Charitable gifts to NHS hospitals

I know a few wealthy people who have been approached, from time to time, by hospitals to give money. Many NHS hospitals now have quite a considerable income from charitable gifts. Major donors can be tempted, too, by the offer of having a room named after them or being appointed to some kind of supervisory board. Then, perhaps, there is the possibility of appearing in the honours list.
Great Ormonde Street Hospital, since it caters to children, is a major recipient of charitable funds. My own father left money to it in his will. But this same hospital has closed beds – putting capacity into mothballs.
I admire the instinct to give money to improve medical care for the poor. Heaven knows, the NHS is still in major difficulties and the poor get the worst of the healthcare it provides. But there is a better way to improve healthcare for the poor – although it would take some work by someone to get it going.
The trouble with giving money to an NHS hospital is that it is likely to be used wastefully. A new MRI scanner might be bought, but it will be wasted if it is only actually used for, say, seven hours a day and not on Sundays.
It would be better to give money to fund a new charitable hospital or clinic. This could be part-commercial and part-charitable. It would be, in effect, like the ‘voluntary’ hospitals during the centuries before the creation of he NHS.
Equipment like MRI scanners could be fully used, perhaps even 24 hours a day. The ‘doing good’ bang for your buck would be much higher.

  1. The part of healthcare that is still mainly charitable
  2. Suburban Miami has got what London has not
  3. Lack of cover at night in hospitals
  4. Lanesborough Hotel
  5. Which is better, American or British medical care?
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