Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How can you choose between "vital" and "unacceptable"?

Consulation. Now there's a word we all hear about a lot, but how people get inioted to the things we've no idea. In fact, we've just heard there's a consultation going on right now about which hospitals in South East London need to be closed or seriously cut.

"Closed or cut?!" we hear you say, but yes it's true. Apparently, as a result of the massive bills racked up by the doctors and nurses trying to hit the latest Government target, we're in big trouble in South East London. Hence a consultation eupemistically called the "Big Ask" which, along with the double-edged title, contains all those cunning ploys we’ve come to expect.

1: The distorted justification for why they are doing what they are doing – in this case we liked the paragraph,
"The truth is we are currently spending more than we can afford.... If we carry on spending money in the same way, this debt is projected to accumulate to over £300 million in just THREE years. If we allowed that to happen it would force us to take drastic measures – such as stopping services at short notice and without proper planning. That would be unfair for many people."
Of course it’s the Government’s own policies that have created the bloody mess – where was the planning then!

2: The set of questions which ask you to choose between things that you can’t choose between as they are either all vital or cutting them is unacceptable. Our favourite example was,
Thinking about services overall – when services are redesigned which three factors among those listed below do you think are important?

Location of service
Availability of service (time of day)
Be seen quickly
Quality of care
Value for the taxpayer
So given that these all seem pretty damn vital to us, if we don’t tick value for money, do we carry on with the same deficits? Or if we don’t tick quality of care are we saying we want a rubbish service? Who wants to be seen not putting a tick in safety?

Such disingenuity in questions makes us wonder why they waste everyone’s time with these ridiculous and meaningless consultation forms. We might as well wave good bye to services at the Queen Elizabeth now and just have done with it!

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Blogger Bentos said...

I'm guessing the Iraq war has cost a little more than £300 million.

Just a guess.

4:08 pm  

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