Day 248

Governments and organisations hide behind big words. For instance ‘Restructuring’ means some people are going to lose their jobs, ‘Quantitative Easing’ means printing money and giving it to the banks, ‘Benefits Reform’ means taking away more state support from the poor and ‘Austerity’ means capitalism for the poor and socialism for corporations and the rich.

‘Modified departmental schedule’ means new time-table. ‘Enhanced positive learning environment’ means talking warmly while teaching. ‘Capacity planning’ is deciding how much a particular computer or system can handle.

These phrases are everywhere around us. They have no face, no humanity. They are completely impersonal and extremely self-important. They don’t speak to me. They are like a poor camouflage. Not only do they try desperately to hide something but also offend and insult. They distract and alienate people from real issues.

The real problem with the NHS is that it has too many managers and not enough people on the frontline doing what needs done. Lots and lots of people are employed and paid exceptionally high salaries to invent and create this eye-watering jargon.

Some CEOs of NHS Trusts are paid more than the prime-minister of this country.

In my experience as a consultant in the NHS I have seen many fabulous nurses and physiotherapists lost to the managerial route because sadly, that is the only way they can further their careers and make a decent living.

Without a revolution in thought and politics, there is no way to stop this terrible destruction of a potentially wonderful service.

It would be great if more managers thought of their work as ‘service’ and not business. Make it about people, not numbers.

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