Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I can't think of a better subject for this morning other than recommend this post on Dr Grumble's blog.

It's lengthy but thankfully free of jargon and should give us all food for thought.

Although it applies to England, I found it very informative as some of the ideas could drift north of the border.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Here are a couple of quotes but please do read the whole article.

'All hospitals, public and private, will be answerable only to the central regulator, Monitor, which is concerned only to ensure that they stay solvent and behave competitively.

They will be supervised for safety and quality by the Care Quality Commission, but the CQC is notoriously feeble: it gave mid-Staffordshire top marks when several hundred patients had been dying there from neglect.'

'The proposed change that has attracted most attention is the shift of commissioning from Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to ‘local consortia of GP practices’. This is being done on the grounds that ‘primary care professionals’ are best placed to know what is best for patients, and will engage in ‘more effective dialogue and partnership with hospital specialists’. Who could object to that?
You do wonder why PCTs haven’t previously been told to organise such a dialogue between GPs and specialists; but the more important point is that GPs can’t in fact do commissioning.'


Edward Spalton said...

In England the NHS has introduced a system for hospital appointments called "Choose and Book" - a typical New Labour "reform".

Instead of being referred to the local hospital by my GP and soon receiving the offer of an appointment, I get a letter from my GP with a computer form to tell me how to do it - on line or by phone.

The form has a reference number and a personal password which I have to remember. The first time my GP used this system I was offered a choice between Derby & Nottingham hospital. "Which is the better?" I asked "They're both the same" I was told.

The most recent form (for another complaint), gives me the choice of ONE hospital - New Labour was always very big on "Choice".

I have also received letters about appointments from other offices in parts of the country miles away -all excited by this wonderful, new system and its advantages!

I expect that the Ministers and officials who bought this system have left the public service through the revolving door and come back again as directors and consultants of the firms which provided it. That is more or less standard procedure. It seems to be an unspoken/unwritten part of PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contracts

subrosa said...

Edward, I hadn't realised that system was up and running down your way. Thought it was just another of new Labour's nonsensical ideas which never came to fruition.

What a mess and what a complete waste of taxpayers' money.

Demetrius said...

It is all becoming increasingly chaotic and confusing. It is also becoming much harder to persuade GP's to refer cases. Too many people I know have died recently because of failure to refer them for what would otherwise be routine testing.

subrosa said...

Funny you should say that Demetrius. Just the other week, when I was talking about such things with friends, few of us bother with the doctor these days unless it is a last resort. Our faith in them seems to have dwindled in recent years.

Edward Spalton said...

I have just had an email from a lady of 85 who tells me that her grandson is going to New Zealand to qualify as a doctor because the training here is inadequate. One large contributor to this is the EU Working Time Directive which ensures that junior doctors cannot get enough hours in to acquire the necessary experience in the length of their courses.

She also told me that her brother (who was pretty high in the Royal College of something or other) told her 10 years ago that the NHS would collapse.

She is 85 and just recovering from a very nasty episode, caused by medical mistreatment. All the boxes had been ticked though!

subrosa said...

Edward, there's another of my readers who is in a similar position with a member of her family.

Mistreatment is becoming more and more of a worry. I wonder is it worthwhile bothering because there seem to be more errors than successes.

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