Monday, 19 October 2009

A meeting with the Party in General Practice.

In business in the UK a lunch break is at least an hour, according to friends in the City. Sometimes hosted at a gentlemen’s club with a couple of bottles of wine per attendee. Then back to work.

Lunch in GP land is usually a ten minute meal grabbed on the move between surgeries, clinics, telephone calls, prescriptions, correspondence and visits.

Once again this alleged lunch “hour” that people in the UK are meant to have, but certainly in General Practice never have, was hijacked by a the local Party for a “meeting” to explain a new “improved” service from on high.

Meetings in the NHS General Practice workplace are where GPs are forced to listen to people from the local Politburo with about as much ability as your average permanently excluded child with ADAH in today’s schools who live in an exclusion unit if they ever turn up that is.

They are usually rehashed NHS corporate laptop presentations about something “new” = reinventing the wheel to ensure that it is square that the Department of Health and its local Politburos thinks will improve things above and beyond any of their previous “ideas” that have gone before and failed miserably.

Beware any new ideas from the Department of Health. They usually mean more work to deliver less and take longer to do than it ever used to.

Just think Choose and Book and then mentally conjuror up the image of a £ 12,000,000,000 smoking dung heap.

Most UK GPs and their poor frustrated secretaries/receptionists will know what we mean by this complete failure of NHS “progress”. They who have to use it, not that it is use is voluntary as it has been “mandated” to ensure people use it because it is so crap, are so grateful for the extra work it has generated and how little it cost patients or tax payers or delivers to them as customers (we almost forgot the non existentmarket” there dear reader how silly of us to do that).

Good constructive meetings are usually short, with a fixed purpose, to achieve an objective, properly chaired and hopefully deliver an outcome. The Party does not do good meetings but they do lots of meetings similar to this one.

It started in the usual way when someone large and fat, they always are, (did we mention thick as well?), turned up late and waddled in clutching their badge of office a laptop. They then said they were waiting for someone else important from another commissariat who was also late.

Obviously these people are all very busy people (they are never there on a Friday afternoon)but it is all right to keep lazy idle GPs, nurses and reception staff all of whom actually deal with patients waiting as they have nothing else to do (in contrast to NHS managers who do what exactly?).

In true Party fashion when they eventually arrived 15 minutes late, with a room full of bored nurses, receptionists and doctors all of whom could be doing something useful if otherwise not engaged with local Party commissars.

It took the two local Party Commissars about 20 minutes to wire up a laptop to a projector and then wait for the valves to warm up to the point where they could finally display a Party produced presentation. The smell of ozone was over powering and the generators were struggling to cope supplying the gigawatts of power needed to get the meeting off the ground.

There then followed a 20 minute praising and presentation of a pilot and “research” work (think dung heap) and the thoughts of Chairman Gordon, comrade Andy Burnham which had worked so well somewhere elsewhere that the local Northernshire Politburo (Praise be) had been specially “selected” to roll out this most “excellent” idea across the whole of the local Soviet.

Given the huge affluence and intellectual prowess of Northenshire PCT, they in their infinite thickness, think this is truly a great honour being bestowed on the local Politburo and a great honour as they are truly worthy but those of us who dare to think realize it is because Party Central wanted someone dumb enough to do it.

Hence Northernshire PCT was chosen because it is in the top twenty “world-class commissioning PCTs” which means if anything will fail it will fail here first on a “sink PCT”, sorry the correct term is a “spearhead” PCT, a lot of which are in the top 20 world class commissioning PCTs. Gross incompetence and inability under Za Nu Labour = success.

The body from the other commissariat was then allowed their 10 minutes of fame to explain that they would (without consent) extract data about patients to make the pilot “work”. This was interesting as the same department had not made a NHS clinical system work in over 3 years of trying but they have been well paid for their incompetence.

So at the end of this 30 minute presentation (after 20 minute set up time and 15 minutes waiting) for what we were told would be no more than an hour there then followed a Party stooge presenting the local Chief Commissar’s thoughts on what the financial situation would be over the next few years and how there would have to be clinical staff cuts but no management cuts as employing more Commissars was the way forward to save money.

Right. This took another 45 minutes and then the question and answer session followed.

After the 5 minutes waiting for the commissars most people found the ceiling to be slightly more interesting and motivating viewing than the presentation and it remained so throughout the meeting.

At the 2 hour stage (remember it was only meant to be an hour of our valuable time as the Party think GPs and their staff actually do not do anything useful) people started leaving for surgeries, clinics etc but not the commissars as they were still busy on the front line of healthcare sitting in a GP practice and clearly working very, very hard at doing nothing.

This meeting was a complete waste of time. It involves a “pilot” of a system to help patients use the NHS following a Department of Health initiative which means it is doomed for failure before it starts.

It appears to be a complete work avoidance program for nurses being trialled in Northernshire. It will involve them manning a phone line, sound familiar? A possible refinement or reworking of NHS reDirect?

After the meeting a few of the Resistance met up and discussed it before going on to do real work with real patients. All of us knew how to save money. It was so blinding obviously that only the Chief Commissar at the local Politburo could not see it.

But the Chief Commissar thought this “pilot” was the way forward but they were blinded by the incompetence that is NHS management which is a classic example of the Peter Principle.

Another successful Party sponsored meeting in General Practice. Lots of doctors and their staff’s time wasted, work disrupted all for absolutely nothing useful.

Praise be to the Party and all its wise local Chief Commissars for they see what we cannot see and believe it works. This is frighteningly worrying but they do at least have the Department of Health to guide them.

No wonder the Americans are worried re socialized medicine.

Why have quality care when you can replace it with crap? Thank God for a genuine world-class education to protect patients from incompetence. It is, however, very hard working daily in the face of gross institutionalized incompetence.

Can’t wait for the next one . . .

1 comment:

Dr No said...

Maybe you meant the Peter Squared Principle?

I have to say, I don't do these meetings. They do my head in.