But will Patricia Hewitt improve efficiency?
I do wonder who is in charge of today’s NHS? Ministers seem to be on a merry-go-round producing a new incumbent every month or so.
Recently, one of these Ministers set the NHS the tasks of improving obesity figures, stopping smoking, and limiting drinking. So the next Minister turns out to be someone who cheerfully admits she smokes, drinks, and isn’t exactly – er – slim. She didn’t last very long.
NHS England announces “Research amongst early adopters on the benefits of online access to GP records via the NHS app, has revealed one of the most significant benefits is “patients not needing to contact reception to get their test results” I think this means a few chums of the boffins that developed this app have tried it out, and being told how to navigate the system – so it works for them but not necessarily for ordinary members of the public like me.
Then, Patricia Hewitt of MMC (known as Murdering my Career) infamy is bought back to streamline the way the health service operates.
The mind boggles remembering what she did to Junior Doctors’ careers with her MMC programme. If she now turns her mind to patients, we need help! We do not need advice from her.
Er – What is happening in reality
Sitting on my desk is an NHS letter giving me results from tests after I was seen in the. Oxford Genetic Clinic on 23rd. Sept.
Except, I was nowhere near the Clinic on Sept. 23rd; I had waited a year to be tested on this programme and was due to have Genetic tests at the end of this month. So I obviously have .someone else’s test results. As I am told these tests can cost £15,000 I am beginning to see where NHS money goes.
So I phone, expecting the hospital will be concerned.
How stupid can I be?
Presumably, somebody was tested on Sept. 23rd and is anxiously waiting for their results.
I spend two days on the phone. Find out
- I have been deemed to have been tested so my appointment has been canceled, and I suspect I am now at the back of the queue
- No one seems concerned with the person whose test results have been sent to me in error
I have tried to be helpful
Amongst those I contact are
- :The clinic – they tell me as my case is closed my notes have been “moved to storage off-site”. Does this mean landfill? Apparently, they will take a long time to bring back,
- I ask the Appointments office to reinstate my appointment. But once the NHS has canceled you, you go to the back of the queue. And whoever I talk to as I work my way around the department insists that I have had my appointment because it states so in the letter. I begin to doubt my sanity.
- PALS – sweetly helpful and they phone me back. But they work for the NHS, who insist I have had a test on the 23rd.
- Umpteen Secretaries who pass me on to non-existent telephone numbers, or numbers that ring and ring but no one answers
- My GP who is marked on the letter as being copied in – but has never received the letter and is far too busy to worry about one patient.
- Ditto a Dermatologist Their Secretary is helpful, but totally bemused as they definitely have not received the letter
- Of course I contact the Head of the Department, who originally phoned me, to explain the process and gave me the appointment date for next week. I am given to understand that she is so busy no one knows when she can spare the time to talk – which I understand,
- Then I contact the local newspaper. They won’t touch the story because of breaching confidentiality.
- Finally, after 48 hours of getting nowhere, I email the hospital’s CEO. Her office replies within 30 minutes to ask for my MRN and NHS number, then goes silent
Article in Daily Mail
An article in the Mail by Christopher Snowden comments on Patricia Hewitt being bought in to tell doctors and nurses that they will be expected to do more with less. “Good luck with that as these people working under brutal working conditions, will down tools and go on strike”
Strike – the dreaded word
I TOTALLY agree that NHS front-line staff should be paid more, but like Canute trying to hold back the waves, it just won’t happen.
However, surely there is room for some steps such as Hospital Trusts abolishing Car Parking charges to staff? Then work on achievable steps with other things that can be offered. And work up from there.
Otherwise it’s patients who will pay the price with our health and even our lives.