They’re busy tearing away at the bones of it at the moment .Things were beginning to get too civilised with free bus travel for the over sixties and free prescription charges for everyone. What was wrong with any of that? It sounds like an act of desperation to take away these fundamental assets when so much money could be otherwise saved that is currently being wasted anyway. You’d think that these two civilised measures could be protected,  but instead noises are already being made to abolish them both.We are already being softened up .It’s being argued that we can all well- afford to pay for  any new  Health Service charges  that may be reinstated and for the old -age  free  bus fare to be  torn-up. Well maybe we could do  all that , but it misses the point . Of course , if you “really” need a prescription , you’ll be willing to pay  almost anything you can afford for it.The same goes with a bus ticket .If you” really” need to go somewhere, you’ll scrape up the money for that ticket. You might not  think it’s worth the bother  buying the medecine or making the journey otherwise.

I  got my free bus pass when I reached the exalted age of sixty a few years ago.It’s a great thing to have because it allows  free access to the bus services and train services  throughout  Norneverland. I hadn’t actually used a bus in nearly forty years because I drove everywhere in my own car. .I don’t particularly enjoy driving or cars , but they may be  a necessary tool at certain times in your life . It’s not like living in a city where buses and trains are readily available all the time. I’d never have been able to work without  all those cars down through the years.  There were no bus connections at the odd hours involved ..It’s  a little different now that I no longer go to work. No more a two-car household .I gave my car to my daughter. I’m almost glad to have that albatross off my back. Anyway, i’ve never fetishised cars.  Sure , I drive,still, when I have to ,  but  I’ve no objection to being driven .

What I really want is the best comprehensive transport system that can be made available for everyone so that we can all do without all of  our cars, most of the time .That’s not the case at the moment .There is only a bus service and no trains run from my town .It leads to a sense of isolation.I’m sure it doesn’t do the local economy much good either.No one can come to my town by train, for example . Tourists would have to arrive either by bus or in a hired car.

To me , the “free bus pass” is a great idea .It represents a sort of freedom.There’s that idea that I can step out of my door , cross the road to a bus stop and from there, travel anywhere in the land. That said , I’ve only actually used the pass on a handful of occasions.Still , it’s good to know that it’s there and I’m not actually trapped in my own little redoubt.Like I said , I gave my big car to my daughter whose needs were greater  and we make do with our single  little runabout. Motoring bills were cut by fifty percent immediately.That’s the carbon footprint halfed .That’s the kind of thing governments should be encouraging.As an over sixty year old , I  feel that I’ve paid a lifetime of taxes and dues, so why wouldn’t I want a little dispensation when  I might become  more infirm or incapable of driving as my senses deteriorate? Isn’t it a good thing to  take our even more senior citizens off the roads   in this civilised manner ? somewhere in their futures , they may not be capable of driving a car anyway. It’s not as if it’ll make much difference to the running of a bus.It’ll run just the same, whether I’m on it, or not. It’s all about that feeling of freedom and independence , though.

We all know that money is being wasted at every turn, should it be the ever constant digging- up of roads or employing people to sit around shuffling  mountains of paperwork  that is buried in a file.

The Health Service? That appears to be  a swamp of wasted money and mismanagement . If whistleblowers could blow their whistles loudly enough without being pilloried or bullied for their audacity , and with the perspective of some fifty or sixty years working knowledge, they ‘d be telling a few home truths about how  audits  are a nonsense and how  imbalanced and wasteful  working practices are the norm. They’d tell how much money available is wasted and misused. They’d tell how perfectly good equipment is ordered and scrapped to make sure that there’d be a need for more  in the budget every year. They’d  be asking how wards could possibly be run efficiently when nursing assistants are at the mercy of work-shy higher -grade  managers who spend their time giving orders  from the safety of an office ..with little first-hand knowledge of  the”clients” in their care ; shuffling  perfunctory paperwork care-plans and never actually lifting a finger to do some actual   care-work . They’d tell of the petty bickering over overtime and how favouritism and nepotism is rife within working wards.

The auditors should be asked why someone being paid three times the wages of a  Nursing Assistant can actually justify their jobs when they are  not doing anything of practical worth, essentially  spending their night -shifts gossiping while their “lessers “do all the practical  work.The auditors should  be asking why so much overtime is being worked  by managers earning  that kind of money and why several of them are needed together  on night shifts when they could be employing possibly three nursing assistants instead, for the same money and therefore cut costs.. They could also ask why many are employed who would never have gotten through the vetting process years ago.They could ask why one hand does not appear to know what the other is doing and that inter-departmental communication  appears to an abstract science , much like a telephone call centre , where many  do not know the simple  rules of supply and demand  and fewer seem to care..The expression oft times used jokingly , is …”Aw, well it comes off a broad back”…In other words , there’s plenty of money out there …”Why bother with the details…we’re not paying fo any of it and it’s not our worry”.

.It’s all about managing the money.

There is a touch of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” about the system compared to the days when a ward matron ran the hospital wards by showing good  leadership  of work practices and hands-on example and the wards ran with greater efficiency and with more respect for the individual in care. You only have to ask anyone over sixty years of age to verify any of that. There was a time when hospitals actually were run efficiently . They were clean and free of diseases such as MRSA .  Cleaning was in-house and they used real disinfectant. All of that  is something that has been lost and money has been wasted at the same time. Cutting costs has meant bringing in outside firms to clean…not more efficiently, but cheaper. Cheaper means , not using the same quality of disenfectant.That probably looks very good on some manager’s financial spend but it doesn’t make for  clean , healthy hospitals.

We’ll probably all roll over and pay any new charges that come along , of course.We mostly do what we’re told .

Like I say , the money is probably still there where it’s always been .

It’s  just being siphoned off into the pockets of the few…as usual .

One Response to FREEDOM…THAT’S THE TICKET by Harry McAvinchey

  1. Jim Neeson February 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Back to the future!!! Almoners, Matrons and Staff Nurses to bring out the best in our excellent Nurses. Domestics, cleaners under the supervision of Matron is what is needed.