Oh no there isn’t…

Training Primary Care - NHS - GPs - Oh no there isn't...

Christmas is on the way and the best bit has to be the pantomime season…

… oh yes it is!

If you’ve got kids, take ’em to a Panto. If you haven’t got kids, borrow some and go to a Panto. If that fails, go anyway!

Some of my earliest memories are trips to the Davis Theatre in South London, to see the Panto. 

Of those memories, my first step onto a stage, volunteered from the audience, blinded by the lights, to take part in a spirited, community rendition of ‘There’s a hole in my bucket’…

… oh yes there is!

A comedy song, featuring a dumb-bloke and a sensible woman…

… and she’s behind you!

Originating from the German song collection of Bergliederbüchlein, it found its way into George Korson’s “Pennsylvania Songs and Legends’. 

Peter Seeger had is in his body of work and in 1953 Flanders and Swan parodied the song with; ‘There’s a hole in my budget’, satirising Churchill and Butler.

They did it again, for Wilson and Healey, in 1974. Have a listen it’s as good today as it was in the ’70’s…

… oh yes it is!

We should record it again; There’s a hole in the NHS. It’s called workforce.

A pantomime season all of its own, there are five more weeks of election to endure. 

A campaign that’s turning into Panto; I’ll bring 5000-new-GPs….

… oh no you wont! Oh yes I will…

It is precisely this kind of bravado that has got HEE into its terminal mess and the kind of show-off-politics that will ruin any thoughts of sensible workforce planning.

Sure enough, there’s a hole in the NHS bucket. Every week 233 nurses leave the NHS with ‘voluntary resignation’ recorded as the reason for leaving. 

In the three month period leading to May 2018, 316, full-time GPs quit.

The number of FTE GPs in the workforce has decreased more than 1,000 since September 2015 – when health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced he would increase the number of GPs in England by 5,000…

oh no he didn’t!

By April 2018, we’d only managed to recruit 85 doctors from overseas, so the visa waving stunt from Johnson this week, is just that, a stunt…

…oh yes it was!

There’s a bigger problem. About 225,732 students leave school every year and of those, the national average for the percentage of A-level students achieving 3 A-grades or better, at A-level was 13%.

That means we have only 13% of school leavers with barely enough A Levels to get into clinical education… doctors, nurses and allied professions usually require 5.

We are fishing for talent in a small pond. The NHS is becoming a Cinderella career. There are a lot of other, better paid, professions that don’t involve shift-work, pressure and abuse.

As much as I support and admire the NHS for its talent and commitment, the time has come to be realistic. We are not going to recruit enough talent from here, or overseas to overcome our workforce crisis.

… oh no we won’t…

We are not going to turn five mice and a pumpkin into five paramedics and an ambulance. 

Dick Whittington is not coming to London

for fame and fortune as a GP, he’s more likely to become a lawyer. 

As much as Jack climbed the beanstalk to create opportunity out of a crisis… we can’t plant seeds to grow magic nurses.

The wicked Baron’s counting house will have to ask the good fairy to find a problem to the pension crisis.  

Politicians live in a Panto-world. It is obvious they’ll not resolve the workforce crisis by doing what we have always done, or with three Panto-election wishes.  

There is a reality to be faced… oh yes there is!

Educational purists will have to face reality; the way we have trained people and the time it takes, is time we can’t afford and care homes without nurses are just plain dangerous.

If NHSX ever gets its act together, forget three wishes; their only job is a digital first NHS. 

A place where training is hasted by virtual reality and time saved on the ward is so precious it has to be measured in seconds. Where practical, all first contact is by video and that includes outpatients.

Digital productivity is the new genie in the lamp.

If the NHS is a Sleeping Beauty, it has to be awoken to reality and I don’t see a prince charming in the cast of the Election Panto…… oh no there isn’t!

News and Comment from Roy Lilley
Contact Roy – please use this e-address roy.lilley@nhsmanagers.net
Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Roy Lilley.