30th December 2015

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Everyone else is having a sale so we thought we would, too!
HealthChat Two tickets for £49.95 Plus a free glass of wine, or two!
 Fascinating guests; Sir Cyril Chantler and Stephen Dorrell
Details here - be quick!

Shoot me
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
I'm not sure what to do.  It's about this time of the year that columnists and commentators bore everyone silly with their review of the year.
For a change I thought I'd try an incisive A-Z.
A = A complete waste of money... the CQC.
B = Be in no doubt, inspection does not improve quality.
C = Can't think why people think inspection improves quality.
D = Don't even think that inspection improves quality.
E = Ever-so-stupid to expect a bus load of inspectors will improve quality.
F = For goodness sake, how many times do I have to say it; inspection doesn't improve quality.
G = Get real, inspection doesn't improve quality...
H = Have I got to say it again.....
There is an alternative tactic.  I could weave a story around my travels this year.
I could tell you about filthy lavatories in (mainly) motorway service stations.  The eyewatering pong.  I could write about the cheap version of the Dyson hand-drier, the Air-Blade V that blows the water off your hands and generates an aerosol of toxic mist for you to breath-in and contract goodness knows what.
What about the coffee shops; the queues, the bashing Baristas and the sticky tables.

Airlines - I've given up.  The only plane I've been on this year that was clean, service oriented and on time was Turkish Airlines to Iran.
And, the trains.  Only Great Western seems to have got the idea that the trick is to have clean trains that run on time.  The rest... if Virgin run health services like they run their trains... buy linctus and liniment.
I could entertain you for hours with tales of hotels.  Surly reception staff, waiters whose stock opening is either 'Are you alright, there...' or 'What can I get you guys....'  I swear if I don't stab one I'll open a customer service training business and make a £gazillion.
Hotel windows that won't open.  Presumably they know the service is so poor and are worried guest might throw themselves out.
Why does it always come as a complete surprise to a hotel that most guests will want breakfast between 0700 and 0830.  Why is there a queue whilst some luckless soul looks to highlight my name on a spreadsheet list of hotel guests?  Do I look like I've come in off the street to steal a sausage?
Not interested in my travails?  Fair enough.
I could tell you about the hospital porters, the coders, the scientists, the HCA's, the allied professionals, the caterers, the estates, the security, the paramedics, the junior doctors, the consultants, the nurses, the administrators, the managers and the Boards I have met.
There's not a lot of point; you work with them, every day.  You know what they bring to the party.
So, how to end the year?  I could point out the tumult that another five years of flat line funding will bring but you know that.  I could tell you to read the Five Year Forward View but if you haven't by now, you're not going to. 
I could tell you to pay particular attention to the Vanguards who have the enthusiasm, the freedom, the imagination and energy to ignore Lansleys' chaotic legacy and give us an NHS that works.  

I might give you a nudge, to keep an eye on Monitor that I think will be an entirely different organisation this time next year.
The New Year is like a fresh page in a book.  History waiting to be written; your history, your family's history, the history of where you work and what you do.
You will make mistakes and wish you could cross things out.  But you can't.  Leave them there, let other people learn from you, just as you will learn from them.  You will try new things, meet new people and with any luck you'll evolve and change your bit of the world.
Make every day the best you can make it, be kind to the people around you, spend taxpayers money like it was your own and treat every patient and resident like they were coming for lunch on Sunday.
Let's go to war on stinkin'-thinkin'; find our voice to say when something is wrong and the courage and patience to listen and fix it.  

Who will you be this time next year?
So, all the best to you and yours.  Thank you for your company this year and I hope to see you next year.
And, if you see me anywhere near a Starbucks... shoot me. 
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Special end of year offer
Two tickets, one for each event, £49.95 and a free glass of wine!
Sir Cyril Chantler
I promise you an evening of really 
interesting insights, health policy and outcome stuff.  
I'm really looking forward to this.
Stephen Dorrell
Former Secretary of
State for Health
Chair of the Confed.
'the reforms were the biggest mistake of the Parliament'
This is what I'm hearing;
if you know different,
tell me here
>> I'm hearing - Reading FC players paid a visit to the Royal Berks hospital just before Xmas.  Nice one!
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