|This post might be a bit dull, so I'm including The Seven Wonders of the World to keep you interested. The Great Pyramid of Giza is first. Impress friends at dinner parties by referring to it by its lesser known names; The Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops.|
The bit that I work in concerns itself with hospital equipping; its where the people who know about things like electro-medical or lab equipment sit. You can't just go out and buy a blood analyzer, pharmacy robot or a PACS imaging system for medical imaging (be that x-ray, CT or CAT scanning.) These things are often part of the fabric of the building so require a fair bit of forward planning.
|The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Babylonian Priest Berossus attributed their existence to Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezer II - he was so cool; in The Matrix, Morpheus named his ship after him.|
|Zeus at Olympia; made famous by Laurence Olivier in the original (and much better) film Clash of the Titans.|
But I digress.
This is also where the people who punt out all those statistics on waiting times, cancellations and attendances sit - its called Information Services Division. I say that, the name might have changed, we've just been through a reorganisation and if I'm being honest, I'm no longer sure what division I work in, never mind ISD.
|Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Sometimes (although less accurately) known as the Temple of Diana - what ever you do, don't let The Daily Express know.|
Its been a while since 'Scottish' Labour had the reins of government in their grubby little mitts, but when they did - they didn't report NHS statistics with any regularity - which leads us to my point.
As you would imagine, its a lot more complicated than you might think - to go from quarterly to weekly reporting is no mean feat, in fact, I imagine it'll present significant challenges. There are fourteen NHS boards in Scotland who collect & own the data required. Sitting to one side is National Services Scotland which is essentially thought of as another board but is mostly not patient facing - its where all those pesky managers and bureaucrats are - all that data coming from the boards needs to be shared with ISD (which is a division of NSS) then crunched.
|The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Well this is awkward, A.K.A The Tomb of Mausolus, who was interred there with his wife Artemisia II of Caria... Who was also his sister... (As you do...)|
Take Orkney, home to the smallest NHS board serving just under 20,000 people. In Dec 2014, 419 A&E attendances were recorded. Hospital in-patient activity to September 2014 saw 1457 (Quarterly figure) patients treated across all specialties. At the other end of the spectrum you have Greater Glasgow & Clyde who's A&E departments saw 36,118 patients in December 2014 and saw 423,926 in-patients treated to the end of September 2014.
I know I'm being a bore, even finding the information in the previous paragraph took monumental patience and while I didn't contemplate suicide as such, I never ruled out self harm.
Suffice to say, those figures represent the two boards at either end of the range in terms of population and represent a fraction of the patient facing activity all boards take part in. We haven't even mentioned the number of GP appointments or home visits, or talked about referral waiting times across all the various services the NHS in Scotland provide - not limited to cancer care, child health, drugs & alcohol misuse, dental care, health & social community care, heart disease, maternity & child birth, mental health (adult and child), sexual health, strokes and a good bit more besides.
To get stats in all, or even some of those areas published on a weekly basis is going to be tough. I'm told the relevant departments are enthusiastically recruiting statisticians and analysts - bearing in mind, a large number saw their jobs evaporate during a previously severe workforce contraction - to get the figures out on a monthly basis.
No doubt the clueless (and slopey shouldered) Jenny Marra will be on hand to bemoan the number of so-called backroom staff employed by the NHS in Scotland.