Thursday, 24 February 2011

This can't be right

Sshh... listen carefully. Can you hear the unmistakable noise of heavy breathing, chomping and snuffling? It sounds just like a pig eating out of a trough. But no... it's only the nation's new breed of fat cats helping themselves to even more public money to fund their engorged lifestyle.

Top NHS managers have enjoyed an average 50% pay increase over the past five years. In health trusts up and down the country these glorified paper shredders are now earning more than the prime minister while wards are staffed by medically qualified individuals on salaries that are below the national average.

The NHS has to cut spending by £20 billion in the next three years and the way this will be achieved is by sacking 50,000 frontline workers. Actually, I'm so pleased that they aren't axing any managers. I mean, when I was in hospital I know I could have managed without the nurses and healthcare assistants on the ward, and at a push I probably could have done away with the doctors, but if you'd taken my managers away I would have been just left there in a room, on my own, without any managerial support of administrative backup of any kind. I would never have been able to get better and get out of that hospital.

It's time the public stopped carping on about people like the chief executive of The Heart of England NHS Trust who receives a reported £240,000 a year. In my view he's worth every penny. Oink!


  1. So NHS managers are unnecessary? Is that really your point?!

  2. All cuts, either by the NHS or council should start at the top.

    Better to get rid of desk jockeys that earn a lot more than the frontline staff in the first place.

    Why does everyone who disagrees with what gets posted here always post as 'Anonymous'?

    Not very brave keyboard warriors around these parts....LOL

  3. And what about the Strategic Health Authorities? Last year I rang one of the managers in our local SHA - supposedly in charge of the area of healthcare I was trying to enquire about and she didn't have a clue. They too will be on huge salaries and massive pensions......and it doesn't matter how useless you are in any area of the NHS, no one ever gets the sack.

  4. @bigwayne - what's bravery got to do with it! If one wants to post one has to choose an option out of the list. If you're security conscious like me you understand that things like Google can be easily hacked resulting in spam and all the other nasties. Other options mean having to spend time working out what they are, how to use them and all will have security implications. You might have the time to waste, I have sick notebooks that don't work with Windows that need debugging and that is a better use of my time than pandering to the unwarranted assumptions of a so-called keyboard warrior. Anonymous is the least hassle, easy option. I take it "bigwayne" is irony.

  5. Yes they do, front line nurses get harassed, bullied, moved, hours altered even put under investigation when they try to raise any issues, staffing levels, unacceptable levels of care, nutrition, health and safety of staff and patients you name it. We tried through all the 'proper' channels we even wrote our own risk assessments and audits.(play them at their own game so to speak) We had health and safety in who agreed with our findings and ......... nothing changed. And where were the unions? They wouldn't get involved as we were a 'group' not individuals. A collection of good honest caring staff who at the end of the day needed to keep their jobs for food and to pay the mortgage. Some on minimum wage not £240,000. We tried, we suffered and we failed. Perhaps thats why moral is occasionally low and thats why some of us sign anon.

  6. I have just watched the dispatches programme on my Sky+ I wish I had known about your blog as it was ongoing. I was taken into hospital at 29 weeks pregnant on 16th July 2010 and was then an inpatient until 9th September after my baby son was born - 8 weeks in total! My food was absolutely awful at a time in my life when I needed proper nutrition!! We were on week long menu rotation and the midwives would laugh at me when I came out and could tell the other girls what was on the trolley that night before they'd even started. My care was second to none too. We could have traded menus if I'd been aware of your blog - lol! a great programme and good to see awareness being raised. Just as an aside, when I was having one of my regular banter-moans with the catering girl, she told me they had £1.80 per day to feed me lunch, dinner and supper on! correct me if I'm wrong but this works out less than the amount Jamie Oliver was apalled at to provide our schoolchildren with just 1 meal off! (Breakfast wasn't included as the ward provided this within their budget). Hospital food is a true scandal.

  7. Back in the 1950s and 60s, my Mother ran a hospital with 450 beds, two operating theatres, and a sensible number of nurses, doctors and surgeons. She was a Matron. This was within the NHS. The "management" staff around her consisted of a storeman, two pharmacists to provide the lotions and potions, a full-time book keeper and two part time clerical assistants.

    I visited a friend in the same hospital recently. It looks much the same, but three wards have been turned into office space and there are now almost twice as many "managers" as there are medical staff. Medical outcomes from this "improved" regime are scandalously poor, and would have resulted in legal action for malpractice back in the 60s. This is now considered to be the norm, with hospital-acquired infections afflicting roughly 60% of patients. It's truly appalling.

    I have had some serious discussion with the Minister for Health (I'm a Civil Servant with some clout, and can get to talk to people like that sometimes). The current state of play is that the retarded contracts signed by the last administration (and every version of Labour back to Wilson) guarantee these morons employment regardless of the need for them or their abilities. They can't really get rid of them....

    This isn't going to get better any time soon. Perhaps the hospital managements need to be forced to eat the cr*p they try to feed to the patients. They also should be forced to endure the indignities and stupidities suffered by hospital patients today.

    I've been lucky - my heart condition was fixed at Papworth - the very best - but I've also had to suffer the Whittington in London....

    Due to my position, I'll have to remain anonymous...

  8. Mention of the Whittington strikes fear into my heart! This is the hospital against which I have initiated a serious complaint, one (small) part of which relates to the utterly inedible food. The rest is about the rudeness, negligence and neglect I suffered during my horrible six-day stay. Despite being in agony I wasn't even diagnosed (with cancer) until a month later, when a friend drove me across London to A&E at wonderful St George's in Tooting. Even the food there is great. If I fell ill again now I would pay a fortune for a taxi to take me there rather than ever end up in the Whittington again.

  9. I have just watched a recording of the Mark Sparrow programme, and rarely have I seen a grown man act like a spoilt child on such a protracted basis. It is usually infants that grimace and spit their food out because it is does not suit them, not mature adults. The great majority of the food that Mr Sparrow was picking away at was quite clearly edible and reasonable - not restaurant standard, but decent, especially when it has cost him nothing. Also during the programme, Mr Sparrow made frequent references to his own sense of humour (something often done by the humourless), yet all the viewer saw was Sparrow gurning whilst whingeing like the spoilt brat he doubtless is. A disgustingly ungrateful and deeply self centred man.

  10. Aww... thanks Anonymous. Now get back to your NHS kitchen.

  11. Mr Sparrow, your pathetic reply says so much about your snobbish attitude to the NHS. You didn't show this side on TV, did you? By the way, I'm a teacher, not a hospital kitchen worker. Being a "freelance journalist" is just another way of working only when you feel like it, so you ought to have been happy lying in bed doing nothing - but no. Lazy sod.

  12. Good campaign, Mark! I am a nurse and was really ashamed when my sister was admitted to my hospital (twice in two years) for knee replacements. She is a vegan, a fact we told all and sundry before and immediately after she was admitted. Regardless, she was repeatedly offered meals with eggs, meat or fish and when she complained, the plate would be taken away, the meat (or whatever) removed and the the remaining vegetables brought back to her!

    In the end they provided her with a 'salad' consisting of 2 lettuce leaves, half a tomato and some coleslaw which she hates! After another complaint, she was provided with two slices from a white sliced loaf and Flora pats with which she made lettuce and tomato sandwiches! She had such as this most days. Calories almost zero!

    Finally, after several complaints from me, she was provided with a really nice vegetable dish but the ward sister decided it looked a bit dry and swamped it with meat gravy!

    Prior to her admission, we were also assured that soya milk would be made available for her but the ward staff insisted it wasn't. Again I complained only to be told it was in stock in the kitchen all the time and ward staff had only to make a phone call to get some! Having done that, the ward sister then somewhat acidly complained to her that she'd had to send a member of her staff out to the shop to get it!!!!!!


  13. an NHS employee2 March 2011 at 11:55

    Why are certain CEOs of NHS hospitals earning in excess of £175-£200K salaries? Why is it some CEOs feel it necessary to be shuttled in a limo taxi from meeting to meeting across London? Who funds this? The tax payer. Why is it you never see CEO's who earn these large salaries rather take a cut in pay and lets face it one can survive on a salary of £100k quite comfortably even in London. It sickens me that one person is being paid the equivalent of 8-10 nurses' salaries yet cutting back on staff to save on costs. There are far too many managers within the NHS and not enough actual workers!