City Hall, home of the Mayor of London is a brooding, glass building on the south-side of the River Thames… contrasting with the timeless elegance of the iconic Tower Bridge, next door.
City Hall leans back, hands on hips, like a fat drunk, gathering his thoughts before letting rip a stream of invective in the doorway of a chip-shop.
Actually, it’s a cunning building; a geometrically modified sphere, designed to reduce surface areas, heat gain and loss. It also leans away from the river so not to cast a shadow over the walkway. Foster and Partners; one of their best.
The Mayor’s office, at the top, overlooks the river; in the foreground the sentinel Tower Bridge and west, The City of London.
It was in that office the then Mayor, Boris Johnson, was being briefed on the Lansley NHS Reforms.
‘So, who’s in charge….‘ demanded Johnson…
‘The reforms create a distributed leadership model…’
‘So no one is in charge… if I’ve got a problem, I’ll ring Dave…’
Johnson was keen for London’s healthcare to be brought within his purview. Sadiq Khan wants the same. It won’t happen.
The London Mayor’s budget is less than £300m. Add health and it would be swamped. Plus, you could never be sure they wouldn’t pinch it to build bike-lanes.
From people who know him; Johnson has a genuine interest in healthcare. By all accounts he was, recently, spooked by a visit to the full-to-the-gunnels Trust in his constituency.
He is politically savvy enough to know voters are interested in it too. Hence the £350m on the side of the referendum bus. A PR blinder of an idea.
He’s having another go. This time, a £100m a week Boris-Brexit-Bonus-Bung for the NHS from next April. Bog-off Boris we know it’s all about you wanting to be boss.
We also know:
… there are not enough school places,
not enough teachers,
not enough prison places,
not enough prison staff,
not enough seats on trains,
not enough child-care places,
not enough soldiers,
not enough hospital beds,
not enough nurses,
not enough doctors, HCAs and care professionals,
not enough MH beds,
not enough care-packages,
not enough policemen,
too many holes in the roads,
too many MPs and…
too many people in the House of Lords.
Nothing this government is responsible for works.
I don’t know about you… I’m sick of it.
On Monday, in all the main, flagship, news bulletins, the BBC carried a 14 minute lead package; a fly-on-the-wall about the choc-a-bloc North Tees Trust.
Such saturation coverage is usually reserved for wars or elections. The Trust Board would have agreed it and the DH would have approved it.
Why do it? It’s a message that tells me the BBC are swamped with people’s NHS horror stories and had to find a way to cover it, the Tinkerman’s got the wind-up and is out of ideas.
This whole rag-bag of a Cabinet is out of ideas. So, here are a few suggestions…
Ask recently retired clinicians to come back, pay them for three months and help get the NHS out of trouble. They can be super-HCAs. The problem is not beds (you can put them in the boardroom, offices or Travel Lodge) the problem is staff.
Ask retired doctors to come back, pay them and help set up ‘pop-up’ walk-in surgeries in Tesco, M&S, Lidl, Sainsbury, Witherspoon’s, charity shops, to relieve pressure on GPs.
Ask pharma and other companies employing clinicians to ‘donate’ them back to the NHS; work with us for three months to get the NHS back on its feet.
Get on with a hypothecated tax for the NHS so we know where we stand and pledge to get funding back to the EU average by 2025.
Want some more… start taxing wealth, not income and swap the labyrinth of benefits for a universal basic income, regardless of circumstances. Radical enough? Interesting enough?
Brexit? If it has to happen we’ll have the deal Mrs Merkel and the French lézard de salon wants us to have. Get over the palaver.
And have an election. I’m past caring who wins! I just want a government with policies. Stuff I can understand, debate, agree with or rail against. I just want somebody to do something.
I’m sick of government by spectators.
Contact Roy – please use this e-address
Know something I don’t – email me in confidence.
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Thank you Roy for allowing us to reproduced your work at TrainingPrimaryCare.com