14 September 2008

Patients, public and punters

As Jobbing Doctor has pointed out in his comment to the previous post, nobody listens to doctors any more. Not when it comes to the management of the health service. Not, anyway, real doctors. Doctors know the coalface. They work at it every day. Some patients also know the coalface. Different patients want different things. Doctors are not too interested in the worried essentially well. The commuter who wants something for his cold but can't get to his GP might be quite important to politicians and policy wonks but on the scale of life and death there are more important things in medicine. Much more important.

It worried Dr Grumble a bit when he started this blog and found some interest from patients. He didn't want to be dragged into dealing with their various woes. It would be unprofessional. But the patients who have been reading Dr Grumble have in no way abused the relationship and seem to share his views. They tend to be professional patients. Dr Grumble means that in the nicest way. They are people who, because of their affliction, have seen a lot of the health service. That's why their views are so meaningful. They understand. They understand much more than the politicians.

What Dr Grumble is coming round to saying is that it is quite clear (despite the NHS247 claims that the PM reads this blog) that politicians are just not going to listen to grass roots doctors and that the only hope for the NHS as we know it is via the punters. The public, properly marshalled, have the power. Potentially anyway.

Collectively the public, patients and punters do know what is going on in their health service. And they are beginning to make their voices heard. Probably they will be the downfall of this government. Probably this government will deserve its fate. And probably the next lot will go on making the same mistakes. But we must try and get things righted. Collectively. Patients and doctors. It's no good just wringing our hands. One day the self-appointed experts and misguided policy wonks will be rumbled. The days of the smart-suited management consultant with spurious expertise in, well, absolutely everything will one day be over. Surely. This madness just cannot go on.


No One said...

thanks for the vote for the patients


the senior conservatives will be planning what to do with the nhs now, whether u like it or not whatever they conculde is likely to be the way ahead

nu labour has already lost the next election, and the current trend of crap nhs organisation and changes is obviously not working

Garth Marenghi said...

very true Dr G,

a great example is the completely incompetent management of primary care services by PCTs,

doctors with expertise in public health have been marginalised as managers with barely a brain cell are empowered,

it is crazy stuff