Consultant slams NHS 'lies'

LIES, a lack of cash and stupidity are damaging the National Health Service.

That is the verdict of a senior consultant at Scarborough Hospital who said the service is being run by politicians who care about nothing except their reputations.

David Poole, who retired as medical director of Scarborough Health Trust in 2000, is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist.

His comments, made in the Cloughton parish magazine, come after a damning report by the Commission for Health Improvement which criticised the style of senior management in Scarborough.

"Most people are profoundly ignorant about how the NHS works and never think about it unless there is a juicy scandal in the news," said Mr Poole.

"Most politicians are even more ignorant, but ever willing to pontificate at length about how it should be run, how it could be made more efficient and, of course, how much they care. The fact is they don't care about anything except making themselves look good.

"They know that to provide the quality of service people think they are entitled to would mean asking them to pay more taxes."

He said major investment is needed but instead "all we get is spin, a modern word for lies, and evil things said about the very people who are breaking their necks to provide service against a background of shameful under-resourcing".

Mr Poole said hospital managers are blamed for the service's shortcomings when, in reality, their hands are tied.

He said they are not allowed to spend money "without the permission of the systematic stupidity that exists in local health authorities, regional offices and the Department of Health".

Scarborough Health Trust spokeswoman Gilly Collinson said: "Mr Poole recognises the hard work and high level of dedication of staff within the Scarborough Trust who do their best to deliver a high-quality service in what are often very difficult circumstances."