To decide whether or not an organisation is underfunded, it is a crucial business requirement to first see how the current levels of funding are spent. In this respect, the NHS appears to be rolling in cash. Looking by some of the vacancies unearthed on NHS job boards by my friend Phil, it is a wonder there is a waiting list at all for medical treatment.
Recently, an announcement was made that waiting times for cancer patients waiting for an operation had finally dipped below two years after rising higher during the years of the plague. TWO YEARS, yet for many, a delay of a small fraction of that means the difference between life and death.
I wonder how cancer patients feel when they see vacancies from NHS England such as for a Head of Equalities, with a salary reaching up to an eye-watering £90,387 plus pensions, etc? Their brief? To include making sure all communities get an equal opportunity to receive a still-experimental injection into their arm.
Or, in Nottingham, a Head of Patient Experience and Engagement, reaping a cool £75,874. Basically, a glorified customer services officer who can manage some leaflets enabling patients to see what services are on offer!
NHS Wales joins in the splurging of cash, too. Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board needs a Head of Communications. In today’s world, with complaints to the press often being a patient’s only way of effectively complaining, one can understand the need for such a role. But £63862 provides one heck of a healthy bank balance.
None of these roles help one tiny iota in the reduction of waiting times for cancer and many other vital treatments, but the value attached to them insults the hard-working medical staff who often put in unpaid overtime to keep their departments running while these fat cats build their own little empires.
I had a debate with a Labour Councillor last night, where I said the free market would determine the value of a job. If the job was underpaid, I argued, then the employer would struggle to find the staff – as is the case for nurses and junior doctors. Yet there is no shortage of applicants for the roles above, indicating they are over-valued. He, of course, disagreed.
In private hands - not corporate ones, as an extension of the state - this imbalance would have to be addressed.
Martin Day – Party Secretary.