Right Hand, Meet Left Hand

If only they could talk to each other

Ever wondered why the NHS is in such a mess? Well ineffectual management might have something to do with it. I was asked last week if I’d like to do an overtime shift on the ‘bus’ today. Seemed like a good idea seeing as I haven’t done any o/t for a while. So, I duly dragged myself out of bed at some unearthly hour to arrive at the station for a 7 a.m. start. I was startled to find so many people around, not withstanding that all the vehicles and the RRV were on station. Turned out there’d been the usual management cock-up. All the team leaders/station supervisors/leading ambulancemen (take your pick from whichever era you joined) were off on a ‘jolly‘ organisational meeting so there was a shift that needed covering. My operational manager had asked me to do it. Another manager decided that a new EMT who was ‘spare’ at another station could do it. Someone else had spotted another ‘spare’ available at a third station, meanwhile the planning officer had decided to roster one of the EMT reliefs to the shift. So, come 7 a.m., four of us turned up for the same shift; the EMT rostered to cover it, two ‘spares’, and me on overtime. What a fiasco. I had a cuppa and a chat with the boys and girls, booked myself the obligatory 2 hours o/t for time wasted (plus a mileage claim) and returned home. Meanwhile the spare EMT who had been moved from his own station got sent back there as someone had gone ‘sick’.

This sort of thing is happening everyday all over our county and do doubt in other ambulance services as well. If only people would talk to each other some semblance of order might prevail – oh look, there’s another pig flying by!

*Spare – someone rostered to work but who has not been assigned to a particular shift. They tell Control they’re available and then usually end up sitting around twiddling their thumbs until its time to go home.


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