Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Two blogs have recently highlighted the pressures faced by front-line public services as a result of their having insufficient resources to deal with the demands of their day to day jobs. Tom Reynolds the Ambulanceman is pretty hacked off at the pressures of too many not-particularly-sick people calling ambulances and the limited capacity of hospital A&E departments. This means that patients may have to be shipped all over his patch, sometimes leaving really ill people without the service they need. PC Bloggs is now an Acting Sergeant and she says that on some nights she simply does not have the troops to respond properly to 999 calls.
Of course it isn't simple, and there is a serious problem with the high number of non-urgent emergency calls that clutter up the system, but the underlying problem is only going to get worse. There is already pressure on cash across much of the public service, but nobody is going to do anything until the election is out of the way. Once it is, real front-line cuts are inevitable, and the standards of service that we have become accustomed to will be just a memory.
This is why some senior people in London's Courts' Service are fuming at a recent training initiative, in which professionals have been bored and patronised by an extraordinary and expensive New-Agey presentation, accompanied with luxuriously printed documentation that would not be out of place in a Bentley showroom. I have seen the stuff and it is beyond parody. The fact that it cost many thousands of pounds is a stupid waste of money - as one manager said to me; "for the cost of that lot we could have employed two ushers for a year".
(Later:- You can get the flavour from this site, which is linked in the glossy booklet I mention above).