Health board needs changed

Perthshire Advertiser - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Dear Edi­tor The prob­lems of NHS Tay­side are much in the news and we have the usual pleas for more money to be thrown at the ser­vice.

I have noth­ing but praise for the help I have re­ceived from NHS Tay­side over the years – from my GP surgery and all its staff and from all the doc­tors, nurses and aux­il­iary staff at Perth Royal In­fir­mary and Ninewells.

There are no prob­lems there.

The prob­lems lie with the way the NHS is or­gan­ised, not just in Tay­side, but through­out the coun­try.

The ser­vice is short of money for pa­tient treat­ment and med­i­cal staff and equip­ment pro­vi­sion be­cause too much cash goes to pay the salaries of man­agers and the huge bu­reau­cracy.

Med­i­cal staff’s time is also taken up un­nec­es­sar­ily by pa­per­work gen­er­ated by the bu­reau­crats and by the fre­quent meet­ings called by man­agers, thus re­duc­ing the time they can spend with pa­tients and in­creas­ing the need for more staff.

Under the present sys­tem, med­i­cal staff are under con­stant stress, thus adding to the cri­sis with the need for time off to re­cover and the ever-present dan­ger of mis­takes be­ing made be­cause of over­work.

What the NHS needs is not more money, but the cor­rect use of the fi­nan­cial re­sources they al­ready have.

Rad­i­cal re­form is needed, with doc­tors and nurses be­ing put back in charge – not man­agers.

In ev­ery branch of the NHS – hos­pi­tals, clin­ics, GP surg­eries - there should be a re­turn to the old sys­tem where man­agers were sub­or­di­nate to med­i­cal staff, with, for ex­am­ple, med­i­cal su­per­in­ten­dents and ma­trons re­gain­ing their right­ful place at the top of hos­pi­tal hi­er­ar­chies.

Man­agers are nec­es­sary, but not nearly so many as we now have and in sim­i­lar roles to those of man­agers in the past - in charge of hos­pi­tal of­fices, help­ing to run the ad­min­is­tra­tive side of GP prac­tices and so forth.

One doc­tor com­plained re­cently in a let­ter to a news­pa­per that there were now more man­agers than doc­tors in the hos­pi­tal where he worked. And they do not come cheap. Not only are their num­bers in­creas­ing, but their salaries take up a sub­stan­tial share of the NHS bud­get.

With doc­tors and nurses back in charge, pa­tient care would again be the pri­or­ity, not form-fill­ing and at­tend­ing meet­ings.

A mas­sive re­duc­tion in the num­bers of man­agers would go a long way to­wards solv­ing the NHS’s fi­nan­cial prob­lems and to­wards re­duc­ing doc­tors’and nurses’ stress lev­els.

Med­i­cal staff would no longer be de­sert­ing the ser­vice in droves, but would be happy to con­tinue work­ing much longer than many do now.

That would be an­other sav­ing be­cause early golden hand­shakes and pen­sion pay­ments add to the ser­vice’s fi­nan­cial bur­den, while the prob­lem is com­pounded by the need to hire locum staff at ex­or­bi­tant rates.

The sooner we aban­don the present waste­ful NHS set-up, the bet­ter for all con­cerned – ex­cept per­haps the many man­agers made re­dun­dant - but we can live with that. Ge­orge K. McMil­lan Mount Ta­bor Av­enue Perth

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.