Friday, March 30, 2007

Tractor Production Industry Monitoring Industry Output Hits Record!

Records smashed!

More excellent news comrades!

The number of reports produced by the Healthcare Commission has hit a new all-time record!

According to the Commission's Glorious Hero of the Revolution website, this year's output has reached a staggering 652 separate reports (a summary and a full report for each of 326 NHS trusts), plus sundry press notices, overviews, and detailed Excel spreadsheets.

The Commissar and the entire Commissariate extend their heartfelt congratulations and thanks for an outstanding contribution to socialist healthcare!

And let it be a salutary lesson to those counter-revolutionary elements still present in NHS tractor factories themselves. The People's Paradise has no place for bourgeois thinking such as this:

"Fewer than half of NHS staff members would be happy to be a patient at their own hospital, according to an official survey by the health service regulator.

More than a quarter, 27 per cent, said they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: "I would be happy with the standards of care provided if I was a patient in my trust".

How often must we repeat that it is everyone's patriotic duty to be treated in a state tractor factory, irrespective of their personal feelings.

Er, yes.

The Healthcare Commission is a classic instrument of Big Government control. Even its motto- proudly displayed on its website and all its reports- is the highly sinister "Inspecting, Informing, Improving". And according to many in the NHS, its corporate ethos is straight out of the NKVD procedures manual.

But as a taxpaying customer, that's not what bothers me.

What we have with the Healthcare Commission is yet another counterproductive paper factory. And it cost us £69m in 2005-06, an increase of no less than 22% on the previous year. Its 780 staff (fte) cost £44.8m, or £58,000 each, and the top earner got a very nice £156,000. It spent a further £15m on "consultancy, professional fees, etc".

What precisely am I meant to do with all this bumpf? Yes, it worries me that only 33% of the staff at my local hospital would be happy to be a patient there- of course it does- that's much worse even than the 42% national average. But what am I meant to do? True, a few other hospitals within say a day's hard drive do seem a little better, but not enough to make it certain I'd get much better care (you can look up your local hospital trust here- question 22f).

Sometimes when I go to a supermarket, and much to Mrs T's embarrassment and extreme irritation, I ask the check-out operator if he/she is happy working for the store. The answer is generally that Waitrose staff are delighted, Sainsbury staff are mixed, and Tesco staff are disgruntled (Asda staff I'm not sure about because they don't altogether speak the same version of English as me).

But does it affect where I shop? Not really. It might help me decide where to invest, but as for shopping, I choose on the basis of the overall service, not whether the staff are feeling good. That's a problem for Sir Terry to sort out.

The trouble with British healthcare is that unless you're rich enough to pay twice, you don't get a choice. Irrespective of how much paperwork these monitoring quangos spew out, it's the NHS or nothing.

This is yet another £70m pa we could save without even noticing the difference.

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