Monday, 3 August 2009

NHS Flu Resource Desk. A vital component in healthcare in a “crisis”?

The world’s best prepared country to counter swine flu has just got even better. One of our team, the on call doctor no less, went to an “emergency meeting” to brief local GPs about how the plan is coming together even though it should have been seamlessly rolled out due to the advanced knowledge of all those involved in its implementation like we GPs on the frontline.

We were told that there was a Flu Resource Desk that had been operating ever since the pandemic was declared. This would cease its vital and well valued operations when the Flu Lines opened on the 23rd of July somewhat earlier than October when they were expected to be available so no panic here just excellent forward planning by the Party.

Flu Resource Desk? Must have been a closer guarded secret than the Manhattan Project but even the Russians knew about that one and they were several thousand miles away before the Internet. How come despite Connecting for Health we did not hear about this valuable resource?

Their exact terms of engagement are unknown locally and whether they could issue Tamiflu prescriptions is also unknown. But nonetheless it was there and with the advent of the Government’s Flu Line Service the “excellent” local planners who set it up can now shut it down happy that it has served its purpose. Whatever that was?

There will now be appointed by the local Politburo thickerazzi a group of 4 wise dickweeds, sorry Party stooges, sorry wise GPs (remember here in Northernshire we have more GPs than we ever need and that was before Lord Darzi) to ensure that the local underworked, overpaid GPs have come up with a contingency plan or sorry “a business plan” to cope with the Flu pandemic.

So taking 4 local GPs from a heavily “over” doctored area out of medical practice to individually visit practices and check that they have a flu crisis “business plan” is an efficient use of resources? What about in under resourced areas?

Now tell us dear reader, if people do not pay to use a service is there any need for a “business plan”? Or is it NHS failed management speak for we have a problem Houston get us out of it. Lets pretend to do something (useful?).

Listen up soldiers while managers have to develop business plans we just have to cope. Did their flu plans and flu “crisis” plans offer any help to us when every Tom, Dick and Harriet who was mildly unwell decided to phone their GP?

NHS managers flu plan = panic.

GPs flu plan = cope as best you can even if you are ill yourself.

Some more observations from the frontline of the phoney war against Swine flu which is still a relatively mild and self limiting illness in most people who have it although a small number will die. More will die on the roads each day at present. Should we be panicking about this and ringing our local Volvo dealers for their toughest tank just in case we have to go on a car journey?

Praise be to the Party without whom we would never have coped. They did so much to generate a crisis when there was none and so little to help with the problem they created. The grunts just worked on.

If the big one happens this winter we know we will be able to cope don’t we? 1919 the sequel, if it happens, will just be a re run with a few minor plot changes for example 1919 no intensive care units, 2009 no intensive care beds. And so on.


GP Informed said...

You have just made me laugh out loud (and now my secreteries are giving me odd looks). Management eh - the art of confusing activity with action.

Northern Doc said...

Thanks for reading but surely NHS management is the art of combining inactivity with inaction and inability and spending a fortune to achieve nothing? Just think flu plans.