Picture Jeremy Hunt in the supermarket, spotting a deal for ‘Buy 10, get 4’ on Hummus – he would surely be up in arms over such an injustice? So why is a rip-off supermarket deal, which most people alive would deem unfair, OK to apply to the NHS? I bet certain tabloid journalists attacking the Junior Doctors’ strikes would be quick to voice their outrage at an NHS spending trend that was applied to their local supermarket shelves…
NHS Cost-cutting being of apparent importance to the Government, a 3 for 2 type offer would be a logical deal to strive for – if indeed we have to send some services to the private sector. However, what is actually happening is that full-capacity private services are being paid for up front, regardless of usage by the NHS. Perhaps not such a problem if there was surplus money and fair contracts.
Equally as obvious, I can’t imagine an MP snapping up an offer for a discount deed poll plan, offering individuals a deal on numerous name changes – a kind of ‘change your name by deed poll 4 times for just £250!’. Yet Primary Care Trusts have gone nuts for this apparent ‘spend £5m in 5 years and we’ll change your name 6 times’ offer. This offer no doubt comes with a team of branding experts who sit on endless committees to conclude that the word ‘community’ needs to be removed, only to replace it 6 months later… then decide to just opt for a simple ‘PCT’… then ‘Community Health’. I think it’s safe to answer for the whole of the country and say that I couldn’t care if my local PCT was called ‘PCT’, ‘Care Trust’, or the ‘Kim Kardashian Tit Trust’ – we just want to be well cared for. And would rather the money went to more NHS staff.
Next up is recruitment… when a new manager leads to the resignation of an entire workforce, who have been united as a team for nearly a decade, within the space of 18 months, (as I witnessed when in the NHS) then perhaps it’s time to think about recruiting a new manager. This will be somewhat cheaper. I could give this sum to my 5 year old son: “which costs more: buying 1 or buying 15?” Perhaps we should present this to Jeremy Hunt using an analogy of buying pots of Hummus…
Onto the issue of letting cost-efficient services get destroyed for the sake of someone’s ego (the classic ‘we must change for the sake of change!’). A scheme set up to provide group exercise classes to MS and Parkinson’s Disease patients was scrapped. This was after 8 years of impressive outcome measures, great subjective feedback and undeniable cost-effectiveness, in terms of both group sessions allowing more patients to be seen each week, and also the preventative element in potentially decreasing future hospital visits (resulting from potential cardiac, continence, and mental health referrals, to name a few). I struggle to find a humorous view point on this – it’s utterly heart-breaking.
NHS Management mistakes can be forgiven if there is some acknowledgement, reflection and some changes put in place, (which they ironically want from frontline staff), in conjunction with speaking to staff and patients. I jest about the Kim Kardashian Tit Trust but I feel like this would actually be an improvement on what we have now – if she really did run the NHS and make all the decisions, even if she did naked press releases and took selfies with ITU patients – because at least she appears to have a heart – which is so very apparently lacking in some of those in power. MPs who know that cuts are leading to people dying but still truck along in a bus of ignorance, tightly gripping onto their BUPA passes.
So neurological and mental health services are being cut and staff are being screwed – to fund pseudo private hip replacements. There is plenty of money in the NHS – it’s just being pissed up the wall of the private sector.
Thank you to everyone who shared my previous NHS post ‘Why I swapped the NHS for Waitressing‘ – if I can be a small voice for the people still working in the NHS, in the face of the whistle-blowing consequences, then I’ll feel I’ve done a little good since leaving.
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