I’m not saying goodbye to my blog. You might remember that I published a post about changes a few weeks ago. This is my last week at my job. I finish this Friday (28th of March), after nearly 8 years here (it would have been 8 years in May).
As some of you know, I work as a psychiatrist in a forensic unit. I work for the NHS (National Health System) in the UK. I came to this job after working for nearly two years in the private sector (also in forensic psychiatry, in a medium secure unit). I had no issues with the care offered there, and the pay was better than in the NHS (even after nearly 8 years here I only now I’m close to the same pay I had there). I left partly because I wanted to do further training (and it was difficult in a smaller organisation not set up to offer training opportunities) but also because the idea of medicine being run as a business didn’t quite fit in my head. The company could be bought and sold overnight to anybody (a petrol company, an investment firm, another health organisation) and you had no saying on the matter. It was difficult to know in which direction things were going when you didn’t know who was in charge from one day to the next.
I came back to the NHS, taking a pay cut (although my pay was quite reasonable for NHS standards in my particular role, as I was fairly experienced), because I felt at least I’d have some sense of where we were going. Years later I can honestly say I don’t like where things are going. I understand the NHS is a mammoth that swallows any money thrown at it. I also understand that things have changed dramatically from the time of its inception, when population was younger, smaller, and less demanding. Medicine has also changed, becoming much more reliant on technology and expensive procedures and medication (although some of the interventions that would increase massively the health of the population are not expensive, but convincing people to stop doing things that are harmful is very difficult). And yet, telling people that you can do the same job for less money (or they’ll find others who will), cutting beds, getting rid of hospitals, and relying on systems of reporting and accounting that cannot reflect what is really important is not much of an answer. I’ve had enough and I’m off. I hope things get better, but I can’t see it. May I be wrong.
Thanks for reading and feel free to like, share and comment.
As a postscript, I intend to carry on blogging, if at all I can, although I might be itinerant for a while and doing some exploring. I will try and leave some posts prepared in advance and I hope my adventures will give me even more material for future posts. But if I’m missing or not replying to comments for a while, assume I’m somewhere having fun!