As you may already have seen, consultation has begun over the proposals to integrate the Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education (PGMDE) functions undertaken by the London Operations department and KSS. These plans actually date back to at least April 2015. However, barring the occasional ‘engagement workshops’ and staff briefings, the process has remained remarkably opaque.
Prior to the release of the document in question, HEE have been reluctant to respond substantial questions with any detail, most notably with regard to the initial 30% figure. When asked whether this meant headcount, it was stated that it referred to an overall reduction in costs, with the obvious implication that the headcount reduction would be less. In fact, as has now been revealed, the figure is an astonishing 41%. Rightly or wrongly, staff feel deceived.
As if this in itself was not an unbelievably unrealistic figure for any organisation to absorb, no mention also seems to have been made of the inevitable disruption caused by both the transition process AND the training requirements of all staff taking up the proposed new posts and new responsibilities.
Furthermore, no account has been taken of, nor risk assessment made, of the likelihood of issues arising with the new technology which is to be introduced. Given the track record of in the NHS of large IT projects, this seems particularly optimistic.
It is also clear from staff that the department is not only going to be expected to cope with its old workload with a massively reduced headcount, but will be actively encouraged to seek and take on ‘new business’, further increasing the burden on those remaining staff.
In addition, as has already been alluded to, the consultation document’s lack of detail makes an informed response extremely difficult.
Without a breakdown of current costs and required savings, and an accurate budget prediction should these proposals be implemented, how can alternative suggestions be made and compared?
Staff are also extremely concerned as to the lack of evidence of consultation with stakeholders, and the likely reaction of the general public when they become known.
This leads directly onto questions of accountability – if and when these proposals are implemented, and the problems predicted by staff arise, who is to blame?
We’ve already been meeting with affected members and putting together a response, and will be campaigning in every way we can to reverse these disastrous plans.
Any questions or suggestions please email Danny at firstname.lastname@example.org.