Thursday, 12 September 2013

NHS Sitrep

Another day, another raft of negative NHS stories in the media overviewing the status of weekend cover in the system (or lack thereof) and calls for senior clinicians to take charge, work seven days and so on.

Plus in the last week or so there have been the usual pre-Winter stories about how the NHS will not be able to cope as the cold catches hold and of course the inevitable deaths that will follow as a direct result.

I'd like to make two points. Firstly I work on a daily basis with senior clinicians and there is no harder working group of people in my experience. I often struggle to get hold of my clients, even at the weekends as they undertake extra clinics or are called away to hospital at unexpected times. In particular, Summer seems to be the hardest time, not Winter as they provide cover for holidays - it seems to me that the senior doctors are the ones who take the least holiday as they cover for more junior colleagues !

Secondly, the state of the NHS is supposed to be in the governments hands. The last time I looked the NHS was being reformed so that Primary Care providers (GP's in other words) would take control of the service, commissioning care for their patients and maintaining and controlling their own budgets. There have been stories about patients arriving in A & E and overburdening this section of the NHS but where are the GP surgeries in this - should they not be educating their patients as to when to use which service. Are the government driving the changes forward, who is responsible for what. In other words, have we ended up again with nothing really changing, the political blame game and continuing and doctors and patients alike really have no idea which way the NHS is going ?

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