5 thoughts on “HAL9000 Update

  1. Dear Bat Person,
    I have read your post about the junior doctors’ contract. You don’t seem to have the faintest idea about what is happening to the NHS, although you clearly would be a more than fine negotiator for anyone who wants to simply win better pay, terms and conditions.
    Unfortunately the NHS is creaking from systematic de-funding, having its guts ripped out by management consultants leading endless re-dis-organisations with ever more Orwellian names. ‘Sustainable’ means being shrunk to a size where the government don’t mind paying for it, but it won’t actually have enough hospitals, doctors or anyone else to look after anyone. Massively expensive tendering exercises divert funds into anything other than clinical care, trusts are gouged for PFI payments, but yeah it’s a brilliant idea to add an extra staff cost on top of all that. What a wizard wheeze to make employees more expensive than locums.
    But don’t worry! According to you the docs will be well paid, well rested and relaxed from a full holiday. The gaps in the rota can be filled by people recruited from overseas – leaving their health services short – whilst we wait the 7 years minimum to train up enough home grown staff to do the job.
    Oh wait…no…because that is not the idea at all. The idea is to fill the gaps with lesser qualified staff, physician assistants, nurse associates, clinical pharmacists, hell there are probably some unemployed theatricals out there who would look great in scrubs.
    Let them say yes to the contract. Let them throw patient care out of the window as the glitter of the lucre proves more attractive.
    And I’ll be round to shit on your face when the first patient dies from being wrongly ‘triaged’ by an unregulated and unqualified receptionist having to do the work of a nurse who is having to do the work of a matron who is having to do the work of a doctor.

    • Ok, there are a few things that need to be teased out here.
      The NHS is underfunded, we all know this. However a hike in junior doctors wage bill accounts for less that 0.3% of the total NHS budget. This contract cannot and will not address this problem.

      The choice you have now is this: carry on flogging doctors till they quit, causing a rolling wave of collapsing hospitals (hint: its already happening) or we can begin to make life better for the doctors we have, and make it really fucking hard to over work doctors using the only weapon that works: cost.

      There is no one thing that will sort out this problem. As you rightly point out, an extra 10billion won’t make a time machine that poops out mid-grade junior doctors.

      A tired doctor, in a trust that systematically hides rota gaps, and forces doctors to work unsafe hours is a deadly feedback loop. More mistakes, more deaths, more rage/exhaustion/horror quitting. We cannot take a scatter gun approach to fixing this, we need to systematically change the bits we can, and move on to the next problem, together.

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