Monday, 18 April 2011

Littlejohn gets it wrong on 'NHS funding'

In his column on 8 April, Richard Littlejohn turned his attention to the funding of the NHS:

The NHS is always pleading poverty, despite its budget being ring-fenced by the Government... Unnecessary spending is rife.

And, having read the Mail a couple of days before, he found an 'example' to illustrate his point:

For instance, Bolton NHS is frittering £75,000 on a scheme which involves buying mobile phones for alcoholics. The idea is that health workers will send a daily text message to patients recovering from alcohol addiction...

Of course, the scheme is a little bit more complex than that. However, Littlejohn just mocks it:

No one seems to have thought through the obvious flaws in this plan. Have you ever seen a drunk trying to work a mobile phone? I have enough trouble sending a text when I’m stone cold sober.

Yes, but if they're recovering, the hope is they won't be drunk.

But Littlejohn's main complaint is that the scheme is 'frittering' away public money:

Still, when it comes to NHS funding, it’s always trebles all round. So what’s seventy-five grand between friends?

But Littlejohn hasn't done his research. The scheme is not being funded from the NHS' 'ring-fenced budget'. It is being funded by the Health Foundation:

an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of healthcare in the UK.

And it's being funded as part of their annual 'Shine' initiative to:

find new approaches to delivering healthcare that reduce the need for acute hospital care while improving quality and saving money.

And a simple enquiry to them would have revealed:

Littlejohn, it seems, has even more problems doing research than he does texting...


  1. Ha! Since when has Littlejohn done any research on anything.

  2. @Carl Attard
    Agree. Schoolboy error macguffin.

  3. Littlejohn is SUCH a BASTARD. Sorry. Just had to get it out of my system.

  4. Littlejohn doesn't care if the story is true or not - it sounds good enough so it's published anyway.

  5. Does anyone,apart from the extreme right,actually believe that Lidljohn exists ???


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