Saturday, 3 November 2007

Doctors say no to Alan Johnson's NHS Constitution.

Alan Johnson has asked Sir Ara Darzi to carry out a review of the NHS which may lead to an NHS Constitution. The Doctors, who are in my opinion the best placed to understand where the NHS is failing, say the review is not needed as the problems are clear to see. But hey, why listen to the Doctors when you can just throw the taxpayers money at the problem in the hope that it will just go away.

When I read articles about MRSA and C difficile outbreaks, the same thing crops up time and again: the Nurses are always under staffed and do not have the time to keep the wards as clean as they would like. So what does Alan Johnson propose to do about this? Provide more Nurses? No, what Johno proposes is to spend our money by doubling the number of Hospital inspection teams. Just great.

When are Labour going to realise that if we had enough Nurses and cleaning staff, we would not need the inspection teams?

For God's sake, give control of the NHS back to the Doctors.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


William Gruff said...

I disagree with you with regard to control of the NHS. 'Doctors' (who very rarely possess a doctorate entitling them to describe themselves as such) are not best placed to decide precisely how they should be employed (Are you able to do that? I'm not, and haven't been since I was self-employed.) One of the problems with the NHS is that some medical 'professionals', or 'clinicians', are able to treat the job as part-time while using publicly owned and funded facilities to run what are in effect their own businesses. This was one of many concessions made to overcome objections to the establishment of the NHS. Blair attempted to end that abuse but backed-down when the 'doctors' threatened mass resignations. 'Doctors' need to be subject to the disciplines of the private sector, and to be either wholly employed by the NHS or properly self-employed. It has been claimed that waiting lists would almost disappear were that the case.

As far as cleaning is concerned, the problem is not so much that there are too few nurses and cleaners as that too many of those currently employed are basically lazy and slapdash in their work. Nurses now consider it beneath them to clean, especially when they have a degree, and cleaners are generally not motivated by the desire to keep hospitals and clinics sparkling bright. Rearranging the patterns on a dirty floor seems to be acceptable, and has been since long before 1997.

On those occasions when I have had to attend an appointment at a hospital I have been struck by the number of quite large groups of women, often in clinical overalls, standing chatting, while patients sit or stand waiting resignedly or wandering, lost, around the building, trying vainly to follow the lines on the floor that lead only in circles. There is almost no sense of time: one will be seen when the staff eventually get to one, and forget about the appointed time. When one does eventually face a 'dedicated healthcare professional', one is too often alarmed by the basic lack of anything resembling professionalism (though of arrogance, conceit and indifference there is abundance) and the frighteningly elementary errors that one must correct, such as one's name. The impression received is too often one of incompetence and lack of concern to allow for any confidence.

The problem is exacerbated by managers who are disinclined to do, or incapable of doing, more than tick columns of boxes and ensure that the myriad pointless and often contradictory diktats from their superiors are imposed in accordance with 'procedure'.

There is a strange and seriously mistaken perception that medics are dedicated professionals striving to maintain a first class health service in the face of continued hostility from that unaccountable and chimaerical beast, 'the system'. The situation is exemplified by nothing more clearly than the working practices and remuneration of GPs, who seem to consider those who pay their grossly over-inflated salaries to be nothing more than an inconvenient but necessary evil.

The problem is not so much one of lack of personnel, it is lack of the appropriate discipline and any clear direction, with too much self-interested interference from higher up. Standards in the NHS are appalling and simply spending more money and employing more staff cannot change that. Those working in health and care need a short, sharp shock, and the NHS needs dismantling.

Daily Referendum said...

Wow Mr Gruff that's a long one.

I've no problem with you disagreeing with me. I only write from my limited knowledge as a concerned citizen. Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough comment, you have obviously looked into this more than I have.

I take it this is one of your pet hates. I can't say I agree with you on all your points, but as usual you have made some very good ones.

Sorry I didn't reply earlier - I'm on 12 hr Day shifts. I can write posts on my Blackberry but I can't reply to comments. Hopefully Google will get around to sorting that out, it can't be too hard.

William Gruff said...

I smell a faint but none the less discernible tang of sarcasm Steve.

I am a former Labour Party activist and branch and constituency official, though never a Clause 4 socialist (sometimes a difficult position to defend), and I have always been a member of any relevant trade union, but I believe that the NHS is now of no practical purpose and must be brought down to a more manageable size.

I have heard, for forty years, the tales of relatives and friends employed in the NHS and I have my own experiences to draw on. The husband of a very dear friend is employed by the NHS and the 'perks' he enjoys would have seen me sacked from every job I have done, and bankrupted when self-employed.

I don't have 'pet hates' but I am possessed of a strong detestation of the parasitic state, and the NHS is nothing if not an arm of the parasitic state.

Daily Referendum said...

Mr Gruff,

I suggest you read my reply again. There was absolutely no intention to be sarcastic. I'm no expert, I write what I think and sometimes I'm wrong or people have a different opinion.

I think you may have expected me to be sarcastic because you disagreed with me. I hope that I'm big enough to admit when I'm wrong and not get a Wendy-on when someone disagrees with me.



William Gruff said...

I wasn't expecting you to be sarcastic. That's why I was surprised when I thought I detected it.

My apologies to you.

Daily Referendum said...

No problem. Just glad you come here at all.


William Gruff said...

Yours is one of the very few blogs that I am unable to stay away from. It is literally like a 'fix' and I'm almost annoyed when I see that twenty minutes or so have elapsed without something else from your Blackberry. I like it because your views are reasoned and you refrain from gratuitous abuse, swearing and sarcasm (something I am sometimes unable to do).

I'm also a happy traveller on your mystery tours.

I would just ask you to refrain from too frequent changes of decor: I sometimes feel, when coming here, like a psychiatric patient who wakes to find that yet again he is in an unfamiliar room, even though he has not been moved. There is only so much dislocation that a self-confessed bear of very little brain can absorb.

Apropos of the blog name: You haven't published a poll for some time. Have you discontinued them?

Daily Referendum said...

Mr gruff

I wish I had more time to write. As you know this blogging lark can become your whole life if you let it. Trying to write a successful blog does not go well with 12 hr shifts, but I try.

I promise no more design changes for a very long time. I'm happy with it now that Liam Murray did the header for me.

As for the polls, I must admit that blogging has taken over. I'll try and get back into it.