Saturday, 3 April 2010

Welcome to NHS Global™.

While busily doing nothing in a full surgery we were reading the medical rags. It being the day before a bank holiday in the UK, half of the morning’s patients put illness on hold and did not show up. This was probably because they had to rush down to the local supermarkets to panic buy booze for the next 4 days so they would not have to leave the comfort of their homes as it was a public holiday.

Come next Tuesday, when work looms large and the booze has run out, they will all be demanding emergency appointments for their on hold illnesses.

As a result of our net trawling we found this interesting article. A web search led us to this site and we duly read it with interest.

We thought what great ideas could NHS Global™ sell to the world? Perhaps a few great ideas like these:

NHS (re) Direct?

We suspect that countries in the third world will be crying out for a service run by nurses sitting in a call centre rather than treating real patients.

World Class Commissioning?

Read what the House of Common’s Health Select Committee thinks about this potential export winner here. This is a summary the full report is more damning.

The Darzi centres?

Unneeded expensive idea that costs up to 5 times more than normal general practice and see far less patients.

Choose and Book?

We suspect the world will be screaming out for things that do not work like this given the huge export sales to date of this product compared with Windows XP.

British medical graduates?

Possibly, one of the few NHS true export triumphs following the successes of the MMC and MTAs schemes. Spend a fortune training new doctors, don’t give them jobs here and let them go overseas to work. We supply doctors to another country with zero training costs to that country. Simple brilliant idea but a waste of public money.

We are sure our readers and fellow bloggers could think of more. But enough cynicism, shall we look in more detail at NHS Global™?

Look at its mission statement in the second paragraph according to Andy Burnham the Health Secretary:

“The NHS could generate additional funding from other countries and organisations using its knowledge and products . . .”

No budget deficient hidden agenda here then?

“There is increasing demand from Governments and organisations abroad to share knowledge, provide services, or even replicate parts of the NHS.”

There certainly is Andy. Every day we here at ND Central have to turn away foreign governments asking us how to do things the NHS way for:

“the NHS is home to world-class innovations that could benefit from a share in this market.”

We are sure other NHS GPs have the same problems as do we with door knockers as a result.

“The Department of Health has begun preliminary work with NHS organisations to bring products to market and will launch a call across the system for further ideas to be submitted for consideration by NHS Global.”

No half baked ideas here then as to which “products” will be sold by NHS Global™. Clearly a well planned and prepared launch for this new corporate entity.

Look again at the expertise they have gathered to launch this product in the beginning of this article.

Messers Brown and Burnham and the good Lord Darzi. Three men who between them who know sweet FA about healthcare but all 3 have considerable expertise to export about how to wreck NHS healthcare via “reform”. Now that information might be worth something to someone perhaps President Obama?

“Yeoh my main man Gordon, could you tell me how not to deliver socialized medicine?”

“Aye laddie, I can do so but, Barack, it’ll cost ye to use NHS Global™ . . . "

Look at what some of them go onto say starting with Andy Burnham:

“After a decade of record investment, the launch of NHS Global demonstrates that the NHS now has the confidence and capacity to play a greater role on the world stage. However, there is still much more that we can do and demand for NHS products and knowledge far outstrips supply”.

Quite right Mr Burnham loads of money misspent and despite this, demand for NHS “products” outstrips supply for patients here in the UK so what exactly are we going to export from our bountious surplus of healthcare “products” in the UK?

Some more wisdom from Mr Burnham:

“A key part of responding to the economic challenge that the NHS faces will be realising the full potential of innovation, not only making effective use of our knowledge and skills at home, but also making money abroad that can be reinvested back into the NHS. So we will invite NHS staff to come forward with their suggestions for the NHS innovations which we could take to the world and in the coming months we will commence a consultation on these proposals.”

And what does the NHS do best with innovation Mr Burnham? That’s right it ignores it so your fine words mean nothing and the consultation on these proposals means it is already a done deal and we all know who will have been done? UK patients and their healthcare.

Next we have something from the head manager of the NHS, Sir David Nicholson Chief Executive of the NHS whose words we publish in full and suggest you use a NHS Manangement to English translater to determine what this paragraph means:

“The NHS provides high quality health services to patients everyday. International demand for knowledge, skills and services developed in the NHS is growing. What we need is a more systematic approach to supporting NHS organisations in making the most of these opportunities and bringing benefits back to the NHS and the taxpayer. NHS Global provides us with the opportunity to take a significant step forward in making this happen”.

Obviously Sir David has the same problem with door knockers that we have here at ND Central being constantly interuptted by overseas governments saying how do you do it? Starting to see a theme, real or imagined, regarding income generation?

And finally a man, who given his extensive lack of knowledge of primary care medicine and aviation was brought in to wreck UK General Practice and is tipped to be building the successor to Concorde in his spare time but still has managed to acquired a new job title so lets big it up for Professor Lord Ara Darzi who is now the:

UK Global Health and Life Sciences Ambassador.

Does that mean NHS Gobal™ is a country?

“From my own experience I know that the NHS is home to some of the most exciting healthcare innovations in the world. There are new ideas and techniques being developed every day to provide our patients with an ever higher quality of care. There is significant international demand for NHS products and knowledge and it is important that NHS organisations are supported in making the most of this opportunity.”

We do wonder what experience you will be drawing on Professor Lord Darzi and are they knocking on your door as well? How do you manage to do any surgery? The financial success of the centres named after you and their under utilization by patients perhaps?

“Proper management of our knowledge and skills will create additional income to invest back into frontline services. At the same time, greater participation in the Global Health agenda will provide greater security to the UK and the rest of the world in confronting international health security challenges, such as pandemic flu. NHS Global will be key to unlocking this potential and, in doing so, will bring tangible benefits to the NHS, the UK and the world”.

“Proper management” now we know we are onto a winner as the NHS is a world leader in management growth to deliver nothing better in healthcare other than increased bearocracy. Notice several subtle references to bringing in income? We aren’t going to be selling the family silver via NHS Global?

Our learned Lord goes on:

“The NHS leads the world in technologies and innovations to combat healthcare associated infections (HCAIs). There is significant demand from other health systems across the world to learn from the NHS.”

He is right we probarly lead the world in the number of HCAIs in contrast to countries like Holland so selling this knowledge on how to acquire these infections will be a gold mine for Gordon. It is one of the NHS’s proudest achievements brought about by numerous healthcare “reforms” over the last 12 years.

Now we get onto the funny bits:

“In addition, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement’s ‘Productive Series’ and NHS Direct Software are examples of projects that could generate international business.”

Well we had only heard of one out of the three but do wonder if the “Productive Series” is related to the Productive ward initiative of broom cupboard cleaning?

We must not be too dismissive of the good Lord Darzi as look what he says next:

“NHS Direct software enables non-clinical staff to direct calls for clinical advice where appropriate, depending on callers’ responses to a series of linked questions about their symptoms. This reduces staffing costs while maintaining standards of safety and quality”.

Clearly a man who lives in the real world and recognizes something brown and “world-class” that should be exported (to another planet?).

Well at this point we lost the will to live and we will skip the next few paragraphs and go to the end:

“The Department of Health will consult on an operating model for NHS Global in the coming months and subject to the outcome of this consultation, expects to launch NHS Global in the summer.”

We can’t wait.

Praise be to the Party for its launch of the new Bristish Leyland of healthcare, NHS Global™.

Coming to a car park near you soon the Brown Maxi, the Burnham Princess and the Darzi Allegro all three models representative of the best in current British health care in the same way that the cars bearing these names once represented the “best” of British automotive engineering in the 1970s and made us the laughing stock of the automotive world.

What are they on?

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