Wasted money. Wasted resources. Waste, waste, waste. In the meantime our hospitals are under-staffed, nurses have to work ridiculously long shifts and do the work of 2 (or more) people. Why? Because the system wastes money on silly things!
In my opinion, of course. I have to say that else I might get in bovver!
Nurses are the most important thing a hospital has. THE most important people for patient care. THE people patients turn to during their stay in hospital. But they are the ones who are getting a bit ‘thin on the ground’ while admin staff, management and consultants live the life of Riley!
And why? Because the priorities are completely upside down.
Here is an example of a complete and utter waste of money (no doubt there’s a consultant fee involved and a research company’s fees etc):
A while ago I popped into hospital for a bit of surgery. A few weeks later I received a questionnaire. The questionnaire was MANY pages and I simply didn’t have time to complete it. Not only that but I didn’t have any negative comments or overwhelming praise for the services – it was all ‘okay’.
Any marketer will tell you that feedback forms generally get completed when the service user (or customer) is blown away by how great or how bad the service was, but less likely to want to (or feel the need to) share their opinions if everything was just ‘okay’.
So I binned it.
You’d think that was the end of it. Completing the form is, as they reminded me, completely voluntary. But, oh no, not for the NHS. Let’s waste another few pennies on a letter, another envelope, another postage stamp, another minute of a person’s time. Let’s send another umpteen page questionnaire, in another envelope, with more postage…
Message to the NHS: If I had wanted to share my opinions I would have done so! Please don’t waste money sending another one!
But they will send another one. As the letter states:
“at the time of sending this note, we have not yet received your response… If we do not hear from you in 1-2 weeks, we will send you another copy of the questionnaire and a freepost envelope.”
If we guestimate that this same letter, a duplicate questionnaire and the postage etc is wasted on a hundred thousand people each year (and I bet that is a very conservative guestimate) at, let’s guess at a total cost of £1 per patient, that would cover the cost of a couple or 3 nurses wages for a year.
And that is just ONE way money is wasted in the wrong areas of the NHS.
No doubt the researchers will tell us that these follow-up mailings result in an extra 20,000 responses. But, what they probably keep close to their chests is that those 20,000 responses (by the nature of “everything was just okay” else you’d have heard from me sooner) provide the NHS with far less useful feedback than a similar amount of prompt responses to the questionnaire.
The amount of communication I have had over these past few months. Many by post and some by automated phone calls. The amount of literature that I did not read. It is all such a complete waste of money. Money that could buy enough nurses to keep the patients looked after. Money that could enable nurses to spend more time with each patient, money that could go where it is most needed; the front line of the essential services.