Grieving for the NHS. The softer specialities and locums. Ration for higher earners, and where insurance could cover.

As doctors and nurses grieve for the former health service that they knew and were proud to work for, and since “goodwill” is fast disappearing, I wanted to reflect on the softer specialities, and the post-code lottery of provision. The 24/7 service planned by Mr Hunt will need all staff on rotas, and many more of them. Since sickness and absenteeism in the UK Health Services are the worst measured across organisations throughout the world, we need to think what is happening and why when an absent person or persons affect care. Why is it that doctors and nurses have locums, but psychologists, physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists do not? It is the urgency (life saving) and speed and volume of decision making, and turnover of patients that means there have to be locums for medics. If we want the whole service to function properly we need politicians to feel this will gain votes, and we are going to need locums for other staff because we all work in teams… And once we accept this, then we need to appoint enough permanent staff so that locums are not needed and we save money. Rationing out some of the softer services overtly and with due notice, especially for higher earners, would be a sensible option in these stringent times.. Insurance could also cover many more sports.

Grieving has many stages (Kubler-Ross), and the politicians are still in denial. The consultants and GPs are angry but many have moved on to reluctant acceptance of lower standards or retired. The softer specialities have been through bargaining (and failed) and are now in depression. The managers are still bargaining and in disorganisation. The public don’t understand and are in sudden shock (pre-denial) when they need the service!

The NHS culture is sick – and so are its staff – But is there any “quick fix”?

Living through the NHS’s famine years. Quality reversals and increasing deficits are symptomatic of deeper problems

Cornwall and Barnsley have worst morale and absenteeism

Is the NHS going to blow a gasket?

Physiotherapy can transform the NHS and lives of older adults

Rationing and Physiotherapy

This will hurt – hospital flaws inspire new play. Stroke victim has very little physiotherapy: covert rationing and deliberate undercapacity

Professional Contact Sports – should the Health Services cover them fully?

Four in ten stroke patients don’t get specialist treatment in time – so 6/10 do!

Specialisation: Hundreds of lives a year could be saved by closure of local hospital stroke units

‘Let’s add life to years, not just years to life’

Midwives and patients warn of ‘devastating’ staff shortages

Foreign nurses still propping up the NHS: At least 40 trusts actively recruiting from abroad …

Ad then there are those who no longer wish to preserve the NHS, and shed crocodile tears..


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Post Code Lottery, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

2 thoughts on “Grieving for the NHS. The softer specialities and locums. Ration for higher earners, and where insurance could cover.

  1. Pingback: Recruiting foreign nurses ‘frustrating and expensive': British Nurses should cash in on the bonanza | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  2. Pingback: Financial meltdown. Wait for the knee-jerk response.. | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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