At work I deal with a wide and varied range of things, one of them came up as a result of several clients contacting us with the same problem regarding accessing medical treatment.  So out of curiosity my boss decided we would do a Freedom of Information Request to all the PCT’s in England to look if this was a National issue or a Local one.

Anyhow this blog isn’t about the FOI request but some snippets of information that turned up as a result of this.  The information regards two specialist operations, where in the UK there are only 2 surgeons’ providing both types of operation. 

Now we actually got the costs of these operations, something which we hadn’t asked for.  Now you would think that these operations are being carried out in the same place with the same surgeons regardless of where you live in the UK would cost the different PCT’s the same amount.  However this is not the case, the cost of one of the operations varied from £42,000 for some PCT’s all the way up to £65,000 for another PCT. 

Now this variance makes the mind boggle; a £23,000 difference for just having a different post code is extortionate.  Maybe if it was a few thousand differences you could understand it but this size of difference is just wrong.  Where is this £23,000 going, does the costs of hiring an operation theatre change if someone’s from Manchester or Bristol? Do people from different areas have tougher skin and require more expensive instruments.  Or is it a case that the administrative costs of different areas account for this huge disparity?  Which is more likely.  If that is the case then you may well be living in an PCT area where they are funnelling money in to administrative staff rather than treating you.

The second operation was seemingly better managed price wise and the variance between the PCT’s was a few thousand pounds, ranging from £14,000 to £15,500.  However for this operation we found out something rather alarming.  Three years ago this operation only cost the NHS £10,000 but in the subsequent years rose year on year to be £14,000.  A 40% increase in cost in just 3 years, now surely the resources used in this operation have not increased by 40% in price. 

We know that the cost of the doctors and nurses hasn’t gone up in that time as there is a public sector pay freeze, and surely for any operation that has to be the big cost of the operation.  We can accept that the likes of heating and lighting prices have gone up, but have they really gone up by the tune of £4000 per patient in 3 years? I highly doubt that.  So where has this extra £4000 gone?

Both are examples of obvious NHS waste where the money that is supposed to go in to treating people to make them better is being syphoned off in to administrative people who are filling up half of the total number of jobs that exist in the NHS.  Is some admin person going to make your ingrowing toe nails go away?

Then there was yesterday’s story in the Telegraph about the NHS paying £20,000 to find a doctor to cover one week’s work, and another paying £14,000 to cover a gynaecologist for 4 days.  The list in the Telegraph was huge listing more and more waste by the NHS. 

There are thousands of people who want to save the NHS just the way it is, because reforming it would be bad and if the reforms come in all the Hospitals will explode.  The NHS in its current form shouldn’t be saved it’s an inefficient organisation, trying to melt an ice berg with a match would be more efficient than the NHS is in its current form. 

So people you should be embracing the change to the NHS, cutting out this waste and mismanagement brought in by 13 years of Labour ineptitude.  If you want your NHS still hear and still free in 40 years’ time embrace the changes and lets trim the fat off the NHS.