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UK Not Testing Enough for COVID-19 (More Than 1 in 10 Now Test Positive, But Testing Rates at New Lows)

Latest official NHS figures:

PCR tests around all-time low; percent positive for COVID-19 among those tested

Percent tested positive twice as bad as July 2021 and about 10 times worse than in July 2020!

Ramifications of Greed: The Bin is Not a Postbox and Mail Should Never be Delivered Into People’s Trashcans

For a while now I’ve noticed something that’s really not good. Heck, it’s very backwards, even disturbing. Years ago my wife sent a parcel and it ended up inside the recipient’s bin. It took days to get to the bottom of what had happened. It turned out, after many hours wasted, that the courier placed the parcel inside the bin. Not kidding! It was just sitting there for several days, deep inside a large garbage can!

This is part of a rather bad trend here, albeit I suspect the same has happened in other countries as well. The courier does not knock on doors, instead putting through the door a slip that says the parcel is “INSIDE THE BIN!” (Even the handwriting isn’t so legible, and not every person here can read English!)

What are the consequences of this practice? You can easily have it thrown away into a landfill. Incidentally, news reports said that Amazon had been sending returned items right into the landfills. This was seen as more “efficient” than properly handling “unwanted” but perfectly functional products, likely produced in hard-hitting sweatshops by hard-working people, maybe even kids (child labour is rampant in Indonesia for instance).

Lazy approaches of nihilists, pushed through with “cost-cutting” mindsets, are ruining the planet. And yet worse, they ruin the service! This harms both senders and recipients (I witnessed this firsthand one hour ago).

These UK couriers, who merely follow instructions from their managers, ought to understand that people’s BIN is NOT a mail box. It doesn’t specify this, either. It’s not designated a postbox. Don’t put any parcels inside bins. It’s not secure and periodically it gets emptied into garbage trucks.

People pay shipping fees for a service, not for you to dump objects of value into BINS. Worse yet, this practice will encourage petty thieves to go through your trash, making a mess in pursuit of treasures. This is the new “key under the doormat” lunacy.

Now, some cynic might say they try to knock on the door first, or try to ship to one’s neighbours. But no! They did not bother this time; all they had to do was knock on the door as both my wife and I had our headphones off for the entire day (9AM to 4PM) just in case they deliver and we need to hear knocking. These couriers love to underestimate the importance of the job. All for the sake of profit. They externalise the risk and the toll.

Today, fortunately, I only knew they came because I heard the mouth of the door opening for the slip to fall in. What if I hadn’t heard that?

With all the supposed “technological advancement” (wherein asking the client to become a till operator is considered “progress”) we only got worse. We’re worse off when Bezos et al (or in this case Royal Mail, the national courier) are playing ‘treasure hunt’ with things you already paid for.

This causes a lot of angst and anxiety. But what do they care? To them, it’s the “cost of doing business” and in case of a lost parcel you may have to spend hours chasing them before some sort of compensation gets issue at all. They’ve passed the burden and risk to the clients at both ends, the sender and the recipient.

Another rather important aspect is, bins are naturally dirty. That’s what they’re typically there for. In this case, today, Royal Mail left the parcel next to cat’s poo. And that says a lot about the quality of service. How was the delivery? Poo!

COVID-19 in the UK: Going Dark, Hiding the Problem Instead of Solving It

Yesterday: 100 Million New COVID Infections Could Be Just Months Away

As noted here yesterday, testing levels are falling to all-time lows in the context of COVID-19 lock-downs and mass testing. We’re meant to think everything is OK now (even though it evidently isn’t the case). Mayday and Easter (cessation of counting) were seized upon to promote this illusion that things were calming down, rather than things not being properly tracked. They have a ‘backlog’ and every now and then they’ll throw 3,000 ‘missing’ or “additional” deaths (my dog are my death certificate?) while the media pays no attention. Within less than a month there will be over 200,00 British death certificates with “COVID-19″ on them.

Earlier today the following got published in the government’s official portal:

Scotland and UK headline data now updated on Mondays and Thursdays

From 9 May 2022, Public Health Scotland moved to reporting data on Mondays and Thursdays.

This means UK headline figures are also updated on Mondays and Thursdays.

Up-to-date data for England, Wales (excluding vaccinations) and Northern Ireland are on the cases, deaths, healthcare, testing, vaccinations and postcode pages.

Screenshot as they’ll deprecate the page out of existence one day:

COVID-19: going darker

So over time they redefine what they measure to belittle the severity of the situation. And then they stop updating during weekends; now they lower the frequency some more…

Suffice to say, hardly anyone gets vaccinated anymore. The latest figures show well under 10,000 vaccine doses per day (both for first and second; even “boosters” aren’t pursued much anymore).

So has the problem actually been solved? Let’s see…

COVID-19 N/A

Oh, sorry, no information for you today (“N/A”). It’s the same in the page for deaths.

NHS/Tories: Maybe if we stop publish data, then people will stop blasting our fatally stupid policy.

Predatory and Unacceptable: e.ON or ‘E.ON Next Energy Limited’ Outsourcing the Work to the Customers While Raising the Prices Considerably (Updated)

Video download link | md5sum 728f8975caf57a0e4d05b0a67e49cf71
Ripping Off Customers, Asking Them to Work Harder
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

LAST year I wrote about my exceptionally bad experiences with e.ON or ‘E.ON Next Energy Limited’ (they seem to use pseudonyms with these spin-offs), which had taken over our longtime energy provider, nPower. The acquisition did not get blocked. It looked like it was going to be prevented, but nPower was eventually scooped up by some tentacle of e.ON ‘next’, which claims to be a new and small company. It’s a lie. It’s probably part of an elaborate shell game (dodging regulation or cheating financial auditors).

Things have not improved since; the prices shot up (gone through the roof), they try to compel clients to have an Internet connection and “apps” (spies) and/or spy meters etc. They want to blame the customers, who already pay extra not to have those things, for wrong bills. They keep nagging those clients, despite having paid to not be nagged, to provide meter readings. Well, if they want more meter readings, then they should send out their staff more frequently, just as they used to do before the pandemic started.

“COVID profiteers” seem to nowadays include energy companies, which moreover exploit the crisis in Ukraine to send the prices sky-high (while their profits too go sky-high). This is not acceptable. I’ve begun challenging the nags from e.ON or ‘E.ON Next Energy Limited’. It has led to the following discussion, which is still ongoing.

e.ON:

If you’ve done this regularly, or in the last few months, then just reply to this email and we’ll look into it.

Me:

I am paying you EXTRA to send staff to take readings and NOT bother me with false emails like these. Please do not email me again.

e.ON:

Hello,

I would like to sincerely apologise for the time your query has been left unanswered.

This is not to my own or E-on Next’s expectations and for this we apologise and take this an opportunity to do better.

Energy companies are only legally obligated to take meter readings once in a two year period, which means the onus falls upon the bill payer to provide these readings, should they wish to not be billed to an estimation.

You are not obliged to give these readings however, your energy account will be estimated and things such as EAC/AQ (yearly estimations), tariff quotes, payment adequacy and much more will not be as accurate as your energy provider and yourself would like.

May I ask if your query has been resolved?

If not please can you confirm your account number (A-), property address, name on the account and more information in related to your query, and I will be happy to assist you further.

Alternatively you can contact E-on Next via phone on 0808 501 5200 (Monday-Friday 09:00-16:00).

Jack

Energy Specialist

E-on Next

Me:

Dear Jack Platten,

You need to send people to take meter readings a lot more often.

It seems like you have exploited the lockdowns to never restore proper service, only increase your prices by like 30-40% (while making services worse, probably to cut your own costs at our expense).

If this carries on, Jack, you too might be on the company’s “chopping block”.

So please relay my concerns upwards to your bosses. If I pay EXTRA* to secure the job of people who take meter readings, they should be dispatched regularly. Now a couple of times a year.

Do not send me emails nags trying to get me to do their job instead. I already pay extra for that not to happen**.

Regards,

Roy

___
* The lower tariffs are only available if the job your company used to do (or NPower before the takeover) is outsourced to me.

** Companies come and go. Companies that mistreat their clients go away faster.

e.ON:

Hi Roy,

I hope you are well,

Energy companies are only legally obligated to take meter readings once in a two year period, which means the onus falls upon the bill payer to provide these readings, should they wish to not be billed to an estimation.

You are not obliged to give these readings however, your energy account will be estimated and things such as EAC/AQ (yearly estimations), tariff quotes, payment adequacy and much more will not be as accurate as your energy provider and yourself would like.

If you are on the priority service register, these data collection readings can be taken more frequently, however without confirmation of your account details, I would be unable to look into this further.

E-on Next offer a very good service package for customers, with renewable energy at the forefront of our operations, market leading customer service (14,000+ 5* trust pilots) and extremely competitive tariff agreements in the current energy market, and for these reasons and so much more, do not charge exit fees at this time.

Jack

E-on Next
Jack from E.ON Next

Me:

Hi,

Your response fails to actually address the points I made in my previous message — maybe it intentionally bypasses them.

Could you please consider responding to my message not like a lawyer but as a person?

Thanks in advance.

Update: Further communication below.

e.ON:

Hello,

“Your response fails to actually address the points I made in my previous ?message — maybe it intentionally bypasses them.” -

If you can kindly provide the section of your query in which your questions were not answered, I am more than happy to provide further information. Further to this, you have yet to provide the security answers which will enable me to locate your E-on Next account:

Account number (A-)
Property address
Name on the account

Jack

E-on Next
Jack from E.ON Next

e.ON:

Evening Roy,

Thank you kindly for providing your details to locate your account.

I can see that no user reading has been provided for 365 days for both gas & electric.

I can see an RD1 (data collector) reading was taken on 21/01/2022, and I have added your user profile to the list of customers unable to read their meter, which means a data collector will be out to take another reading, however this unfortunately cannot be scheduled.

Are you able to take a meter reading at all? If not, I would advise to review this information on the OFGEM website about the priority service register, if this applies to your situation, I am able to add you to the register which includes quarterly readings: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/getting-extra-help-priority-services-register, however these cannot be scheduled.

Are you interested in free smart meter installation? If you were to have a smart meter, this would send your reading in each billing month, so that you are billed to the physical amount of energy used, and no estimates will be needed.

Would you like me to add your email address to the account also? This will provide you with access to your account online.

Let me know if you have questions,

Jack

E-on Next

Me:


> Evening Roy,
>
> Thank you kindly for providing your details to locate your account.
>
> I can see that no user reading has been provided for 365 days for both
> gas & electric.

I never send readings. I pay extra to not have to do this.

> I can see an RD1 (data collector) reading was taken on 21/01/2022, and I
> have added your user profile to the list of customers unable to read
> their meter, which means a data collector will be out to take another
> reading, however this unfortunately cannot be scheduled.

We work from home, so almost any time would be OK. This was never a
problem in the past.

> Are you able to take a meter reading at all? If not, I would advise to
> review this information on the OFGEM website about the priority service
> register, if this applies to your situation, I am able to add you to the
> register which includes quarterly readings:
> https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/getting-extra-help-priority-services-register
> https: //www.ofgem.gov.uk/getting-extra-help-priority-services-register, however
> these cannot be scheduled.

Why is it a "priority" to get the same service we always had prior to e.ON?

> Are you interested in free smart meter installation? If you were to have
> a smart meter, this would send your reading in each billing month, so
> that you are billed to the physical amount of energy used, and no
> estimates will be needed.

No, like I said before we pay extra to not have these. I already
discussed this in great length with a manager at e.ON last year.

> Would you like me to add your email address to the account also? This
> will provide you with access to your account online.

No. No E-mail,  no account other than one you use for communication by
post and seldom by phone.

> Let me know if you have questions,

Reject Decades of Russophobic Propaganda

Stigma shapes perception

sf2

ALL sorts of “Bond” films have long created and then reinforced an image like the one shown above (that’s from a computer game, Street Fighter 2). We’re meant to think that Russians are violent brutes incapable of empathy, i.e. Vladimir Putin. But a lot of Russians openly condemn Putin and some do so in a more closeted fashion. Some don’t know what’s going on because of the propaganda and the censorship.

In these times of war please try to avoid the mainstream media. Both sides are government-connected propaganda. Such media does not strive to inform but to garner sypathy. It is intentionally spreading anti-Russian sentiments as if this is morally acceptable because of Putin et al. Russophobia is defined as “fear or dislike of Russia or Russian policy.” In my experience, this quickly turns into hatred of anyone who merely holds a Russian passport, was born in Russia, or has Russian ethnicity. This is racism. And if we don’t condone racism we’ll not tolerate media that promotes racism, either.

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

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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