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Wednesday, December 1st, 2021, 6:36 pm

UK Government: Let’s Compare Apples to Oranges

Apples and oranges

Comparing like with like?

December changes

Metric-name change 2

Metric-name change

I see what you did there, Boris...

Excess deaths years in UK

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021, 10:42 am

Weekly Number of Excess Deaths in England and Wales, by Year

Source URL

Excess deaths years in UK

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021, 10:06 am

The Care Gateway Knows That NHS Grifters (Privatisation Profiteers) Are Underserving and Overcharging Patients (Updated)

LAST week I wrote about my experiences 1, 2, 3, 4] with The ‘Care’ Gateway and YORKSHIRE ‘HEALTH’ ‘SOLUTIONS’ LTD. Based on my experiences this month, Tories are not killing the NHS. They’ve ALREADY killed it. It’s not the NHS failing; it’s the privatisation that’s failing, or failing patients. Do these private firms think it is acceptable that in order to book an appointment one needs to wait in a queue for over 4 hours? On a non-free line? It has now been 8+ days and the private firm, YORKSHIRE ‘HEALTH’ ‘SOLUTIONS’ LTD, has not even responded to my E-mails (about 4 of them), let alone offered to book an appointment. It’s like they don’t even exist. I’ve got an open complaint about this company with the Manchester authorities. Ignoring attempts to book an appointment is done at their own peril and I’ve been told I’m not alone. Other people too are having very negative experiences. As it turns out, other “providers” are also unresponsive; The ‘Care’ Gateway’s Team Leader (one of about 3), Samantha, admitted this along with subordinates. And they cannot seem to get hold of their very own providers. I should know, I have just spent a lot of time on the phone with them. And it’s nothing technical, this is POLITICS and bureaucracy. What a waste of NHS time/resources. In the past it wasn’t anything like this; it’s like one ends up speaking to lawyers instead of doctors, or middlemen for businesses instead of care professionals. In this post I will mention a couple of first names, which I did not wish to do (but escalating as it has been nearly 10 days now without concrete progress).

I’ve just spent another 40 minutes on phone with a person (The Care Gateway). Sole outcome: Team Leader (Sharon) will phone me back by the end of the day. Initially she said “24 hours” as if that means anything… when they work 9 to 5 (or until 6). Still no appointment, still no solution. Over a month since GP referral. What a train wreck. They’re only making things worse. They waste NHS resources dealing with obscene levels of incompetence. The sorts of things that didn’t happen prior to privatisation.

The NHS is fast becoming rather useless to me, and likely not for any reason other than planned ‘failure’. Planned… because the government wants it to seem like the NHS is failing, in turn offering privatisation as the ‘solution’ (even if the privatisation itself is the core problem).

As a friend put it, “it is planned failure used to drive patients into corporate treatment facilities and thus stoke the statistics so they can claim increased demand and cut more. Here they even subsidize the privatized facilities at the expense of treating the population.”

I said, “bear in mind this is ALREADY a private companies, propped by up tax money, so I am trying to get it blacklisted by NHS…”

The friend retorted: “So they are bleeding one company further in order fund even less efficient companies. Profit in services means that either people were overcharged or underserved or both.”

“So if NHS is already a private company then it is already overcharging and underserving, on top of the overcharging and underserving the secondary companies cause.”

I will update this post or write a follow-up after Sharon (the manager) phones, assuming that she does (they made empty promises before). Notice how bad a treatment; in the past 9 days I spent about 6 hours on the phone, after waiting about a month since referral. To see a GP that’s another barrier, and one cannot get a referral without first meeting a GP. So unless one throws oneself at the ER, treatment or diagnosis can literally take months! Yes, months!

Privatisation kills; the people who perpetrate this are sick sociopaths. There’s no medical treatment for sociopathy.

Well, the sole upside of all this is that I get a first-hand account of the epic failure of privatisation, which I shall document.

Update (4PM): So Sharon has just phoned me, saying she had spoken to YORKSHIRE ‘HEALTH’ ‘SOLUTIONS’ LTD, saying they would phone back by the end of the day to arrange an appointment. So, in summary, it took just over 9 days for this to happen (assuming they will in fact phone later). She cautioned there’s a big backlog, depending on place. Either way, after about 7-8 hours on the phone and many E-mails I may merely get an appointment booked. Some “service”, some “care”, some “solution”, eh? At this snail pace we’re talking about months to see a specialist.

Update (5:10PM): I finally received a call, almost at 5PM sharp. My findings about it are as follows:

- There seems to be a company or agency handling the bookings, or maybe not contracted outwards but merely a subdivision
- The person I spoke to was reasonably new on the job and was not aware of some of the most basic things, such as what’s on the company’s own Web site (imagine that! I know their site better than her!)
- The backlog for bookings wasn’t as severe as they might have people believe. In fact, a booking was possible for tomorrow (although it’s past 5PM, so technically she could not do it) or Friday
- Remember she phoned me only because I had escalated the matter and spoke to managers 3-4 times on the phone already (plus a similar number of calls to people below them). It rook 9 days of calls and waiting.
- Initially the booking was offered for a place rather far away, not even bearing the company’s own name, let alone anything “Yorkshire”. What is going on here?!?! Is this like a massive network or a chain of private companies? This one is at 9 Maple Road, near the Co-op (M23 9RL) and it’s known as “Woodland Medical Practice”.
- For a 10-minute ultrasound scan I needed to spend about 8 hours on the phone (all in all), just to book an appointment. This isn’t acceptable. It’s also wasting a ton of manpower. It’s the least efficient thing I’ve ever experienced in the UK, not just the NHS.
- The lack of response was acknowledged to me as a widespread issue, affecting a huge number of people.
- They are aware of the problem, but they are apprehensive about the patients finding out about it. Why not admit it upfront?
- They took over a company (the person on the phone cannot even name it, probably because she genuinely does not know its name)
- The company whose “business” they ‘took over’ caused a massive backlog of about 10,000-20,000 patients. The number isn’t made up. That’s what she told me on the phone.
- The company and those patients were added 3 weeks ago or one month ago, i.e. around the time of the referral. That sounds pretty insane and it leaves people in critical need of care in a bad state. They might even die before receiving any treatment or diagnosis. This isn’t an order of merchandise or consumerism, this is people’s lives.
- The lady I spoke to admitted they’re struggling to even read and respond to E-mail. She downplayed this issue and made some mutually-contradicting statements in the process.
- People waiting on the line for 4 hours is apparently not so outlandish. So what if I’m one of thousands of people subjected to such (dis)service levels?

Saturday, November 20th, 2021, 11:10 am

Complaint About Yorkshire Health Solutions Formalised (4 Days Later)

Those who did not see my previous posts about Yorkshire Health Solutions would be better off reading the situation as explained in the following order:

  1. Seemingly Defunct and Surely Unfit to Operate: YORKSHIRE HEALTH SOLUTIONS LTD (Updated)
  2. The ‘Care’ Gateway and YORKSHIRE ‘HEALTH’ ‘SOLUTIONS’ LTD (Updated)
  3. NHS Feedback and Complaints (Manchester Feedback and Complaints Service) Responds Late — Two Days After Further Prodding — to Report of Technical and Professional Incompetence

Yesterday at half past midday I finally received an acknowledgement, with reference number, of my complaint:

[MAN/xxxxxxxxxx] Complaint regarding Yorkshire Health Services [sic] (Should say “Solutions”)

Feedback and Complaints Service

Telephone: xxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxx@manchester.gov.u

Dear Roy,

I can confirm that we have opened a complaint into the issues you have raised, as requested.

I am sorry to hear of your experiences and please be assured your complaint will be investigated thoroughly.

From the correspondence received, I consider that your complaint is as follows:

1. You attempted to contact Yorkshire Health Solutions (YHS) to book an appoinment, however, after being on hold for 4 hours you still could not reach anyone.
2. The contact number is not a freephone number and you are concerned that people are being overcharged due to the long wait times on hold.
3. You believe that many people that have cordless phones would struggle to obtain appointments with the long hold times, as most cordless phones do not hold charge for that long.
4. You waited on the phone for a further hour after being told you were first in the queue, yet still nobody picked up.
5. You emailed the company after you disconnected the call to express your concerns but nobody responded.
6. You believe the only reason you advanced up the caller queue was due to the people ahead of you ‘calling it quits’ and hanging up the phone.
7. You believe the company should hire more staff to answer calls.

If you feel that this is incorrect or you have further points to add, please reply to this email with any amendments/additions.

We aim to have a full and final response sent to you within 20 working days, however if this is expected to be delayed for any reason we will let you know.

Should you wish to discuss this further, or have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

xxxxxxxxxx

I added:

Good morning, xxxxxxxxxx, and thank you for the reference number (and for documenting the pertinent facts). One key fact to add is, based on my phone conversations with TCG (about 40 minutes in total, inclusive of several calls with the manager there), this issue does not concern me personally as other people are experiencing the same issues and they are well aware of it.

Regards,

This can take weeks (“within 20 working days”).

I’ve meanwhile contacted Yorkshire Health Solutions a third time (over E-mail) and still… no reply. It’ll be one week without any reply from them if they don’t respond by Monday morning. Maybe they think strategic silence is the better way, but actually it only worsens the situation by reaffirming everything said about them.

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021, 1:27 pm

NHS Feedback and Complaints (Manchester Feedback and Complaints Service) Responds Late — Two Days After Further Prodding — to Report of Technical and Professional Incompetence

THIS is the latest in an ongoing saga, which I hope will end as soon as possible.

I’ve already lost a lot of time this week, basically dealing with complete train wrecks here in England. As explained on Monday, I was left ‘in line’ for 4 hours (over the telephone) and a manager later admitted to me that others were having the same issue. This affair concerns a private company and I think it should be held accountable, or at the very least the NHS should be aware of what type of firms it relays patients to. WE FUND THEM! Here’s the latest in the correspondence pertaining to my complaint.

Latest

Roy:

> It has now been nearly two days and no response from them. Complaining to a department about itself is unlikely to yield positive results, as opposed to a sort of ‘coverup’, justifying one’s (in)action. The manager has already confirmed to me that the problems experienced by me affected many other people. This merit an independent investigation from the outside. The issue affects a lot of people in need of care; but they don’t want them to know this!

> The private firm is not helping; it is also not replying to an E-mail or two, so caring for people is clearly not a priority.

> Please keep this complaint (not inquiry) open at your end. It wasn’t opened in error. I very clearly asked for your address, which the boss gave, with a CC sent to the right address. The “To:” field is indicative of who would be best capable of handling this complaint.

> I shall patiently await for the response from the relevant commissioner. I think we must take such issues very seriously at these times, seeing that excess deaths have soared this year across England, based on the NHS data (about 2,000 above normal, per week).

17 November (only after ‘nagging’ for confirmation the day earlier):

Good Morning Roy,

I can confirm that we received your email. I’m sorry to hear about the troubles that you have been having when trying to get in contact with Yorkshire Health Solutions (YHS).

I can see that you copied in The Care Gateway into your emails. YHS have their own contact email which is not linked to the gateway. I would advise emailing them directly to complain about their services and awaiting a response from them in the first instance.

YHS can be contacted on the following email: info@yorkshirehealthsolutions.com

I will also forward your email over to the relevant commissioner here within the CCG so they are aware of the problems patients are facing when trying to book appointments.

I hope you are able to get a response from YHS but please come back to us should you need anything further.

Kind regards,

?????????????
NHS Feedback and Complaints
Manchester Feedback and Complaints Service
Manchester City Council
PO Box 532, Town Hall Extension, Manchester, M60 2LA
Tel: ??????? Internal: ???????
Email: ???????????@manchester.gov.uk

16 November

Roy:

> Please confirm receipt of message.

15 November

Roy:

> Att.: Companies House document/outline Source documents: Companies
> House
>
> With the NHS being covertly privatised, and services made worse
> (non-free phone numbers!), maybe it shouldn’t be so shocking that one
> spends 4 hours on the phone just trying to book an appointment, then
> failing! They should have hired more staff to answer calls!
>
> Phone the firm to book an appointment. You are then placed on a queue.
> “You are caller number 28? (that’s at 11AM, which should be quiet).
> Half an hour later: “You are caller number 20?. So one might expect
> that after about 2 hours on the phone one might be able to book
> something. 2 hours! For many homes the battery won’t even last that long (landline).
> What about old people desperate for treatment or screening? I bet the
> phone companies love this! They make a lot of money this way.
>
> So as it turns out, the estimate of 2 hours was wrong. After 4 hours
> on the line, and well over an hour being told that I am first in the
> queue, nobody picked up. I fired off an E-mail to the company:
>
> Hi,
> Do you think it is acceptable that in order to book an appointment
> (today) one needs to wait in a queue for over 2 hours? Some people’s
> phones do not even have a battery to last that long on a call.
> Please explain why you cannot hire more staff to handle calls.
> This isn’t about placing an order for a product, this is an
> essential service. Making appointments should not require the hiring
> of highly specialised staff.
>
> Did they reply? No. They cannot even bother answering calls, so why
> expect a reply electronically? They’re based near us, a walking
> distance, but of course we cannot book appointments this way.
>
> I was just about to hang up after waiting in line — for just a booking
> (over the phone) — when it was approaching 3 hours! But they said
> “first in queue”, which sounded promising. After gradually going down
> from 28 in the queue ahead of you… to just 1.
>
> As it turns out, it was nowhere near the truth; unless someone was
> holding up the line for over one hour (or 1.5 hours), there’s no
> reasonable explanation for this and they give a false sense of
> expectation. Maybe being first in line simply means that everyone
> before you gave up and decided to hang up; once I too hang up, people “behind”
> would get an illusion of advancing. Is anybody at all answering the
> phone? Imagine 30 people simultaneously being connected for hours. For
> nobody to actually serve them, only for other callers to call it quits
> and hang up the phone (as I did after 4 hours).
>
> So at this point one might ask aloud, so that’s what it all boils down
> to? Waiting for 3 weeks for a letter (after 3 calls to see a GP) and
> then waiting on the line for 4 hours in vain?
>
> No.
>
> This is where it gets interesting. After 3 hours waiting on the line I
> decided to check what sort of company we were in fact dealing with.
> Many dodgy companies continue to operate in debt, in effect being insolvent.
>
> So I decided to look at formal documents from the company, especially
> accounting-related material. ATT. documents from 2017 onwards (more
> recent first) in case they vanish in the future.
>
>
> I took just two screenshots. This is what privatisation looks like.
> I’m no bean counter, but it seems like this company can operate with
> like a million pounds, but it also cannot hire more than one person to
> pick up a phone (maybe no person at all was picking up calls; with
> privatisation there’s no real incentive to to improve),
>
> The way I’m reading the documents, they have considerable debt (see 15
> Dec 2020/”Total exemption full accounts”).
>
> My cordless phone’s battery is critically low now and almost out of
> ‘juice’. The cost of the call remains to be seen, putting aside 3
> weeks of impatience and unanswered E-mail.
>
> “4 hours is not queuing,” a friend told me, “it is having been
> abandoned. Might be appropriate for compensation or legislative
> changes to the governance.”
>
> “However,” he continued, “keep in mind the bad service is there to
> drive people to sell off stuff or borrow money to go to private
> services instead. In that way they can show increased ‘demand’ for the
> privatized services and cut the NHS further. Thus feeding a vicious cycle.”
>
> “The phone queues can be quite long,” the friend said, but not 4 hours.
> “I was waiting for about an hour the other day and that task is still
> not complete.”
>
> Well, you’d think they can hire more people to pick up calls and book;
> it doesn’t take a university degree. But as my friend put it, “the
> goal actually is miserable service levels. [...] it seems most
> everything is designed to waste time rather than be a force multiplier.”
>
> In any case, I now await further feedback, both from the company and
> from the NHS; I’m not phoning again to be placed on a queue (in vain)
> for 4 hours. This case may or may not concern me (perhaps a relative),
> but I’ve not given any details about the name/s and the nature of the
> case/s. Nor did I name anybody from the NHS and from this private firm.
>
> I understand that the system is already overwhelmed by the “Freedom Day”
> publicity stunt (purely political, placing business interests above
> national health), which wants us to assume that things are finally
> under control when in fact this year’s excess deaths significantly
> exceed last year’s, based on the official numbers from NHS England.
> However, this does not justify leaving people to wait on the phone in
> vain for half a working day. Some people do try to make a living in
> these difficult times and also keep their health checked; it’s not
> unreasonable to state this and it’s probably unfair to deny them
> moderately acceptable levels of service.
>
> Regards,
>
> Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz

Monday, November 15th, 2021, 6:54 pm

The ‘Care’ Gateway and YORKSHIRE ‘HEALTH’ ‘SOLUTIONS’ LTD (Updated)

Video download link | md5sum 16fbfa420cde73803436c40213c64162

Summary: The privatisation of the NHS, which adds to a host of issues like the pandemic, has rendered essential services inaccessible or barely accessible

THE previous post about “YORKSHIRE HEALTH SOLUTIONS LTD” took (or took up) almost half a day of work, or rather of frustration. The people implicated took note already and aren’t particularly comfortable with the publicity, so I thought I’d also do a video (while those things are fresh in my mind) and explain the core of my complaint, which is now a formal complaint. I filed the complaint about an hour ago.

The NHS has been put under severe stress not just by COVID-19 but also a ruthless government that looks to privatise the services (to pass our taxpayers’ money to grifters who are political donors). To make matters worse, there’s a degree of “COVID denial” (not framing the issue as “fake news” but as “old” news). This is why everything is being opened up against common sense, putting at risk/jeopardy the health not only of COVID-19 carriers but anyone in need of the NHS.

Update: Half a day later TCG (The ‘Care’ Gateway) did phone me back, but without any resolution at all. The issue was escalated, she (a boss) said I should receive a confirmation of the complaint being received. Neither side confirmed anything as such, however, and YORKSHIRE ‘HEALTH’ ‘SOLUTIONS’ LTD did not even reply to my message, so I sent a follow-up. All in all, nothing is really progressing and the complaint has not been assigned a person or even a number. Those first impressions can only be negative and I will continue to pursue the matter.

Monday, November 15th, 2021, 4:15 pm

Seemingly Defunct and Surely Unfit to Operate: YORKSHIRE HEALTH SOLUTIONS LTD (Updated)

Collapse of YORKSHIRE HEALTH SOLUTIONS LTD

Companies House document
Source documents below

I‘ve just got off the phone (about 20 minutes) with the NHS after waiting for 4 hours in a queue — to no avail — to speak to a private company registered as YORKSHIRE HEALTH SOLUTIONS LTD, operating in Yorkshire and Manchester, based on their Web site. I also sent an email to “YORKSHIRE HEALTH [sic] SOLUTIONS”, but they’ve not responded. The issue has now been escalated to a manager at the NHS, but I want to state the case and put everything in the public domain in case other people experience equally awful service. As I explain later in this post, I shall pursue a formal complaint as well. This is a matter of public interest because the general public is harmed by private interests.

Let’s backtrack a bit and provide a little background information without revealing names and other sensitive details that can infringe privacy. All the above (and below) documents are available, without registration, to the British public and to the international crowd as well, so we’re not in breach of copyright law.

It’s no secret that I do not support the Conservatives (“Tories” for short), partly because they are are crippling the health services across the country; it took 3 weeks from the time of a referral from a GP to this private company doing something concrete. 3 weeks! Just to receive a letter! That’s just to book the appointment! Not results or anything like that…

And this does not take any account of the time taken to see a GP. In this case, 3 calls on 3 different days were needed just to book an appointment with the GP (a necessary prerequisite to seeing a specialist). Those calls weren’t toll-free, they cost quite a bit of money (and also time; 3 days in this case).

Now, with the NHS being covertly privatised, and services made worse (non-free phone numbers!), maybe it shouldn’t be so shocking that one spends 4 hours on the phone just trying to book an appointment, then failing! They should have hired more staff to answer calls! But in the world of capitalism, why would they bother? In short, if you need something health-related checked by today’s NHS, bear in mind it can take months, not days/weeks, to see a specialist. No wonder so many people die needlessly (those deaths could be prevented). Aral Balkan noticed the same thing happening in Ireland and I heard from people with similar experiences in other countries across Europe. As he said to me earlier today: “What we have in Ireland cannot be compared to the NHS. The NHS – which has been under constant sabotage by over a decade of conservative rule in the UK – is a shining example of what we must protect instead of following the greed-based insurance industry model of the US.”

Our experience has lately been even worse than stories I hear from the US. Phone the firm to book an appointment. You are then placed on a queue. “You are caller number 28″ (that’s at 11AM, which should be quiet). Half an hour later: “You are caller number 20″. So one might expect that after about 2 hours on the phone one might be able to book something. 2 hours! For many homes the battery won’t even last that long (landline). What about old people desperate for treatment or screening? What I think we deal with here is the cruelest form of capitalism at work: having privatised the services, they give a non-free number (no incentive to answer fast), and then they let people wait for hours on the queue just to book an appointment. I bet the phone companies love this! They make a lot of money this way.

So as it turns out, the estimate of 2 hours was wrong. After 4 hours on the line, and well over an hour being told that I am first in the queue, nobody picked up. I fired off an E-mail to the company:

Hi,
Do you think it is acceptable that in order to book an appointment (today) one needs to wait in a queue for over 2 hours? Some people’s phones do not even have a battery to last that long on a call.
Please explain why you cannot hire more staff to handle calls.
This isn’t about placing an order for a product, this is an essential service. Making appointments should not require the hiring of highly specialised staff.

Did they reply? No. They cannot even bother answering calls, so why expect a reply electronically? They’re based near us, a walking distance, but of course we cannot book appointments this way.

I was just about to hang up after waiting in line — for just a booking (over the phone) — when it was approaching 3 hours! But they said “first in queue”, which sounded promising. After gradually going down from 28 in the queue ahead of you… to just 1.

As it turns out, it was nowhere near the truth; unless someone was holding up the line for over one hour (or 1.5 hours), there’s no reasonable explanation for this and they give a false sense of expectation. Maybe being first in line simply means that everyone before you gave up and decided to hang up; once I too hang up, people “behind” would get an illusion of advancing. Is anybody at all answering the phone? Imagine 30 people simultaneously being connected for hours. For nobody to actually serve them, only for other callers to call it quits and hang up the phone (as I did after 4 hours).

So at this point one might ask aloud, so that’s what it all boils down to? Waiting for 3 weeks for a letter (after 3 calls to see a GP) and then waiting on the line for 4 hours in vain?

No.

This is where it gets interesting. After 3 hours waiting on the line I decided to check what sort of company we were in fact dealing with. Many dodgy companies continue to operate in debt, in effect being insolvent.

Are we dealing with a dead/dying company here? Is “YORKSHIRE HEALTH SOLUTIONS LTD” a bit of a zombie?

So I decided to look at formal documents from the company, especially accounting-related material. Here are documents from 2017 onwards (more recent first) in case they vanish in the future.

These are local copies. There’s no way to directly link to the originals because they use some wonky AWS storage, akin to a CDN with tokens…

I took just two screenshots, added to the top of this post. This is what privatisation looks like. I’m no bean counter, but it seems like this company can operate with like a million pounds, but it also cannot hire more than one person to pick up a phone (maybe no person at all was picking up calls; with privatisation there’s no real incentive to truly improve),

The way I’m reading the documents, they have considerable debt (see 15 Dec 2020/”Total exemption full accounts”).

My cordless phone’s battery is critically low now and almost out of ‘juice’. Well, if you have people in a telephone queue for 4 hours, then maybe you deserve bankruptcy, not just a formal complaint. The cost of the call remains to be seen, putting aside 3 weeks of impatience and unanswered E-mail.

I decided to reach the 4-hours mark (allegedly in the front of the queue) and then, if nothing happens, I would hang up. I’m now speaking with the non-private (non-privatised) part of the NHS and I will file a complaint. As noted above, it has already been escalated.

“4 hours is not queuing,” a friend told me, “it is having been abandoned. Might be appropriate for compensation or legislative changes to the governance.”

“However,” he continued, “keep in mind the bad service is there to drive people to sell off stuff or borrow money to go to private services instead. In that way they can show increased ‘demand’ for the privatized services and cut the NHS further. Thus feeding a vicious cycle.”

“The phone queues can be quite long,” the friend said, but not 4 hours. “I was waiting for about an hour the other day and that task is still not complete.”

Well, you’d think they can hire more people to pick up calls and book; it doesn’t take a university degree. But as my friend put it, “the goal actually is miserable service levels. [...] it seems most everything is designed to waste time rather than be a force multiplier.”

In any case, I now await further feedback, both from the company and from the NHS; I’m not phoning again to be placed on a queue (in vain) for 4 hours. This case may or may not concern me (perhaps a relative), but I’ve not given any details about the name/s and the nature of the case/s. Nor did I name anybody from the NHS and from this private firm. In the future I shall refer back to this post as means of demonstrating what’s being done to the health service that we all fund (by virtue of deductions from our salaries).


Update: I have just spoken with two more people (4 in total today) in The Care Gateway, which is connected to the above firm. They have said they would phone again tomorrow after failing to call back as they had promised earlier today. They then, albeit only after much insistence, gave me an address for a formal complaint. They gave me tcg.complaints@nhs.net but TCG (as in “tcg”) stands for The Care Gateway. I asked them if I am basically tricked into sending a complaint to the same party I indirectly complain about and the manager confirmed that this is the case. I insisted on filing the complaint to a party which would not gaslight or obstruct the complainant just to save face and protect its reputation, hence she gave me also nhscomplaints@manchester.gov.uk (not connected to The Care Gateway; likely above it). On the call she acknowledged that they are having technical problems with calls, but did not disclose sufficient details (like they hide the severity of this problem).

I understand that the system is already overwhelmed by the “Freedom Day” publicity stunt (purely political, placing business interests above national health), which wants us to assume that things are finally under control when in fact this year’s excess deaths significantly exceed last year’s, based on the official numbers from NHS England. However, this does not justify leaving people to wait on the phone in vain for half a working day. Some people do try to make a living in these difficult times and also keep their health checked; it’s not unreasonable to state this and it’s probably unfair to deny them moderately acceptable levels of service.

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