Thursday 1 March 2007

Try 8 hours before 24 hours Mr Blair

Various papers (The Times, The Sun are just two)reported a story of Mr Blair's and Ms Hewitt's plan of 24 hour operating in NHS theatres. This is to try and reach the target of reducing waiting times to 18 weeks.

This is exactly the sort of thing that shows just how disconnected the government is from real life. The current situation in the NHS is that you have to have your operation within 6 months, but cash strapped PCTs and trust are delaying operations on financial grounds so that there are minimum waits in place. Often these are minimum
waits of 5 months!! So theatres lie idle at the moment and they want to extend the idle time by three times. How can this possibly make sense.

And who is going to staff these 24 hour theatre sessions and how is this going to be funded. I have rarely done a theatre list where a patient hasn't been cancelled for administrative reasons. The NHS hasn't even sorted out how to use 8 hours efficiently, forget about 24.

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