Monday, 30 June 2008

Lord Darzi - How to wind up Doctors - NHS Review.

The words both Doctors and Nurses dread to hear are, review, reform, overhaul, change, and shake-up. I've had similar experience of change during my service in the Royal Navy - and it was all bad. Poor managers refuse to accept responsibility if something is not working as well as it should be. It must be the system - the system needs changing - we must hold a review - blah, blah, blah... In the majority of cases the system in place works perfectly well when it is being run by a competent manager. Sadly, most government run organisations are lacking that vital ingredient.

I found (and I'm sure health staff are experiencing the same thing) that just when I got to grips with how the Engineering branch in the Navy worked, we would get a new Admiral and everything would change again. This change also tends to be driven by the Admirals need to be seen to be doing something, and I'm sure the same goes for Health Ministers. What people at the coal face want, is for those people on the surface who have no idea what is going on down below, to leave them the hell alone.

Doctors and Nurses must dream of the day when the instructions to change this or that stop coming down from the government. The NHS is a fantastic organisation lead by the wrong people. Doctors know where improvements need to be made (that's improvements - not changes) to the system and the government should leave them to get on with it for at least a couple of years. The fact that Doctors have already delivered a petition to Downing Street signed by a million patients rejecting the new polyclinics, shows how popular this review will be with those having to make yet more changes.

Gordon Brown is very pleased with the changes, he claims that they are a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" and will have "an even more profound effect" than previous shake-ups. I'm sure they will, and I'm sure that health staff are dreading them.

3 comments:

Dave said...

We've got one of these polyclinics in our town. Two surgeries joined together and submitted plans to build a super-surgery at the foot of the steepest hill in town away from the bus routes. Needless to say there were objections galore but the plans were passed anyhow.
I had occasion to visit it today. Two surgeries share the same building. There are two receptionist at two counters on the ground floor whos sole purpose is to tell patients that the surgeries are on the first floor. Upstairs there are two more receptions, two waiting areas etc. The cost of this monstrosity? God knows.
What I do know is that there are two perfectly useable modern buildings standing empty in the town centre. Both are within easy walking distance of the bus stops. The one nearest my office has a handy covered area where the winos can sit out of the rain, so I suppose it serves some purpose.
These polyclinics are a waste of time, a waste of money, are built in unsuitable locations against the wishes of the staff and patients and for what purpose?

Letters From A Tory said...

Oh please god no. Why are politicians obsessed with giving power to the GPs instead of giving the power to the patients? It's only when patients can choose who provides their healthcare that real change will occur.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Not a lot can be added to that.