There’s no need to hurry. In fact a bit of dignity and restraint mightn’t be a bad thing.
However, as a Minister in the Government, you should learn that there are old-fashioned courtesies to follow, such as honouring commitments agreed by your precessesor. Hunt had agreed to talk at a meeting and 200 medical staff had paid to attend, bought train tickets, taken time off work, booked into the local Travelodge or Premier Inn, etc. You come in and cancel the committment – NOT a good way to improve relations with doctors and nurses. Let’s hope you learn.
Perhaps you might cotton on that some of us would like some dignity. Start with addressing us correctly, instead of by our first names. And, unlike your predecessors, please realise that rushing to instal changes can be counter-productive, especially if they are not thought out properly.
You have taken on a ‘poisoned chalice’ of a job, but take my advice. DON’T INTERFERE. The two previous Ministers, The Weasel and La La, kept on coming out with new ideas – which were bunkum. If you don’t want to become a laughing stock (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall pursuing you on TV with one of those fluffy things on the end of a pole springs to mind) just keep your head down and get on with sorting out the mess that is today’s NHS – bring a glimmer of common sense into the job, and I’ll leave you alone.
Take note that your ex-colleague, Ann Widdicombe, described much of what is happening in today’s NHS as “Lunacy” and DO something about bed blocking. I served on a McKinsey Think Tank tasked with trying to sort out the mess – and really it’s not rocket science. Just common sense, as Ann demonstrated.
Then perhaps the name MATT HANCOCK might be admired, rather than reviled for mucking up the NHS – yet again.
This aide memoire should help you to understand what is important to us. Officials probably won’t tell you these comments out when briefing you::
Rule 1. Patients often know what’s best for them.
Most of us hate taking pills, but realise they can be helpful. Please stop GPs trying to save money by prescribing cheaper pills – it doesn’t work. e.g. one tried to swop Clopidogrel for Aspirin on my prescription (cheaper), so I told the eminent Consultant who first prescribed Clopidogrel that my GP wanted to swop; he got very shirty and a broadside was despatched. Afterwards, I didn’t hear a peep out of the GP, and he didn’t interfere again.
Rule 2 , Junior Doctors don’t deserve to take the can when Minister’s , bright (or not-so-bright) ideas go wrong.
A & E had been told no more pillows to save money, so I gave the doctor attending me a break-down on how much InjuryLawyers4U would be suing for on my behalf; I have Kyphoscoliosis. Running scared, he went up to a ward and returned with an armful of pillows to support my head, and saved you money because I don’t take kindly to the medical consequences when my head isn’t supported.
Rule 3, Know what’s going on – or don’t open your mouth and put proverbial foot inside.
You wilI obviously want to do a good job, but don’t stand up in Parliament and promise there is no post-code lottery; these thrive across your new domain. I know it would be easier for the NHS if I just kicked the bucket but I rather enjoy living, so I am spending rather a lot of your officials’ time querying rules and regs. to ensure I get the correct care. Take my advice; I know more about treatment than you will (not hard, I must admit).
Rule 4. Do what you’re told, and you will have a bright future.
I know you must be thinking of retiring in a similar platinum-plated fashion to your predecessors, but do realise our taxes pay your salary. So it might be an idea to start being nicer to us before the next election – or aren’t you planning to stay on as an MP? I think we should be told.
Rule 5. Advice from expensive American management consultants might not always work when transferred to UK
I have served on several NHS working groups; I know they are going to make policy decisions because we are paid to attend. Those run by McKinsey are excellent – but some other managing consultants are rubbish. I’ve spent a year discussing care for the elderly under the guidance of an American firm who ran text-book meetings on “how NOT to conduct a meeting”. Upshot was that when rolled out for a pilot the sensible (English) lass in charge, changed everything to what we had suggested should be done, and it now works like a dream. So get rid of those expensive consultants and forego the ‘all-expenses paid’ trips to the States, Virgin Isles, etc., and you could save a lot of money. Sorry if your staff will miss out on their freebies.
Rule 6. Experience the reality of today’s NHS treatment.
Actually, you might already have absorbed this. I understand from the ‘Daily Wail’ (we all read it, but take its medical advice with a pinch of salt) you have signed up to the Babylon GP service. Good. You already understand that those living near you have been shoved into mega-surgeries, and find it almost impossible to get an appointment in under a month. So your £25 to get a consultation online might be money well spent. Keep us informed.
And finally – You could save the NHS a lot of money if you cut down on wastage by over-prescribing. I could start up a chemists shop with the boxes of pain-killers I am handed after every visit to A & E. It’s no use telling staff I don’t need them, they don’t listen. I am storing the boxes so if I ever decide I’ve had enough they will be a cheaper alternative to Dignitas.