NHS ‘moles’ are like the Malawian Orphans of the British blogosphere.
Doctor Crippen and Devil’s Kitchen think they are soooo clever with their inside information, don’t they? The Doc reports on the persecution of junior doctors, by revoking their right to prescribe drugs; while the Devil has a bizarre story about nurses secretly performing medicals on asylum seekers.
Well, I’ve got one too (actually, I have five or six, but let’s not be boastful). I’ve been forwarded a particularly amusing letter from Mr Mike Grieve, University Hospitals Division, NHS Lothian. He is leading a financial recovery team to reduce over-spending, which is currently running at £1 million per month.
Our immediate task is to return to a position of month-on-month income and expenditure balance … Much of this is incurred in four areas of expenditure namely, the cost of doctors in training, bank and particularly agency nursing costs, clinical supplies and some medicines.
So, they need to cut costs in the areas of: doctors, nurses, medical supplies, and medicine! Is that not, like, everything that goes into making a hospital a hospital!?
To be fair, at least they are on the case, and trying to get back on budget. My source is not impressed:
Without bank and agency nursing staff the service would collapse. There is a high level of sick leave amongst nurses, due to high levels of stress, low morale, poor pay, shift working etc.. A ward not well staffed by nurses is not safe.
What is interesting is there is no mention of managers, the ones who clearly fucked up in the first place.
That’s fine, but I can’t shake the worry that this would be not so different if the running of hospitals were sub-contracted out to private companies. What’s to stop them cutting the same costs and services to maintain profit margins?