I travel a lot nowadays...spend a lot of time talking to different healthcare professionals, meeting either face to face or virtually with Commissioners, patients, use social media..or whatever means there is to try and either spread some examples of innovation or sometimes even just to listen...and time and time one thing has always stood out...the still-burning desire or belief that we are different organisations, we all have interests to protect...while for patients that has traditionally mattered little..who cares what badge you hold if you can provide kind, compassionate,timely and appropriate care? When I have been a patient, it hasn't mattered...nor do i think it does for most users of the system.
And that's what is the biggest bug bear of the NHS...multiple organisations, the essence of competition which has pit colleagues against each other, making enemies out of old friends, raising ambitions amongst clinical professionals to "expand their territories"..
There needs to develop realisation of that amongst all of us, managers take a lot of hammering within the NHS...is it because they are married to the ethos of the employing Trust and their goals- thus creating perceived obstacles in front of the clinician who would like to think of the pathology as a system wide one? A moment to ponder whether those obstacles will melt if we feel our employer body is one- the NHS.
All managers, clinical or otherwise, who I work with are very well aware of my simple motto...in any Trust organisation you work in...if you are not a clinician- you have one and one role only t- help the clinician deliver the appropriate evidence based clinical pathway as smoothly as possible- not thrown spanners, create curve balls ...if the clinician gets frustrated and walks away- the only one who suffers is the patient..not to forget the creation of a cynical clinician. A clinician has a much longer life span within an organisation, comes with lots of past experience...listen, learn and help...whether you are running Human resources, Information Governance or Operations. This is healthcare which has a paucity of a supply stream...run the clinician ragged...the system fails- and the only job on the line? Not the clinician. Only person to suffer? Not the clinician either. Its that individual for which this "industry" has been built...the patient.
Personally I have a near legendary reputation/notoriety of being persistent, never backing down- and so far have yet to fail on any business case, any negotiations with management- Trust or Commissioners..some take more time than others but eventually they happen- they always do. If my team who has clinical care at their core believe X needs to happen- and sense checking that with patients confirm this...then X does and will happen. Partha Kar has yet to back down from anything or anyone.
The problem? I am starting to see young exuberant leaders starting to lose their zeal, build the cynicism...leaders who are on the ground- not doing gimmicks on social media- the leaders if we lose then patient care on the ground is certain to suffer. To all non clinicians within the NHS, bear that in mind. Today s hard nosed drive to get to a target is damaging patient care for the future.
Your name tag which proudly demonstrates your organisations name means little...what matters..is the name of the kind soul who is trying their best to be there when needed. There's one sign there that matters- 3 letters- N.H.S. Ever heard the Minnesota branch of Microsoft declaring that they are "Minnesota Microsoft"? No- they are proud to be Microsoft- part of a gig prestigious company...question is why that same pride, ethos doesn't exist within the NHS yet.
That's what the person opposite you will take away along with the thought of being cared for when the need was there. Passionate about the NHS? Want to "save" it?
Think of the 3 letters on the badge- the rest should fall in place. And if it doesn't, think whether you genuinely believe in patient care.