There’s more than a touch of the X-Files about the hospital grounds I work in. It’s not helped by the NHS’s love of cryptic names and my over active imagination. There’s the deserted Bungalow 5, the Phoenix Unit and Suite 5136. Of course, the effect gets lost when you turn the corner and see the family planning unit and on-site cafe discharging the stink of a thousand bastard fry-ups.

 

GPs are one of the few professions who enjoy an almost untouched position of trust in the community as long as you take Harold Shipman out of the equation.

However, GP Jonathan Munday scored a spectacular own goal when journalists discovered his self styled family crest reads Non Angelus sed Anglus – No Angel but at least I’m English.

The crest quickly disappeared from his website after reporters looked more closely at the man who heads a powerful group of GPs who wrote into a national paper earlier this week supporting Government plans to give doctors control of an annual budget of more than £70 billion.

 

Messianic tendencies are afoot in the NHS as the survivors of the organisational restructure crawl out of the wreckage and reassert themselves atop the reconstituted dung heap. It’s like watching badgers crawl out of their den, shake off winter’s fleas and be about their business oblivious to the preceding seasons.

 

The upper echelons of the National Health Service have taken a leaf out of the SS management guide with their duplicitous finger stepping treachery.

No sooner do they offer us money to leave in the shape of voluntary redundancy and mutually agreed resignation schemes than they withdraw the offer a fortnight later saying too many people are taking up the option.

I wish I could say I was surprised but it is the latest in a series of goalpost moving tactics as the NHS tries to save £20 billion over the next four years. Let’s home the tidal wave of revolution sweeping across north Africa and Arab Peninsula laps these shores. I have my pitchfork and torch at the ready.

 

You have to laugh at some of the current terminology used by the National Health Service in describing job cuts.

Downsizing, staff rationalisation, ratio reduction, cost saving efficiencies, market lean workforce and effective staff redeployment (to the dole office) are just a few examples of management speak which allow the masters of the universe to think of us all as jelly beans and  potato chips. Where is ‘V’ when we need him?

 

Smiling health minister Andrew Lansley puts the knife in the National Health Service. Who needs the Grim Reaper when you’ve got this snowy haired rider of the apocalypse riding roughshod over a national institution. 

 

The portals of Hell finally creaked open this week with confirmation that half of our workforce will be sacked in January as part of health minister Andrew Lansley’s vision of a new slimline National Health Service.  The zeal with which our impeding demise is being brought about hasn’t been matched since the sacking of Jerusalem and our glorious leader even managed to lace the bad news with a few jokes.

He reasoned that it was far better to know where we all stood with the minimum of ‘fuss’. And what cheerier way to do so than letting the condemned know by Christmas that we’d be starting 2011 on the dole. I could see a few disgruntled staff weighing up whether or not to throttle him as he appealed for us to remain professional while being cast to the wolves.

 

The Government  certainly likes kicking you while your down. We’d all accepted the fact that NHS primary care trusts would cease to exist in 2013 and many of us would be out of a job.

This morning we found out the powers-that-be have decided to move the whole process forward by a year to save money. We now expect the first redundancies at the end of October.

The assembled staff looked as ashen face as if Mount Etna had given them a dusting. Our glorious leader once again wheeled out his platitudes about ‘focusing on your work’ while the building comes crashing down round our ears.

“I can’t really offer much in the way of reassurance, can I? ” he piped.

No you can’t, I thought. So just spare us the sound of your voice which becomes more like the whine of the mosquito every time I hear it

 

His Royal Highness descended from his eight floor eyrie today to tell us about his plans to implement a 30% cut in the workforce starting next month.

He began with the usual platitudes about remaining professional, focusing on what mattered and ignoring hearsay while delivering some telling body blows with his velvet padded gloves.

There was talk of a Mutually Agreed Redundancy scheme and the ‘September conversations’ which sound like the title of a Robert Ludlam novel but referred to an assessment process we’ll all undergo to decide who ends up filling the meat pies.

“I see this as a stage in our journey, not the end of it,” he told the bowed heads before graciously telling us he would remain in post until the termination of the primary care trust in 2013. A hardship indeed when you earn more than £100,000 a year

 

You can never accuse nurses of not having a sense of humour as I found out on a First Aid course when the tutor illustrated arterial blood flow by showing us a u-tube clip from Tarantino’s Kill Bill of a Yakuza boss beheaded with a sword.

“If you have the misfortune to come across an arterial bleed it looks something like this,’ the tutor said hitting the play button with a knowing cackle.

And one of the most common injuries at work? Scorched genitalia caused by people knocking hot drinks on themselves.

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