This Is How Not To Run A Hospital

The NHS Trust that runs the renowned teaching hospital Jimmy’s (St. James’, Leeds) and Leeds General is facing up to 1000 job cuts due to its budget deficit.
In an unusually outspoken statement from an NHS Senior Manager, Hugo Mascie – Taylor has blamed the deficit on the new “pay by results” system imposed on all hospitals by the Government. Under this scheme hospitals are paid according to a set tariff for each procedure.
Unfortunately instead of ramming his point home Mascie – Taylor quickly lapsed into mealy mouthed mode saying “The system has exposed the hospitals’ inefficiencies, costs are fifteen percent higher here than the national average.”
Now while the Leeds is a typical general hospital as far as I can gather, Jimmy’s in addition to its teaching function which surely adds value to every operation and treatment carried out because the next generation of doctors are learning their trade there. In that we have the best rebuttal of the government’s bean counting approach to hospital management
Jimmy’s is also a centre of expertise for cancer and cardiac problems. The teaching function must add to costs.. Who could ever predict how many heart attacks and cancers there will be in any year in a city the size of Leeds? Budgets in the NHS must always be flexible, bean counters are genetically ill – equipped for flexibility.
It seems that in looking at this trust’s financial problems we do not need to know the answer to the CEO’s question about how costs come to be higher, what we need to know is how such a short sighted dickhead ever got such a responsible job.
Its an effing teaching hospital Hugo, think about it.
But of course Hugo is just making the right noises in order to protect his pension. He has to be sure he is on message as the New Labour Brunhilde, Patricia Hewitt, has burst onto the stage (to the accompaniment of Ride of the Valkyries) and announced she will personally take responsibility for returning the NHS to financial stability by March.
As the NHS, for reasons stated, is by nature subject to financial instabilities this will be another New Labour exercise in bolting the stable door after the horse has shat.
Has Ms. Hewitt no idea at all of the implications of her pledge (in the event of, say, a flu epidemic, or have she and Blairissimo hatched a secret plan to ration healthcare as the government intends to ration travel miles?
“Appendix out? Oooooh sorry mate, you haven’t enough tokens; hers a couple of indigestion tablets.”
Hewitt has so far only called for more cost cutting and a bit of juggling with contingency funds. You may be sure however when this smoke an mirrors act fails it will be doctors, nurses and other front line staff who bear the brunt. There will be no bean counters getting their marching orders. In fact they will probably hire more bean counters to implement even tighter financial controls.

Taxing Times For Motorists

An independent report on improving Britain’s transport system commissioned by the government has recommended that motorists should pay by the mile for road use. Well I suppose the people who commission independent reports have some right to decide in advance what he findings ought to be before the authors even start to consider the evidence The outcome of this exercise was as predictable as the results of enquiries into the death of a government scientist and the total lack of WMD which in both instances said the mishaps nothing to do with the Government.
Now it is not Little Nicky Machiavelli’s way to sing his own praises (he said without a trace of irony) but regular readers may remember I predicted almost a year ago that the governments great transport initiative would amount to nothing more than taxing private motorists of the road to make more room for corporate execs in the chauffeur driven Limos.
Call me simple minded if you like (possums) but I thought the taxes I pay on every gallon of petrol were to subsidise the public transport system. I mean what else could they be for except to fund illegal wars and hand out massive sweeteners to PFI contractors?
The transport report makes a number of claims that are quite startling in their stupidity, the main one being that the £28 billion a year brought in by the new tax will reduce congestion and pollution and benefit rail and bus users so much it will render unnecessary the building of new roads and railways.
Yeah right.
But how are bus and rail users going to benefit when there are no buses or trains that take them anywhere near where they want to go. And when bus and rail operators already announced earlier this week that the additional costs of providing extra services to meet anticipated increases in demand will be passed on to travellers in the form of extra costs.

It all sounds like a gigantic fraud to me. I will bet that the outcome is we all end up paying huge amounts of tax just to keep the transport system we have now.