Time to rage against most of the NHS? 10/01/2021
At the height of the second wave I was waiting for the call up to help in the overwhelmed hospitals or for the vaccination campaigns. Not a word, not a single email.
Meanwhile my inbox was full of requests from Australian agencies offering up to $2,700 a day for Covid related work, in a country where, so far, Covid is pretty much under control. I also remain on the Australian register, but I cannot get there unless I self-isolate at my expense in special hotels, and I would need a new visa.
Here in UK I did the in-house training for NHS Nightingale and its on-line modules, got the lanyard, ID card, staff number and T-shirt, but thankfully never needed. I also other modules and the NHS “credentiality” checks for 111 primary care work. All that extra training is imposed on doctors as if they are not already in practice. It was designed for those coming out of retirement, and the rigid rules set place could not be changed for those already working and appraised. A list of some of the stuff is here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55516277
Most of so-called mandatory training modules such as anti-radicalisation are not even mandatory at all. Apart from some internal health and safety rules, there is no legislative or GMC requirement for the training modules. The “mandatory” aspect is an NHS urban myth that keeps many in employment. Doctors must be professional and keep up to date. We undergo annual appraisal and then revalidation to prove it. That alone is our training duty. The NHS as invented the rest. It may seem sensible that module to recognise allergic reactions. But if any doctor does not know how to recognise or deal with that then we need to look seriously at the 10 years+ of medical training. I very much doubt the Health Secretary’s vow to reduce this will have a lasting effect, as the culture to require this nonsense it too imbedded. https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n13
Did anybody in NHS other than Casualty and ITU staff in the NHS know there was a war on? Could they not slash these requirements and call up trained doctors to help?
I was shocked and aghast attending “Pinnacle” and Covid Vaccine roll out on-line NHS Team Meeting seminar at the start of the vaccination programme. Even the GPs leading it have got wrapped up in the bureaucracy of it and believed in it. They should be in a rage. Instead, their energy seemed to be directed to worrying about £10.00 fee for nursing home jabs. Vaccinations centres as in GP hubs are being loaded with computers, printers and scanners and specialised software. We all have computers in our pockets which can scan bar codes of all sorts, surely there is app for that would make that pile of kit redundant. Less is more.
During that Team meeting it was clear that the hoops expected by the software and NHS minions were no longer necessary. Previous anaphylaxis is not a contraindication, and no need to watch the patients for 15 minutes.
Sir John Bell has it bang on. “NHS could vaccinate UK against Covid in five days, says Oxford professor: Bureaucrats are blocking a rollout that could prevent many more deaths, according to Sir John Bell https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/09/nhs-vaccinate-uk-covid-five-days-oxford-professor
Those working in Casualty and in ITU manage despite of the system. They pull in levers in Government and nothing happens, as the NHS system blocks and delays. Time to rage against most of the NHS, not clap it.
I carried on working elsewhere in the NHS part-time.
Dr Gerard Bulger BSc MBBS DCH FRCGP FRACGP CCFP