Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Cameron's bullseye

This was David Cameron in today's debate on the Queen's speech:

It is all short-term tricks instead of long-term problem solving. Let me take just one example: the Prime Minister’s pledge to “deep clean” our hospitals. Here is the headline from one newspaper—it is just what he wanted:

“I’ll wipe the wards clean—PM’s amazing pledge on MRSA”.

When we look at it more closely, it certainly is amazing. The Prime Minister said that “deep cleaning” would happen in “every hospital”, but listen to what the Department of Health said:

“There are no plans to centrally monitor the deep cleaning of hospitals. Arrangements for the programme are entirely a matter for local determination”.

[Interruption.] Wait. The Department of Health went on:

“Undertaking deep-clean is just one of a number of approaches trusts may take in tackling healthcare infections.”

It gets worse. The Prime Minister said that deep cleaning would happen “over the next year”, but the Department of Health said that

“no specific date has been set for either the commencement or completion of the deep-clean programme.”

The Prime Minister said deep cleaning would be repeated “every 18 months”, but the Department of Health said:

“The success of the first programme of deep cleaning will be fully evaluated before a decision is made about whether to repeat.”

Then it said:

“There are also no plans to assess the effectiveness of deep-cleaning.”

Therefore, all the things that the Prime Minister told us—that it would happen in every hospital, start immediately and be repeated every 18 months—turned out not to be true.

What a complete shambles. People are worried about going to hospital and catching a disease that might kill them, and all they get from the Government are short-term tricks. I will tell you, Mr Speaker, what needs a deep clean: the culture of spin, deceit and half-truth that we get from the Government.

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