Saturday, 13 October 2007

Big Brother says so

George Orwell would not know whether to laugh or cry if he were alive to read the latest propaganda released by the Ministry of Untruth, aka the Department of Health. It is titled:
"New data shows NHS working smarter"

It then makes the bold statement:

"The latest Better Care, Better Value indicators show that in the past year, the NHS has released £363 million by working more efficiently."

The claimed savings are huge:
"Length of stay        £152m
Day case rate £2m
Pre-op bed days £4m
Surgical variation £9m
Emergency admissions £79m
Outpatients £40m
Statins £77m"
Unsurprisingly there is a rather significant catch to this miraculous bulletin of good news:

"The productivity opportunity for each indicator is calculated by assuming that organisations improve their performance to that of the top 25% of organisations for that particular indicator."

This is rather a large assumption to make, the DoH is admitting that its figures rely on an assumption that all organisations will improve their performance to that of the top 25% of organisations for that particular indicator! Obviously in an ideal world all organisations would be prefect and one could assume this; however it is plainly ludicrous to assume that all organisations, including the worst 25%, will perform out of their skins in this way. The details to the DoH's brainless logic can be seen here.

Basically the Department of Health is predicting massive savings based on the assumptions of a two year old. I too could predict billions of pounds saved if I assumed that people would stop getting ill and therefore would not need any health care at all. In fact this is how the government is saving money all around the country, for example in my PCT certain essential operations and investigations are no longer funded at all. This is such a great money saving scheme. In fact why don't PCTs stop funding cancer treatments, emergency care and so on; it would save a lot of money?

I shouldn't joke, with so many centralised organisations wasting so much money such as the NHS Confederation, NHS Employers, NHS Choices, Our NHS, NHS Direct, NHS University, Healthcare Commission, NICE, PMETB and on and on,; it's quite amazing that there's any money left over to treat patients!

1 comment:

Dr Ray said...

It sounds a reasonable expectation that all organisations could be above average. It's a scandal that as many as half of all organisations are currently below average on any indicator you care to mention. It's a jolly good job we have really clever people who understand statistics in charge of NHS spending.
Or perhaps they just think the rest of us are stupid.