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The allocation matters

He said that while surgeons spent the rest of the time doing other work, including some emergency operations and clinics with patients, far too much time was being lost due to lack of capacity for planned operations as well as bureaucratic demands.

A lack of operating theatres and shortages of support staff, including anaesthetists and scrub nurses, had left too many surgeons twiddling their thumbs or dealing with an ever-increasing administrative burden, he warned.

How much of this do we think is those bureacratic demands?

15 thoughts on “The allocation matters”

  1. If you’ve watched “Saving Lives in Leeds” – a series looking at surgery – it becomes very obvious that it’s not so much about surgery but more about watching frustrated surgeons trying, and more often failing, to get support-bed allocations for buggered-about patients.

    The “system” (for want of a better term) appears to be an absolute bloody shambles – which leads to whole surgical teams sitting about twiddling their thumbs all day and poor patients being sent home multiple times, and especially in the case of the oncology patients, watching their illnesses get more-and-more untreatable.

  2. So, Baron J, what we need is very highly paid administrative staff who w…


    Wait, we already have them? Lots of them?

    Well, what are they all bloody doing then!?!

  3. Pay them only to do operations, and they will only do operations! We all know that the administrative bit is crap and mostly pointless! One of the reasons for scrapping the NHS and requiring competition.

  4. “Well, what are they all bloody doing then!?!”

    They are busy making lots of the work they find it most agreeable and easiest to do – and bugger everyone else.

  5. I always think of the BBC whenever I hear about the NHS.

    When do monopolies ever work? If a hospital is guaranteed money, the Soviet style definitions of success, tractor style, take over. Just as Soviet tractors were huge lumbering behemoths, totally unsuited to farming, so the NHS and the BBC don’t care about their core missions but become political entities with their own definitions and priorities.
    It’s easier to spot with the Bonkers Broadcasting Corporation and Looney Lineker, where a thick ex-professional footballer, who just happens to hate the Tories, is paid £1,300,000 for the square root of fuck all and successfully argues against IR35 applying to his company so avoids NI and manages to make it into a production company to further strengthen his case and recruit kindred spirits.
    The NHS is cloaked in secrecy but its employment of diversity advisers and lived experience managers on £127,000 gives us a clue. Especially when you just know said diversity advisers would be instantly dismissed for racism should they dare to utter the truth.
    I must admit a pang of envy to find that running your own business with your income infallibly guaranteed, based not on your success but on your quantity of patients, is standard NHS practice. This results in having to hang on the phone for an hour waiting for a reply merely to arrange a telephone appointment in a month’s time.

  6. “shortages of support staff, including anaesthetists”: I’ll bet the gas men enjoy being referred to as “support staff”.

  7. “Just as Soviet tractors were huge lumbering behemoths, totally unsuited to farming”

    Actually Russian tractors are pretty damn cool. And ideally suited to working on the open steppes where fields are measured in square miles not acres. The Kirovets range of articulated tractors were miles ahead of the West when they were introduced in 1962. They ran at 200hp when the average western tractor was about 35hp. In the UK the Doe Triple D was about the highest horsepower tractor you could get in the 60s at 130hp, and it wasn’t until the 80s that anything approached the 200hp of the original Kirovets. By which time they had been uprated to 300hp anyway.

    Try doing this with a John Deere from the 70s or 80s:

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    When I was in hospital recently the consultant came round at 8am, looked at my catheter bag and said I could be discharged once the catheter had been removed and I passed water 3 times with no signs of blood.

    Despite me constantly nagging the damned thing didn’t get removed until about 11am. It was until about 3pm that I’d had the requisite amount of bloodless urinations and the on call urology nurse didn’t discharge me until 4pm,after I’d been muttering about discharging myself.

    That’s one reason beds are blocked, a complete lack of urgency in getting them cleared.

    And other than that I’d say from my observations it was a well run hospital, so god knows what it’s like in a failing hospital.

  9. My wife was visited by an ambulance crew who said “you need an operation” and took her to a hospital which could not possibly operate on her.

    The staff there phoned a larger hospital to arrange a transfer within 20 minutes of her arrival. They then did very good pre-operative preparation, including a CT scan.

    They arranged for her to be sent on the larger hospital for surgery, describing the timescale required as “quick”, “urgent”, “emergency” and “immediate”.

    There then followed over 48 hours of fannying about before the life-saving operation was done. As far as I can tell it was done 100% correctly, and everything was put back as it should be, except that lack of blood supply had by then done irreversible damage.

    She died, and the post-mortem makes it pretty clear that without the delay, she would have survived.

    Since then, sheer rudeness and arrogance by NHS clerks and managers has, if anything, made my experience of bereavement twice as bad as it needed to be. I think the problem is “my wife died unnecessarily and we need to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else”; they think the problem is “this bloke wants us to answer emails within four days of receiving them”.

    Envy of the world, it is.

  10. “That’s one reason beds are blocked, a complete lack of urgency in getting them cleared.”

    It happened in the case of my one and only stay as an in patient. Treatment finished at nine in the morning, not discharged until eight in the evening. I couldn’t just leave, there were meds and documentation that I needed to have.

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