How NHS Consultations really work

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#1
I'm not easily shocked, at least not be the goings-on of this Government, but this really, really, made me cringe - how have we stooped to this? It's from the BLog of a Radiologist:

Yesterday evening I had an insight into the workings of Nulabours "consultation" process on the planned closure of NHS District General Hospitals and replacement with dumbed down polyclinics.
A few weeks ago invitations to attend a public consultation were sent to consultants at our Trust. We were only given one day to reply for the meeting in the near future even though we have to give 6 weeks notice of leave because of "choose and book".
Obviously this meant that most of us could not attend but one consultant did take up the invitation.
The location of the meeting was kept secret until three days before the event and when this consultant was eventually told the location and turned up in Birmingham for the "Citizens Jury" it turned out that medical staff were outnumbered 2:1 by laypeople specifically chosen by an agency to attend the event. The media were present and had obviously been invited to publicise the event.
The delegates were split up into groups and each allocated an electronic voting device. A "minder" was allocated to each group.
Then the stars of the show arrived: Gordon Brown, Alan Johnson and Ara Darzi.
There followed a rapid succession of questions from the podium on which the delegates were asked to vote. The minder was available to suggest the best answer if there was any doubt.
Strangely, almost all the votes were 2:1 in favour of Nulabour's policy. Even the question: "Would you prefer gynaecological surgery to be carried out in your GP practice even if it meant the closure of your DGH facility?" was answered with 2:1 in favour.
Following the "consultation" the medical delegates were told to leave but the other 2/3 of the audience were kept back and each given an envelope. My colleague was intrigued by this and managed to catch one of the "chosen ones" and ask about the contents. Each envelope contained £75 in cash!
So now the consultation is over and the results indicate there is overwhelming public and doctor support for closing down the DGHs. I can only say that the way the voting was done makes the "Blue Peter" voting fraud seem like, well, "Blue Peter".
According to the Downing Street website there are nine more of these "consultations" due around the county. Thats an awful lot of people to bribe with taxpayers money, but once they're done the business of closing the DGHs can start in earnest.


http://drraysfocalspot.blogspot.com/2007/09/nulabours-hospital-closure-consultation_21.html


Astonishing. HOW IN GOD'S NAME can they get away with this? It makes Goebbels look like an amateur!

Off for a lie-down, before my blood pressure explodes.
 
#3
Scabster_Mooch said:
That sounds like a lie, or the situation has been misrepresented.

I cannot believe it.
Why is it a lie?

I can believe it of nu abour, why is it such a shock, politicians are corrupt and self serving so why do you think is missrepresented?

Not believing it doesn't mean its not true.
 
#4
Shocking, but oddly enough I'm not shocked.
I would agree that some independant verification is called for, but someone needs to be alerted about this eg the press.
BTW, there s nothing ew in this, this sort of thing has ee hppening for a long time.
 
#5
The £75 bung in an envelope will be called expenses or costs for incidentals or some such, so not a bribe in any sense.

Making sure that those who you know are going to vote against you won't turn up is nothing unusual and is not illegal, it sounds a bit shady but if the blogger really felt strongly about it then they could have taken the day off work and attended, I doubt very much whether they would have been sacked or disciplined.

Not trying to defend politicians but what was reported above has been/will be done by politicans of every hue and calling.
 
#6
£75 for a days 'work', where do I sign up? With nine more to go thats a cool £675 tax free.
 
#7
theoriginalphantom said:
£75 for a days 'work', where do I sign up? With nine more to go thats a cool £675 tax free.
Are you a Labour party member? If not there's no chance of being an "ordinary independently minded member of the public" on the Citizens Jury.
 
#8
Steven said:
Not trying to defend politicians but what was reported above has been/will be done by politicans of every hue and calling.
Any other examples from different political parties over, say, the last ten years?
 
#9
Ex_ex said:
theoriginalphantom said:
£75 for a days 'work', where do I sign up? With nine more to go thats a cool £675 tax free.
Are you a Labour party member? If not there's no chance of being an "ordinary independently minded member of the public" on the Citizens Jury.
There are limits to my depravity you know. Even MDN wouldn't stoop that low.
 
#10
Unsworth said:
Steven said:
Not trying to defend politicians but what was reported above has been/will be done by politicans of every hue and calling.
Any other examples from different political parties over, say, the last ten years?
I could probably find some if I tried really hard but it isn't worth the effort as it might only be my own cyncism but I reckonthat this or something verylike it happens from the smallest town council meeting up to and including votes in the house.

Do you disagree?
 
#12
Steven said:
Unsworth said:
Steven said:
Not trying to defend politicians but what was reported above has been/will be done by politicans of every hue and calling.
Any other examples from different political parties over, say, the last ten years?
I could probably find some if I tried really hard but it isn't worth the effort as it might only be my own cyncism but I reckonthat this or something verylike it happens from the smallest town council meeting up to and including votes in the house.
Do you disagree?
... the essence of discussion is backing up your statements ... i'd be grateful to know from you when another uk government has used government money ( from us ) in this way to apparently distort and manipulate results to support its own policy's, cheers
 
#13
Steven said:
Unsworth said:
Steven said:
Not trying to defend politicians but what was reported above has been/will be done by politicans of every hue and calling.
Any other examples from different political parties over, say, the last ten years?
I could probably find some if I tried really hard but it isn't worth the effort as it might only be my own cyncism but I reckonthat this or something verylike it happens from the smallest town council meeting up to and including votes in the house.

Do you disagree?
How many, then, have actually been reported? Let's hear some examples. If you have to try 'really hard' to find similar instances one must assume that this is something quite extraordinary.

Is your position that everyone does this sort of thing so that's perfectly OK? That's not credible if you can not point to other examples.
 
#14
animal_farm said:
Steven said:
Unsworth said:
Steven said:
Not trying to defend politicians but what was reported above has been/will be done by politicans of every hue and calling.
Any other examples from different political parties over, say, the last ten years?
I could probably find some if I tried really hard but it isn't worth the effort as it might only be my own cyncism but I reckonthat this or something verylike it happens from the smallest town council meeting up to and including votes in the house.
Do you disagree?
... the essence of discussion is backing up your statements ... i'd be grateful to know from you when another uk government has used government money ( from us ) in this way to apparently distort and manipulate results to support its own policy's, cheers
Oh FFS just have a look at the postal voting fraud in Birmingham (among others), the gerrymandering in London (Dame Shirely Porter IIRC) and any number of other scams that have been run by political parties using taxpayers money to finance it all.


Oh and just in case your next post is "Links please"
Here are two to be getting on with and you can google for more information the same as I can.

http://society.guardian.co.uk/housing/news/0,,646615,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_midlands/4406575.stm
 
#15
Steven said:
Oh FFS just have a look at the postal voting fraud in Birmingham (among others), the gerrymandering in London (Dame Shirely Porter IIRC) and any number of other scams that have been run by political parties using taxpayers money to finance it all.


Oh and just in case your next post is "Links please"
Here are two to be getting on with and you can google for more information the same as I can.

http://society.guardian.co.uk/housing/news/0,,646615,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_midlands/4406575.stm
Two points -

A) You raised the issue of others' activities so you should be prepared to back your statements. It should not be up to readers here to verify your views. And,

B) So that's OK, then? Everyone can behave just as they like?

How many other Government Departments are using taxpayers' money to pay 'friends of Gordon' to get false statistical information and/or 'opinion' to support Policy? You are obviously content to let this go by without the slightest demurr. Some others are not. And this is the Government which posed as 'purer than pure'. Purest Bull, in my view.
 
#16
Somehow my post of "never trusted the barstewards as they are all at it" has turned into me defending them?

Fcuk off!

But don't forget the organizers of this meeting did nothing illegal. Paying expenses and offering advice is not illegal. It stinks but is not illegal.

The only thing I do take issue with on the first post is the bloggers seemingly supine attitude of complaining about something but not being put out enough to actually do anything - like attending the meeting perhaps.
 
#17
Steven said:
Somehow my post of "never trusted the barstewards as they are all at it" has turned into me defending them?

Fcuk off!

But don't forget the organizers of this meeting did nothing illegal. Paying expenses and offering advice is not illegal. It stinks but is not illegal.

The only thing I do take issue with on the first post is the bloggers seemingly supine attitude of complaining about something but not being put out enough to actually do anything - like attending the meeting perhaps.

As I read the reports, the meeting was organised in such a way as to make it 'difficult' for the 'uninvited' to attend - or maybe you'd interpret it differently. It was not clear to me that your position is 'never trusted the barstewards' but if that is so then I'd have some sympathy with that view.

Doing 'nothing illegal' is interesting. It's legal to stitch up all sorts of people in all sorts of ways. Whether it's right or moral is another discussion. Some of what Dannatt has been banging on about is a reflection of this.

And actually it's an assumption to say that what was done was not illegal. Has this been tested in law and has a formal complaint been lodged?

One should remember that these rigged consultations are the basis of government action to make changes to law and (conveniently) policy and expenditure of our cash. Arranging focus groups to support previously (privately) determined action is nothing less than pure deception. Using public cash to do so is appalling.

Yes, I think most would agree that it stinks. More to the point is what are we doing about it?
 
#18
In no particular order. The blogger in the original post was invited to attend along with a number of others but only one could manage it. Or at least that is how I understood it.

I could be wrong but I have read somewhere that paying expenses up to a certain limit to focus groups is perfectly legal. Will try and find out where I saw this.

Yes these consultations are rigged but no more so than if the opposition to the policy got together before hand and decided how to vote. Smelly/immoral and just politics business as normal I am afraid.
 

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