As white elephants go, the Nightingale Hospitals are likely to be the very worst we will ever see.
With a Lockdown imposed upon the Country that feels more and more like the early stages of a Police State than a restriction on daily life that is designed to help, the ‘temporary’ end of our liberty was firmly sold to us on the basis that it was the only way to enable the Government to do all that was possible to ‘protect the NHS’.
Of that dubious sales script, one of the most contrived-to-be-convincing excuses the Government made for the requirement of public support for the Lockdown was the time that it was going to take to set up, equip and then open the Nightingale Hospitals, the first of which was set up in an Exhibition Centre in London’s East End.
Once it had opened, it didn’t appear to be the case that the London Nightingale was immediately struggling from over use like many established NHS Hospitals around the Country that are still throwing everything that they have available at COVID-19.
In fact, some started to question how these ‘Field Hospitals’ would actually be staffed, given that the twenty thousand or so retired and de-registered medical staff who answered the call to come back could at best only meet what is known to be the NHS’s pre-Coronavirus and therefore immediate or existing staffing shortfall.
In the past 24 hours, the real story has began to find its way out.
Instead of the Nightingales being the genuine additional capacity to support the whole of the NHS to fight the COVID-19 Crisis that we were told by the Government that they would be, the facilities they offer are only being made available to specific cases and the patients who are most likely to survive. Furthermore, a place will only be offered if the transferring hospital provides the staff to care for that patient too.
On reading this, you are probably wondering to yourself ‘what is the point?’.
Well it’s a good question to ask. Because the pretence for this ridiculous Lockdown was all about helping the NHS to cope.
Now, with three weeks of this highly dubious Lockdown already passed, it is clear that the additional space to manage the so-called ‘peak’ of the Pandemic in the UK was put in place with the intention of it being no such thing.
If the Government is picking and choosing which patients its flagship ‘Field Hospitals’ are going to treat, it can only mean one thing: That the Nightingales have been set up as a publicity stunt to provide figures and data that can be manipulated to show that the Government is achieving results when all the time it is not.
Meanwhile, the Lockdown has already began to destroy jobs, incomes, businesses and lives as the support that the Chancellor has provided does nothing to help people and protect the economy in the way that it should.
Then there are the patients suffering medical conditions and diseases like cancer are being sidelined or their treatment delayed by Hospitals up and down the Country as existing staff and resources are re-tasked to concentrate on prioritising Coronavirus patients.
So even when it comes to addressing the medical aspects of this National Crisis, the Government is telling us all one thing, but doing nothing like what it is saying or indeed anything like what it really should.
But to have done so when the Government itself is not doing all the things that it should to help either the NHS or the millions of people and businesses that it has effectively put under house arrest offers no logical, responsible or even reasonable excuse.
The more we see of this Government and its clear inability to cope, the more we see the real truth unravelling and finding its way into the light. It is clear that these Ministers and their advisors are making it all up as they go along.
All they are doing is based upon how the things they do and say will look, rather than what the results will be. The Nightingales are a vanity project, clearly all about the Government being able to tell everyone how great they were at dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis.
But this approach is helping nobody. It is just another part of the almighty and escalating mess and chaos that the stupidity of the politicians who are supposed to be leading this Country has created.
For what is happening now on the Johnson Government’s watch, there simply isn’t any legitimate excuse.
The NHS has been in need of desperate top to bottom reform for years and successive Governments have failed to address the real systemic issues in the Health Service over a long period of time.
Good leaders would have recognised and accepted this in the early stages of the Crisis and done everything necessary to ‘come clean’ and explain to us all that there was simply no way that the resources and staff would be available or ready in time to head off or prevent every death that it might be have been possible to prevent, had everything already been in place.
Instead the Government has taken us all on a wild goose chase. They have given false hope and false promises, removed our liberties, set fire to the economy, and fired the starting gun on the destruction of quality of life for countless millions, probably for many years to come.
All because they have no idea what to do, and stupid is as stupid does.