Lots to chew on of late. First I read my fellow blogger Inside Out's polemic about the grubby goings on in the world of hospital management.
I'm still reeling from the heat generated by those angry responses. Go on - have a look.
And then I read that 1 in 4 hospital weighing scales are not calibrated correctly. Which probably means that 9 out of 10 domestic weighing scales are similarly out of sync. Which in turn can only mean that rather than being 22 kg overweight I'm probably at my fighting peak.
The latter of which is, of course, a fine example of rhetorical skulduggery those evil acute sector folk use to bedazzle the World Class Commissioning terriers that snarl at them across poker tables piled high with unused WCC chips. They haven't actually done any work, those hospitals. They haven't improved productivity or reduced the waiting lists or done anything proper like that. No, they just sit around in rooms playing with spreadsheets making up lies, damn lies and statistics to feed the regulatory beast, and coming up with wizard wheezes to confound the public and mess the punters around.
What complete and utter codswallop.
Having spent much of my career bumbling around the senior echelons of both the commissioning and providing sides of the NHS Rubicon, I can assure the big wide world our there that hospitals have neither the wit, the wisdom nor indeed the desire to game the system in the way that is sometimes feared. And guess what? Those PCTs are in fact really passionate about improving the health and health services of the local communities, and are starting to get their heads around how that gargantuan task might be achieved. And love them or loath them, the regulators would quite like to make the world a better place too.
Frankly, the conspiracy theorists should stick to JFK and the grassy knoll because in my humble experience if something goes wonky it's invariably cock-up.
And of course things do go wrong, and none of us gets it right every time. And you know why? Because what we all do is bloody difficult. But the evidence suggests that we do most of it well for most of the time, and usually better than the rest of the world. So let's not lose sight of the wood for the trees, let's dump the conspiracy theories, and let's have a bit of a love-in. Because you know what guys? We're all on the same side. And as the mighty Russell Crowe once said in the Oscar-winning Gladiator, we may not know what's coming through the doors, but whatever it is, we stand a much better chance of beating it if we work as a team. What a leader! What a guy! What a skirt!