I think I must have been born with a faulty thermostat. Nothing makes my blood boil too much, apart from crap science, crap logic and crazy conspiracy theories. But I do try to avoid Tonight With Trevor Mc-bloody-Dermott as it inevitably inflicts on me a severe case of bile and dispepsia.

The programme invariably ticks the boxes above and I won’t even grace it with a link. It typifies all that is wrong with journalism today. It is populist, superficial and fails to prompt reasoned discussion about issues that really matter to people.

I had to watch tonight as it was about changes in health services. Sorry, “so-called reconfiguration” as the reporter damned it without the slightest hint of praise. At the heart of the report was the fact that some A+E departments were being “downgraded” to “so-called” urgent care centres and that this was a bad thing. That people with life-threatening conditions would have to travel further before being treated.

Complete and utterly blood-boiling bollocks! (Painful)

The core argument of the programme was that if you don’t have an A+E department at the end of the street then the extra travel time will put your life at risk and that there are only 51% paramedics to ambulance technicians to get you there in one piece.

Sorry? One in two are paramedics? Two crew per ambulance suggests that the odds are stacked in your favour that one of them will be well-trained while the other will do the driving.

And travelling further? Why would they? The disparaged “s0-called” urgent care centres would deal with 85% of the cases they deal with now in exactly the same way — stabilise and pass on.

I have personal family experience of this. My sister lives in Rochdale (one of the A+Es “under threat”) and when her son was ill she took him to the infirmary. Without going into details, they didn’t have a clue as to what was the problem was and he was transferred to RMCH which sorted him out almost immediately.

No-one questioned that it was a long way away. No-one questioned that he was taken to his local hospital first. No-one questioned that they were flummoxed by his condition. And no-one questioned that he was successfully treated and is now enjoying life.

Which makes me cross with T McD. I know some of the people were made to look bad tonight. People who are actually doing their best for the rest of us. It is crap journalism of the worst order, and we should be complaining it. What we want is informed debate, not the sort of journalism that starts with the story and works its way back to justify it.

And my blood is still boiling and this post is a bit of an antacid tablet to get it out of my system.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Mosher 1st November 2007

    Welcome to the world of shitty television. Watchdog has the same effect on me. Nicky Campbell needs a kick in the teeth to convince him that when Evil Company Spokespeople come onto the show they should be *allowed* to defend what’s happened. Instead, he just talks all over them, annoys them and makes them look like idiots – when in some cases they genuinely are not.

    Plus their fun with figures makes them as bad as the Daily Mail. Three people complained about Fitness First and trying to cancel memberships. This is (as the program stated) the largest gym chain in the country. Surely, statistically, this means they’ll get more administrative problems than any other? Plus, three out of tens of thousands really is pitifully small.

    But not to Campbell and team! Oh, no. Good grief. And he’s the same on the radio, the short-arsed little freak.

  • Yorkshire Pudding 3rd November 2007

    Have a good burp! I have no idea who this T. McDermott is. Did he play for Liverpool? Why don’t we just have one super hospital crammed with experts somewhere near the M62/M1 junction and if the buggers die before they get there well that’s their stupid fault cos they’ll be missing out on the best health care available.


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