7th May 2015

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Dr Mark Porter

In conversation with Roy Lilley

Chair if the BMA - just how relevant is the BMA; does anyone listen to them?

Health Chat at the King's Fund 18th June Details here.

News and Comment from Roy Lilley

We give away clues...   how we dress, what car we drive, when and where we go on holiday. The food we buy, the movies we watch, the books we do and don't read. Finger nails, jewellery, bags and shoes. Ties and tattoos. You don't have to be a Sherlock.


Look around you, for a large part of the day you could be sitting at the biggest clue of all; your desk. What does it say about you? Museum, showcase, shop window, barricade, workstation, play station, altar, sweat-shop, operating table? Hot-desk? Cold slab?


Pictures of beaches and blue skies say; 'I'd rather be anywhere but here!' Free souvenirs from conferences; knickknacks, squidgy models and squashy toys, cubes, dollies and basketball nets suckered onto the side of a screen; 'lack of focus, mind elsewhere?' Workplace; barren and sterile with a little bottle of hand sanitizer? Spooky!

Motivational quotes and pictures of the top of a mountain? How about a forest of Post-it notes? A gust of wind and that's your priorities all over the office floor. Don't bother putting them back; half will be out of date... a do-list in a note book is better.


The greatest aid to office efficiency? A shredder. I shred everything. Well, I used to. The shredder got so full it jammed. Apparently they have to be emptied? I work on the basis; if it was important the person sending it will have kept a copy.


In my 1995 book 'FutureProofing' (long since eclipsed by a future that took me by surprise) I said I would want to work at a place that; 


...cared about me as much as I cared about them, makes money but does things for the community, recognises resources are finite, a place where I can work though three in the morning if I want to, have my pet goldfish on my desk, have fun whilst working, help me develop as a person, lets me decorate my own workspace and gives me a window to open if I want to.


Mmm ... Sounds like working from home!


My desk? A compost heap. Three red, sponge balls (classic magic trick), a deck of cards, seven pens, a harmonica, a pile of papers (don't ask I have no idea what's at the bottom), used train tickets, a pair of spectacles and my iPhone headphones... I wondered what happened to them. Sketch books (3) and some computer leads that I forget what they plug into.


Have you got any space on your desk? You'll need some to make way for the avalanche of 'stuff' that's come your way already; new standards, schemes, laws, rules and regulations.


Rob Webster, boss of the Confed, (who I think should post a picture of his desk on Twitter! @NHSConfed_RobW, it must be the size of a football pitch) has provided a neat list

Where are you in all this? Under it? On top of it? Watching it all go by? Horrified at the way in which regulation throttles the last ounce of life from a once great service... squeezes the juices 'till the pips squeak, crushes initiative and innovation.


Brace yerself; there's more. By the time you read this you'll have voted, or maybe you are yet to vote. Be sure you do. Whoever you vote for 'the government will get it' and they will want to fiddle, tweak, mess about with or even throw the whole thing, we call the NHS, up-in-the-air.


There's gonna be more consultation, reports, guidance, discussion documents, responses, forms, templates, plans, strategies, papers, bumph, opinions, articles, column inches and pages and pages of stuff!


Need a bigger desk? Bigger in-tray?


Me? I'm gonna get the shredder fixed.


PS:  I hope you get what you voted for!


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Dr Mark Porter
Chair of the BMA
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18th June 2015
King's Fund
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