Monday 18 December 2017

Simon Harris: 'I am more than sorry, I am also angry, frustrated and determined'

Apologies and excuses won't cut it when our health service suffers gridlock, but there are reasons to remain hopeful

Hospital delays: We need to break the vicious cycle
Hospital delays: We need to break the vicious cycle

Simon Harris

New figures to be published tomorrow are expected to show waiting list numbers going down and a particular fall in the number of patients waiting longest. Should this give us reason to cheer? No. But it should give us reason to hope.

Last week saw our health service experience an all-too-familiar gridlock. The same adjectives crop up. 'Unacceptable' is one of them. We might be tired of hearing it but it's hard to disagree with it.

What caring society can countenance sick people being treated in the kind of conditions that make them less safe and more vulnerable when they most need comfort and compassion? Who can accept the vista of older people being stripped of their dignity and privacy when they deserve the gentle and special attention we all need in later life?

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