Friday, 2 October 2009

The gravy train departing from platform two…

Let’s look on the bright side, shall we? My time in traction isn’t going to last forever. At some point I shall be untied and prepared for a return to normal life. Although that may still be some time away, I’ve decided to prepare for when the day finally arrives.

I could return to my previous life as a freelance journalist. After all, writing is in my blood. However, jobs in publishing are expanding about as quickly as Northern Rock’s mortgage book at the moment. So, I thought it might be a good time to consider a career change. Fortunately, I’ve found a career that will enable me to carry on writing complete nonsense and make obscene amounts of money.

I've decided to set myself up as an NHS management consultant. As a long-term NHS user I believe I’m uniquely qualified to offer strategic advice to Primary Care Trusts. I’ve already asked Mrs Traction to buy me a grey suit from Marks & Spencer, along with a nice white shirt and a colourful tie from the Jon Snow Designer Range at TieRack. I’ve ordered a laptop preloaded with Excel and PowerPoint... and I’m pretty sure of where I can lay my hands on a good flipchart. I’m good to go. What’s more, I’ve already secured my first contract.

A large hospital trust has agreed to retain my services to drive forward its ‘Better Utilisation of Lower Limits in Strategic Hospital Information Technology’ project… or B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T for short. The trust management also wants me to create a ‘Pathway to Efficiency Savings Target’ that will slash front-line nursing staff by 50%. This impressive PEST level will be achieved by assigning most nursing functions to unskilled staff employed at minimum wage levels.

In fact, I’ve done a few sums on the back of an envelope and worked out that this move will yield savings of around 75%. The savings from losing of such a large number of non-essential staff will enable the trust to invest in vital new services to help strengthen the local management structure.

This new scheme will be called the ‘Additional Regional Senior Employment Strategy’. ARSES will boost the trust’s management team very effectively. Research shows there simply aren’t enough managers in the NHS at the moment and a ratio of one per patient isn’t sufficiently high enough to deliver the outcomes one would expect from a world-class health service. I’m going to suggest that the ratio be doubled.

If we do this then every NHS patient could be given guaranteed access to their own named manager. With two managers per patient there should be sufficient slack in the system to enable staff to undertake vital training such as stress counselling, career development planning and a spot of diversity awareness, while still ensuring patients receive the essential management care they so desperately need.

As you can probably tell, I’m really looking forward to this career change and can’t wait to publish my first report: ‘Waste Administration Notes for Keyworker Evaluations in Regional Scenarios’. I’ve got a feeling that I’m really going to enjoy working as the trust’s new Total Waste Administration Tsar.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a train to catch.


  1. Ha! You will fit right in and no doubt rise up the ladder of NHS bureaucracy.
    Plus it would allow you to keep writing blogs that amuse us!
    O and I just thought, Barak Obama could hire you to set up the US system along the same lines, which could lead to some amusing blogs from over there too!

  2. LOL. You'll absolutely rake it in - you have the lexicon down pat, and the acronyms are a thing of beauty etc.

  3. Dear TM

    Make sure, whilst on that train, to shout loudly in your mobile "I'm on a train" - maximum effect for those around you!

    Excellent - love the idea!

    Cats' Mother

  4. Excellent, TM. It's good to see that some patients can see the light and aren't lily-livered sheep bleating on about recovery times and wound healing. It's about time someone saw the benefit of extra management and realised that medical and nursing staff are a complete waste of time and money and should be axed.

    What these people don't realise is that a hospital is a business with targets to meet. If you can't heal your own broken leg overnight in a an orthopaedic ward, actually DESIGNATED as an an area for those with defects in the bone department, then you shouldn't be there taking up the space that someone else, who fully appreciates their responsibilities, could use. Give a patient their own internal fixation kit and we could immediately slash the costs of operating theatre time as well. How hard can it be to put ur own leg in traction - it's only basic carpentry after all.

    What do they teach these doctors in medical school anyway!

  5. Brilliant TM !! You would look good alongside Paul Merton on HIGNFY :o)


  6. Love your work & acronyms TM. Looking at the time of your post I'm guessing your noisy neighbour is up to her old buzzer tricks again?
    Fi in Oz

  7. Note to Head Consultant B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T

    Invent a pill to cure free up nursing staff.
    Put remaining nursing staff on roller skates to increase

    Just a thought

    Management Bloke

  8. OK TM, have just arranged an appointment for you with the Permanent And Residential Anti Systematic Inquiring Trained Epistomologist Section. You'll recognise them they all have clipboards! Try not to be late, they are always very punctual and very particular about time wasters, (they need more).

    Take care, Zoe

  9. TM If you are short of reading material you might like to see what hospital catering managers are doing when they're not slaving over a hot stove. Download the latest 'Hospital Caterer' magazine here

  10. Walking through my local hospital today I noticed that the restaurant is right alongside the pathology lab. That would explain some of your offerings....

  11. Can you get me a job as an Assistant Secretary in Surgery?