“Choose me, not A&E,” said the poster in our surgery waiting room.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. This poster was put up by the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group – the very body who wishes to take over half a million pounds of funding away from our GPs. No doubt this money is needed for vital matters like the wages of six-figure executives, over-paid management and fat cat quango members. But why should we trust NHS England to make these decisions when all they’ve done for the last 50 years is to mismanage the organisation to the point of destruction?
And although it is our money they are playing with, we the public have almost no say in how it is spent. For example, did you know that there are only two so-called ‘lay’ members on the West Norfolk Group’s governing body and they can hardly be described as representing the average patient. One was a nurse for many years and is still professionally involved with nursing. The other is a member of the great and the good – someone you might describe as a professional quango-ista having spent many years on a whole number of committees, boards, etc. And isn’t this lack of empathy with the public one of the key problems with the NHS which will never be put right, since the cure would be for many members of the ruling bodies to sack themselves and turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Of course, the NHS needs more money not the Tory policy of privatisation, but it needs just as much a system of management that genuinely puts the tax-paying patients’ needs at the top of its list of responsibilities.
Edward Wheatley, Hunstanton