Tuesday, January 09, 2007



That is if you are concerned about the National Health Service.  Tonight and tomorrow on BBC2 at 9pm are the second and third programmes of ‘Can Gerry Robinson fix the NHS?’  Robinson is a trouble shooting business guru said to be ‘smooth, disarming, calculating and ruthless’.  He certainly needed all those character traits to deal with the three separate factions in the Rotherham General Hospital. These were the nurses, the managers and the consultants; they weren’t so much warring with each other as incompatible, seemingly unable to communicate.

There seemed to be no one person or body who could manage or control them and of course ‘no-one can tell consultants what to do.’  They seemed entrenched in bureaucracy and hierarchy (I remember the latter from my hospital days) and could sit round a table and talk endlessly about what could be done, to no avail.  Robinson with his pink and white skin and blue, blue eyes, like a distant relative of the Churchill family, agonised over their procrastinations and sheer bloody mindedness but he refused to give up. Once he saw a glimmer of hope; a manager, Karen with a plan and a surgeon who whittled his waiting list by ploughing on with his lists all day long, he persevered until he got at least one result – the children’s waiting list reduced from eight weeks to two.

The next big problem is the empty theatres in the hospital – no-one wants to operate on Fridays - and the time wasted between operations. I can’t wait to see what else he can achieve.  Don’t miss it.


AndrewM said...

All big institutions develop massive inertia. If they were in the private sector, they'd get a rocket up their *rs* for performing so badly. God help anyone who has to rely on the NHS.

PI said...

Hi Andrewm; I understand what you say but am not sure that is the answer. The health and welfare of the patients should come first and foremost and I'm not sure that would happen with the private sector . Look at the b---s up they made of cleaning the hospitals. What we need is another Flo Nightingale who was so much more than the Lady with the Lamp (in fact her sister Parthe said she was not a very good nurse) She didm't get the Order of Merit for nothing and accomplished more from her couch than anyone I can think of. She has had a bad press of late being rubbished by the PC brigade in favour of Mary Seacole a black nurse. One thing she really understood was hygiene and had the intellect to deal with it. Carry on!

AndrewM said...

What struck me from the programme is that you can't improve something unless you can manage it. You can't manage if you can't measure it. The trouble is no-one in the NHS wants to be measured - look at Tom Reynolds bleating on. I'd tell him what a pillock he's being if I could be bothered to work out how to comment on his blog. I'm sure he's a very good paramedic though.

PI said...

andrewm: I watched - avidly again - last night. There is one blonde theatre manager who epitomises the problem. I regret the way the whole system has changed - very much for the worse - since the fifties. I used to enjoy reading Tom but gave up because it was impossible to comment and it was too frustrating. He's a good bloke.
If I were a dinosoar I would say it all went wrong when we started with male nurses but they were beyond my experience and imagination.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I agree Pat, the health and welfare of patients should come first.

My cousin who lives in the US says she's terrified of getting sick there, health care is extremely expensive.

I'm not sure that health should be a 'commodity', something sold by the private sector. I think it should be a priority of govts. to take care of the health of their people. Imagine if a country like this did not have public health care, how the poor would suffer.

PI said...

GG: we are as one on this.


get rid of the managers and let the doctors run it. instead of spending billions prattin about in Iraq give it the NHS. There should be a revolution in the UK. Force the government to spend OUR money how WE want. 21st century and people waitin and waitin for life savin ops. pensioners freezin in winter. oh....get off yer soapbox dinners

PI said...

4d: I'd vote for that !