Healthcare & Corruption - Blog 14

Joe Salmon, 29 September 2023, Tags:

As ever this blog is just my own views at the time of writing.


I’ve done very little the last two weeks. I’m still processing the sudden loss of my friend. He was killed in a road traffic accident. Since he died roughly 70 more people will have been killed on our roads UK collision and casualty statistics | Brake. Walking the girls home from school a couple of days ago there was a car smashed up on the side of Charminster Avenue following a crash. Someone messaged me last week explaining how their family were also processing the accident that killed a teenage girl from Verwood  


I’ve still not got my head round a world where such sudden preventable terrible incidents are considered by some a price worth paying for shorter journey times. I hope they learn how aborrhant that way of thinking is without having to experience the kinds of loss millions of people have to deal with every year in the UK. I had forgotten how strong emotions have a physical as well as mental toll on the body and I’ve not been very productive recently. Given our countries leaders' decisions to play politics with the issue of road safety though I remain as resolute as ever that I’m going to make a difference with the opportunity I’ve got following my surprise election to council earlier this year. I feel like I basically run on anger when it comes to politics at the moment, but honestly what else is there to feel when you look at our political system and most powerful politicians?


I returned to work this week but I’m still finding it hard at times to properly focus, so my output’s been pretty poor. Anyhow I’ve just about kept on top of my case work, but have done very little beyond that and haven’t found the time, energy or headspace to update my public to do, I’ll get on that next week. This week I did attend the adult health and social care O&S meeting, but was far less eloquent than I’d have liked in pointing out the shortcomings of the way we were attempting to scrutinise the effectiveness of health services. This was a fairly pedestrian meeting and did nothing to change my mind that there are two key facts when it comes to healthcare provision in the local authority area:


1 - the council, and the institutions that make up the ICB do not have the requisite pre-analytic vision to identify the risks, inefficiencies, potential innovations or other insights required for our health services to be well run.

2 - the individuals in positions of power to properly reform and fund our health service are not interested or not aware of the state of our health services, and are not taking steps to address the problems it faces.


Frankly no matter how much time and effort any of us working in health care put in we are doomed to fail due to the broken systems we operate within that are underfunded and in desperate need of reform. Sadly the political will for funding does not exist, and is unlikely to materialise. Similarly the data collection to identify the required reforms isn’t being done. I guess the thinking at the highest levels of government is why pull the data together if it’ll just make it harder to ignore reality.


We have an O&S forward planning session Monday and I’m hoping we can pivot towards examining our progress in at least getting the data collection and analysis right, both in BCP council and across the providers that make up the Dorset ICB. We need to do that before anything else. Then we can use that to run our local services better, and also show the decision makers in genuine positions of power what needs to be done, and generate the political will to push them into action.


That said there is still no hope in that while the people in positions of power are corrupt and just looking to channel money into their own accounts and that of their friends without any mechanism to hold them to account. We’re going to have to deal with the cronyism and corruption that is rife within politics, as is plain to see in BCP council. This is a problem I can’t see an easy answer for, crony capitalism is just how things are done these days. 


I did have some notes on the C&C O&S meeting, and full council for a few weeks ago, but in all honesty I’ve not had the energy or headspace to work them into something readable. Instead I’ll leave you with the links below, George’s article on clientelism feels very relevant and is well worth a read.


Drew Mellor's company 'received taxpayers' money by renting offices' | Bournemouth Echo


Former BCP Council leader Drew Mellor fails to apologise as ordered | Bournemouth Echo


Every time a project like HS2 becomes a costly fiasco, we wonder why. So let me tell you: it’s clientelism | George Monbiot | The Guardian


Is BCP the most corruptible council in England? - West Country Voices


I’ll be back on a far more even keel next week, with an update of my public to do. I’m dreading how hard it’s going to be to get 20mph done for our neighbourhoods given the announcements today from our death cult government, but I guess we’ll just have to work harder. Thanks as ever for reading.

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