Friday, May 05, 2006
Fresh Health Triumph!
The National Audit Office reports today on the Commissariat's triumph in abolishing the out of hours service we used to get from GPs. As you will know, this was the reform that switched responsibility for out of hours services from GPs- where it had resided since the time of Hippocrates- to those Primary Care Trusts largely run by ex-convicts.
According to the NAO, the reform has been spectacularly successful: GP calls have been almost entirely eliminated, replaced by phone consultations with Nurse Quacktitioners, answering machines, 2am visits to distant health centres, 4 hour waits, moonlighting French docs, and very little chance of any formal record of proceedings passed back to your GP. Spectacular.
Of course, being moaning minnie accountants, the NAO has had to spoil it with their usual list of tedious gripes. Like the fact that the reformed system is costing £212m more than the old one, it's already 20% over budget, and loads of patients reckon the new system is "poor". All of which misses the point.
Much better listen to Health Minister Lord Warner, who confirms "the NHS is on the right track towards providing quality, round-the-clock services with high levels of patient satisfaction. Evening and weekend services ... are greatly improved."
Posted by Mike D at 7:42 am