A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Saturday, August 08, 2009

School kids run NHS swine flu hotline

The government is always doing things on the cheap. The war in Afghanistan is a prime example. So is the NHS. Actually, I should say we get the results on the cheap but the method is one of extravagance and profligacy. Now it is revealed that the Swine Flu Hotline, which we were led to believe was being staffed by knowledgeable nursing types is actually full of 16-year olds biding their time whilst they wait for their GCSE results. We are told, as reported in the Daily Mail, by an insider that "many have accents which are difficult to understand and some have difficulty in reading from the prepared script." I can understand that having had experiences with oriental call centres and ending up at cross purposes with them.

The revelation that GCSE students are diagnosing flu comes just days after nine out of ten family doctors said they feared phone diagnosis would lead to serious diseases being missed. And they have. Menegitis being one of them. Andy Burnham continues to waffle on like a double-glazing salesman at 11.45pm desperate to prove he's not in the wrong job. However, the whole swine flu thing has been a complete disaster from an organisational point. If a disease wants to find a population, it could do no better than England. It's a germ's paradise.

The outfit running this call-centre calamity is NHS Professionals. Another outsourced in-house operation at arm's length from anyone who is vaguely responsible for something. On their website, NHS Professionals trumpet that they have "been developed by the Department of Health to provide innovative flexible staffing solutions." So flexible that youngsters can be plucked from school to speak to anxious patients about a pandemic that could kill. One hour's training and they're ready.

I'd say that that was like throwing caution to the wind. Which pretty much sums up the New Labour approach to finance!


Well, I think it is really good if children got their own hotline for swine flu. Thanks for sharing.


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