February 6, 2013

NHS – Let’s bring back the compassion….

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:44 am by Aleksan

Having worked in the NHS from 1968 to 1996 I am particularly distressed by the way it has turned out. It was a kind and friendly place and we spent as much time and money on our patients as they needed. Politicians were not interested and we had never heard of managers until the late 80s. Doctors and Nurses ran the service and we had never heard the word “audit”. It was a big shock when managers and executives took over and when Audit became the goal rather than Care. I used to joke that Health Care Trusts came into being because the priorities of Health, Care and Trust had been lost.. Bullying, bungling and an Orwellian thought police ethos became established. A Finance Director came to see me to say that I must spend less time with patients and families, but see more of them per hour. He said my work was inefficient because I was not saving the Trust money and not making money. He failed to appreciate my view that his efficiency was the opposite from being efficient and effective as a Child Psychiatrist. My heart sank as I realised there was no commitment to Children’s Services – they could not create money, money, money…Of course we had to have audit and managers when the NHS got very expensive – new drugs, expensive scans and people living longer – we all had to be more economic and do things differently – but did we also have to chuck the baby of “compassion” out with the bathwater of “inefficiency?

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