Really if ever one is in any doubt about the amount of total twaddle this government is capable of producing, you just have to consider the title Every Child Matters. You could consider the general principle of to whom and to what degree a child actually should matter, but it is often much more fun to see just how far in practice a child really does seem to matter to Mr Blair and his cronies.
From the Education and Skills Committee Report of March 23rd 2005, re: Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004
More generally, the drive to improving both universal (ie: health, education and social and specialist services) and targeted services in the same suite of reforms has been very well received. It is supported by research evidence which demonstrates the value of early intervention to prevent serious problems developing, coupled with targeted and specialist support where necessary. We have been impressed by the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm demonstrated by those responsible for delivering the reforms at the front line. There is considerable evidence of progress already been made on the development of integrated, user-centred services in some areas.
So I actually must be wrong in thinking that it is not an improvement to have to wait over five hours and to make a forty mile round-trip to get a toddler to see an out of hours doctor and that I'm also wrong to think this significantly worse than what would have happened previously. I must be wrong to think that this is not a good example of how early intervention will prevent further problems. Hmmm, OK maybe not. Let us think.
Sensible mums try to contact a doctor when they see problems developing. They may well understand that greater problems are likely to ensue if treatment is not administered fairly quickly and that a quick dose of oral antibiotics, followed by a three day course of same, will save the day. But no. Instead it is necessary to make a series of increasingly frantic phone calls to useless triage and referral services whose staff have almost no capacity to tell a serious problem from a minor one. This is then followed by a good five hour wait for an appointment that these referral staff have grudgingly made in some far away place, which is in turn followed by a long journey, by which time said child will be ravingly confused, seriously ill and unable to take oral medication. Drips, IM antibiotics, hospital bed....
OK, so what was I expecting from all this? I actually AM glad that GPs get to sleep at night and are not wobbling around making bad decisions during their day-time surgeries. I am actually quite prepared to use private GPs instead. But just don't pretend to me that all this tinkering and bureaucracy under the bogusly pious name of "Every Child Mattering" is an improvement on what went before, because this is complete balderdash, bunkum, political hogwash, a total SHAM.