McKinsey Madness

Apologies for a quiet few months. I’ve been seeing the NHS from another angle, having acquired myself a diagnosis of ‘syringomyelia’. This is a rather obscure spinal condition – relatively common in spaniels, apparently, but quite rare in people. You know you’ve got something a bit unusual when you go and see your GP to discuss treatment options, and she says, ‘Now tell me what that is’.

So how has the NHS been, so far? Not perfect, but not bad either. I’ve met some highly skilled health professionals. I’ve had access to MRI scans when I’ve needed them. I’ve had onward referrals to appropriate specialists – so far, as and when required. I’ve been treated with respect and courtesy by virtually every NHS worker I’ve encountered.

The problems, predictably enough, are around privatisation, and the drive towards cost-cutting that you get when you ‘marketise’ the NHS. I’ve had appointments at one hospital that is struggling with a massive PFI debt and pushing through savage cuts as a direct result. It shows. I’ve also talked to clinicians (at the same hospital) who have told me of the growing clinical risks as managers set targets that cannot be met without compromising patient care.

These are not failures of the NHS. This is an important point. The NHS works, saves lives, and transforms the quality of peoples’ lives, and does this as a matter of routine, every single day. The failures here are of Government policy, which continues to be one of dismantling the NHS and destroying the values and ethos that make the NHS work.

The latest bit of madness is, of course, the Government-commissioned McKinsey report – out since March, but our pals in New Labour have been sitting on it. McKinsey is a particularly vile management consultancy that has made a mint out of the public sector. The HSJ summary is here. McKinsey recommend axing 10% of NHS jobs to achieve £20 billion savings.

Coincidentally, £20 billion is the estimated cost of the Government’s loopy privatisation schemes. If there are savings to be made, perhaps stopping the dash for privatisation might be a better bet than imposing massive cuts in clinical care. Even better, maybe we could just invest the £20 billion in patient care, and have an NHS we can all be proud of.

There’s one NHS cut I would welcome. Around £350 million of our money was spent last year on management consultants – the greedy parasites who feed off the NHS. The result? Reports that aren’t fit to be used as toilet paper.

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2 Responses to McKinsey Madness

  1. Cathy Watson says:

    Good to hear from you again and I hope you are soon on the mend.
    The Government is certainly in its endgame. It is stubbornly pursuing policies that can only alienate the only people left who would otherwise vote for it in the next General Election.

  2. Barry Tebb says:

    I was amazed and delighted that one of your bloggers beat me to the implicatuions of the very very vile McKinsey report-NOW BEING ENACTED BY THE DH!THE HEALTH SERVICE JOURNAL is a must read for cutting edge campaigners.To-days issue(PP4-5)is terrifying-137000 nhs jobs to go in the next 5 years-WHAT ABOUT ALL THE GOVERNMENT LIES ABOUT RINGFENCING?REQUIRED savings to be made £15-£20 billion but at the cost of how many lives?To set this in motion to the run up to the election IS STARK RAVING BONKERS.The trouble is that the HSJ isnt online and doesnt get googled and very little of its contents are ever noted by the national press.The deputy political editor of The Guardian,Michael White,writes a weekly column for the HSJ and he can be counted on by his control of Guardian blogs on health to censor any seriously critical comment.George Monbiot apart I’ve a very low opinion of journalists and local papers are the very worst-pandering to local power elites.

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