Thursday, 24 February 2011

Politicians and managers expect NHS silver service

One thing that I have noticed as a bit of a recurrent theme during my time in the NHS has been the way that politicians and NHS managers expect to be treated like private patients on the NHS, they do not tolerate the treatment that normal 'mere mortal' patients receive, they insist on being treated differently, they want to be shunted ahead of the others, they do not want to ever wait for anything, they expect the silver service on the NHS and it tells you a lot about the kind of people that they are.

Obviously doctors and nurses themselves will generally get treated a bit differently by their colleagues, but it's the way that they so rarely push for it, they generally politely accept whatever they are given, the doctors and nurses are generally a very different breed to a medical manager or politician.

The NHS managers and politicians are often not the most pleasant of individuals, they lack manners and frequently bully their way into getting preferential treatment. They care not for the other patients that will be delayed by their own special treatment, they only think of themselves. I will obviously mention no names, but certain rather high profile individuals have bullied and threatened their way to an NHS silver service in recent years.

The worst thing about this is that these very same managers and politicians have often so frequently done absolutely nothing when front line staff have complained to them about the lack of resources, the long waits that patients are being subjected to et cetera. When their health is not directly affected they care not, they hide in their ivory towers and ignore the problems. However when their own health is on the line, they expect the rules to be broken, the normal service others get is not good enough for them, they will force the best for themselves at a cost to other patients. This kind of behaviour makes them hypocrites of the highest order and it really stinks. Obviously the image above of Tony Blair is nothing to do with the above article, it is but a pure coincidence.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Scottygate revisited - Needham shoots herself in foot

It was hard to miss the 'Scottygate' scandal of a couple of years ago; if you missed it then Dr Rant has covered a lot of it in excellent detail. Essentially various senior doctors in management positions used their power in a completely disproportionate manner and this resulted in a junior doctor being inappropriately suspended from work for a significant period of time. It was a classical case of the medicopolitical abuse of power.

One of the senior doctors behind this scandal was Gillian Needham. She has now felt the need to give her 'side' of the story, really she should have simply let sleeping dogs lie, instead she is amazingly trying to portray herself as the victim in the whole affair, while her lack of remorse and her complete inability to admit to having made a big mistake are unbelievable, it is quite simply beneath contempt.

The BMJ have also made a massive error in giving this woman the space with which to try to justify the unjustifiable, she deserves no sympathy from the BMJ's readership and she will not get any I am sure. Several letters are already flooding into the BMJ's rapid response section and it will not be very favourable for Needham. I have taken this excellent and eloquent response to Gillian Needham, it is written by a senior doctor who sums things up very nicely indeed:

"I fully expect that this message will be but one of the deluge that will flood your inbox over the coming days, but I was so incensed by your self-serving patronising and utterly complacent article published in the BMJ this weekend that a direct response was needed. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself, behaving as you do; like a petulant talentless teenager on a popular reality television show.

I will pass briefly over the gross affront accorded to retired doctors who you glibly dismiss and compartmentalise as having passed through a medical death by asking just from where do you derive this imperious arrogance and disconnection from reality?

The facts of this matter are, that by over reacting you precipitated a maelstrom which damaged the offending trainee far more the fleeting discomfort you experienced. It is of course very frustrating when something is in the public domain and as an office holder you cannot reply. Believe me I know this only too well, having managed a number of very high profile problems and having been misrepresented myself. Get over it; it goes with the territory. The true professional does not respond then, or ever after. Certainly never in a such a whinging, self serving way that can only ignite the original grievances again. You will certainly be further diminished by doing this.

You, and your colleagues in medical education perpetuated a disastrous re-organisation of post graduate training, introducing a system more akin to the Soviet era in its total disregard of the personal needs of trainees and focus on standardised production. You do not seem to appreciate that because of what you did, there are thousands of young men and women out there who have been permanently damaged by your slavishly idealistic and dogmatic attitudes.

You Madam are depised and loathed by these doctors whose development you and your colleagues let down so badly. The fact that you have published this account shows how little you understand that. Doubtless you will now be thinking about another intimate piece of disclosure to show how unfair you think the hostile response to your self-indulgent pleading is. Like the petulant teenager, you know no shame.

You brought the wrath of others upon your head by your overzealous and disproportionate reaction in the first place, and now you are doing the same by this ridiculous attempt at self justification. When will you ever learn?

Yours etc"

Hear, Hear.