Monday, April 26, 2010

NHS: A New Disease & An Unpleasant Truth

“Bureaucratic self-protection is not confined to state bodies. But the NHS is suffering from an especially virulent form of this particular disease.”    Andrew Gilligan writes in The Telegraph:


 “Yet it is politics which may, in the end, prove the service's undoing, because political, rather than clinical, priorities are coming to the fore. More and more cases are emerging of the malign effect on patients of highly politicised management.”

 “In my encounters as a journalist with the management of the NHS, I have found a secrecy, paranoia and defensiveness which I seldom met in my previous incarnation as a defence correspondent. Great Ormond Street, that world-famous institution with the heart-warming smiley kid logo, has twice given me statements which were provably untrue and which it was forced to retract.

Read about the new disease here >>>>

Then an anonymous consultant in the NHS wrote in the same paper:


We have assimilated a quarter of a million extras, literally supernumeraries, within the voluminous tent of the NHS.
Just outside the tent is the sand into which billions of taxpayers' money soaks without trace.

“Identification of these individuals is easy; look at the hospital telephone directory, and note how often the following descriptions occur: coordinator, commissioner, facilitator, compliance, liaison, outreach, project, regulator, controller. All of these staff require computers, salaries, paid holidays and final-year pensions.

“A responsible government must initiate a thorough review of the financial efficiency of the NHS by senior clinicians. The moral responsibility of running the NHS rests with those who know what treatment and care can be provided with the resources determined by ministers. We will accept that responsibility because someone has to lay out in front of society what is being spent in its name.

“To the current annual bill must be added the cost of the Private Finance Initiative, an enormous confidence trick played on the taxpayer, and the pension expectations of the tens of thousands of NHS staff.

“Politicians cannot continue to be economical with the truth. We treat all-comers, from malnourished infants of economic migrants to octogenarians seeking care at the end of a long hard life.

“We do our best, and we need a rapid clear-out of the non-essential bureaucracy which is slowing patient care and diverting funds needed for the care and cure of sick citizens.”

Read the full article here>>>>

Related:

NHS, PFI, SATS......: A Revolution!!!

3 comments:

Zarathustra said...

“Identification of these individuals is easy; look at the hospital telephone directory, and note how often the following descriptions occur: coordinator, commissioner, facilitator, compliance, liaison, outreach, project, regulator, controller.

Hmmmm, psychiatric liaison nurses? Assertive outreach teams? The author you cite has a valid point about the preponderance of bureaucracy in the NHS, but he might want to be wary of painting with too broad a brush.

Cockroach Catcher said...

Thanks for commenting. I suspect he was referring to "directors" and not so much "nurses" or "teams" but I may be mistaken.

Cockroach Catcher said...

Also, the article attracted a fair number of comments, 82 when I last look. The truth is that NHS management used to be around 6% total spend and now, they do not know but it is reckoned to be higher than the last figure of 23% and possibly beating the US figure of 28%.