06 November

When we think of Doctors and the medical profession, we have no doubt of trust. We wholeheartedly understand what they tell us about our conditions, diagnosis, and even to take our lives into their hands when operating.

Of course we do this, because they are caring and qualified professionals, who wish to look after their patients. Therefore why would we deny their creditability? Surely we wouldn’t?

BBC released a cover from a medical report on minimising waste in hospitals to increase value and save money. However they made similar claims that ‘One doctors’ waste is another patient’s delay.’[1]

The report aims to look at what is truly essential in the hospital, and what doctors may be over-equipped with. It suggests cuts that can be made, and what is not necessarily needed.

However doctors have stated they agree with these statements when they get a say in what should be cut:

‘A surgeon at the hospital, Jeremy Lavey, said doctors were well-placed to identify savings. “We have a responsibility because we’re in the best position to say I can use this one, I don’t need to use that…A manager can’t make that decision whereas we are ideally positioned and we have a responsibility to make sure we do that properly,”’[2]

Does this mean then, that not only has it been an issue for the NHS and costings, but perhaps Doctors were aware of this for a long time? Why were they not given a voice before now?

Here at Primary Care Professionals, we entrust in our Doctors and rely on an honest, and open relationship. As stated previously, of course we all respect and believe in our GP’s and Doctors. Therefore if the government is going to listen, and allocate time to our trustworthy Doctor’s, surely this is a matter we cannot complain about?

The report also stated:

‘This is not simply about costs…It is about supporting doctors and other clinicians to ensure that the resources of the NHS are used in the most effective way possible to provide the best possible quality and quantity of care for patients.’[3]

After all we can agree the patient and problem at hand comes first. But we must listen to the helping hand, for they need the correct tools in place to do the work.

However of course, the most prominent decisions are not made by Doctor’s, and it has been noted that some of these ideas from the report have been active in changes in the NHS for a while now.

‘Co-leader of the National Health Action Party Clive Peedell welcomed some of the recommendations, but noted that “a lot of this is already being done” and warned that efficiency savings had already “created real problems”.’[4]

Although Doctors may in some cases find this a good thing to be doing. Is it truly affecting the way hospitals work?

Please let us know your thoughts.

[1] Stephenson, T. (2014). Protecting Resources, Promoting Value: A Doctor’s Guide To Cutting Waste In Clinical Care. Academy of Medical Royal College, [online] p.3. Available at: http://www.aomrc.org.uk/publications/reports-a-guidance?view=docman [Accessed 6 Nov. 2014].

[2] BBC News, (2014). ‘Ethical duty’ to cut NHS waste. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29920025 [Accessed 6 Nov. 2014].

[3] Stephenson, T. (2014). Protecting Resources, Promoting Value: A Doctor’s Guide To Cutting Waste In Clinical Care. p.3.

[4] BBC News, (2014). ‘Ethical duty’ to cut NHS waste.

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