Monday, September 24, 2007

Colonic irrigation Mr Brown?

It has been hot on the news in recent days that Gordon Brown is planning a 'deep clean', certain images do immediately spring to mind but unfortunately these instinctive thoughts are not exactly what Gordon means. His government and the Department of Health have both failed dismally in tackling MRSA and hospital acquired infections, in fact the UK has pretty much the highest MRSA rates in Europe. Gordon's 'deep clean' is akin to a sticky plaster being used to close a gaping abdominal wound, he wants to be seen to be doing something when he clearly is not.

The reasons for our failure to tackle hospital acquired infections and MRSA are complex, but arguably revolve around a complete failure to tackle the problem in an all encompassing manner; our government has been using multiple sticky plasters, when in reality the patient needs to return to theatre to have a proper sorting. In fact superficial measures enforced by fascist managers that have no decent evidence base are the routine in the NHS. Gordon's deep clean in the latest in a very long line of crappy gimmicks.

The battle against hospital acquired infection is being lost largely because the government's top down targets force patients to be pointlessly moved from ward to ward so quickly that infection gets the opportunity to spread, and because bed numbers have been on the fall meaning that we do not have the capacity to isolate MRSA carriers and high risk patients from others. The gathering of targets based for political propaganda are more important to Mr Brown than designing a holistic approach to these complex problems.

I suggest that Mr Brown should conduct a vigorous 'deep clean' of a few New Labour orifices that are resting a little closer to home, as I am getting rather tired of their misinformed faeculent deposits. Mr Brown would be better off getting his own house in order and letting medical experts, not politicians, decide how to best manage medical problems. Possibly Mr Brown is a little scared about what might turn up if he gave the New Labour colon a thorough cleansing; who knows, there may be a peerage or two impacted together in a rather hard to reach crevasse?


Roger Thornhill said...

Maybe after 10 years of Socialism, the population are forgetting even to wash their own hands.

Dr De'Ath said...

wouldn't surprise me Roger, there is a bloody government agency for everything these days.

Mike Power said...

I don't really think we can blame Brown, ten years of 'socialism' (I must have missed that), or 'fascist' managers:

"The U.S. Centre For Disease Control estimate that there are about 90,000 deaths per annum related to Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI's) most commonly MRSA, also known as Staph infections. About one in twenty Americans will contract a HAI during a stay in hospital but most states are not required by law to provide this information. Apart from the incalculable human cost the CDC estimate that this adds $5 billion to the national healthcare bill. Other estimates put the real figure at twice this amount."

Mark Wadsworth said...

One of my clients is a cleaning company and he explained that hospitals spend a third as much on cleaning as they did in the 1970s when he got into the game, quite hair-raising, the stories he tells.

Dr Ray said...

I am not a bacteriologist but bacteria basically need to do two things: reproduce (the process that kills the patient) and move on to another host (which means not killing the patient too quickly).

If transmission is easy the bacteria will evolve to become more virulent as it is not necessary to keep the host alive for as long. If transmission is difficult the bacteria become less virulent or even harmless.
MRSA has become more virulent in recent years. 20 years ago it was a problem for the very sick but now it can kill otherwise healthy people. The reason for this is that transmission is easier. This is why running hospitals at capacity and hot bedding patients has allowed this to occur in the UK.

When Gordonzola was asked on Radio 4 yesterday how the deep cleaning could be done when hospitals were trying to hit their targets he suggested it could be done over the Christmas break. For someone who has made healthcare a political priority he really should know that we don't run our hospitals like the Houses of Parliament. In our DGH patients come in for surgery on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and employing outside contractors throughout the UK to come in on Christmas Day would make the GP contract look like a really sound bit of fiscal prudence.

Chuck Unsworth said...

@ Dr Ray.

Brown means the Christmas to Hogmanay 'break'. Of course you'll have seen the traditional seasonal rise in admissions during that period - especially north of the Border - as a result of all sorts of overindulgences. But, being a Son of the Manse, Brown will never have experienced that aspect of Scottish 'culture' (and I use that term in its broadest sense). He'll have spent the entire time in the Kirk, or reading the Good Book at hame, quivering and appalled at the sounds of revelry outside.

This is just another manifestation of Brown's incapability of anticipating anything. The man is entirely reactive.

Dr De'Ath said...

mike power- the point is that measures that would help control the spread of infection have not been taken- ie running with spare capacity, having plenty of capacity for isolation, stop forcing the rushed movement of patients with targets; MRSA is a big problem, but it could have been much much much better handled.

Look at Scandanavia and the Dutch for example.

Roger Thornhill said...


For "Socialism" read "Authoritarianism".

Evolve Socialism to be more nationalistic, understand the herd and to engage with private industry and the result is something akin to Fascism.

Ok, 10 years of Fascism.