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In the consulting room


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Thursday, 21 July 2011

In the consulting room

Man: Thanks for seeing me, doctor.

Doctor: What can I do for you?
Man: I think I’ve got a problem with my reforms.
Doctor: Okay, perhaps you can describe the symptoms.
Man: I can’t seem to keep anything down.
Doctor: I see. Anything else?
Man: It’s embarrassing, but I’m having a bit of trouble, er, downstairs.
Doctor: Difficulty in the bedroom?
Man: No, I said downstairs. The people who work for me.
Doctor: That doesn’t sound like a medical problem.
Man: Believe me it is. I’m trying to make it their problem.
Doctor: Have you tried talking to the people downstairs.
Man: Yes, but it’s not working. I talk to them all the time but they don’t seem to get it.
Doctor: Perhaps I could refer you to a specialist.
Man: No, that would be far too expensive. That’s what I’m trying to stop. I want you to sort it out.
Doctor: But I may not be qualified.
Man: It doesn’t matter. You’ll soon pick it up.
Doctor: What do you want me to do?
Man: I want you to run the NHS.
Doctor: I see. You do know I’m a doctor, don’t you?
Man: Yes, obviously.
Doctor: But you’d like me to run the NHS.
Man: Yes, you’d be really good at it.
Doctor: What’s in it for me?
Man: You can manage budgets, tell people what to do, commission stuff…
Doctor: It doesn’t sound like much fun.
Man: No, it is. Trust me.
Doctor: I think I’m going to have to send you to someone who specialises in this sort of thing.
Man: No, don’t do that. Look, I can make it worth your while.
Doctor: Are you offering me money?
Man: No. Okay, yes.
Doctor: How much?
Man: About £60 billion.
Doctor: Now you’re being silly.
Man: No, really. I just want you to spend it for me.
Doctor: You want me to spend £60 billion?
Man: Yes.
Doctor: What do you want me to spend it on?
Man: Anything you like, just as long as you get my reforms working again.
Doctor: Have you considered going private?
Man: Funny you should mention that…
Doctor: Right. This is a waste of my time. I have patients to see. Unless you have a medical problem, I really can’t help you.
Man: That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. I’ve got an enormous medical problem.
Doctor: Okay, I’m going to give you something for it. You’ll need to take two of these after meals. I’m afraid they’re rather bitter.
Man: Can’t you take them for me?
Doctor: Next, please.  


andrew2 says:
Jul 22, 2011 09:20 AM
When all the dust settles, assuming it ever does, our conclusion is that all of these improvements as recommended by the Future Forum and agreed by Government could all have been achieved without the directionless upheaval that has gone on for almost a year and which is far from over. What “liberating” has produced is not logical reform but organisational drift and indecision, resulting in increased cost pressures, network dislocations and unplanned staff changes and confusion and anxiety in service users and the public. We believe that the existing legislative framework around the English NHS and local government could have been redesigned with more clinical and local authority leadership on PCTs from networks, senates, HWBBs and users and the public to achieve these objectives. Far from “liberating the NHS” in England, the journey Mr Lansley’s reforms and now the “reform of the reforms” has taken us on may prove to be a very expensive and largely circular excursion, via the first partial re-committal of a government bill to Parliament since 1951, all to get us back pretty much where we started but poorer and exhausted by the experience. And still having to find £20bn+ savings by 2014. As the old Irish proverb so wisely says, “If you want to get to there, I wouldn’t start from here.”

Dr Andrew Craig
Moore Adamson Craig Partnership LLP
pjaffrey says:
Aug 04, 2011 02:46 PM
Or to quote Harold Wilson, former Labour Prime Minister, "when you are in a hole, stop digging"