His column takes the reader from Mr. Colvile, as reporter on the state of the NHS five years ago:
‘When we talk about the NHS collapsing, we think of people being left to die in their homes. But the truth is subtler, and more corrosive. Five years ago I spent a week reporting from one of the country’s leading hospitals, the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham. I was in A&E on the night the hospital went to the highest alert level for the first time in its history — a scenario the staff dubbed “Armageddon”. I watched as patients lay on wooden beds in the corridors, as ambulances delivered casualty after casualty even though there was no room at the inn.’
To Richard Murray of ‘King’s Fund’:
At the same time, there are some silver linings from the pandemic. Richard Murray, head of the King’s Fund think tank, points out that it has resulted in a surge of innovation within the health service — consultations held over Zoom, trials for new Covid-19 treatments speeding through the system, greater co-ordination with care homes, an increased willingness to draw on the help of volunteers (including in the vaccination programme). The hope is that these can become permanent features, rather than temporary aberrations. Excess mortality is also likely to be lower in the coming years, because of the awful way Covid-19 picks off the most vulnerable.
On King’s Fund:
I worked in Home Health Care from 1990 to 1999, and attended Patience Conferences for a large Los Angeles Hospital for 5 years: I am not a Doctor or Nurse, but like Colvile I can comment on the politics of HealthCare. He from the perspective of a Thatcherite Think Tank executive, whose self-presentation is about a would be riff on Smith’s Impartial Spectator, when it is,in fact, about Aron’s Committed Observer.