UKIP’s Deputy Leader Calls Into Question The Very Existence Of The NHS

paul nuttall


We’ve? had a few comments on onlineFOCUS in praise of UKIP … which is fine , as we enjoy having a bit of national politics on here occasionally. It also gives us the leeway to make the occasional comment back.
So… we hear a lot about the leader of UKIP, Mr Farage, but zero about his deputy, Paul Nuttall.? But? here’s an extract from Mr Nuttall’s own blog, where he calls into question the very existence of the NHS

Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate the coalition government for bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service. The fact that successive governments have undertaken what they call ?substantial? changes to the NHS should tell us all we need to know: there is something fundamentally wrong with how we treat the ill in our country.

The NHS is the second biggest employer in the world, beaten only by Walmart, but as with all state monopolies, it is costly, inefficient and stuffed with bureaucrats. In New Labour?s NHS, for every nurse there is a manager and vital workers, such as midwives, are falling in numbers.

The problem, however, goes far deeper. I would argue that the very existence of the NHS stifles competition, and as competition drives quality and choice, innovation and improvements are restricted.

Therefore, I believe, as long as the NHS is the ?sacred cow? of British politics, the longer the British people will suffer with a second rate health service.

Paul Nuttall MEP


Here at onlineFOCUS we support the NHS….. it’s a vital national and local service.

Hat-Tip: Tom Pride

  • The NHS is as old as I am and the world has changed massively in that timescale.
    It was a great idea and badly needed at the time ( post war austerity etc;) but has
    now been swamped ( not only by numbers ) by the sophistication of modern medicine.
    Treatment was relatively limited and low cost but it is now just too expensive – we cannot afford it “free” anymore, and I am no fan of privatisation but it will become a
    3 tier system –
    Free – accident , emergency , life threatening and maternity
    Shared Cost – general illnesses
    You Pay – ‘luxury’ choices ( cosmetics etc; )
    That is the reality , but if we were not paying how many billions into the EU…….?.

  • We still have not got our voting cards for our MEP, just the ones for the local elections, anybody else in the same boat ?

  • Yet in a way he makes some very valid points. The NHS does suffer from being over burdened with managers, and we have all turned up for an out patient appointment only to find 20 other people with the same appointment time with the same consultant so we sit there for two, three, four hours waiting to be seen for what often turns out to be a cursory 5 or 6 minutes. Plus of course you just can’t ignore the care scandals of recent years in hospitals across the country. A friend of mine was unfortunate enough to suffer a very bad leg break on a skiing holiday. He was air lifted to the nearest French hospital, a normal everyday local hospital such as you would find in Basildon or Southend. Within 30 minutes of arrival he was in surgery, and he spent the next two weeks in his own spotlessly clean room, excellent food, same nursing team all the time, his consultant visited twice a day, not a junior doctor or registrar, the actual consultant. He couldn’t praise the care highly enough. When he got back here he had an appointment at Basildon for a check up. They lost his notes, left him waiting for three hours, his wife had to push his hospital wheelchair to X-Ray herself, no-one to help her and she has a heart condition. They rung the bell in X-ray as instructed and waited. 45 minutes later someone appeared and said “oh, are you waiting, the bell doesn’t work”. They X-Rayed him and told him to ring his doctor in three weeks for the results.

    France, as with other European countries, has a mixture of private and government funded health care, and if you asked someone in France or Germany to wait 8 months for an operation it would be a scandal. I think the time may be drawing close when we have to admit that the NHS can no longer be entirely government funded and everyone takes out some form of low cost health insurance – of course that will mean that if people see the cost coming directly from their pocket instead of central taxation they will expect service to match. It’s like the idea that people pay for their food in hospital, they will then expect good quality food for their money. Certainly if our population carries on increasing at current levels the NHS cannot cope indefinitely. Maybe another way is to grasp the nettle, the NHS deals only with illness, no cosmetic surgery, no fertility treatment, no elective surgery of any sort, you want that, you pay for it. At some stage a government is going to have to deal with this and the longer it is put off the worse the solution will be.

  • The NHS will always has its flaws., but I still think its better than privatising it. Sorry to hear about your friend Christine – I have a friend who went on holiday to Spain, fell over, and the Spanish hospital didn’t even spot he had a broken leg – it was only found when he got back Basildon hospital!
    One thing to bear in mind that we actually spend less on health care as a % of our GBP than many other countries – we spend 9.4%, Germany 11.3 %, France spends 11.6% and the USA a whopping 17.7 %.

  • Oz – my old Mum does a postal vote, she had two different polling cards – the local with just Lib Dem and Conservative to choose from and a giant one with about a dozen to choose from ( MEP vote ) , most of which were anti EU by the way.
    Me , only the local card – unless that covers both when you register , CHRIS?.

  • Hello everyone! I read this forum often but never comment, but this time decided to. I have to say, I think Mr Nuttall has raised an interesting and valid point. The NHS isn’t working, even the majority of NHS buildings look and feel old. Soon, a lot of money will be needed to ensure they can continue to be used. Waiting times are too long. It’s hard to get an appointment to see your GP. Too many mistakes are being made, infection rates are increasing again…..I agree with most people, the NHS is a good idea and a service we should be proud of, but it would be naïve and ignorant to think it can just carry on as it is without mounting debts and a crumbling service. How many NHS trusts are we now seeing that are being put in ‘special measures’? Plenty!

    The NHS is in dire need of investment and us tax & NI paying citizens deserve a better standard of care than is currently being provided. I know people who visit their GP every week for one reason or another – cold, cough, aching bones etc etc. it’s almost like they need something to do during the week. It’s draining resources and if people want to do that, why not pay for it? Why can’t everyone be entitled to xx amounts of free visits/hours and then pay a small fee thereafter? Continue with some free services – like maternity, unlimited free service for under 18’s etc.

    I’m sorry, but in my opinion, once again, UKIP are just saying what a lot of people are thinking and it shouldn’t be looked upon as though they are being un-patriotic or enemies of the NHS. We have friends in Sweden. They have a semi-NHS type service which works perfectly well. It’s efficient, clean, modern and most importantly affordable for all. I had to go to their hospital last year as I broke my hand. I was seen, x-rayed and treated within 30 minutes. The hospital was spotless, brand new and it felt almost a pleasure to be there – like a new gallery/museum! I didn’t pay for anything other than the x-ray which is a flat fee of around £15. I was out within 45 minutes. There were no waiting rooms full of people, it all seemed to be operating so well. I even joked about the NHS and the Swedish nurse laughed and said (in very good English) – it’s the envy of the world……30 years ago!

  • I’m with Christine. We all love the NHS but it clearly has to change. Labour wasted opportunity and billions papering over the cracks. I don’t pretend to know the answer but its vital we have an open debate and I think the UKIP comments are a useful contribution to that debate. Lets have more constructive ideas.

  • James W, you have hit the nail on the head ” UKIP are saying what people are thinking”. May 22nd is going to be a massive wake up call for Claggy, Millibonkers and Co.

  • Today we have another A&E Department declared “not fit for purpose”. Unfortunately these stories of neglect, unnecessary deaths, poor treatment, no treatment, even abuse, are no longer shocking because one seems to come along every week. The NHS at all levels wastes time and resources in a way that would not be condoned in a private company. My husband was called into the GP three times over a 10 week period for 3 separate routine checks, all of which could have been done on one visit, on the third one he protested, and the answer – the computer system gave them alerts at different times. This could be overcome with a bit of common sense and would have freed up 2 appointments for someone else. Multiply that by what, 100, 500,and you have people able to see one GP without excessive delay.

    I agree with Jim, most of our major hospitals in this country show that they have been built piecemeal. X-ray is the other side of the building from blood tests, which in turn is in a separate floor from the plaster clinic, or the consulting rooms. Ear nose and throat is in a range of portacabins out the back, toilets are a ten minute hike from anyehere Every hospital is full of people sitting, waiting, or looking for somewhere in miles of corridors.

    I’m not saying that there aren’t dedicated and caring staff in the NHS, there are, and a lot of the time they are working under impossible conditions and targets, but the system is now rotten from the core out. It’s a self feeding juggernaut that has forgotten the patients are more important than the organisation. It isn’t free, we all pay for it via taxation, and we deserve clean, well run, efficient hospitals with staff who have time to listen and make sure you get the correct treatment. We need GPs who actually do some doctoring, who aren’t just a referral centre, and we need access to high quality care 24/7. There isn’t though a politician from any single one of the main 3 parties who is prepared to put the sacred cow to sleep and come up with something workable for the 21st century.

  • This very thread illustrates how emotive the NHS is – an unusual number of people have felt moved to post very quickly on this one ( which is good in my view ) and again it illustrates how astute UKIP are in targeting issues of public concern.
    Now wether they have any strength in depth to form a government is another issue but with the main party friendly press currently trying to rubbish them it is clear that
    they are worrying the 3 usual suspects. But will it be enough to make them change their ways and listen to public opinion ? – if they survive the next election they will not change ( vested interests ).

  • Thank you for all the thoughtful comments – even if I don’t agree with all of them, it’s useful to have a civilised discussion! (and welcome to James Worf).

    Thinking of James’ comments about his hand injury, I slipped last summer when mowing the lawn, the mower blade knifed into my trainer and I thought I had broken my toe. Went to Basildon Hospital and was seen by a nurse and a doctor in about 20 minutes (it wasn’t broken after all). I was very satisfied.

    I’ll try and get some feedback from a GP (who reads onlinefocus) re James comment about people going to their GPs every week. But I suspect that if people had to pay for frequent trips to the doctor some of those who could afford it would feel entitled to go to their doctor even more often..

    I’ve discussed this with some work colleagues and one idea came up was charging people who end up in A&E after an alcohol-related incident. That seems to be worth looking at…

  • I wouldn’t disagree with that idea, but how do you collect it = on the spot would be ideal but then you have to have someone there at all hours, especially wee small hours of the morning at weekends, who can take the money by cash or card, give a receipt etc. Either that or you send out bills and then spend hours chasing the money – probably end up costing more than you collected. That’s the problem with all of these sort of ideas, you end up with the costs being more than the benefits. Same with the idea that GPs charge people who don’t bother turning up for appointments.

    I don’t have the answers, if I did I’d be in Government as the Health Minister(not that they seem to have any answers either) I think we’re way past the stage of tinkering. It has to be a wholesale overhaul and that is going to hurt both the people who work in the NHS and the patients. As I said, it will be a brave politician who goes in for that.

  • Chris, on the face of it the alcohol idea seems ok BUT what about people who drive recklessly and injure themselves, people who act stupidly fall off of things etc etc etc. Where do you draw the line ?

  • Sorry Chris, with respect, that’s fiddling while Rome burns. The NHS needs major surgery, not triage.
    A good start would be getting consultants to operate 7×365, so that death rates at weekends fall; theatres are used all week enabling more operations and expensive equipment is maximised. But turkeys don’t vote for xmas do they?
    Its time for politicians from all parties to face up to the fundamental issues.

  • I have to give credit where it is due. I phoned my GP this morning for an appointment regarding a nagging shoulder problem which had suddenly got a lot worse. I didn’t ask for an emergency appointment as I didn’t need to. I phoned at 9.45am and got an appointment for 10.20am. The GP was bang on time, my shoulder was thoroughly and completely examined, and I was soon on my way with a prescription for pain killers. I am told a cortisone injection should sort the problem, this has to be ordered in and the surgery will ring me in about 10 days time when it comes in.
    Can’t fault the service this morning in any way shape or form.