While I sleep – a round up of some stories that have been sitting in my brainpan. Some of these were sent to me by readers, do keep up he good work. Please excuse any random kneejerkage – I'm drunk on lack of sleep.
First off, well done to the LAS for being the 'Best in the Country' – this really deserves a blogpost of it's own, but I thought I'd mention it here in case I forgot.
A union has taken legal advice after ambulance managers posted details of the salaries of call centre staff on the internet.
Ray Salmon, of Unison, said the details posted on the internet included staff members' length of service, their grade, how much they earned, their date of birth, personnel number and what redundancy payment they would receive.
But then WMAS do something a little bit naughty – if you read the article the irony is rather rich, as other staff have been disciplined for releasing information in the public interest. (Begin Snark Mode) Also of some surprise is the sight of a Unison rep for the ambulance service doing something (End Snark Mode).
“what I see as a waste of resources is when I'm sitting in a big meeting, and as a clinician I am the cheapest person there at £35,000 a year, and decisions are still being put off to another meeting.”
She's a better person than me, if I were paid £35,000 to sit in meetings I'd probably put up with it. I can't blame her, banging your head against a brick wall wears a bit thin after a while.
I'm getting rather brassed off at the growing lack of personal responsibility. “It's not my fault that I'm a heroin addict”, “It's not my fault that I'm an alcoholic”, “It's not my fault that I kept eating after I stopped being able to see my feet”. Apparently the government are force-feeding people like pâté de foie gras geese. Maybe people would like rationing brought back?
The National Treatment Agency (NTA), which runs the £500m-a-year scheme, admits the practice is “unethical”.
Here we go again. I think that there are better treatment options than hooking someone on Methadone instead of Heroin. This seems an awful, awful practice – the pressure of bribery coupled with the pleasure of being able to get high again, just on a government mandated supply. Is it any wonder that people remain on Methadone for years and years? I'm with Theodore Dalrymple and Mao Zedong on this one.
I don't think that much will come of this, I'd suspect that the union would blink first. Would that we had an ambulance union with that much power in the UK to balance the 'reforms' that the government is forcing on the NHS. Instead we have a union whose idea of representing us is to roll over and agree to everything – including an agreement that new members of staff are allowed to be treated like crap. Of course if we did strike the government would just privatise us all.
At least I'm unlikely to find myself imprisoned because of my blogging. There is always someone worse off than yourself.
The BBC's online services will be made available free of charge at thousands of wi-fi hotspots around the UK.
The corporation has agreed a deal with wi-fi firm The Cloud, which operates 7,500 hotspots around the country.
I love the BBC, but this is just wrong. Signing up with a private company in order to provide content that I've already paid for with my TV license just isn't cricket. This is also I suspect a way in which the BBC is trying to get around the regulators ruling that people who don't run Windows should be allowed access to iPlayer functionality. Unfortunately, in the same breath they contradict themselves.
From September 7th.
Then October 15th.
Ashley Highfield… “We need to get the streaming service up and look at the ratio of consumption between the services and then we need to look long and hard at whether we build a download service for Mac and Linux. It comes down to cost per person and reach at the end of the day”. He added: “We are not ruling it out. But we are not committing to it at this stage.”
'Committed' to 'not committed' in the space of five weeks – I guess that the media world is fast paced indeed.
Are the people at the BBC (who still have jobs) feeling dizzy yet?
Essentially it all comes down to DRM – if the BBC were brave enough to offer content without DRM then platform agnosticism would be a trivial problem. But unfortunately someone somewhere has decreed that all content should expire after 30 days. Just like my old VHS recordings from 20 years ago. Because we all know how home taping has killed the entertainment industry.
The people that I know at the BBC are forward thinking, brilliant people. Unfortunately it seems that their management are holding them back. Give these sorts of people some power and you'd easily have your efficiency improvements. I have real sympathy for those on the shopfloor who are going to lose their jobs.