Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blair announces Patients Passports... what's the point?

I've just seen a report on Channel 4 News this evening which seems to be suggesting that Tony Blair has proposed introducing Patient Passports in the NHS to allow people to use the money and go to private hospital if they choose.

The whole theme of nicking a Tory policy a year or so after deriding it is hardly unusual, but Blair has clearly lost it. Trying to out flank the Conservative Party from the Right on a policy that can and will never come to fruition as he's leaving in a few months is the sign of a desperate man surely?

As he's never going to follow it through, and it unlikely his successor (whoever that is) will be bound by what he says in these last months, I can see no political purpose in such an announcement. It certainly will not have any electoral impact on Conservative votes. Basically, he's delusional about the credibility of his own position and power.


CityUnslicker said...

Blair, delusional?

shurely not...

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Hang on dizzy, a good idea is a good idea even if endorsed by delusional lunatics.

dizzy said...

err I didn't say it wasn't a good idea did I?

barnacle_bill said...

I think TB is positioning himself so that when he resigns from leadership of NuLabor he can cross over and become the Conservative PM!

Observer said...

He would be better off reading these letters in the Daily Telegraph 1st March 2007

Computerised job applications are ruining doctors' futures

Sir - Changes are being made to medical training in the NHS. The Government, despite the opposition of most doctors, is enacting what it calls Modernising Medical Careers (report, February 27). It is modern only in the sense that it involves computerising job applications.

Application forms allow no objective measure of appropriateness for the job (eg, references) to be seen by the short-listing panel.

Only one job offer will be made and if it is turned down the applicant is out of consideration for the whole year.

Colleagues currently going through this process are angered and frustrated. Many have not been shortlisted for any posts at all, despite excellent career progression and proven competence. Few want to reduce their chances of getting a sought-after post further by complaining.

I know of many doctors who have been training in the NHS for years and are now leaving the country or abandoning medicine. One is seriously discussing a career in cake-making. The situation is ludicrous and morale is low.

No other profession would put up with being told by a centralised bureaucracy where and in what field to work. No company would expect to retain a highly skilled and motivated workforce by cutting funding for continuing training and disempowering its employees.

Doctors have never undertaken industrial action, feeling that it is unethical to let our patients down. However, the mood is changing.

Dr Matt Todd, Specialist Registrar in Nephrology, Southampton

Sir - Junior doctors applying for jobs, whether we wish to be A&E doctors, paediatricians or neurosurgeons, must all go through the same process.

Applications are made via a website. We then wait for a deadline, after which we're told whether we have been successful for shortlisting. If we fail in round one (taking place now) we go through a clearing process in May. If we are still unsuccessful, we do not get a job until the following year.

This is the first year that this Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) has been run for specialist training. Despite warnings from doctors that the system must be checked, it was allowed to commence and chaos has ensued.

Hundreds of doctors have not been shortlisted, and have no idea why, or how to improve their application. They have no option but to wait another two months to go through the clearing process.

Bear in mind that we are trying to secure jobs in August, that we may have to relocate, and that we won't be told until June at the earliest that we have to move.

Most doctors are hard-working, dedicated people, and we are being rewarded by having our lives put in the hands of a system that has failed at every turn. This will ultimately have an impact on patient care.

Lauren Filby, Croydon, Surrey