National Health Service improvement
The recent SCUNTHORPE Telegraph article outlined details of Sir Bruce Keogh's Improvement Exercise in the wake of the damming report of avoidable deaths in the NHS of which Scunthorpe Hospital is now included.
Whatever Sir Keogh's exercise may or may not eventually report, one thing to me is crystal clear. The big picture is that the NHS is a broken organisation. It is broken and has been outdated for many years.
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Even if all sorts and types of fundamental innovations, training and changes are introduced to management and staff (it will obviously help) I honestly cannot see it altering the fundamental philosophy of a principle that cannot really work.
Generally speaking, in my opinion, at this moment in time, the staff and workforce is the best that we can expect in ability, expertise and training to work and operate a NHS in the UK. Okay there are obviously people, like in any industry, that are in the wrong job for a variety of reasons and should move on. As a clear example of working suitability, a person like me could never be suitable for the health industry nor could I ever be suitable as a teacher. To be a success in most jobs, give or take certain flexibilities, a person will generally find their true position in industry.
Whereas the NHS and The Caring Industry are generally a special industry and call for a special calibre of people who really care for people no matter what, I consider that the caring philosophy required for the health and caring industry is already within a person and not in others and whilst a certain amount of training and systems can help, there are not sufficient natural caring people within the UK for specific reasons.
As a clear example of the love and care within people is the management and staff of the local hospice unit that shines out in every aspect that in some respects is missing in the NHS and Caring industry.
I personally consider, at this moment in time, within the UK generally, we have lost the ability to be a caring society, and lost the ability to be independent in our thoughts and actions because of the political system we have of looking after people from the cradle to the grave. We have, as a corporate nation, been too ready to think that someone else will do what we as a person should do or if not that the state will do it for us and as the years have rolled on since 1945 we have as a nation lost what is now required and has now come to haunt us as a nation.
As a teenager attending a party political conference I had the pleasure of meeting Nye Bevan who was obviously filled with enthusiasm on his introduction of the NHS which provided free medical care to all. He was surprised at my hesitation of the scheme and appeared to have no reservations whatsoever. I often wonder what would be his thoughts today.
There appears no evidence that we in the UK are prepared to accept generally that we are, in practise and in thought, in a dependency culture and until we are the NHS and Caring Industry will continue to have similar problems to a degree that Sir Keogh is considering and no amount of pontificating will alter anything fundamentally.
In addition, it is quite evident that we are not prepared to fully support the current system financially as funding for whatever reasons is insufficient to meet requirements.
I attended a small discussion meeting recently and raised the question of how many there contributed to the NHS and not one hand was raised.
What does that tell us and where do we go from here?
I obviously have my own thoughts on the way forward, but that is another story.