I can see no better theme to start off with other than Mortality in the NHS, given the time and effort that this subject takes up at work and in the canteens UK wide. So here goes, my thoughts and feelings on the subject. Do contribute if you are sleepless and want to vent some steam........
I always get the feeling that the rapid gallop of the NHS under New Labour was transformed to a canter by two factors, the arrival of the coalition government and the publication of the mortality league table.
The focus turned overnight, from excellence to survival for many trusts. Staff ran from steering committees to planning groups to mortality action teams. Action plans started coming out of everyone's ears. It was all about the process, planning, being seen as doing. Change, radical change. Everything had to change. New paradigms, innovative working, destructive reforms. Management speak. Management spoke.
Peppered in the action teams were clinicians, tastemakers in an otherwise bland dish. Detached, disillusioned, disorientated, disabused, disenchanted, and disenfranchised. Mere zombies, attending meetings as if to merely answer the call of duty, if not that of nature! providing a quorate status to the proceedings and nothing more. A select few embraced the proceedings, clinical managers as they were called, wanting to contribute to the organisation's ethos to save lives, prevent death. Yes, prevent death. Death was unacceptable. Even more unacceptable if it was unexpected. Zero tolerance to death. Everyone had to live. Everyone had to leave hospital. No one was to die. Not on my watch, not on your watch, not that we are allowed to wear one anymore. Death was a serious untoward event. There had to be a root cause to every death. It was just a matter of finding it. It was just a matter of time. Time that everyone had, prior to getting involved with the mortality action group!
(....to be continued)