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October 20, 2004

NHS Productivity Down.

Well up there in the water is wet category comes today's news that NHS productivity is falling. Take the largest employer in western Europe, an already mind-bogglingly bureaucratic disaster, double the money you spend on it, reduce the number of beds, nurses and doctors, add more bureaucrats, raise everyone's pay and ignore the first lesson of economics, that incentives matter. Colour me surprised when productivity falls.
We might also add that these figures are after a great deal of manipulation to make them seem less bad.
Still at least one good thing has happened, the Minister is angry so something might change.

Changes in the way productivity in the National Health Service is calculated were demanded by the Government yesterday after the latest statistics showed it had fallen since Labour came to power.

Yes! Full marks. You guessed it. The Minister is not angry that billions have been pissed away, is not suggesting that there might be a better way of running the NHS. No, he's going to change the measurement system. Just where would we be without these Scots running the country for us?

Update: and a big hello to those reading this from inside the NHS at http://www.nhscommslink.nhs.uk/
Anyone want to email me with whatever comments are appearing inside this secure site?

October 20, 2004 in Health Care | Permalink


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"reduce the number of beds, nurses and doctors"

One third spin, two-thirds complete bollocks.

After sticking to Tory spending plans for the first two years, Labour produced the first year-on-year rise in acute and general bed numbers in 30 years, and are now nearly back up to the level of 1998.

And the numbers of doctors and nurses are up over 20% on 1997 levels, as you would know if you had actually looked at the ONS publication in question.

Tim adds: Fair enough. Read as "reduce the number of nurses and doctors as a percentage of the workforce".

Posted by: Jim | Oct 21, 2004 12:17:33 AM