Dr. John Campbell is an internet sensation, giving facts & data to help us navigate healthcare in the present day. The interview covers John’s development, work, rise to fame & what he would do to help get healthcare back in shape.
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I recall the newsroom conversations during the dark days of the pandemic only too well. They were upsetting at the time. Now, as we see a disturbing rise in excess deaths across the country, the thought of them fills me with horror and outrage.
‘You do realise these lockdowns and restrictions will end up killing people too, don’t you?’ I would say to senior editorial colleagues with something approaching desperation in my voice. ‘Sure, the virus is a serious threat to a small proportion of the population but the longer-term consequences of shutting the economy down and closing off the NHS will be deadly for huge numbers who were never at serious risk from the virus, people with years of life ahead of them. Shouldn’t we be reflecting that in our coverage? Shouldn’t we be considering the possibility that the government is going down the wrong path on this?’
The response of these colleagues would vary in tone, from patient but patronising good humour to open mockery. Many were influenced, I believe, by social media echo chambers (curated by pernicious algorithms). My colleagues had swallowed the myopic belief, adopted by people largely on the liberal left, that only lockdowns could ‘save lives’ and ‘protect the NHS’ from the devastation threatened by Covid-19. Anyone who demurred was, as far as they were concerned, clearly a right-wing lunatic.
Now we can all see how well that is working out. Provisional figures released this week reveal that more than 650,000 deaths were registered in the UK in 2022 – 9 per cent more than 2019. This is one of the largest excess death levels outside the pandemic in 50 years. But despite many of the causes of this being obvious, the BBC is pretending the development has come as something of a shock.
More than 650,000 deaths were registered in the UK in 2022 – 9% more than 2019.
This represents one of the largest excess death levels outside the pandemic in 50 years.
Though far below peak pandemic levels, it has prompted questions about why more people are still dying than normal.
Data indicates pandemic effects on health and NHS pressures are among the leading explanations.
[T]he British people must do something that goes against the grain. We must break free of the coercive control exercised over us by the NHS. We are not to blame for putting it under pressure. We are not at fault for expecting a feverish child or a 90-year-old with a broken hip to receive prompt attention. The NHS is to blame.
The NHS has set aside £1.3 billion to cope with compensation claims arising from the pandemic this year with claims for treatment delays, cancellations and misdiagnosis expected.
An annual report from NHS Resolution, which deals with patient disputes, shows that the health service anticipates it will need to pay out more than a billion pounds this financial year to settle claims arising from poor service during Covid.
If demand for health care is nearly unlimited and cannot be rationed by price, it must be rationed in some other way. The NHS rations through shortages – of staff – and waiting lists. Additional rationing is achieved by those who “do not want to bother the doctor”, often at cost to their health, while large numbers go private, so creating the two-tier health system Bevan hoped to avoid – though he did not use an NHS GP but rather Sir Daniel Davies, physician to George VI.
Rishi Sunak has urged the NHS to embrace the use of robots as the health service prepares to cut its workforce by half in a drastic attempt to cut costs.
Figures reveal there were 18,394 deaths ‘due to’ Covid recorded this year in England and Wales. But since May there have been 23,195 excess deaths where the primary cause was another condition.
Some of those people did die with a coronavirus infection, but it was not the main reason for the death.
Experts continue to argue over the reasons behind this recent uptick in unexpected deaths, which shows no sign of slowing.
But it is likely that collateral damage from the pandemic, coupled with long term NHS problems, have collided into a perfect, and deadly, storm.
…Prof Banerjee fears that the indirect effects of the pandemic will turn out to be greater than the harm from Covid itself, and that it is vital for future preparedness planning to take into account long-term outcomes.
Over the past week, 20 NHS Accident and Emergency departments in England issued diverts, with patients taken elsewhere.
Those A&E departments still taking new patients have seen long delays, with more than 25% of ambulances waiting at least 30 minutes to handover patients.
Speaking this week on The Mail on Sunday’s Medical Minefield podcast, Prof Woolhouse said: ‘I think that lockdown will be viewed by history as a monumental mistake on a global scale, for a number of reasons.
‘The obvious one is the immense harm the lockdown, more than any other measure, did in terms of the economy, mental health and on the wellbeing of society.
…[A study published in Science in February 2021] also found something intriguing: lockdowns could, in a worst-case scenario, actually increase transmission of the virus by up to five per cent.
…As Dr Ali puts it: ‘Some people say lockdowns were beneficial, others that they were really terrible.
‘The reality actually is much closer to the idea that it didn’t make much difference either way.’
For those who made painful sacrifices, that won’t be an easy truth to swallow.
Even here, in the Soviet-style behemoth that is “our NHS”, choice can no longer be taken for granted. There is a defiant reluctance among GPs to go back to seeing patients in person. Many hospital appointments are still online. Hopes that patients could start to enjoy the comforting old normal are dashed by an arrogant, unfeeling bureaucracy which puts its own health first.
“There are no immediate changes to IPC (infection, prevention and control) requirements,” says an ominous letter to clinical staff from NHS England. I am told that masks are so embedded in NHS behaviour that we will probably never again see a nurse’s smile.
More than 240,000 calls to NHS 24 went unanswered from September to January in figures described as “astonishing” by opposition parties.
At a time when patients were urged to call the helpline before turning up to A&E, an average of almost 50,000 calls per month to the NHS 111 number failed to be connected.
The highest number of abandoned calls occurred in September 2021 when 68,119 were left unanswered, according to data obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.
Over the festive period, in December, on more than 46,000 occasions callers were unable to speak to anyone.
The Conservatives said that “shockingly” on January 3, very nearly half of all calls (49.7%) were abandoned, accounting for more than 7,000 abandoned calls on that day alone.
It is more than a rebuke to Medley and the modellers though. This pandemic began, for many, with an announcement from Imperial College, whose study predicted 500,000 deaths if we did nothing. We locked down and never tested the prediction.
This time, in the face of what the public saw as dire predictions, we didn’t lock down and the apocalypse never came. The unspoken — and sometimes spoken — implication is clear: are we all fools?
MORE than 100,000 doctors, nurses and other vital NHS staff will disappear under Boris Johnson’s “folly” of sacking unjabbed workers, the Prime Minister was warned.
The cross-party alert comes after troops were drafted into hospitals with thousands of employees on sick leave through Covid or stress. Trade union bosses urged Health Secretary Sajid Javid to delay making Covid jabs mandatory by the end of March “with immediate effect”.
Plan B is a go. And just like that, more mask mandates, working from home guidance and, most controversially, vaccine passports have been rushed in. While we wait, of one thing we can be certain: Covid decisions this winter are once again being determined by one institution. While we wait to find out more about the omicron variant, there is one thing we can say with certainty: our future rests once again on the ability of the National Health Service to handle an uptick in cases.
…Yet the NHS has a guilty little secret, rarely talked about given its status as the national religion. On many metrics, capacity has not been rising – it’s actually been falling.
Millions of over-75s in England will miss out on routine health checks until April to free up GPs to help with the UK’s anti-Omicron booster drive.
Campaigners accused the Government of breaking its promises to boost face-to-face appointments and slammed the decision as a ‘self defeating exercise’, as over-75s will flood into A&E with their health problems.
The decision to suspend the health checks came from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in response to the Government’s mammoth effort to turbocharge the UK’s Covid booster to ward off Omicron.
Perhaps the most dangerous three words in the English language are ‘Protect the NHS’.
After 18 months of discouraging people from getting treatment in hospital, we are now seeing the catastrophic results.
A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) this week found that up to 740,000 potential cancer patients have been missed since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020.
These are people who should have been referred urgently for investigation in hospital, for a disease where delays exponentially increase the risk of death.
The NAO estimates that, since the pandemic began, between 35,000 and 60,000 fewer people than expected have started treatment for cancer.
Up to 740,000 potential cancer cases that should have been urgently referred by GPs have been “missed” since the first lockdown, according to a damning report.
Watchdogs also warned that NHS waiting lists could keep growing until 2025 and even reach double the current six million.
Charities said the report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reflected a “devastating” situation for many patients, with medics warning of “the biggest cancer catastrophe ever to hit the NHS”.
Boston Consulting Group – paid £28million – held a boozy party this month
Images of the lavish bash showed scores of cocktails and string quartet
Unfortunate timing meant two weeks later the spend on the company was slated
Public Accounts Committee said NHS Test and Trace system failed objective
It said it had not ‘broken chains of COVID-19 transmission’ as it had intended
The PAC said it was ‘overly reliant on expensive contractors and temporary staff’
BCG declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline over the party
Lord John Mann said they should ‘hang heads in shame’ and give money back
The NHS drew up secret plans to withdraw hospital care from people in nursing homes in the event of a pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.
Confidential Whitehall documents show that the NHS plans refused treatment to those in their 70s and that “support” would instead be offered to use so-called “end of life pathways”.
The strategy was drawn up by NHS England following a pandemic planning exercise in 2016 and was designed to stop hospitals being overwhelmed.