UK Hospitals charge £700 a night for a room! – Homeless guy “banned”

07Jun10

I came across this story on the BBC News website, which I hardly ever read these days.. I was immediately shocked by the language used – it’s a sad story of a homeless guy who desperately needed somewhere to stay, and managed to convince various hospitals around the UK to admit him overnight, which is surprisingly difficult in the UK, unlike other EU countries. Apparently now he’s been issued with an ASBO (anti-social behavior order) which is to stop him “abusing” the service!

In their words he “swindled” the NHS Trusts (ugh) out of between £400 and £1000 per night as he “took advantage” of staff and made up symptoms which he knew would get him admitted. It’s no wonder staff at UK hospitals are so reticent to admit ANYONE these days if the costs involved are so huge – how the hell does it cost an average of £700 a night to keep someone in a hospital bed? There are no doubt hospitals even as close as say the Ukraine, which have only £1000 a day budget for all the patients combined – what are these people doing? Can they not possibly see what an enormous waste this is: due to their own ridiculously bureaucratic and needlessly complex systems and “management”?

To quote: “Officers at the NHS and Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (NHS CFSMS)…” who the heck are they? Yet another quango within a quango busily running around with CCTV installations, “intelligence gathering” systems, and doubtless several racks of high-end computer hardware, Blackberries, customized mobile surveillance units, and who knows what else.. all to “catch” some extremely vulnerable people trying to get off the streets for a night. How much did the “operation” cost? And what, prey, are they achieving to make the world a better place, they are quite happy to call themselves “healthcare professionals” but that presumably doesn’t include the Hippocratic Oath. “Fiddling while Rome burns…” springs to mind.

There needs to be a radical rethink in the West, particularly the UK and the EU, on how much money is wasted on pet ideas, misguided “diversity” (a misnomer as they use it), so-called “health and safety” (really?) and bloated top-down structures with vast armies of management. How many resources are thrown at massive IT projects just for the sake of it? BBC radio had a documentary a while back on enormous overspends on IT projects which would probably never be delivered! I have seen myself so much stupidly overspecified setups, when often all that was needed was a pad and a pencil, or better yet, a human being with a brain. Instead whole networks are specified, ordered and then must be supported, integrated with other systems and finally replaced two years later because Microshaft have gone to Windows or Office or ShaftPoint version x+2 and no longer support the crap they’ve already paid for, but perhaps hasn’t yet been delivered.

The upshot of the BBC article was that the guy was at fault, what right did he think he had to stay in a hospital when he’s homeless? Oh sorry, doesn homelessness qualify as a health risk? So he’s supposed to sleep on the step outside, no wait, they wouldn’t want that, got their corporate image to consider after all; I even got warned not to smoke a cigarette OUTSIDE a hospital recently, so I took advantage of the indoor facilities instead in an empty ward.. who are they kidding here?
Please get a grip on reality: there are millions of homeless people around the world, just in the UK it runs into 100s of thousands.. and this needs urgent attention. We have plenty of accommodation to go round, hell we got some folks with 10 or more houses which they never stay in, empty office blocks outside every town centre, let’s open them up and at least give people the dignity of a roof over their head.

And they could make a start on savings by not translating every document into a plethora of obscure Asian languages in the name of “diversity” – as someone who speaks several languages I can see right through what they’re doing there – but that’s another story.

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