Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Future belongs to....

I stole this from my serious Blog, just to show you what you are missing:

I feel I’ve woken up in a horror movie; you know, the Vampire has been killed, you’re getting on with clearing up all the mess, putting the garlic back in the cupboard and suddenly it’s coming at you again.

And again.

It’s like that with Sir David Nicholson (dubbed ‘The man with no shame’), head of NHS England, salary £211,000 a year, pension pot worth £1.9 million. He’s announced he is retiring – but not just yet. You’d think he would keep his head down, work his passage out?

Oh no. The Vampire lives…

I took the trouble to get hold of his speech to the NHS Confederation conference last week. That’s the bosses bash, the manager’s knees up and it makes chilling reading. He’s not done with us yet;

 “…. for the meantime I am going to focus on the next few months the next 10 months that I've got to do a whole series of things that I really do want to do.”

Hold on you are history – a dead hand on the tiller, surely?

“But I really want to talk about the future, I want to talk about the future in terms of what I want to do over the next 10 months or so and what I want to work with you to do as well. There is as we know an enormous amount to do. And what I want to talk to you, I want to talk to you about how we can take the steps needed to promote a positive culture in the NHS. I want to talk to you about the steps that we need to take to plan for the future, to make sure that we are not victims of the political debate or the media storms that come and go with us. How can we take control of the future?”

But you don’t have a future…..surely?

Eh, actually I think he’s got to the ‘in the bunker, chewing the carpet moment’ that eventually gets all megalomaniacs;

“Now, the NHS, in my view at the moment, stands at a crossroads in relation to all of this and we cannot allow the tyranny of the electoral cycle stopping us from making the real and fundamental changes that we need to make to the NHS, we cannot allow that to happen this time. We will be letting down our patients and our communities if we did. So we need to think about how we are going to create a strategy. A long-term plan that gives sustainability to the NHS. People in this country should beware of political manifestos that say, with a little bit of growth, with a bit of management costs savings, with a bit of improvement in procurement and, oh, a bit of integration, you can solve the long-term problems of the NHS. You can't.

What he is saying is that something like the NHS shouldn’t be left to the whim of some politician, it should be left to the whim of some administrator like Sir David Nicholson, this bit says it all;

” we cannot allow the tyranny of the electoral cycle stopping us from making the real and fundamental changes that we need”

By which he means we should lose our democratic control over the expenditure of £104 Billions a year and surrender it to a backroom ‘plan’ that he thinks we aren’t qualified to comment on, that ‘they’ won’t show us and when we protest – ‘they’ ignore us (after a sham consultation, of course).

It’s clear to me that building on the example of the ‘Foundation Trusts’, he aims to take the whole NHS out of government control and put it into some entity we can’t touch but have to pay for. I can see the attraction;

Managers – Freedom to run it like a business, set your own salary  with no interference from Parliament or local authorities, let alone those irritating voters..

Politicians – no blame attaches to them when things go wrong.

Doctors/Consultants – just leave it up to us dearie, we know best.

He’s got 10 months to steal the NHS from us, before he takes up a few lucrative part time jobs on the boards of suppliers to the NHS.

I actually think that the man who brought us the scandal of Mid Staffs hospitals is hoping to become Lord Nicholson of Staffordshire as well.

Only if we let him.

Oh, by the way take a look at this for a ‘jolly’;

“this time last year we were just building up to the Olympics and there was lots of scepticism as I remember about the Olympics, but they were absolutely phenomenal, and one of the things about the Olympics was the opening ceremony and the way in which the NHS played its role in there and I don't know what it felt like where you were or what it felt like with the people that you worked with, I was in London for the whole period because they brought all the health ministers from all over the world together but I don't know what it felt like where you were but I felt, there was a swell of feeling about the NHS. I saw it particularly amongst the ministers from the other countries who were absolutely overwhelmed by it.”


I was watching it on the TV. I bet he got free tickets.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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