I’m still in disbelief about the HSE’s scheme for “rewarding success”. I’m not talking sweets here. No, instead, extra consultants are to be appointed and distributed around those hospitals which have the highest-performing A&E departments. Only those who are best behaved will get the additional consultants. A spokesman for the HSE said “the new ‘100 plus’ plan was not about penalising any hospital, but rather was about rewarding those that met targets”. Yesterday Brendan Drumm, CEO HSE, was wheeled out again to reject the criticism of this crazy HSE decision. Do you know, I’m actually beginning to feel sorry for the man. He reluctantly took on the job in the first place and how he must long to return to doing a day’s work where he’s appreciated. I’m sure if this point was put to him, he’d reply “Je regrets rien”, in keeping with the level of denial presently emanating from the HSE.
Anyway, now we have a situation where those hospitals which are working well are to be rewarded and those that are not, are to continue to struggle to keep their heads above water. The difference being that some hospitals have step-down facilities available for their long-stay patients and some do not. The ones that do, are able to fast-track patients through the system right from A&E through to discharge. The ones that don’t, have patients with nowhere to go which causes a log-jam that backs-up through the hospital to A&E resulting in the overcrowded and chaotic scenes we hear about so frequently. What the HSE has done is akin to saying “goodbye and good luck” to a child who is performing poorly in school instead of looking at the causes of the problem and trying to remedy it. It’s also akin to giving those with advantage, the reward. The scheme is a bit like a useless school report which says “must try harder” and “could do better” but offers no explanation or support. The shortage of step-down beds in the community is an issue that needs to be addressed as a priority. The hospitals which face the greatest difficulties and have the longest waiting lists, are otherwise condemned to fall further behind. The HSE obviously hasn’t done it’s homework properly.
No more excuses Mary – put out your hand!