No one to look after them

primary care training no one to look after them

Here are some facts…

The British Nationality Act 1948 gave UK citizenship to all people living in the United Kingdom and its colonies, full rights of entry and settlement into the UK.  Many were attracted by better prospects in ‘the mother country’.

HMT Empire Windrush brought a group of 492 West Indian migrants to the port of Tilbury, near London, on 22 June 1948.

I’m just old enough to remember the Jamaican family in our street.  My mother was friends with the her, Dad went to the football with him.  Sadly, I can’t remember their names, or what happened to them.

They were fun. Baptists… Christmas Carols, a riot.  They were accepted by everyone as part of … us.  I remember the street celebrations for the Coronation.  A steel band arrived!  Don’t ask…

Watching the news about The Windrush brought these memories back.

This fiasco is beyond apology.  What happened was wicked, inexcusable, deliberate and unforgivable.  Politicians who dreamed up the madness and yes, the civil servants who did their bidding, we’d be well rid of the whole rag-bag. 

In Parliament The Maymite, apologised to everyone for ‘any anxiety caused’.  

As The Duchess always said; never apologise… always say sorry.

Say sorry for the lost of jobs, driving licenses, benefits, housing, opportunity, dignity and pride.  Get yer cheque book out Theresa, this’ll cost ya! 

How clever, last Friday, of the DH Press office to announce a new scheme; attract nurses from Jamaica, as part of the earn-to-earn scheme.

Let’s forget the Jamaican Government’s been lobbying the WHO to try and put an end to other nations poaching their nurses and the Jamaican press is very busy on the topic, too.

What happens if a Jamaican nurse comes on the scheme, falls in love, gets married, gets a mortgage, gets pregnant… just as they get to the end of their time on the scheme?  Don’t ask.

Workforce planning… woeful.  Health Education England, point out; 

‘…if no action is taken to reduce demand through prevention or… better productivity and service transformation… the number of staff needed by 2027 would have to grow by 190,000 to meet demand.’

We can’t do that.  There are about 500,000 students leaving uni each year and around thirty-odd percent would have to come into the NHS… I can’t see it.

Make a note; re-think training.

The Tinkerman doesn’t help.  His latest, out of the blue, promise of  3,000 more midwives comes without the how, or the where, or as far as I can see, part of any strategy other than to get a headline.

We are missing a meaningful workforce strategy.  Even the effete at the chi-chi think-tanks recognise HEE needs help.  

Some questions;

  • Is the workforce fit to take on the challenge of demand and life after Brexit – no.
  • Have we got to create same-old jobs or new-style jobs – both.
  • What is the timeline, how urgent is it – trousers on fire urgent.
  • Do staff stick or churn – churn, end it.
  • Have we got a reward strategy, linked to the ambitions and culture of the organisation – no.

A workforce strategy has to be linked to the organisation’s biz-plan.  Does the NHS have one?  

Trusts do but don’t control numbers or pay-rates for most of their staff.  The foundation of a workforce strategy… missing.  

Parking that…

Who do we need?  What are the skills, behaviours and experience we need. 

Who do we hire?  Does the workforce plan create the shape of the NHS in 2035.  That’s only 650 weeks away; it takes 156 weeks to train a nurse, 208 to gestate a midwife, about 520+ for a GP and 728 to train a consultant. 

Creating new careers caring for the elderly, dementia, diabetes and nutrition is not a bad idea but what does the curriculum and timetable look like?  Who can we hire and train differently and what will they do?  

Who owns the plan?  Who will step up… empowered to deliver it?

Who will create the environment where people will want to join us to bring care, compassion and peace of mind to our nation?

How will we keep track, measure way-markers, know we are on the right road… calibrate the plan against NHS delivery? 


This is the mother-of-all foul-ups.  What’s to do?  We could steal Scotland’s ideas or, we could stop people getting ill…

… best idea, coz there’s no one to look after them.


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Reproduced at by kind permission of Roy Lilley.