Tuesday, 26 January 2010

End-of-Life Care To Go Private in Glasgow




This article from Kenneth Roy in today's Scottish Review is of utmost importance to the future of end-of-life care in Scotland.

'Early next week - as early as Sunday if the parties are disposed to interrupt their weekend - Europe's largest health board and a private developer will finalise the most controversial land deal in the history of the NHS in Scotland. It will make end-of-life care a business to be conducted for profit - while the hospice which provides the care at present, and has done so with distinction for more than half a century, has its funding for this work withdrawn. After years of delay, the will of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board appears finally to have prevailed. On 31 January, it will only remain to sign the missives.

Yet, even in the final minutes of the 11th hour, serious questions need to be faced about this commercial transaction in the name of the National Health Service...'

IV
The case for ministerial intervention

We have said next to nothing about the hospice itself, which is graded 'excellent' by the Care Commission and raises £30,000 a week – every week – to sustain its admirable work for the terminally ill; we have said nothing about the dilemma it faces in the light of the health board's funding decision and the insulting suggestion that it should become a nursing home, an 'option' which would destroy the unique ethos of the hospice at a stroke. At this stage, we have confined ourselves to questions of governance and accountability.


But there is a larger question still. Why, with scarce resources and the ability to make a rational choice, would any responsible public body commit to such a building project when the service is already being provided to the highest standards of clinical and nursing excellence by a top-rated hospice?


Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board has a duty to account satisfactorily for its actions in this matter in the last nine years. It it fails to do so in the very short time left, there is in our view a compelling case for ministerial intervention to halt the land deal pending an inquiry by Audit Scotland.


Please read it yourself. Serious questions do need to be answered and consequently the signing of any missives needs to be delayed. This is a template for the privatisation of the care of our dying. That is not what I want for Scotland. I intend to email Kenneth Roy's article to my MSP and do hope you too will consider bringing it to the attention of your MSP immediately.

6 comments:

scunnert said...

Disgusting. There is not a sliver of difference between the Tories, New Labour, and the SNP when it comes to "business".

What a parcel of rogues. What's next - Scottish Water?

subrosa said...

It wouldn't surprise me scunnert. I've heard the Scottish Futures Trust want it sold off.

Witterings From Witney said...

It amazes me SR that we consider the NHS a national treasure and pour more and more money into it. Is it not about time that we poured more and more money into looking after our national treasures - aka the elderly and their end-of-life care?

I am all for privatisation but this sucks!

Perhaps some of the £12billion net we would save from EU membership could be used - and we would still have lots of change left over!

subrosa said...

WfW, I vote SNP because I believe all healthcare should be free at the point of access.

Also I strongly disagree with the way the English NHS is being privatised. Nobody should profit so directly from health care unless it is one's choice.

Oldrightie said...

This is a template for the privatisation of the care of our dying.

I disagree, it would be a quango for the control of our passing.

Apogee said...

Follow the money. Who stands to make a packet out of this apart from the obvious suspects. Anyone out there know?

D.

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