Take a look at the institution for five minutes and you quickly realise how utterly absurd it is to hope that such an unwieldy and byzantine structure, both centralised and out of control, can deliver a modern healthcare system. The politicians in charge don't have a clue and, for all the excellent people in the health service, the professionals get ground down by the system. All we can do is advocate real reform and, until that happens, enjoy the sheer strangeness of it all. Here are some things about the NHS that have been amusing me recently.
The Chief Executive of Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a podcast
Inspiring. I haven't watched through the archive yet. I'm not sure whether I should be pleased that they're trying new things or horrified that they're spending their time producing these little promo videos which I'm almost sure no one will be watching.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are using Mr. Eugenides as a model for their promotional material
He looks scared.
This may not seem notable but all the other pictures in hospital accounts are so posed its nice to see this one so poorly composed. A document that looks professional generally reflects well on the organisation producing it. Unfortunately, many public bodies take that principle a little far and have clearly put more time and money into their annual reports than is sensible. The Public Accounts Committee is, naturally, the role model they should be looking to emulate.
Quango titles are special
Here are some favourites of mine, all from the Department of Health, which is only surpassed by the Home Office for number of quangos:
- United Kingdom Xenotransplantation Interim Regulatory Authority. Despite its title suggesting it is a stop-gap solution this body has been in place since at least 1998.
- National Radiological Protection Board. Lead-lined presumably. This was phased out in 2005 so either its been merged with some other organisation with much moving of desks or we're all in serious radiological danger.
- Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances. This sounds too silly for words.
- Advisory Committee on Hepatitis. Filling the role that used to be filled by the sober best friend before society went to the dogs.
- Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards. Hard to parody.