Value For Money

So it would seem that I'll be taking an effective pay cut this year as inflation outraces my pay packet. Unison (which, for better or worse is the main ambulance union) as agreed to a below inflation pay rise, staggered over the year.
I don't belong to a union because I begrudge giving them my subscription dues when they agree to stuff like this, so I don't get a vote. Much like I didn't get a vote to decide this current Prime Minister.

Still, what do I expect when our Prime Minister has cosy little chats with the Milk-thief.

It's an incredibly cheery thought, as I get ready for a run of twelve hour night shifts this Friday, Saturday and Sunday that the government values me so much. I'll bear it in mind as I destroy my body through shift work and unhealthy eating that, in order to protect inflation, I have to suffer a reduction in my quality of life by getting paid less in real terms than I did last year. I'll think of this as my back starts to ache from being stuck in an ambulance for twelve hours straight, only getting exercise as I carry people younger than myself down several flights of stairs.

And then our Health minister comes out with garbage like this,

“What is important is that we build on this, involving the workforce in the key decisions about the future of the NHS as we modernise patient care. Involving staff in this way is the key to boosting morale.”

I can picture him smirking inside as he spouts this bullshit.

It seems that more and more often I think about getting out of this job and instead do something more reasonable, like writing for a living or working with computers. Unfortunately my computing 'A' level dates back to the years of the 8086 processor, and while I'm fairly smart about computers, I have nothing formally useful on my CV. That and starting on the bottom of the ladder (again) is just too depressing to consider.

And if I'm depressed now, I can imagine how I'll feel after my run of nights…

Job offers to the usual email address.

At least one of the Lib Dems has had a reasonable idea. Nothing will come of it of course, but it is a nice idea that gets him some news coverage.

UPDATE : Mousethinks points out an even better way of looking at the problem. One that in my blaise acceptance of abuse I'd completely forgotten about.

28 thoughts on “Value For Money”

  1. But where does it end? Over weight, you pay? Smoker, you pay? Having an OD, you pay? Having an allergic reaction when you knoew about the allergy, you pay? Pregnant, you pay? Stay with an abusive partner, you pay? These are all things you do to yourself. Isn't the whole point of the welfare state to protect the weak ones within a society of the strong? The problem is that the storng within our society don't seem to see the benift of protecting the weak anymore, we don't want to pay for the services that would help sort these problems out, and so we shout about how poor the sevices are. The user shouldn't pay, the tax payer should and if that means a tax rise I for one would gladly pay.

  2. That's a good point – one that I keep forgetting because of the ingrained attitude that even if you are abusive, you still get the service.Consider yourself linked (and put on my RSS feed)

  3. It's easily forgotten when you get used to taking as much shit as we do. The abhorrent becomes the norm…Thanks for the link πŸ™‚

  4. If you're going to refer to Thatcher as a “milk thief” perhaps you would be so good as to show some semblence of balance by refering to Brown as the “Pensions Thief”. I leave it up to your readers to assign importance. Thank you in advance.

  5. One of these fine days – and I'm not holding my breath – the police will actually deal with drunks. The last time I looked, drunk and incapable; drunk in a public place; drunk and disorderly and drunk on licensed premises were POLICE matters, since they are all CRIMINAL offences under the various Licensing Acts. We in the LAS (and associated services) should NOT be coming into the picture AT ALL. If the police did ther job, their would be fewer assaults etc on NHS staff of all types.I know that a person in a state of acute intoxication can frequently be a pre-hospital emergency, especially if they are profoundly unconsc and unresponsive (ie GCS 3), and I say fine – we'll send an amb, but we SHOULD NOT BE DEALING with people who are drunk and abusive etc.

    As a sector controller, I categorically REFUSE to send ambulances to violent etc drunks when called by police (or anyone else, for that matter). When the police are on scene, and the situation has been calmed down – fine. I also do not see why we are called to people who are drunk in their own homes – so what???

  6. “Much like I didn't get a vote to decide this current Prime Minister.”And why should you? That isn't how our governmental system works. We elect local MPs who the represent our views (theoretically) in Parliament.If we were voting purely for one leader, we would be a presidency. See: America.See this wikipedia article:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister_of_the_United_KingdomPoint of note: “The Prime Minister is appointed by the Sovereign, who is bound by constitutional convention to choose the individual most likely to command the support of the House of Commons (normally, the leader of the party with a majority in that body). Should the Prime Minister lose the confidence of the House of Commons (indicated, for example, by the passage of a no confidence motion), he or she is morally obliged by similar conventions either to resign (in which case the Sovereign can try to find another Prime Minister who has the House's confidence) or to request the monarch to call a general election.”

  7. There's always one isn't there. Jeeeez. Thanks for the lesson in how our Governmental Process works. Most useful. That'd be another one who COMPLETELY MISSED THE POINT THEN wouldn't it?No doubt one day when I have you in the back of my ambulance and am explaining the care I am giving to you, having been on shift with no food or rest for hours, you will feel the need to correct my grammar also.

    I especially appreciated the note of support you gave us at the end……you know…..the courteous afterthought you generously proffered.

  8. Calm down! I was just pointing it out! I understand the point perfectly, I was only commenting on the flawed argument. You'll find there are many people who truly do not understand “how our “Governmental Process works”.My comment was intended to be friendly. Of course I appreciate the work you and your worldwide colleagues do.

    I appreciate this blog too, enough to buy Tom's book.

  9. Calm down! I was just pointing it out! I understand the point perfectly, I was only commenting on the flawed argument. You'll find there are many people who truly do not understand “how our “Governmental Process works”.My comment was intended to be friendly. Of course I appreciate the work you and your worldwide colleagues do.

    I appreciate this blog too, enough to buy Tom's book.

  10. Well phew for that. Appreciate you taking the time to clarify it though………..curiously I'm a little flawed myself…….

  11. Tom, I work at Apple and if you were ever going to change careers I think you'd make a great Genius! Something to keep in mind in case your back goes one day carrying a particularly heavy patient.

  12. Tom, I work at Apple and if you were ever going to change careers I think you'd make a great Genius! Something to keep in mind in case your back goes one day carrying a particularly heavy patient.

  13. 'The Milk Thief' is a well known nickname of Thatcher. As for Brown – I think the rest of the post is at least vaguely disparaging towards him.

  14. See, I was alluding to Labour party members who pay their dues and then *should* get a vote to decide who is leader.Not that this happened this time.

  15. Indeed. Though as a Labour party member and an affiliated trade union member I would of course have had two votes on who gets to be leader. It was still a stitch-up. Even though I might still have voted for Brown, I'd at least have liked the choice – Labour party membership isn't particularly cheap, especially when things like “voluntary” donations to branch funds, or buying books of raffle tickets when you can't persuade anyone else to buy them get taken into account…

  16. What you posted should be printed on big posters and put up on the walls of A and E..! It should be our new mission statement..!As for the paltry 2.5% the only sweetner in Wales is that it's going to be paid in one instead of staggered for the rest ofyou..

  17. Here in Australia most Ambulances run on a user pays scheme, a major difference is that as Australia is broken up into several states each state runs its own ambulance and hospital system with some funding from the federal govt. So for example you need to take a ride to hospital it will cost you. I feel this greatly reduces the amount of unneeded calls. Also if you want to not pay the $500 odd australian dollars for a trip to the hospital then you can become a member of the ambulance service. for around AUD$100 a year you get free ambulance services etc. Also if the fire brigade gets called out and it is not for an emergency you have to pay the call out fees.

  18. Tom,The previous poster is correct in his postulation that Brown is indeed a Pensions Thief. He al but destroyed the pensions industry in one fell swoop with the 35bn windfall tax. However, this is not the blog for such a debate.

  19. What a bloody good idea – would deffo cut down on the wasters we deal with on a daily basis. Personally, I'd have it free for the elderly, but charge anyone who's stupidity causes them illness or injury. You want to go train-surfing or playing chicken with the traffic, YOU PAY for the amb. Also, we should not give free ambo rides to people who get injured playing sports – St Johns should deal, not LAS.Rant over

  20. After going to a 15 year old girl found dead in her bedroom on Saturday night and with only 4 ambulances covering 450000 people, we got called to a man who'd had a fall 20 miles away from where we were.. got on scene to find a man fast asleep in some poor lady's front garden.. the ” fall ” was when he toppled over on his way home bladdered from the pub and fell asleep on the gravel path.. when we woke him up it was obvious he's wasn't going to make it the 2 miles he had left to get home without injuring himself.. the Police were busy and couldn't attend.. so because of the lack of crews and to save ourselves further work later on we took him home and gave him to his oldest son and asked him to remind his dad to stick a tenner in a charity box the next day.. doubt he did, so I'm going to ask my bosses for a credit card machine to be fitted in the back of the vehicle so we can swipe these self inflicted idiots cards and maybe generate some revenue..!

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