Friday, December 16, 2005

2 + 2 = ???

It's a Scottish hat-trick of posts from the Peter Lovenkrands of blogging.

These two stories were top of the BBC Scotland news page at lunchtime today. I wonder if by any chance they could be related ?

GP cover 'worst in poorer areas'

People who live in deprived areas get less help from the health service, a study has warned. Glasgow University researchers found the poorest parts of Scotland's towns and cities had 11% fewer GPs and less access to health promotion programmes.

This was despite evidence of a far higher rate of ill health.

I like that 'despite' - as if sick people magically attract medics. Perhaps the poor health is a consequence of the shortage of health staff.

But perhaps not. Next on the page :

Assaults on NHS staff increasing

More than 20,000 assaults were carried out on NHS staff in Scotland in the past year, figures have revealed. Statistics from health authorities given to BBC Scotland show continuing high levels of physical attacks, aggressive behaviour and verbal abuse.

The Royal College of Nursing said, despite zero tolerance campaigns, assaults were becoming more frequent and more violent.

The Scottish Executive said violence against NHS staff was "unacceptable".

I wonder which areas have the highest rate of assaults ? Would they by any chance be the poorer ones that Glasgow University researchers are so worried about ?

"There were 11% more GPs in the more affluent areas compared with the more deprived half of the population.

The researchers said that although they found larger numbers of practices in the most rural and deprived areas, this reflected the higher proportion of single-handed and small practices in these areas.

They also found that these practices tended to have younger doctors, fewer female doctors and less involvement by GPs in extra voluntary activities compared with affluent areas."

I see. Older doctors and female doctors tend to avoid these areas - and the doctors who do go there don't seem to want to do extra voluntary activities. Why could this be ? Let's see what Professor Graham Watt has to say :

"Practices serving the most deprived areas are less likely to volunteer, possibly because they are so consumed by dealing with increased levels of morbidity, without increased levels of medical manpower, that they are unable or unwilling to take on additional activities"

The poor medics are just so busy laying out the bodies and treating the sick that they just don't have any time for all those extra goodies. And the absence of the old and the female ? Er ...

I guess the important bit is "without increased levels of medical manpower", otherwise known as 'more money please'. I do like the way publicly funded organisations call for more money for each other. Glasgow Uni, BBC, NHS in a little virtuous circle. We all know how little money is spent on the NHS.

Makes you wonder if they left the 'T' off the good professor's surname.

Still, never mind. Where the great brains of Glasgow have struggled and failed, this blog can bring you a scientific and medical breakthrough.

After minutes of intensive research by a dedicated team of one, looking at that same BBC Scotland news page, I can reveal the dramatic discovery of a link betwen poverty, poor health and assaults on NHS staff, hitherto entirely unknown.

Alcohol takes toll on Scots NHS

Scotland's drink problem is worsening with a significant rise in emergency admissions to hospitals over the past eight years, a report shows.
In some cases the figures have more than doubled, according to NHS Quality Improvement Scotland.

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said Scotland's culture of heavy drinking was placing an increasing burden on the NHS.

Apparently high rates of alcohol consumption are indicative of both a high level of violence and a high level of ill health. I think this could be just what Scotland's politicians are waiting for. I can almost see the strategies being rolled out.


The g-Gnome said...


It's the binge drinking that's the killer. And as I said elesewhere, it's going to get worse all over.

Dave said...

No it isn't gnome.
The problem is the excuse culture, when someone does something wrong our ruling class always say, its because of the drink, the drugs, religon, poverty, lack of education, rich bastards, etc etc etc.

For as long as people are not held responsible for their own actions these problems will continue.

Joe90 said...

Trouble is, everyone is at it with the excuse culture.

The drinks companies who deliberately target underage drinkers with alcopops-style products will say they're just responding to 'market demands'. Pretty much the same excuse as deployed by the heroin dealer.

(That said, pissheads who run amok in hospital wards need to be frogmarched into work-camps.)