Jul 27 2013

So, Where Is Harrow’s “Brand New Hospital” Gareth?

gareth_thomas_headshotThat’s the thing about moving house. You dig through years of accumulated rubbish you’ve kept just in case it’ll be useful, and invariably it ends up going in the the bin. Except, in a big box of stuff, I found these flyers from Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West.

Back in 2004, Gareth was trumpeting all about £305 million he’d “finally secured” for a “brand new… state-of-the-art” hospital to replace Northwick Park. “Fantastic!” you’d have thought at the time! “Which box on that voting form do I tick? Ah, Thomas – there it is!”

Sadly, though, the hospital failed to materialise.

gt_brand_new_nwpIt seems that “secured” doesn’t actually mean what you and I might think it does. When Gareth says “Hard work gets results” perhaps he means something else?

When he says he’s “most proud” of the investment he’s “secured”, now that we’ve not got that hospital, ten years later, how does he feel right now? I asked him. And got a reply from his (very helpful) PA: ” I understand that the issues relating to the hospital and its financial position were covered in depth at the time. However, if you have a new angle Gareth would be happy to discuss it with you.”

Which is a bit rich for his office to claim that “issues relating to the hospital and its financial position were covered in depth at the time” when he (a) made the new hospital and funding such a important part of his 2005 campaign and (b) the fact that little or nothing is said by Thomas regarding it being dropped as a project formally in February 2009… and yet he is now attacking the inadequacies of Northwick Park, which could have been addressed if the promised £305m rebuild had materialised.

Still, it can be a part of his manifesto next time around, and we can all get suckered into it again. When will politicians realise that all these promises they make on a first date come back and haunt them years later?


Politics. It’s a mucky old game, isn’t it?

gt_hard_workPicture included for the express benefit of Jeremy Zeid.




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  1. Praxis Reform

    According to this extract from Hansard:

    …the plan was shelved in 2005 and then cancelled in summer of 2008, with little or nothing said about it by Gareth Thomas at the time.

    However, it’s been whispered that if the Conservatives get a majority at the next General Election; then within four years, instead of free NHS healthcare, sick people will instead get a voucher that entitles them to treatment with a wire brush and Dettol, as part of a new business venture set up by private equity firm, Bain Capital.

  2. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    At least they’d get some bloody disinfectant then. If the NHS was really the “envy of the world”, how come NO-ONE has emulated it? The problem is that every “reform” has been more about being seen to be “doing something” appeasing special interests and the unions than enacting the real changes that would benefit patients as opposed to keeping this fiscal-black-hole on life support while blaming the “cuts”

  3. Jeremy Zeid UKIP Harrow

    Thanks for including an early picture of the then Minister For Standing Outside Buildings 🙂

  4. Susan Hall

    £305 million secured investment – voters would have been proud and realised that Gareth was on their side. After all, this was a promise, a secured investment for the residents of Harrow how wonderful. However it did not materialise – vote won – Gareth in place as Harrow West MP and no hospital. Yet even today Gareth Thomas has the audacity to blame Tories for failures in the NHS when his Government and he in particular as far as Harrow residents are concerned failed to keep their promises. Shame on you Gareth. Recently we have had your incorrect comments on our Police and we realise that your promises were unfounded re our new hospital. I cant wait to hear of your next claim but be assured I will be watching and telling Harrow residents the truth, because beyond everything else our residents deserve the TRUTH. Harrow residents deserve so much better!

  5. Praxis Reform

    Did someone say the NHS was the “envy of the world”? I suspect only UKIP fanatics, who seem to want to convince us all that it’s attracting immigrants to the UK like moths to a light bulb.

    But, not everything needs reforming; though I’m sure we can all agree there are plenty of things the NHS could do better. So, here’s how I see things, and hopefully Mr Zeid can disabuse me of these crazy notions…

    100% of the UK’s population (alright, plus a few dodgy immigrants) is covered by the NHS – whereas in America, only 28% of the population is covered by Public healthcare.

    Male life expectancy in the UK is 78.16 years versus 76.19 years for an American
    Female life expectancy in the UK is 82.54 years versus 81.17 years for an American

    In the UK there are 12 maternal deaths/100,000 live births compared to 21 deaths in the United States

    The UK has 2.74 Doctors per 1,000 heads of population (2009 figures) versus 2.67/1,000 heads of population (2004 figures) in the States.

    The UK spends just 9.3% of GDP on healthcare compared to 17.9% of GDP in America
    [Sources: CIA World fact book / World Bank]

    I propose the differences have something to do with the volume of spam that I get telling me that if I retrain for a career in something called Medical Billing, I’ll be paid an extremely high salary.

  6. j p hobbs

    Has anyone looked in the car park for it ?

  7. Praxis Reform

    How to privatize the NHS in 4 easy steps:
    Step 1: Persuade voters that the NHS isn’t working
    Step 2: Convince voters that the NHS will never work
    Step 3: Debate new forms of funding
    Step 4: Radical manifesto at next election

  8. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    No way would any political party ever win an election by suggesting privatising the NHS. And life expectancy shorter in the USA – is that anything to do with the fact that they have the death penalty?

  9. Praxis Reform

    Apparently there are just over 3,000 people awaiting execution on Death Row, so for a country with a population of about 300M this isn’t going to make a huge adjustment to the average life expectancy (assuming they all get executed).

    However, according to the Commonwealth fund:

    In 2007, 25% of Americans didn’t visit the Doctor when they were sick, simply because they couldn’t afford it. 23% skipped a test, treatment, or follow-up recommended by a Doctor, whilst another 23% didn’t complete their prescription… In the UK, the comparable figures were 2% for not following Doctors recommendations, etc. and 3% for not completing prescriptions.

    A huge 67 percent of Americans say it’s difficult to get care at nights, weekends, or public holidays without resorting to the Emergency Room (where the care costs more).

    In this Commonwealth fund survey, only 16% of Americans reported that they were happy with their healthcare system, versus 26% in the UK.

    Finally, 34% of Americans feel that their healthcare system needs to be completely rebuilt; compared to just 15% of people in the UK feeling the NHS needs radical surgery.

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