The perennial political football - Credit, public domain

An illustrative little story to make a rather larger point:

Matt Hancock will call on doctors and nurses to “throw away their pagers” and replace them with smartphone apps as the new Health Secretary sets out his vision for the NHS.

Mr Hancock, who gained a reputation for promoting new technology as Culture Secretary and was the first MP to launch his own app, will focus on “tech transformation” in the health service.

The National Health Service is an organisation of some 1.3 million people. Among the top 5 employers in the world in size in fact.

Decisions about which technology is to be used are being made by a politician, one appointed within the past week.

This is not how organisations are effectively managed.

And that’s the most important thing we need to know about the NHS. A politically managed health care service will always be managed by politics. Politics not being a known to be  effective manner of organising anything other than which set of bastards shouldn’t be in power.

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BB01john77Bloke on M4SpikeRhoda Klapp Recent comment authors

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mole125
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mole125

Anybody else noticed how bad mobile phone reception is in hospitals? There is a reason pagers still exist over mobile phones and text messages. It could probably be solved with blanket wifi coverage (inside and out, in all parts of the estate) but sometimes new and shiny doesn’t mean better.

Rhoda Klapp
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Rhoda Klapp

Texts are persistent, pagers are not in that if you are out of signal when paged, that’s it gone. Do they really still use pagers? Is it to do with the superstition that mobiles would interfere with health systems?

Spike
Member

The “politics” that Hancock is pursuing is the relatively trivial one of developing an image as an Agent of Change. This means that, if he determined that pagers were still more effective than all the alternatives (assuming he could have studied that in the course of a single week), then he would have a motive not to carry out that decision, lest he be stereotyped as an opponent of reform. But politics includes the not-so-trivial. Let’s say that polls indicate that minority group X is leaning away from the governing party. They must be offered a better deal than other… Read more »

Bloke on M4
Member
Bloke on M4

There’s a Slate article explaining why doctors still use pagers. Better signal, battery that lasts for far longer.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2016/02/why_do_doctors_still_use_pagers.html

Hancock is just another Oxbridge PPE. Knows nothing about running a large organisation.

john77
Member
john77

*Largest* employer, not *top* employer.
I was delighted when #1 son got a job with a company run by geeks (even the salesman is a geek, just not quite as geeky as his wife or my #! son) – as far as I am concerned, that is a top employer and NHS is quite close to being a bottom one

BB01
Member
BB01

‘Decisions about which technology is to be used are being made by a politician…’

So, no change in 70 years.

“The sound of a dropped bedpan in Tredegar Hospital will reverberate round the Palace of Westminster.” Aneurin Bevan