Or how politicians have changed in one Generation

In days when politicians listened to those who elected them, and were deemed to have ethics, Jim Prior (member for Lowestoft, Suffolk), said “we have a duty, not only in economic terms, but also in social and moral terms, to make certain of giving every man a fair chance of having a decent day’s work”.  He was a popular MP in his mainly farming constituency, obviously believed in the old-fashioned code of noblesse oblige, and, I am sure would be horrified at the way the present generation of politicians behaves.

Fast forward to his son, basking in father’s glory as Lord Prior, and I don’t think he is in the same league. An ex-MP (lost his seat in 2001), the present Lord Prior now seems to hide behind his title as Chair of NHS England – here is a video of him in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftyjMSMXxMA&t=197s

Lots of patting-on-the-back, but not one mention of the major, major problem facing the NHS today – staff shortages.

Since then, having promised to get back to this brave nurse who features in the video, with an answer about what is being done to address lack of staff, she hasn’t heard a word.  When I wrote to back her up, tables were turned on me and I found myself being treated as a whistle-blower.  Not a nice situation to be in.  The CCGs wrote a condescending letter to me explaining that they use Government funding to commission services from providers to meet the needs of the population (fairly obvious).  Then went on to say As Oxfordshire, on average, has a healthy population our allocation per head of population is one of the lowest in the country.

My surgery then contacts me to say “We have been asked to provide some information regarding your medical history and referrals to our Senior Patient Services Officer in Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) following contact to them from Lord Prior as a result of a complaint that you made to him about our service to you. “This was completely untrue – my surgery is wonderul, and I constantly praise them for the way they look after us.  After the appalling mega-surgery I was registered with in London, it constantly surprises me that I can make a next-day appointment, instead of waiting three weeks.  But Prior (or his minions’) heavy-handed attempt to discredit me has ensured the full force of the NHS is being used to crush me for daring to question what NHS England is doing to address the staff shortage in the NHS.

In the meantime I have ‘progressed’ from Polio survivor to someone with post-polio syndrome, (PPS) a frightening thing to happen.  I see my specialist in January, he tells me what to do, and says “I will see you May.”  I wait for appointment – nothing – so I phone the John Radcliffe Hospital. I am informed I can’t have an appointment as “No clinic space available.  Booked up until July and we don’t know what is happening then”.

So to stop me asking awkward questions, the full force of the NHS is being used to discredit me with my charming GP.  And PPS and all its worrying accelerated loss of mobility goes untreated.