19 September 2011

Posted by DMC on 20 September 2011 in Diary |

We are all only too aware of the current state of our economy and the need for every one of us to play our part not only to save money but also not to waste it.

Hospitals have been commissioned and have brand new wards left empty, for one reason or another that the hospital is unable to afford to run them. It is therefore up to each individual to do what he or she can to save money being wasted wherever possible.

It was for this reason that, at least six months ago, I asked the people responsible for installing Possum equipment, in my office, to remove it and thus end the rental charges to the NHS. I should explain that the equipment that was fitted consisted of a freestanding screen connected to a push button on my desk which changed the mode displayed on the screen and also moved the cursor up, down and sideways.

This piece of equipment operated the lights in the office and also displayed telephone numbers. The idea being that you could move the cursor to where a particular number was displayed and it would bring it up for you or, alternatively, you could move the cursor up and down the columns selecting the numerals which made up the telephone number.

This all sounded marvellous until you came to try it out and then the archaic nature of the software became obvious and it would drive you mad trying to use the telephone element of it. In these modern times of touch screens and voice activated equipment this Possum was out of the ark. I mentioned it to the people who installed it and I was told that they had no money to develop something more modern. In the end all  I used it for was to switch the lights on and off, although as ‘my lovely’ came in each evening to take me back to the house the switching off of the lights would have been no big deal for her, so the whole thing was a colossal waste of money. However, having said that, it may well be that there are other people who are more patient than I am who found they could get some benefit from of this equipment ,however old-fashioned it was.

When I broke my leg, in May 2010, and it became obvious that I was not going to be able to get back into the office, we asked the Possum people to remove the equipment and terminate their loan agreement and thus hopefully save money. At the same time I asked them if they could find a different alarm system to the one I currently had on my wrist as my hands and arms were getting so weak that I could hardly muster up enough strength to press the button. Apparently this gave them a reason for not removing the main equipment. To be honest I have no idea what arrangement these people have with the NHS but not being cynical if the equipment is leased, which I suspect it is, then it would suit them to leave it in situ as long as possible. I am sure that there is a reasonable explanation for this but even if the NHS owns this equipment outright and are not paying any rental costs for it, I have no doubt that there is a patient somewhere who has been waiting a long time to have this equipment installed.

I have chased up this alternative alarm system two or three times and did so again this morning, through Lynne, my occupational therapist. They acknowledged that the request had been made for an alternative alarm for my wrist sometime ago but they were waiting for confirmation of funding from Hillingdon Hospital (Heaven knows where Hillingdon Hospital come into the picture, unless it is where Mr moneybags for the PCT is situated) .This for a tiny wrist alarm when all of their expensive equipment lies dormant in my office.what a waste of money. I could give you another half a dozen instances where money is being wasted through inefficient administration. Multiply this sort of nonsense by a few thousand and you can see how it would be possible to save billions on the NHS budget if it was properly administered. Having said that, of course, I am immensely grateful to the NHS for any of the equipment that they havs kindly loaned to me but instead of suggesting the loss of front line nurses and doctors, if economies are to be made, then I believe they are available in the back office.

I know that I told my readers that I would not give them a blow by blow description of the various matches in the rugby World Championships in New Zealand, but I must just mention England’s win over Georgia. This was a match that England were supposed to win very easily, which indeed they did in terms of the score, but they will have to tighten up their game if they are to go much further in this competition.

I am not saying I have seen a notice like this in an NHS hospital but I’ve certainly seen some as ludicrous as this one. Click here to see what I’m talking about

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