As the NHS reforms continue apace, Through the K hole gives his take on how they will work out on the ground
A Government spokesman said: ‘I realised that we needed a fresh approach.
‘Things hadn’t changed in the NHS for a few months so we couldn’t possibly carry on with the way things were. And it’s at times like this, when I find myself having to defend big change and big ideas that I like to go back to an early childhood experience.
‘My bike was broken you see and unlike other normal boys who may have taken it to an expert to get it repaired I took it apart myself and glued it back together again in a completely different way. It wasn’t a bike any more, in fact it looked a bit like a hedgehog made out of coat hangers. Coming from a middle class family I wasn’t clipped around the ear and sent off to bed…oh no… instead it was proudly displayed as a piece of avant-garde art.
‘And I liken that experience to what I’m doing now, deconstruct what you’ve got, build something out of exactly the same components but make sure you completely f*ck it up in the process. After-all no-one wants to sit on a futuristic hedgehog.’
He added: ‘The problem with previous reforms is that they didn’t go far enough and by far enough I mean they didn’t really really f*ck things up. To be honest I just love words like over-haul and re-organisation, I also really like the word marmalade but I haven’t been able to weave it into any coherent policy’.
A GP who thought it would be a good idea to call a leaflet about the menopause ‘The time of your life’ says: ‘We had an away week recently to tease out some of the mechanics of commissioning. I was like “I want some money for minor surgery” and one of my colleagues went “hang on you bastard what about the scanning programme” and I was like “oh yeah, come on then”…and she was like “whatever”…so I punched her.
‘As the week went on we set up rival tribes and began to live off our wits in the forest, luckily for my group one of us had watched the entire DVD box-set of Ray Mears’ Bush Craft. We were deciding whether or not cannibalism would ever meet GMC approval when the week, which had been full of learning opportunities, came to an end; shame because I was developing a real blood lust.’
One GP says: ‘I can’t wait to get my hands on billions, can you imagine it, its f*cking mental, I mean you could build a space-ship with that or even buy a big golden Jacuzzi and fill it full of champagne.
The minister retorts: ‘I know the latest BMA survey reveals that there’s a lot of scepticism out there but when I look into their docile eyes I know that they’re all just too busy to care. The juniors are too scared, the older ones just want to retire and there is a sea of people in between who still need to be convinced, and by convinced I mean ignored.’
A skeptic, branded as a heretic says: ‘I’ve gone through more changes than Madonna in recent years, but unlike her I’m only going to get paid about sixty quid an hour and I’m nowhere near as bendy’.
An enthusiastic consortia leader says: ‘I’m part of the national learning network and form part of a bottom up, top down approach, a learning guided, pathfinder consortia driven guidance framework. Get your hands off my weed! I can’t talk like this unless I’m properly stoned.’
The health minister ended his interview by saying: ‘Don’t think of it as a health bill, think of it more as a ticking time bomb. If the NHS is an aeroplane full of innocent holiday-makers I’m the suicide bomber and the bill is like a pair of very explosive shoes. Get used to it, consortia are here to stay, well for the next four years until we get bored with them.’
The BMA’s official response was: ‘Oh dear……’
Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen.
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