Saturday, 27 February 2016

Yes Minister, let's privatize the health service

Because you know that it makes economic sense; because you can run it on a shoestring and thereby ensuring that it never works. Call me biased, which of us isn’t?
Recently, I had my aging father admitted to hospital with dementia-related issues. It took approximately eight hours, from the moment he was wheeled into the emergency services ward, until he was assigned a bed in the ‘real’ wards.
During the first night of dad’s adventure in the ward he managed to clamber out of bed and cause himself further injury (apparently, the family of the patient is expected to provide 24-hour surveillance in order to prevent incidents of this type). The injury resulted in him having to have several stitches on his forehead, and subsequent treatment to his now hemorrhaging private parts caused by him removing the catheter.
Apparently, the hospital had failed to administer dad’s medication (including a tranquilizer), which would have prevented his ‘great escape’ antics, and the subsequent injuries. By default, my immediate response was to have him removed from the hospital ‘yesterday’. Having had him signed out, I was then informed that I should get dad to a clinic, pronto, or he’d probably die (to cut a long story short), due to the hemorrhaging…
Dear reader, is it necessary for me to add that no-one on duty had bothered to inform me of this, prior to the ‘check-out’ procedure?
Having been addressed by several of the medical staff, in a manner that I wouldn’t employ with my 3-year old grandson, I was then advised to have dad re-submitted as he was no longer in the database.
With my tail between my legs I graciously accepted their kindness, i.e. the opportunity to save dad’s life, and proceeded to jump through several hoops while doing so.
Two days later, the hospital staff acknowledged and ‘ensured’ that dad’s medication would now be administered…
Dear reader, this is probably one incident of many which occur in various health establishments across the island and I’m not professing that mine is any more critical than the next man’s, it is just an illustration of the pain and misery to which innocent citizens are being subjected to by those to whom we completely surrender our trust, expecting our loved ones to be treated with humanity and dignity.
Those charged with leading, in any sector, have to remember that organizations comprise of people, both those who deliver the service and those who receive the service.
Dear Minister, lose that focus and we’ve lost everything…

Friday, 8 January 2016

The academic evidence regarding immigration is overwhelmingly positive

While national politicians continue to speak about immigration in negative terms, the academic evidence is overwhelmingly positive. Migrants tend to be highly-skilled on average, contribute substantially to the economy, and do not compete with natives for social housing. Moreover, there is no evidence that crime rates have been on the rise as a result of new immigration waves. Neli Demireva writes that there is a real danger the immigration debate will turn sour and have spill-over effects in unexpected places. 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Women will get equal pay … in 118 years

Progress to close the gender pay gap around the world has all but stopped since the 2008 economic crash and it will be more than 100 years before women can expect equal pay with men, according to the latest global figures.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

A damning report has identified a “culture of bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour” at a hospital in Wales.

Continuing more or less where I left off in my previous post, I came across further evidence of the climate of 'fear' and harassment which pervades's apparent that employee union power is deteriorating at such a rapid rate, that recourse to employee justice is almost non-existent in the post-modern workplace.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

'Getting Under the Skin of Workplace Conflict'

Another timely piece of research which sheds light on the issue of workplace conflict. For anyone out there who needs reminding, "the most common impact of conflict is that people find it stressful and experience a drop in motivation or commitment" (CIPD report p. 3). And yet, those charged with leading organisations, continue to be the main cause of workplace conflict. Yes we are experiencing difficult times, and yes economies are driving people's standard of living to unprecedented low levels, but this is no excuse for leaders and managers of organisations to, in essence, remain oblivious to the plight of their people.
This report found that the most common cause is with one's manager, and in many cases, employees indicate that this was also the most serious case of conflict, including bullying, harassment and general disrespect.
Even though mediation and arbitration are the formal means of resolving conflict, the report also emphasizes the need for managers to take a more informal approach, "the role of the line managers in responding to conflict in a timely, informal way is crucial" (p. 29).
So, I guess the question we should be asking is when is this likely to happen, bearing in mind that the organizational hierarchy has the upper hand, a state of affairs which I believe isn't about to change any time soon.