Millions of Ghost Patients

According to the Daily Mail and highlighted by the Taxpayers’ Alliance there are 61.7 million people registered at GP practices in England despite there only being 56.5 million people in the country -meaning there are 5.2 million ghost patients. (Which is around a 10% overcounting).
The ghost patients are costing the country over £800,000 a year. A sum which would support more than a few nurses.
As it is, at the moment the overcounting lets the British Medical Association (the doctors’ trade union) claim that they are overworked simply by looking at the average number of patients per doctor.
The NHS must have its own inspectorate and checking a sample of patients’ names against the electoral register would throw up an instant list of names to be investigated.
It’s not rocket science – but quite often simple solutions are.

The Great Helmsman

I like reading spy novels. Whether it is The Three Musketeers, through to
John Le Carré and currently Mick Herron’s Jackson Lamb series. Through all the novels you can see the need for informational intelligence. Even Peaky Blinders has strong elements of inside knowledge, whether it is fixing races or choosing which side of a contest you will be on. Reading spy novels also let’s you explore the how, what and why of any situation
So, I greeted the news with interest that John Ward, Leader of Babergh District Council has resigned from the Conservative Group, has formed an Independent Conservative Group with three others and is now heading up a rainbow coalition with other minority party councillors.
What is going on?
We are told it arises from the dismissal from the Cabinet of an independent councillor which lead four other councillors to resign from the Cabinet. Plans to form a minority administration with other Conservative councillors fell by the wayside and so one thing lead to another.
There was a meeting of the (Conservative Councillor) group on Sunday 24th John Ward’s proposals were unacceptable. I guess that at some point the toys went out of the pram, a huff was called and John went off in it.
On the Monday John resigned from the Conservatives and formed his so-called Rainbow Cabinet.
How the Rainbow Cabinet members will be successful in the next district election in 2023, I cannot tell. But South Suffolk Conservatives (the councillors’ sponsoring organisation) must decide how this affects their plans.
Constitutionally, the defecting members must either resign from the party or be expelled. In either case they face the prospect of having official candidates stand against them and also having to pay off their 2019 election expenses.
For the time being John Ward remains the Great Leader, resting upon the support of the Independent Conservatives, The Independents, The Lib-Dems and the Greens.
I can see it all ending in tears. The Shotley Independents and the Greens are against car park subsidies, particularly in the two towns of Sudbury and Hadleigh. I guess that the headline Council Tax will come down or will be less than the Government cap and any shortfall will be met by increased parking charges and increases in any other charges that can be levied.
Watch out for higher planning fees, brown bin fees and so on.
John Ward is holding onto his powers not because he has a great vision that he must implement. He’s holding on because he doesn’t want to be a back bencher and this way he upholds his amour propre.
Such a position does not bode well for Babergh nor for Councillor Ward
Photo © Greg Fitchett (cc-by-sa/2.0)