Monday, May 21, 2007

Flying Solo

The key players in the MMC debacle are falling like a house of cards. The resignation of James Johnson (BMA chairman) being the latest, and the call for Patricia Hewitt to resign has become even louder.

The result of the junior doctors v DoH Judicial Review is eagerly awaited, for justice and faith to be restored within the medical profession. Tonight, newsnight will debate 'morale in the NHS'. It has been reported that morale has never been lower amongst NHS staff, and for those working in the profession, that comes as no surprise. I have previously written an article about the medical professionals suffering from learned helplessness, because automony has been lost, and the professional voice silenced. For this to be reversed, the training of our doctors is key. After all, the government wouldn't enforce airline pilots to radically reduce flying hours before taking charge of solo flights; if they did, can you imagine the safety implications outcry? So, why has Patricia Hewitt been allowed to radically change doctor training without consultation?


Anonymous said...

Do watch Newsnight about this tonight Michelle, it is going to highlight low morale among NHS staff.

And don't worry, Hewitt will be out soon enough.

jmb said...

Michelle, I have a very naive question. If they reduce the training hours so drastically, won't they be producing that many more doctors into the system? It seems to be that they are saying that there are already too many doctors, yet in theory they will produce so many more. Are they intending to reduce the number of residents (North American term)? If so who will staff the hospitals?

Sorry, everyone but me may know the answer to this question.

Anonymous said...

More inexperienced seniors, who will not be consultants in the old fashioned sense of the term. 8000 hours experience rather than 36000 hours. This "experience" time-bomb is ticking away without the media picking up on it.

Newly appointed consultants are now functioning at the level of the middle grade registrars of old.


Anonymous said...

good point
we agree

Crushed said...

Because she following New Lab policy.

Which is; trying to save money without dispatching some of the over mighty NHS bureaucracy that is needed tokeep unemployment figures down.

Anonymous said...

So Michelle, are you going to hazard a guess about who will be the next Health Secretary?

Unknown said...

Report before discussion 7/10
Paxo 5/10
Consultant Pathologist 8/10
Lansley 7/10
Witch from the observer 0/10
James Pillock 3/10
Mei Nortley 20/10

The Shrink said...

. . . because automony has been lost, and the professional voice silenced.

Learned helplessness, true. We've become increasingly passive in the face of repeated reorganisations and there's a feel of just trying to limit the damage and adverse impacts on your service (so end up not seeing the wood for the trees).

Almost inevitably this means we're losing the big picture and even if we are sufficiently empowered to effect change upon the global reorganisations we're necessarily too focussed on our own area to achieve this.

If I want to mess about with how things are done clinically at a minimum I've to justify it and reference DoH and NICE guidelines, profer Evidence Bsaed Medicine etc.
Any research into a different way of doing things has to be scrutinised by a local ethics committee. Adverse consequences have to be considered and blanced.

Curious that, at a macro level, the DoH needs neither evidence nor ethical scrutiny to impose major changes on us, our organisations and our patients, no?

Anonymous said...

The analogy with pilots is a good one for another reason.

There used to be a saying that pilots earned their pay in 15 minutes once a year and spent the rest of their time sitting next to the autopilot.

This, if anything, is the argument against reducing training and substituting Nurse Practitioners inappropriately.

Rachel Joyce said...

The fact is the Govt want a European-style health care without the numbers of staff or the infra-structure to support it.
If they want European working hours, and the majority of "specialists" no better trained than SpRs and GPs with special interest, then you need more doctors per head of population and you need "super-specialists". With (I believe) the lowest number of doctors per head in Europe and no plans for "super-specialists" for the middle grade specialist consultants to refer on to, the system will collapse. That is why so many A&E's and hospitals are set to close.
See my related link -