Thursday, June 28, 2007

Can he Deliver?



So what omen does the new Secretary of State for Health bring with him? It seems ironic that the former postman takes over the helm of the health service exactly the same day as threatened postal strikes. However, putting that aside it’s a big chance for the health of our nation, if he can get it right.

There is no doubt the job is a great privilege and challenge. There will be much for him to learn and understand, but if he asked for three points on the first day of his new post, I would say:

First, 'put patients first'. It’s imperative for patients to be thought of in front of bureaucrats and quangocrats.
Second, the NHS should be there for patients and not be used as a political football.
Third, as there are calls for the NHS to be depoliticised; accountability should remain.

Although nobody will want to remember Patricia Hewitt, her legacy was of frequent political, ill-thought through legislation, whilst she refused to be accountable for her results. That must change.

Alan Johnson, my three words to you are ‘Patients, Patients, Patients.’
Good luck!

10 comments:

Rachel Joyce said...

Well according the the news, Gordon doesn't think there is anything wrong with the NHS - it just wasn't spun well enough. He thinks Alan Johnson is a better communicator, so he gets the job.
So no real change. He won't hear the advice about patients, Michelle, as GB's centralising compulsion is just too strong.

Ellee said...

Interesting analogy there re the postal strike.
What exactly did Alan Johnson achieve in Education? I keep wondering...

Matt Wardman said...

I find it quite frightening that after running the NHS for 10 years after promising to sort it out, Mr Brown has made "sort out the NHS" a major pledge.

And it may not make me very popular with the Doc's, but that shambles of a GP contract has to be rolled back.

Dare I suggest that the abolition of the BMA is the place to start?

TomTom said...

I fully expect Alan Johnson to expose the chip on his shoulder...the NHS must be the largest single employer of graduates in Britain....and no doubt he will make clear his exasperation and contempt for them as time goes on.

This is the wrong man - but i suspect Brown has put people in place at The Home Office, Health, and Foreign Office to watch them implode - he will no doubt put in No2 positions who can knife them whenever the time is right.

The Treasury pushed the PFI and privatisation and outsourcing of NHS functions - it is hardly likely to stop now

Dr Mabuse said...

Dare I suggest that the abolition of the BMA is the place to start?

Probably a good idea - it is far too supine with regard to government - should be more like the American Medical Association

http://www.ama-assn.org/

instead of being a group of freemasons and left-wing ideologues

Matt said...

>Probably a good idea - it is far too supine with regard to government - should be more like the American Medical Association

Agree on some areas, not on others. In general, imho Drs need their wings clipped. They need to exist for the convenience of patients, not the other way round.

Especially in the hospital sector, the NHS is desperately undermanaged.

Dr Mabuse said...

They need to exist for the convenience of patients, not the other way round.

Especially in the hospital sector, the NHS is desperately undermanaged.


It is not "managed" it is "administered". It has no "management" it has "administrators" the bulk of whom are clerical

The convenience of patients is impossible in a system predicated upon a fraud.

The fraud is that every patient can have personal service. it is impossible to fund.

The only way to run a health service for the convenience of patients is to exclude either a) the healthy or b) the sick

The British NHS has worked on the principle of treating all but having the capacity to treat fewer - it has been overburdened by a rapidly increasing population - and burgeoning housing costs affecting recruitment.

It has always been short of doctors but maintained the fiction that all could see a doctor. It is a simple production-flow problem which can be illustrated using CPM....the patients are held in WIP while the doctor has patients rotated across his workstation, then pooled out while he sees the next, then the first is recalled and so on.

The NHS is over-supplied with poatients and under-supplied with doctors......you can make statements like They need to exist for the convenience of patients, not the other way round. but what you really mean is I should get individualised and personal treatment at no cost to myself.

It is impossible to provide mass health care to all especially when they overconsume and take no care of their own health needs - it is moral hazard. MOst health costs fall in the last 6 months of life, and the bulk of costs lie with women.

If you analyse patients you would probably find the old 80/20 rule sustained.....

A large load on the NHS today is lifestyle illness - smoking, drugs, abortion, clap, wounding, and a demand for entitlement not matched by a sense of obligation and self-respect

I do not think patients are sovereign but i do think they are irredeemably arrogant in many cases

QUASAR9 said...

Good advice Michelle,
but at the end of the day it is those on the frontline: GPs, doctors, surgeons. consultants, specialists, pharmacists, nurses and other hospital staff ...
that determine theattitude to patients and what sort of care patients get.

With the best will in the world andall the money to boot, there's little the Health Secretary can do, if the medical staff attitude to patients sucks.

No good saying they should treat patientsas if they were their son or daughter or wife or mother or father ...
in the real world that still wouldn't change one little thing!
Sad but True, or True but Sad.

Man in a shed said...

I think you'll find the English NHS has been sabotaged before he even gets into office by Gordon Browns cuts in its capital budget ( only England mind - not Labour's and Gordon's Celtic homelands ). FT has an article here.

The Wilted Rose said...

There's not been much sign of delivery so far ...