Opinion – NHS will clamp down on ‘rip off’ agency fees – Telegraph – John Gelmini

Having read the Daily Telegraph article, brought to us by Dr Alf, and watched the head of the NHS, Simon Stevens on the Andrew Marr show, I am unimpressed and underwhelmed.

To begin with, the NHS is useless at manpower planning and rostering, which is why over the weekends there are never enough nurses and doctors and during the early parts of a given week there are too many.

Instead of smoothing the peaks and troughs with more flexible working, better contracts and annualisation, the NHS uses agencies and then claims it is being “ripped-off”.

Secondly, the NHS does nothing to manage malingerers in GP’s surgeries, usually whining pensioners and others with hypochondriac tendencies who could deal with their own minor problems but who instead clutter up the 101 non emergency phone lines and then go to A&E when they cannot get a GP appointment.

This spike in demand made worse by people “larging-it up” in nightclubs, getting high on “recreational drugs” and fighting in the street then adds to the demand for extra doctors and nurses which these agencies fill.

Thirdly, the NHS does a poor job of educating people into not drinking on an empty stomach, eating properly, getting some exercise and losing weight.

It always focuses on the supply-end, the number of doctors and nurses but never the demand end which creates the need for more supply in the first place.

Fourthly, it is a bit rich for the NHS to complain about “being ripped-off” by agencies when its own blunders cause 20% of the entire NHS budget to be spent on payoffs to sacked staff, lawyers, gagging orders and the like.

Fifthly, the NHS has far too many layers of management and is the first to pay-off someone on Monday and then rehire them, sometimes as soon as next Monday as highly paid interims working for agencies and personal service companies.

Of course, interims who could help reform the NHS who have non NHS experience are excluded because they lack the “essential” NHS experience.

John Gelmini

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