Sunday, 6 May 2012

Consult, consult and then consult again – this time with management consultants

THE health service is in a bit of a mess. We’ve all sort of noticed this if we’ve been near an Accident and Emergency department in recent weeks.

All the good work, all the specialist care, all the dedicated care in the community has been dissipated amidst the mess at the doors of hospital.

The Compton Review has produced a way forward, emphasising the need to have more people receiving care in the community, closing front line hospitals, more minor injury units etc etc.

All sounds well and good…but how would a Health Minister implement such reviews? Bring the best minds in Norn Iron Health Service management together? Bring on board the nurses, doctors, porters, paramedics at the front line to input?

No – bring in management consultants and pay them millions.

And according to Edwin Poots it will be value for money!

The role of the management consultants will be, according to the BBC report on this, to: “provide information such as the number of adults, children and admissions to local hospitals.”

So, to be clear, the management consultants will need the information that bed managers, planning teams, ward teams and other health service staff currently hold, then do some sums as analysis.

Now we respect the roles and talents of management consultants; they perform many valuable services to the public sector. But, in this instance, they may be superfluous.

Surely the millions being spent on the management consultants could be avoided by using the talents of those working in the health service; a health service that we are repeatedly told has too many managers…

We, of course, have a solution – consult on it! After all, if the minister is determined to spend, spend, spend then he might as well spend it on asking the people who use the health service their views!

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