Another great reform

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (front C) calls an end to a group picture with his new cabinet in the garden of 10 Downing Street in London May 13, 2010. (L-R) Eric Pickles, William Hague, Tom Strathclyde, Andrew Lansley, George Young, Michael Gove, Nick Clegg, Andrew Mitchell, Sayeeda Warsi, Philip Hammond. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS PROFILE)

Another Great Reform.

Ha, Ha, Ha finally the management are getting their come-uppance. These people who have oppressed the working nurses for years are all going to be put out of work. After all it’s their fault that the NHS is in the trouble it is. Isn’t it?

Before we celebrate let’s take time for some sober reflection. Having been in the health service for over forty years I have seen many great reforms. From Salmon in the seventies, through the establishment of trusts, the move to the community and agenda for change we have all seen how Government policies have improved the service for workers and patients.

Do we know enough about the work of PCTs and SHAs to be able to judge their worth? Everyone is aware that in some areas there are non-jobs that could be swept away, but could we be chucking out the baby with the bath water? For example, who will commission the number of nurses to be trained from Universities?  If G.P.s are to be given control of huge budgets there must be some questions to be answered before this happens. Are they capable of administering these monies? Do they have the time to balance clinical work with the need to run a business? Given that G.P.s have a personal relationship with their patients will they be able to look them in the eye and say “we can’t fund your treatment”? Will mental health and learning disabilities be given the same priority as neo natal or cancer?

A Government spokesman says that G.P.s can be trained and that they will employ managers to help them. So we are not removing a management tier just replacing it. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Finally, we have struggled in nursing for years to get our voices heard; we had great hopes for nurse consultants and modern matrons. With all the power being placed back in the hands of medics where will this leave us? So before we sit back and enjoy the cull of the faceless ones let’s take a long hard look at the alternative. We should demand consultation on this as it is our area of expertise and we should be involved in the process.

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Comments

Simon’s point is very valid but sadly I think the cull has begun but it seems to be front line staff that are being hit by this, they are not being replaced, there are ‘no’ vacancies for newly qualifying student nurses and yet we have an aging nursing population. It seems very shortsighted to abandon the reforms of the NHS because of political ideology surely if something was working we should try to hold onto it. Dont get me wrong there was always room for huge improvements, its no where near perfect. But consider – despite the financial havoc created by the actions of our financial institutions that are reverberating around the globe and causing significant public and personal distress they continue to have relative independence and are somewhat removed from the ravages of governmental and policy change – why not so for the NHS? Or is the real question is there a political will to provide a National Health Service in the UK? Or is this a clear indicator of a desire to end national health services?

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