Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Empowering the ignorant and intimidating the intelligent: Labour's NHS

It's that time of year again when everyone tends to feel a bit under the weather, it's cold and miserable, the germs have been multiplying over Christmas and people are just waiting for winter to bugger off, so it's been no surprise that numerous hospitals up and down the country are packed to the rafters. Labour have intelligently cut the number of beds in the country steadily over the last ten years, this is despite the fact that our population is expanding and becoming more elderly in its make up. GPs have been receiving emails similar to this one from their lovingly patronising local PCT monkeys:

"Dear Colleagues

Unfortunately the hospital is on red alert which means that they have no available beds at present and they are doing everything that is possible to free up any available capacity. As a result of this, any referred patient may well have an extended wait on a trolley before a bed is found for them.

We fully appreciate that GPs are working very closely with their PBC consortia in order to work as effectively as possible in order to manage more patients safely within the community. At this time we would ask you to re-consider the following before a decision is made to refer any patient for an admission:

Please inform the patient of the likely delay on a trolley so that they are prepared and that it doesn't come as a shock to them"

This kind of message is completely pointless, it's as if managers think GPs deliberately send in patients to hospital for no reason, yet when bed pressures are greater they can suddenly cut down on these unnecessary referrals, what patronising idiotic twaddle.

Then again it's very much the New Labour mantra that patients should be treated in the community, however it doesn't really go alongside improving the quality of care because hospitals are very much necessary for managing sick patients, doing this in the community is either dangerous or incredibly expensive in comparison. Have Labour ever heard of economies of scale?

GPs and doctors in general are also being bullied by their lovely managers into following NICE guidance, which sort of makes a bit of a mockery of it being 'guidance'. Given that NICE guidance often works against the best interests of patients and misinterprets the scientific evidence, it's not as if we should be following a lot of NICE's crap little protocols anyway. It's just another example of doctors becoming less like independent professionals and more like agents of a sinister bureaucratic state.

Medical training is another thing that's going awfully well too, good old MMC means that everything is amazingly so much better than before. It's almost like alchemy, as even with less hours and experience doctors are now magically going to be better than ever before. Once PMETB said that training was now competency based and not time based, it's as if magic came to town and all those training problems went away, unfortunately common sense also went out of the window and we're all doomed, doomed I say. Apparently the GMC don't think that those who forced through the destructive and dangerous training reforms should be held to account, I just hope Remedy can force them to do their job properly, rather than protecting their buddies in their ivory towers. The GMC's logic appears sadly lacking, no surprises there then.

God medical blogging can be depressing, I'm naturally not a pessimist by any means, it's just everything that this government does is so negative and destructive. They have no intention of working with people, all they want to do is bully people and force through their corrupt agenda of privatisation. The doctors are their enemy because they are independent intelligent professionals whose autonomy threatens the government's reform agenda, the government wants a compliant cohort of worker drones who will do as they are told, follow the government protocols and let big business tuck into the NHS pie. Nothing else could possibly explain the drive to empower the ignorant and put patients at risk, while obstructing the hard working professionals who hold the system together. Ho hum and happy new year.


Jobbing Doctor said...

Amen to all that Ferret.

100% agree.

I sent a 44 year-old into hospital with a common iliac artery thrombosis, and got the third degree from some inexperienced junior.

She died after 6 hours in the hospital. How can that be dealt with at home?

No One said...

i agree with much of what youre saying

however i think some privatisation would be good for the health sector, certainly not the way the labour nutters are doing it

agree there are not enough beds in hospitals now, that just proves central stalanist control doesnt work

and quality of many of our hospitals and gps are terrible

and if by empower the ignorant you have a problem with customers having a say about their treatment then you are on a loosing wicket im afraid

crap centralised management by wine bar socialists never worked anywhere on that you are right

empowered customers and professionals working in a dynamic environment is a good ideal to work for

happy new year


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Garth Marenghi said...

cheers, happy new year all!

no one, I agree, we need more private sector involvement but this government has done it all wrong and used it in the worst inefficient ways

for example this 18 week thing for surgery is actually meaning that less people are going private and paying for their own operations! it's increasing the workload more

if they had though about this before doing it they could have encouraged more people to go privately and then taken a bit of the burden off the NHS