When Jennie was small she had a set of books called “A story a day” and I am reminded of these when we hear the news and the coalition government seems to put out a policy a day. I don’t know whether they are trying to get into the Guiness book of records  for the most policies in three months, or whether they are just too excited by getting into government again!

They are churning out policies just like we used to in the 6th form debating society. Some of them are new plans and others seem to paraphrase promises we have heard before.

 Today it was about single sex wards and I heard some woman say that it is difficult to convert the old hospitals to all single sex wards. This puzzled me as, during my time working in NHS hospitals in the 50s and 60s I never worked on a mixed sex ward and some of the hospitals were very old.

At the General Hospital Birmingham, (which was built in the 18c), the sexes were not only on separate wards but at opposite ends of the corridor!

Even in the small cottage hospitals I worked in they didn’t have mixed sex wards so I don’t know when they were introduced. Was it when the accountants took over the management and found that it was more economical to mix the sexes? It sounds like one of the crazy ideas from the business men who took over the running of hospitals and were more interested in “market forces” than patient care and patients became “units” rather than sick people. They doubtless gave a presentation with power points illustrating the advantages of mixed wards.

 I just wish that they would slow down and think through their pronouncements before they make them public, maybe then we would have “joined up” government and would not spend the next 20 years undoing the policies which don’t work.

When I babbled childish  nonsense my Great-Aunt Clara was fond of pointing at my ears and saying, “You have two of those and one of those” (pointing at my mouth), “Use them in the same proportion” i. e. listen twice as much as you speak!

What a pity that some of the MPs had no Great-Aunt Clara.:)

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