual coal face, an average healthcare assistant earns £17,794 and a nurse earns £26,000. Where did it all go so drastically wrong? Aneurin Bevan must be turning in his grave. The NHS is something this country should rightly be proud of, so whoever gets into Number 10 on May 7 needs to get it sorted fast, before the whole thing falls apart. We must stop the fat cats from shamefully milking the NHS coffers.
SPARE A thought this week for Sky customer Gavin Hackwood of Newport, South Wales. All Gavin wanted to do was cancel his subscription to Sky TV as he had found a better deal with Virgin which saved him £23 a month. After having a bad experience over the phone with Sky he decided to cancel via their online chat service.
An incredible 96 minutes and 3,800 words later, Gavin was told by the Sky employee he was unable to cancel his contract because he had a separate cancellation pending on his Sky movies. The Sky employee was made aware of Gavin’s intentions from the outset but insisted on going through the ‘process’. God spare us these imbeciles in call centres who can’t go off-script for fear of being dumb struck.
AS THE election race reaches fever pitch, the public sector has clearly lost its marbles. Derby City Council is considering giving staff time off to vote as it looks for ways to improve their election turnout, which is way below the national average.
For Derby City Council, which elects a third of its council every year, the average turnout was 39.2% in 2011 and 34% in 2014 but in some wards it was as little as 26%. They want to lead by example and then follow it up by asking other employers in the city to follow suit. Have the operating hours of polling stations been radically changed in recent years? If you can’t get there between 7am and 10pm you’re not going to bother at all.
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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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