Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Déjà vu?

When some of us starting working in the third world of medicine that is the NHS we recall being stationed in an area of the world that did not have a CT scanner. This caused some embarrassment to those of us used to first world medicine as we had had available to us not only CT scanners but MRI as well in grunt training.

We remember being on a ward round when asked how we would investigate a particular medical problem and we said “CT scanning with contrast, sir” only to be laughed at. There were no CT scanners, heaven forbid MRI scanners, up in this southern part of Northernshire at the time. The first CT scanner in that area was paid for by public subscription sometime after that embarrassing ward round.

A former squad member, who has contributed to this blog before, and who still works down South has drawn to our attention as to how history is repeating itself.

You can read the article here.

The question we have at ND Central is, despite there being huge increases in NHS expenditure (internal markets, commissioning, Connecting for Health, Choose and Book, etc. sorry did we mean frontline healthcare?) why is a children’s hospital in a city of 500,000 serving a population of 1.8 million having to replace a basic CT scanner by public charitable donations?

Gordon has allegedly saved the world through his Prudence so what has gone wrong? Surely the year on year expenditure increases should have allowed for basic “world-class”, sorry basic first world, equipment replacement after 7 years?

Thanks HP, once again, for the heads up. We here up North too have scanners but not doctors that can use them. We were both first world medical graduates (once) and know what can be done (with ability and purpose). Both are lacking here in Northernshire but we leave you the reader to decide whether you think the same.

None of us trained as economists but perhaps, if all the Chief Executives of the various PCTs that represent the hospital’s catchment area gave their annual salary to the hospital, then the scanner could be bought today. After all why had they not planned for the need at some point for a replacement?

Normally incompetence of this order in business is rewarded with the sack but we forgot this is the NHS “market” where failure means promotion (and more money going directly out of frontline healthcare).

Praise be to the Party for suffer the children let them come onto Gordon the saviour of the world? Almost a generation separates the first charitable purchase of a scanner for use by taxpayers and what seems to be happening today? Despite all the reforms to make things “better”, how can this be happening again? What has gone so badly wrong?

Bet you no-one is responsible for this state of affairs.

No wonder the Americans are worried. Pay your taxes and then buy the scanner yourself for the kids?


Nikita said...

Remember Charlie Bear appeal very well if this is what you were relating to. Have always believed you operated out of ......... because of certain references, but perhaps this is not so.

However, worying that history is repeating itself. I will get the credit card out and contribute.

Not long read Safeguarding Adults and Skin Damage Protocol. Best intentions and interest I am sure, but couldn't the money spent on awareness of the obvious be better spent by insuring adequate or above nursing levels on the ward to prevent skin damage?

I am in dispair.

David said...

What is appalling is hat amany of these expensive machines are underutilised. See here: