Thursday, 1 November 2012

Q: "When is a Contract NOT a Contract ?"

A:  "When it's signed by NHS Wales"

You have only to read about the recent 'negotiations' between the Government/NHS and the BMA Wales ( representing all GPs in Wales ), to realise that the suggested changes - made for the Minister, Leslie Griffiths - exceed the terms of the existing agreed contract.  These changes, want more hours, a greater workload that would have the GPs ticking boxes relating to whether they have met the targets of performance for these patients who are chronically ill. eg, Blood Pressure, Diabetes and "Are they still breathing  etc".  The BMA argue that taking on board these new changes would inevitably detract from the time they are able to spend with the majority of their patients and, inevitably the health of these patients. Of course, adding a few hours to their working day, ensuring appointments are given within a reasonable time, and opening for short periods at the weekend, may not seem much to the government/NHS, but the GPs see them as getting them to do much more work for very little extra money - regional variations applicable, naturalich, mein herren.

Some reckless GPs have even dared to point out that these changes would require an entirely new contract put to them, via the BMA, for consideration and acceptance.  Simply put " if you want us to do more work, we must be compensated by proportionately higher salaries. After all....." they would argue, "you agreed the ruddy contract in the first place therefore stick to it !"
Such logical reasoning means nothing, however, to the dictatorial Mrs Griffiths, who tells the BMA that - "if you do not agree to my terms, I will impose them on you anyway". Atta girl, Les, that's telling 'em, innit - the tail wags (W.A.G.s - get it ? ) the dog.......... and who told you we lived in a democracy anyway - eh ?????  As a result, the BMA and their GPs will, of course, put their collective 'tail' between their legs and agree, albeit reluctantly ( Yeah Right, of course they will ).

Hopefully, the dear Lady will be told to 'urinate up a rope' or - at the very least - to go back and read up on what constitutes a Contract ( Ho Ho ! ).  Personally speaking, I cannot see any resolution to this rather obvious problem as a contract is a contract, binding both sides to the terms contained therein.  Even though the Minister will dig her 3 inch heels into the BMAs lawn ( as it were ), she cannot possibly win the ensuing battle, because she is being totally unreasonable and ( apparently ) has lost sight of the purpose of the Health Service as defined by dear old Nye Bevan.  Hopefully the First Minister will have a word in her shell-like ear and remind her that she is a functionary, meaning that she should leave her prissy ego at home ! I'm fantasising, of course, but someone with some common sense must intervene in order to end this ridiculous impasse.   R.W.

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