An unforgettable month of tragedy and an NHS which needs transformation
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We’ve got the official holiday over, it’s back to the everyday things we can expect for the time of year such as re-assuring the garden you haven’t forgotten it and yes those weeds will be laid to rest.
Back home with no more holidays for the immediate future lined up you realise a particular part of the house could do with the décor job you promised it months previously and you can’t get your head around the fact that it’s the last quarter of the year and that means the cold will be settling in, enough to turn the flower bed into a crinkled mess with the early autumn leaves tripping us up as we head out to do some shopping.
I do like autumn but it’s that run up to it, a reminder that summer is gearing up to leave us, and there’s no way of asking it to change it’s mind, that gets me.
But this year it’s different and my mind is not on the dying roses or the overgrown hedge which sends out thorny branches and nettles to remind us it needs its annual trim. No.
My mind is on the horrors of the past week and the sight of that kind looking face of a young woman wearing a nurse’s uniform and cradling a baby on every newspaper’s front page. How could we ever forget her name, Lucy Letby, the deadly killer of innocent babies in her care who has left us all in shock and the babies’ parents heartbroken for ever.
This was a nurse whose wish was to look after babies in intensive care as she found `other nurseries boring’. She just `didn’t want to feed babies’… no. This was a nurse who wanted to hear babies dying their last with herself consoling the stricken parents and colleagues showing her comfort.
We know that in life there are all kinds of people who kill and get a kick out of it. But Letby takes killing to a new level – her methods were incomprehensible, cruel and painful, her motive – well, we may never know why.
In my journalistic career I frequently covered courts. I was fascinated by them. High Courts were as a rule covered by very experienced journalists a number of whom served our newspapers, including this one, very thoroughly. With the Troubles came villains and killers whose crimes saw them mostly only in those High Courts where the newspaper court journalists required nerves of steel and perfection. I had great respect for them.
The Letby case would have been a particularly horrific one for any journalist and we may never know how those reporters at Manchester Crown Court managed to keep their emotions in check as it progressed. Evil has the capacity to stir emotions in various ways.
The NHS has come under fire for all its alleged incompetence in this case. It’s an organisation which is failing miserably in so many ways and where high salaries do not necessarily produce perfection.
Often the sick are resorting to private treatment they can barely afford to ensure a reasonable standard of care when needed.
Yet it’s a service funded by taxpayers with the elderly receiving only pitiful state pensions for which they paid for in their working years. Doctor appointments are becoming like gold dust and the hi-tech system we have all had to resort to when requiring medical help is laborious at least.
Surely a system that cannot spot a killer nurse in its mist needs stripped and re-built from the bottom up?