Deb Acle over at the Jobbing Doctor has pointed out that the sort of things the government has been up to in the NHS it has been up to all over the place. Dr Grumble is aware of this. He has friends who are teachers and lawyers. When Dr G moans to them they chorus that the government is doing the same to them. There was a good example on the Today programme this morning.
If you are a doctor you may not have heard of Criminal Defence Service Direct. But it may sound familiar. If you are a criminal in trouble you used to be able to phone your very own solicitor. And you could have a face to face meeting with him. In future you will phone Criminal Defence Service Direct for advice. They won't come and see you. They will give advice. The advice may be from somebody who is not a solicitor. Does that sound familiar? You used to be able to have your very own solicitor come and see you but in future you will get somebody who is not a solicitor over the phone. The similarity with NHS Direct is striking. The common factor is that this has been imposed by the government according to the exact same formula dreamed up by policy wonks who have probably never worked as a solicitor just as those who advised the government on general practice have never worked as a doctor. The powers-that-be probably think it will be cheaper. Many doctors think NHS Direct was money down the drain. What do the solicitors think about Criminal Defence Service Direct? They certainly seem to think it offers a dumbed down poor quality service that their clients just do not like. And Dr Grumble would be surprised if it really saves money. Paying people to do a poor job rarely saves money. As Red Adair said:
If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.