Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The NHS - is so depressing

This is something of a rant and is very UK centric. There is a 50-plus issue but not one that will interest most young marketers. If you are feeling healthy and happy with life I suggest you go and make a coffee and get on with the day.

What religious sect has done the most damage to the UK? I will not mention the most obvious one that comes to mind but one that you haven’t thought about – the devotees of the NHS.

When I am in the US I always watch (for a very short time) a few of the religious programmes to marvel at the way that presenters wrap themselves up in the Christian religion for their own benefit. How they can rant against the world and all its evils and then offer the viewer a road to salvation – with the aid of a credit card donation.

During the past few months we have been going through a media feeding fest with countless devotees of the NHS religion claiming it’s under threat but that they have solution. This invariably means spending more money on them and not changing a jot.

The trade unions (that includes the porters, doctors and nurses) don’t want change and claim that it is evil. Assorted politicians, who are either fighting for their few minutes in the sun of media coverage (Shirley Williams) or failed politicians (Nick Clegg) want to wrap themselves in the NHS flag and claim they are saving our souls. The dreadful Labour Party claim that the "NHS is only safe in their hands" even thought their 13 years in office bequeathed the mess what we have today. Health academics can see their nice fat research grants and position in the health establishment under threat and want to keep the status quo and claim any change is not just unnecessary but the work of the devil ‘profit’.

The poor old patient, especially the older variety, has to put up with diabolical treatment but does want to be called a heretic by criticizing the holy NHS.

Any poor sap that comes along and tries to change thing is on a hiding to nothing as all of these devotees followers – all with their vested interests – close ranks to protect their self interests and to “save the NHS”.

A journalist in the FT sums up the state the UK now finds itself after the Government caved-in to the devotees and became converted to the sect

This is a recipe for sclerosis and bureaucracy, not for innovation and change. Much talk, endless challenge, little action.

I appreciate that this statement could be made about almost all of the UK public sector but it matters more when it is the health of the most vulnerable at stake.

It is so depressing. I will be coming back to this subject again – not in the form of a blog posting but a short paper titled: “The NHS – a case study in institutional indifference.” I will let you know when it is published

Just to lighten your mood and too look at what can happen in an innovative organization, you must look at this video of a new search feature from Google. This enables web pages to load instantaneously. Google comes up with these innovations time after time after time. When they don’t work they are dropped. When they do work they are scaled. Dick Stroud


niceyeahnice said...

That's quite an assault, Dick. What do you propose as an alternative to the status quo?

Dick Stroud said...

This blog posting is more than anything a rant against the vested interests that act as a brake to changing the NHS. I am the first to agree that 'change' for changes sake is a terrible idea. What really gets me annoyed is the way that politicians, in particular, use the NHS as a point scoring mechanism without any consideration to the implications.

The paper I am writing will get to grips with the problems that I see with the NHS and will offer some thoughts about how they can be addressed.

As a general statement about Brits I think we have become too accepting of crap service from all parts of the public sector. We accept inferior service so the state supplier has no reason to change.