Saturday, 14 December 2013

Tales from the Gulag revisited 003.

The NHS must according to the so called Nicholson challenge find £ 20 billion of savings to make for the billions squandered by those in the bottom third of the UK’s state education system who are employed as NHS managers. Failed IT systems, PFI financed hospitals et al means the billions of waste increase every day so it is down to these same idiots to find petty savings as they don’t deal with patients. 

Our relative’s recent and late in the day “emergency” admission for a routine scan showed another couple of ideas that will have no doubt emanated down from on the Staffordshire or Nicholson heights of clinical (NHS management) excellence where the target always top trumps the patient.

We have talked about how much more expensive it is to get an urgent scan than in any first world country where you would get such a scan as an outpatient the same day and get the results that day not 4 weeks later but in the third world that is the UK’s socialized medical system you are lucky to get a bed not a trolley or floor to sleep on (the later two are the preferred option as they are cheap and so help meet the Nicholson or Staffordshire® Care challenge). 

Now most peoples’ beds usually have some items on them to make them more comfortable. Things like bed clothes and a pillow to rest ones head on. But not in Sir David’s Staffordshire® Care where in order to get something done urgently you are lucky to get a bed but this was a bare bed for several hours until the data inputters got off their backsides and found some bed clothes.

However they could not find a pillow. Fortunately some lateral thinking and a mobile phone call to the local branch of Pillows ‘R’ Us resulted in a pillow for our relative for the night.

Another great saving that hospitals have introduced is the take all your drugs into hospital scam. This is allegedly for the illiterate doctors and nurses to see exactly what medication you are taking by looking at the boxes. The drugs dispensed usually for free are taken off you and rarely if ever returned to you on your discharge instead as yet another example of NHS efficiency gains they are sent to landfill.

If you are lucky you might get a week, or two, supplies back on discharge. You are then expected to go back to your GP who issued the prescription for the drugs taken from you in the first place which have been sent to landfill to get another prescription from the same GP for the same drugs that were sent to landfill. More NHS efficiency gains double the GPs' work and double their drug expenditure.

While a guest in the Gulag you might, if you are in pain, dare to ask for pain relief. Of course regardless of how intense your pain is you will only get a paracetamol tablet. Pain relief on NHS wards is rationed more closely than penicillin was in the Second World War and there are many excuses for the non-administration of pain relief.

These range from we can’t be arsed (to get the keys to the drug cupboard, find another trained nurse ( if there is one) on a ward to check the drugs, to the we are waiting for the pharmacist (technician) to check the stock, to we only get one pack of 16 paracetamol for the whole hospital from the local convenience store every other month.

Dare to ask for more or something stronger and it is like the scene in Oliver Twist where Oliver dares to ask for more.

Now there are many reasons for this but when controlled drugs (opiates) are involved it might be a BOGOF scam. Patient gets one the nurse gets one free if two are written up to be given at once. Don’t laugh it has happened or perhaps nurses have been told that opiates stop patients breathing the bit about they also stop pain is omitted in today’s data inputter’s advanced “degree” level training which omits basics like pillows, bed clothes and pain relief.

So despite our relative being in pain and asking for the same dose of a drug that our relative takes at home only half the dose was administered throughout our relative’s stay so saving the NHS billions as a result of retarded efficiency gains. After all pain is cheaper for NHS managers than pain killers isn’t it comrade and we all must suffer for the Motherland of today’s NHS for the greater good of the Nicholson challenge so big (retarded) it can be seen from space (Quarry House’s downstairs' windows when the staff look out of them on Friday afternoon to complete their weeks' work)?

So our relative’s recent stay in the Gulag demonstrates how billions are wasted by the inefficiency use of expensive resources to get investigations while pence are saved by not providing patients with pain relief, pillows and bedclothes. Remember comrades this was an alleged first world teaching hospital centre of excellence anywhere else it would have been much worse.

Still the private sector did well for our relative lost their pillow deposit from Pillow ‘R’ Usfor when they went for a comfort break they found that someone had had the time to remove the pillow case from the one bed occupied on the ward and no doubt as an efficiency gain to ensure that the next inmate to the ward would, eventually, after several such trips get a full set of bed clothes.

And after the next comfort break no doubt a pillow as well thanks to the ever efficient private sector and a huge Nicholson challenge saving as well.

Praise be to the Party and its managers for ensuring that all its patients are this well cared for all the time. You might think our Tales from the Gulag were made up they are so farcical but none of this is made up it all happened recently for real in today’s NHS. 

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