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Nazi nurses and Facebook fiends


Beyond the Bedpan is left reeling by an attack on our ‘Nazi’ NHS - by a woman who advises the Conservative party on health policy.

The beauty of the internet is that anyone can write whatever they want, whenever they want, about any subject they want. The blogosphere in particular has every persuasion, perversion and conspiracy theory you could think of, and millions more that you couldn’t.

To demonstrate, let’s take two random subjects, say the NHS and Nazis. One is much-lauded, often imperfect system of providing free healthcare for all. The other is a group responsible for some of history’s most brutal atrocities. What could they possibly have in common?

Quite a lot, according to our colleagues at Nurses for Reform, a campaign group made of nurses who oppose the NHS. Or, in their own words, “reject bland egalitarianism in favour of competition”, and believe that “the state should set free all NHS hospitals and healthcare provision”.

Their objections are many and varied, but one really sticks out - the NHS is akin to Nazi policy. Through a particularly tenuous series of links starting with a spoof YouTube video and ending with the alleged discovery of an NHS strategy document in Hitler’s bunker, NFR president Helen Evans adds the Third Reich to a list of reasons why we do not not, will not, and never have needed a National Health Service.

“Designed to take Britain half way to Moscow and simultaneously admired by Hitler’s inner coterie, socialised medicine and the Fabian welfare state has a particularly unsavoury heritage”, she reasons.

Harmless enough you might think, as the author must surely be a paranoid conspiracy theorist of the highest order. Possibly, but Ms Evans is in good company. Last month she met with Conservative leader David Cameron to discuss health policy. Interesting times.

Facebook fiend

And finally, another classic from that hotbed of professional misjudgement, Facebook.

You guessed it - a nurse, failing to heed the lessons of the Lying Down Game pranksters, has posted pictures of patients having operations on the social networking site.

The commenters’ verdict was swift and to the point: “When you go into hospital you expect to be treated with respect and dignity. Not be photographed and paraded on Facebook. This nurse has broken every rule in the book.”

Others were not so diplomatic: “I am speechless. This person is an idiot, not a nurse.”

Beyond the Bedpan has nothing more to say on the matter.


Readers' comments (9)

  • I feel that your term 'Nazi' is beyond the pail and offensive

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  • John Howes

    Any political party (note the lack of capitals!) close enough to anticipate success will give houseroom and ears to all kinds of vote fodder. Health care over the years attacts all kinds just before an election, each with their own platform/agenda.

    On achieving power, the majority of the fringe are silently discarded and the odd bod with a few joined up neurones may find themselves becoming 'advisers'.

    After 47 years in nursing served at all levels, bottom to top to bottom again I have to reassure the timorous wee beasties out there, it's all happened before, despite this we still manage to provide patien care. It may not be what it was but to the majority of people who come into our hands, it is still better than no care at all, ask the poor in the USA where I worked for 3 years.

    Plus ça change (plus c'est la même chose).

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  • Interesting that a right wing attack on social medicine should link the NHS to Nazi ideology. As it says in "Harry Potter", know the origins of who has written the words and do not trust anything you do not know the source of. This attack has similar themes to the virulent attacks on the NHS recently in America, those attacks linked the NHS to Stalinism. The common theme then is to raise the spectre of your countries most feared political ideology. Theirs is Communism ours is Facism.
    Rise up and defend the NHS against unfounded attack.

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  • Their website looks like a pressure group dreamed up and paid for by the many private healthcare companies currently waiting in the wings. Reads like the Daily Mail. Ministerial talk of switching and reconfiguring services into the community (after the next election ) hasn't been thought up overnight, they've been lobbying for this for years. Since the current goverment sprayed cash at the NHS and doesn't have any left, after the election your about to find your post op recovery takes place in the comfort of your own home.

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  • Tom Bolger

    If the fact that Cameron met with a weirdo bunch like Nurses for Reform is a measure of his judgement then heaven help us if he gets into power.
    As John Howes said he is likely to steer clear of them after the election whatever the outcome but anyone with any political skill would have kept clear of them in the first place - or is this an indication of the the true face of the old Etonian school of government?

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  • Is Helen Evans the only nurse associated with Nurses for Reform?

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  • godwins law on nazi analogies states; any arguement that includes a comparison or analogy to nazi's or hitler automatically fails to win!

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  • Martin Gray

    1. I sincerely hope that the person(s) responsible for putting images on Facebook are being investigated by the NMC for breaching confidentiality and bringing the nursing profession into disrepute yet again!!!

    2. Although the NHS is flawed and not what it used to be the ethos of a free for all health care system is neither communist, fascist, or any other politicaly termed belief. In many countries they have no health care system whatsoever; in some countries healthcare is available but paid for through medical insurance companies ( no insurance = no health care!). Perhaps that's why there is a group out there that supports a move to private healthcare, hoping to increse their earnings potential by being in a position to set up as independent service providers.

    I don't think we should take these extreme views and opinions seriously but concentrate on making we we do have the envy of the world, as it was for many years before the politicians got their hands on healthcare provision and polocy making.

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  • Martin Gray

    Sorry about the typos! I can spell and string a sentence together...honest I can :o)

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