NHS spending

Recent Forums Chit chat NHS spending

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    • November 23, 2017 at 1:21 pm #275

      Disturbing, if true.

      (You can mute the annoying raspy muzak – there’s no spoken commentary, and I have transcribed the essential text below.)

      If it isn’t true, I’d like to know which bits aren’t.

      Our NHS is facing a “humanitarian crisis”.
      Leading doctors have warned the Prime Minister lives are being put at risk.
      Many analysts now agree that the NHS urgently needs a cash injection to see it through the crisis.
      We’re always told that finding additional resources means either increasing taxation or reallocating funds from other areas of spending.
      There is another source of income for the government.
      When the Bank of England prints paper money, the government makes a profit on every single bank note it prints.
      The profit on newly-created money adds up to around £1.3 billion per year.
      That’s enough to pay the salaries of around 26,000 nurses.
      But the cash created by the state makes up just 3% of the money in the economy.
      The rest of the money exists as electronic bank money, or the numbers that appear on our bank statements.
      It’s important to note that banks create money simply by making loans, out of nothing.
      But when banks create money, they, not the government or taxpayer, gets the benefits of making that money (the interest received on the loans they make).
      Profit from creating money: paper money – £1.3 billion per year, electronic money – £23 billion per year (profit for private banks).
      Because the profits from creating [electronic] money go to the banks instead of the government, the government has to borrow much larger amounts of money to make up for this lost income.
      We currently spend way more in interest on the national debt than the money we need to avert the NHS humanitarian crisis: £46 billion interest on the national debt vs estimated £5 billion for the NHS.
      The government allows private banks to create money out of nothing and then it borrows that money and pays interest on it, whilst money could be created free of debt and the profit could be used for the public interest.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:22 pm #276

      12 BILLION in foreign aid ! …. how much extra does the NHS need ?
      from the dregs of my economics studies years ago, private banks don’t manufacture electronic money. A simplistic view makes it look like that but the banks have assets and liabilities that the money is linked to. Unfortunately, I don’t quite understand it well enough to give a succinct explanation, so hopefully someone else can

      On the other hand, the government printing physical money leads to inflation, and then hyperinflation. This isn’t good, or a solution.

      Google tells me that ‘seigniorage’ is the word for money being cheaper to produce than it’s face value. (that’s the ‘government makes a profit from printing money’ idea)

      • November 23, 2017 at 1:23 pm #277

        @frogface Exactly what I was thinking. Private banks can’t just fabricate made up money. It does come from somewhere, whether it be from those who invest in the bank, inter bank borrowing or such like. No bank would need bailed out if they just fired on a few extra zeros to their stash! New money needs to be introduced carefully, as the more of it there is, the less value it has. We all know what happens then!

        The issue with the NHS is it wastes money. If the NHS was a business it would be trying much harder to not only stop throwing money anyway, but also treating its “customers” better in terms of waiting times and what not.

        I don’t know the answer, and know that privatisation goes against the ethos of the NHS. But maybe it’s about time that it was managed as if they “customers” were paying for a service ( since technically we do!) and costs managed. I certainly don’t mean cutting services, quite the opposite. If your a business you can’t cut services and expect more customers. I mean simply to stop wasting money.

        I was in an NHS building the other day. I was there 3 months ago, and a year ago. Every time it is absolutely roasting, way hotter than it should be. Every single window is open, whilst every radiator is on full blast. It’s a huge old building. The costs for that must be phenomenal. That will just be a tiny waste of money in the grand scheme of things I am sure.

        • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by ester.
    • November 23, 2017 at 1:24 pm #279

      No, seriously folks, banks do just create money. The current multiplier is about 25 to 1.

      This means that if you put one hundred pounds into a bank account, that bank lends £2,500 to someone else. £2,400 is majic-ked up out of thin air.

      This is called fractional reserve banking.

      At the start of the crash this multiplier was much, much higher.

      It depends on the fact that not everyone will rock up at the bank and take back their £100 at the same time. If they did, it’s called a run on the bank, and the bank should go under. Except that banks have now been allowed to grow so big they they couldn’t be allowed to fail, and the 2008 crisis was born.

      There is far, far, far, far more ‘money’ in the world than the entire value of all the world’s assets added together. Money is smoke and mirrors, it survives only on confidence.

      Frightening, isn’t it?

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm #280

      Throwing money at the NHS does not make us healthier. My GP told me gleefully that when GPs got that big pay rise a few years back, he cut his working hours and started a classic car restoration business. Colleagues chose to cut their hours. So we gave them more money and we got a reduced service.

      Today my wife interviewed 5 candidates for 2 Band 6 nurse positions. She rejected 4 and appointed 1 but is not sure she is really up to it. Ie she had the funding she needs, but the competent people do not exist. In previous rounds of interviews, she has failed to appoint at all as none of the applicants were up to the standard. In the meantime, she has had to put her uniform back on to fill in for staff off sick; some genuinely, some avoiding suspension and strike off for incompetence.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm #281

      I do think they need to be a little better at spending…i was reading an article on wasted time for calls outs (999 ones) and this one lady phones at least 9 times a day, and gets an ambo or first responder cause “one time she may actually need it” shes clearly got some mental issue…so instead of spending £400 for every time they have to go to her, why don’t they put her on the “wolf” list and send a mental health expert to her or have a buddy system so if she calls, they call a neighbour while still on the line and the neighbour checks on her and if she genuinely needs help its sent…just doesn’t make sense to potentially put many people at risk for one lady who is probably just lonely and knows 999..think of other ways to help her rather than just a quick call out to say no your ok you don’t need help.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm #282

      Yes the NHS needs more money but if anyone thinks money will solve the problems they way off the mark .
      What we need to do is quickly sort how we deal with the care if the extremely old in our population .
      We are in a tight spot with this as it’s not an easy thing to do quickly.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:27 pm #283

      I agree that money alone will not solve the NHS’s problems. It seems to me that the NHS needs more money and to do some things differently.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:28 pm #284

      I know it’s deeply controversial but the NHS maybe needs to charge for somethings to get them better without burden to the tax payer .
      For instance food you eat at home why should you not pay to eat in hospital .
      They would get away with serving the food that I was served if people had to pay for it.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:28 pm #285

      The point of the original piece — which I’m not yet convinced by, and need someone to explain why I shouldn’t be — is that there is a potential alternative source of money other than taxation.

      Art Nouveau said that “government printing physical money leads to inflation, and then hyperinflation”. First, the Positive Money piece implied that non-physical / “electronic” money was also a potential source, that there was a lot more of that than physical money, and that the private banks were doing that all the time on a massive scale.

      Second, isn’t that exactly what the government / BoE did with Quantitative Easing – except they channeled it all into the financial sector. Why hasn’t that produced inflation? Or is it just a matter of time before we get it, and hyperinflation?!

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm #286

      .S. This is what the folks at Positive Money have to say about QE…


      “So why does the government cancel essential projects because “there’s no money”, while at the same time the Bank of England was able to create more new money than the entire government spends in 6 months? Why is it that the power to create money is used to blow up property bubbles and boost financial markets, but not to do the things that we actually need?”

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:29 pm #287

      The NHS is a bottomless pit. On a TV programme last week there was a very spritly 98 year old who had one operation for his heart, during which he had a stroke and was carted off in an ambulance to another hospital for an operation on his brain to remove the blood clot. Both operations were successful and he went back home to recover. The doctor said that when he was training anyone over 65 was considered old. The NHS seems to want everyone to live for ever and doctors dole out pills to keep everyone alive. Obviously when it comes to me and my family I want the best treatment there is and no expense spared. I have paid for it haven’t I in my taxes?

      So who is going to call a halt? Who is responsible and who decides. It seems that there isn’t really anyone really responsible for running the NHS.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm #289

      I worked for the NHS for 27 years and the waste was incredible, paying over the odds for light bulbs and photo copier paper for instance.
      Also departments were given an annual budget and if they didn’t spend that budget in the financial year they had the amount they had saved lopped off the next years budget. Therefore near the end of the financial year there was a race to see what they could buy to use the surplus cash whether it was needed or not :

      Of course the answer would be to bump off all the population over 75, which would solve the bed blocking, housing crisis, and every other ill.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:37 pm #290

      Having witnessed the mess that PFI caused the NHS, which was then followed by the closure of so many psychiatric beds that bed occupancy frequently runs at over 100%, which then means that people have to be admitted to private psychiatric hospitals (often hundreds of miles from home) at a cost to the NHS of thousands of pounds per week, not to speak of the cost in human terms, I can only presume that the dismantling of the NHS has been a political intention for nearly twenty years.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm #291

      I am going to try to write down something I think but have trouble putting down on words .
      One of the biggest problems with the NHS is the whole concept of the state looking after you from cradle to grave .
      I think it’s given some of us a view it’s the states job to look after us what ever madness we get up to not us looking after ourselves
      The person who should be looking after you is you your family and your friends .
      If you take recreational drugs and get mentally ill as a result if your fault .
      If you get too fat and get type two diabetes it’s your fault.
      Those are just two examples but I could make a long long list .
      People also need to learn how to basic first aid and understand how to look after them selves better my brother is a doctor and in A and E they see a stream of people with minor injuries that could be dealt with by taking a trip to boots .
      It’s also like there’s an attitude that it’s the states duty to keep you well but the person who can do the most to keep you well is yourself and I think we need to be a bit more brutal about saying that .
      ATM the debate is focused on the elderly because the number of people living to extreme old age is up and it’s the problem of the moment .
      But lots of the stress on the NHS is caused by lifestyle diseases and many of us should facing up ( myself included ) to the fact we not doing our part well enough .
      Now written down that comes out sounding harsh ,harsher than I feel but I just have this huge sense of unease that somewhere we are getting it all wrong .

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm #292

      @Red-1 I think you are totally right Goldenstar, but what politician is going to say it, even if they think it? When the NHS was brought into being the theory was that it would become less expensive as the population’s health would improve. Well no doubt the population’s health has improved, but for drug companines and so on, they have had a wonderful system of a guanteed market for their goods and services. And very wonderful a lot of them are. Having family members working for the NHS working on equipment that costs £milions but. ensures longer and better lives. Just everyday equipment is a vast, vast improvement on what was available in the 1950s and 1960s.

      I wouldn’t call all NHS staff as angels either, however unpopular that may be. Doctors tend to be empire builders and some staff seem to regard the NHS’s first duty to employ and look after them, before patients and “the taxpayer.”
      My family member at the NHS has some fairly hair-raising stories to tell. It is very, very difficult if there is an incompetent member of staff and she has come across some and wondered where they were trained. If there is any assessment they call out “stress” and leave work yet continue to be paid for months. Usually the problem can be resolved with more training, or moving sideways and rarely is anyone actually sacked, but it is all very costly and time consuming. As for employing Agency staff to fill posts – that costs an arm and a leg.

      It has been said before, but it is true, that the NHS seems to have become the nation’s “religion” if you like. Everyone believes in it and everyone supports it and any hint of lessening the service and there is uproar.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:41 pm #293

      @Red-1 Where do you draw the line though? There are so many incidents or diseases that can be ‘blamed’ on lifestyle?
      anyone having an accident while taking part in leisure activities.
      Diet and heart disease
      Smoking and cancer
      Should a workplace pay for the health care of an employee injured at work?
      Car insurance pay for injuries caused by a car insured by them?

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:42 pm #294

      @kelly Interesting points, and you missed out the hugely significant and costly effects of booze upon the nation …….. but then the revenue derived from alcohol sales more than covers the caring costs to the nation I’d have thought.

      I do though have some agreement with Goldenstar in that it’s wrong for us to wantonly or recklessly ignore what we know to carry serious risk and simply expect the State to pick us up when we fall.

      I’ve never before considered the possibility that insurance companies should be responsible for the hospital care of those injured in car accidents, after all they pay compensation to those who are injured, so you make a valid point.

      I’ve no problem with the NHS seeking out ways to share the costs, but we’re currently in a halfway house with ministers assuring us of the additional £millions which are being ploughed in, with the juxtaposition that the system is failing.

      It’s my view and I suspect of others, that government needs to man-up, face the problems and look to ways of sharing the costs with those who use the system and have an adequate health insurance aspect to their policies.

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