Yes – I am posting today. No – I haven’t been in World of Warcraft. I’ve just been busy catching up on some of those bits of business that accrue during night-shifts.
My crewmate sent me a message today – she has actually managed to break her 4th metatarsal. I think she did it to show solidarity with Wayne Rooney. This means that she will be off work longer than expected. Lets all send her healing thoughts.
The picture is of the floor of the reception area in the local hospital. Look at how expertly the lino has been laid, see if you can spot the subtle repair-work with masking tape. The patient area is little better, except that it has transparent tape sticking it down.
Why am I posting a picture of a hospital floor?
It’s because our station’s kitchen boiler is broken.
It’s also because of the debt the NHS is in.
It’s actually been broken for nearly three months. Initially the company ‘didn’t have the part’, after a number of emails from one of our station officers that ended up verging on the rude the company managed to get the required part. It hasn’t been fixed though – instead it’s been condemned. We are still waiting for a new one.
We ordered new chairs for our station through a certain ‘high street catalogue shop’, our old ones were falling apart.
They sent us the wrong chairs, then took another three weeks to deliver five correct chairs.
But this isn’t about our boiler, or our chairs – it’s about how contractors deal with the NHS.
Everything is overpriced and shoddily done – because the NHS doesn’t complain, and it’s so large that any company ‘blacklisted’ by one part will still be able to get business from other trusts.
I have a friend who is a carpenter, he told me that his company adored getting contracts from the NHS.
“You can charge them twice as much, take twice as long, do half a job, and yet they never complain – it’s money for old rope”.
It’s not just small things either for individual trusts, I’m worried about the upcoming NHS national procurement for IT. It’s been renamed ‘Connecting for Health’ presumably in an effort to rid itself of some bad press. The IPPR has already suggested that it will fail (for them it is the lack of consultation and and skills that is their predictor of failure). The Register tells us about the upcoming National Audit Office report.
Remember – it is costing £6.1 Billion.
When we are sacking nurses and closing beds is this money well spent?
£250 million (the total NHS debt) is 1/244th of the cost of the NHS-NfpIT programme.
UPDATE: Thanks to commentors and emailers who have told me the the UK uses two definitions of ‘billion’, a scientific and an economic. No wonder I’m confused…
My legal advisor has suggested that I state that all the bad things I’ve heard from friends placed in NHS-NpfIT and any other company are hearsay. I am not suggesting that the various companies involved in the NHS are anything other than fine and upstanding.
Please don’t sue me – you won’t get much.