Monday, April 24, 2006

Safe in our hands... oops, butterfingers


I frequently get spam asking me if medical bills are killing me. Naturally, I don't open spam, so I have no idea exactly what the shady types behind these emails are actually offering me. I can instead sit back and chuckle to myself, safe in the knowledge that I can enjoy medical treatment that is free at the point of delivery.

Well, that complacent mask is beginning to slip, and it's not helped by stories like this. For those unfamilar with west London (I guess that covers most of you) there's a small hospital, next to a lovely park, called Ravenscourt Park Hospital. It's a centre of orthopaedic excellence, and in fact enjoys a good reputation in the area for the things it can do with bones. And it really is as nice as the photo makes it look.

Anyway, right on the edge of the hospital buildings is a nursery, ironically named the Happy Times Nursery. Mrs Wildebeest and I went there for one of our ante-natal classes before Baby Gnu was born. It's an extensive and well-stocked place, full of toys and children's artwork, with attractive space to run around outside.

The nursery is no more. It's been kicked out by Ravenscourt Park Hospital, who claim that Happy Times are 21 days late with their rent (21 days? Even the credit card companies give you more than that!). Happy Times say they're not late with the rent, and that the trust running the hospital hasn't counted a payment they've just made. What may be happening is that the hospital is to be taken over by the private sector and needs the space for its new facilities. The motivation behind this plan? The hospital is £12m in debt, and its losses are expected to reach £37m by 2010. Who runs Ravenscourt Park Hospital? Why, Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust. Haven't we seen that name somewhere before?

In the meantime, bouncers stand on the doors threatening to forcibly remove any five-year-old who attempts to gain access and get their drawings back.

Oh, well, never mind. The NHS is having its best year ever. So, that's all right, then.

[Footnote: Blogger is fucking about today, so God knows how many times this post will appear.]


Post a Comment

<< Home