Own goal…

News and Comment from Roy Lilley.

There’s a question.  I’ve been thinking about it all week.  I heard it asked by Man’ U’s manager, Jose Mourinho.  He was holding one of his unique press conferences… holding court.

It seems Mourinho and his boys haven’t been doing too well and in the press conference he was ruminating and philosophising to excuse his failures.  

He listed his injured players and other misfortunes and turned on the journalists and said; ‘Why do you pretend none of this is happening…’

The subtext; why are you giving me such a hard time when you know what the problems are.  I think he was inviting us to overlook the gazillion quids worth of talent on the bench.  

I generally avoid football metaphors for as much as some people like them, they are a turn-off, I’m guessing, for the majority.

Nevertheless, Mourinho’s question stuck in my mind.  It’s a good question for us… for the NHS.

Why do we pretend?

For instance; when educated, professional people, whose job it is to know about these things, make the perfectly sensible observation that we don’t have enough staff, the DH press office says there are 25% more training places than there were when god wore short trousers.

Why do they pretend that is anything, remotely like a sensible answer?

Why does NHSI pretend that their A&E safe-staffing malarkey is better than NICE’s well thought through, properly researched work (leaked to the HSJ last year)… that was dumped.  

Why do they pretend words like acuity, dependency, dashboard, demand, flow and sustainable are better than ratios, evidence and experience. 

We all know why they pretend; it’s because there aren’t enough staff to do the job properly and safely.  So they pretend they have a better idea… they don’t.

Why do we pretend there is enough money in the NHS, when there isn’t?  Why do we pretend, we balanced the books when everyone knows there was massive manipulation and massaging.  The sort of thing that can’t be done again.

How could anyone pretend that Simon Steven’s challenge to government over the bus advert, useless politicians, funding and the Brexit cash, is anything other than the stripped pine truth that everyone in and around the NHS should be four-square behind. Full text here.

Why do we pretend we will balance NHS’ books ever again?

Why do we pretend we are ever going to get close to the performance targets, most of which are political or arbitrary. 

Why do we pretend the CQC have any relevance to the quality of outcomes.

Why do we pretend we can keep going without recalibrating the whole system?

Why do we pretend the government is interested in anything other than clinging to power and trying to fathom Brexit.

Why do we pretend Brexit and immigration policy will do anything other than demolish the NHS workforce for ten years, despite a new plan!

Why do we pretend government is in the hands of sane sensible people, when every news bulletin arrives with more evidence that it is not.

Why do we pretend social services will come good with care packages this winter, when they have not enough money nor staff to deliver them.

The Jim Reaper doesn’t pretend.  He told a conference he’ll be glad to head back to his northern kingdom.  He doesn’t pretend, he’s happy to see the back of the impossible job he’s done so well.  He doesn’t pretend anything other that the wheels will be coming off anytime soon.

Why would anyone pretend they can fill his boots, take on the job and make anything of it but a mess.  Why do we pretend the interviews for his replacement have gone well…

Mourinho asks a good question.  Why do we pretend?  

Why do we kid ourselves, tell porkies, pretend new strategies will solve our immediate problems, pretend more is enough, pretend anything other than the NHS has been decimated by austerity politics that will take ten years to repair.

To keep pretending is a massive own goal.


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