Thursday, 8 May 2008

You're Fired (or maybe not...)

I was watching The Apprentice the other week and the candidate’s task was to put on a themed dinner in a pub. As per normal, general chaos ensued. One of the teams was in the market, trying to buy tomatoes but they really didn’t know how many they needed and so had to try and wing it. Sir Alan Sugar was not impressed and he said something like:

“It seems to me that you had no bleeding idea how many tomatoes you were buying. You had no idea how much soup you were expecting to sell so you had no idea how much soup you needed to make and how many tomatoes you needed to buy. What did you do? Did you just pluck a figure out of the air did you? That doesn’t seem to be a very smart way to go about business if you ask me…”

The reason I bring this up is that it strikes a chord with the ongoing MMC fuck up. One of the biggest errors of MMC 2007 was around workforce planning. The Department of Health seem to have no idea how many consultants they will need, how many they want to employ and thus, how many junior doctors they want to train. How on earth can you plan medical school numbers and training positions for junior doctors without this most basic of information? I know that people aren’t tomatoes but the principle of basic planning surely applies. No wonder it’s all going tits up.

The House of Commons Health Care Committee has released its third MMC report and it seems that they agree with me that the people who ran MMC had “no bleeding idea” how many doctors they need in the NHS (see paragraph 19 on this link).

I’m sure Sir Alan Sugar would have had no truck with this level of staggering incompetence, but unlike The Apprentice, Liam Donaldson hasn’t been fired. He’s still sitting pretty in his job after screwing with the lives of literally thousands of junior doctors.


Jo said...

Would it be because Liam Donaldson doesn't have to account for himself to his shareholders?

Having worked in the bureacratic side of the civil service (at the very bottom of the ladder; I only lasted 8 months before I ran!), I can testify that it is very difficult to be fired at any level, but the higher up you go (and therefore the more effect that you will have on people's lives), the harder it gets. People don't get fired for bullying or for corruption, so why should mere incompetence see them out of office? {/sarcasm} {/rant}

Lily said...

Maybe we should get Sir Alan Sugar to run the NHS? Sod it.. let him run the whole country. He could recruit ministers on a TV show. It would solve the problems of transparency within the government. There's the little issue of democracy, but nevermind.

Jo said...

I could start a little debate about the level of true democracy in this country, but I won't ;-)

David H. said...

Failed finals by 5%. Feel like a piece of canine faeces.