Friday, 19 January 2018

Jeremy Hunt hasn't got a clue

The Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt is widely despised in the NHS. There's so much evidence that he's been doing a bad job it's impossible to fit the slightest fraction of it into the introductory paragraphs of a short blog post.

From the 100,000 unfilled jobs in the NHS to soaring waiting times and scrapped waiting time targetsFrom his ideological war with junior doctors to the ocean of debt the NHS is swimming in. From forced closures of dozens of NHS wards and facilities to plummeting service satisfaction ratings. From people dying in corridors and ambulances after the Tories slashed the number of NHS beds by 14,000 to the covert privatisation by stealth agenda that's going on under our noses. Jeremy Hunt's tenure as health secretary has been a disaster for the NHS.

The only way Theresa May's assertion that "Jeremy Hunt has been an excellent Health Secretary" can be accepted at face value is if she's actually delighted with his efforts to run the NHS into the ground in order for the Tories to make the argument for privatisation and the abolition of the socialist NHS principle of providing universal health care that is free at the point of need.

On January 18th, and after well over five years in the job, Jeremy Hunt posted an extraordinarily dim-witted Tweet about the supposed "clever use of technology" at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust to keep track of staffing levels.

Before we even get to the meaning of the slew of orange and red panels in the attached picture, it's important to note that a health secretary who has been in post for over five years marvelling at a spreadsheet as if it's some kind of profound high tech innovation is akin to someone who has been running an engineering company for five years marvelling at the fact that foundations are made out of concrete as if it's some kind of wonderful and revolutionary development.

Aside from the fact that Hunt seems to think staffing spreadsheets are some kind of pioneering innovation, there's also the fact that the spreadsheet he attached to the Tweet clearly demonstrates that under his watch all three of the shifts at the hospital are rated as unsafe, and several wards are rated as high risk because of staff shortages.

Any health secretary with a grain of sense would have realised the significance of the orange and red panels and decided against sharing proof that dangerous staff shortages are commonplace on their watch, but not Jeremy Hunt.

The guy just hasn't got a clue, and what is worse is that everybody knows it, yet Theresa May is such a weak and directionless leader that she actually let him talk her into giving him even more responsibilities (for the social care sector), when her actual intention was to fire him!

If his track record of under-funding, staff shortages, ever increasing waiting times, and pointless ideological battles with NHS staff weren't evidence enough that Jeremy Hunt has been promoted way beyond his ability, this utterly clueless Tweet is surely evidence enough that he's spectacularly unfit to be doing such an important job.

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