11th January 2016

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Former Secretary of State for Health and now Chair of the Confed
Stephen Dorrell

News and Comment from Roy Lilley
The sky was slate grey.  A bone chilling, fine rain sifted across Westminster Bridge.  It was cold, very cold.
Outside the rear entrance to the iconic St Thomas Hospital, under the watchful eye of Big Ben, a determined group of strikers were on the picket line.
It was late afternoon.  The press photographers, anxious to get their images for the early editions, had moved on.  The BBC's Hugh Pym had no doubt retreated to the warmth of the Broadcasting House canteen.  This hardy lot were there for the duration.
Bobble hats, puffa-jackets, jeans; wet, bedraggled but determined.  A cheery, doughty few.  They were there to fight for the NHS.  Their weapons; placards, banners and witty banter.  The occasional driver raised their spirits and a wave, as they tooted their support.
Twenty or so, including a registrar, a training geriatrician, a paediatric surgeon in the making; a salami-slice of the junior doctor's community.  Damp, but insistent to tell of their worries about exploitation, salary cuts and being 'treated like slaves'.  They were sincere and articulate, Periscope chat here
The polar opposite of the message given by the Tinkerman in the pooled interview (apparently he declined to meet the press individually or at a press conference) earlier in the day.  He later went missing?
At lunchtime, from the warmth of the Sky News studios on Milbank, I was gob-smacked as I watched the Tinkerman tell the world; '... get admitted at the weekends with cancer and you have a greater chance of dying... it's the same with stroke... it's all about safer care...' 
Surprised by such specific claims? So was I... but he might be right, and about stroke.  No doubt the boffins will argue the toss.  But, if you had a choice would you avoid weekends?
What a mess, what a complete and utter, avoidable, unnecessary mess.  Or is it?  Some fear it is part of a sinister plot?  

Theresa May, Home Secretary, is taking-on the Police Federation and their 'Spanish Practices', Michael Gove giving the courts and prisons a good kicking, the schools, from what I hear from teachers, in the same mess as the NHS and social services.
Is there a wider battle being fought here?  The BMA , recalcitrant and moody, difficult, stroppy.  Time for them to be brought down a peg or two?  Let's face it; renegotiating the doctor's contract since 2012; does it say someone has been dragging their feet.
We live in a 24-7 world, shops, internet, news and telly.  A Martini world; any time, any place, anywhere.  Why should the NHS be any different?  Yes, it is open all hours but we all know there is a difference between being open and being there.  Compare the staff car park on a Sunday with a Tuesday.
A hospital is a whole system, if a Sunday is to look like a Tuesday, everyone has to be there.  Including management.  

Shuffling junior doctor's pay within the existing cost envelope is only part of the approach.  Getting alignment with every other group that combines to make Team-NHS work, with no cash to do it and not enough people, will take more than disputed claims about weekend deaths.
A seamless 24-7 NHS would make us unique in the world, it is a bold and brave ambition, to achieve it would make us all proud. 
With goodwill, ingenuity, innovation, front-line ideas and a bit of fun, I think the NHS would be up for the challenge.
All the Tinkerman has achieved so far is to put everyone's backs up.
The gossip is, the strike will be settled next week.  Let's hope so. Another day like Tuesday and I could end up with pneumonia. 
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Sir Cyril Chantler
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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 - NHS Property Services is to undergo a reorganisation (another one) making it more London centric.
>>  I'm hearing - one London teaching hospital has; 19 software programmes, 4 different ones used on ward rounds, average doc's time copying prescriptions 1 hour a shift, 1hr copying disease codings, 30 minutes handing over to community teams and information is lost with every patient transfer.
>>  I'm hearing - Tim Kelsey's old job is to be remodelled into CI and Technology Officer.
>>  I'm hearing - Our Sal (what a Gal) has a Senior Private Secretary and a Diary Secretary; does she know about Outlook?
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