in these times of massive NHS deficit, you will be pleased to hear that my trust has been investing its elusive budget in worthwhile projects.
last week the following appeared on several wards:
they gradually multiplied in number to the point where most of the medical wards were covered in them.
plastered on the patient board, on the doors to the staff rooms, over the treatment room, etc
what are they? i asked around.
the doctors certainly didn't know. the ward clerk muttered something about management.
the nurses all smiled cheekily and said they couldn't tell me.
the senior nurses/matron all gleefully said "ah ha - you'll find out next week."
i did wonder whether i had wandered into john malkovich's head or perhaps the deck of the marie celeste but instead chose to try and get on with my job as reality decayed around me. i kept glancing around to see if ALF was going to appear.
anyway, so this week i stumbled into the staff room on one of the wards to see the table cleared away and lots of different coloured card, glitter, glue and felt tips replacing the usual array of rotas and handover sheets. using these tools were several hypnotically happy members of the nursing staff engaged in the making of cardboard fish and adding them to a big wall display of more fish where the noticeboard used to be.
yee gads i thought. has everyone been hit by some childhood regression alien virus? has some devilish pied piper character drawn everyone into some sort of strange cult of collage? have people been drinking the hospital Sodexho tap water again?
i still couldn't get a straight answer out of anyone through their glazed, pritt-stick covered eyes and then saw a poster (replacing the antibiotic guidance one) referring to the fish philosophy.
"for Crippen's sake, what the fuck is the fish philosophy?" you may ask, as i did as i negotiated my way through the sea of crayons.
well i suggest you check out the website. (please please have sound enabled)
once you have finished chucking out your guts in laughter/nausea pinch yourself and ask whether the world has truly gone completely nuts.
as far as i am aware, under the fish scheme staff get a "fish" for doing something "great" and once they accumulate 5 fishes they get a free cup of rancid Sodexho coffee.
i don't know how fish define something great. maybe it's... let's see... something to do with doing your job?
this is worrying for two reasons; firstly that nursing morale is so goddamn low on the medical wards (the nurses there are by and large very good but VASTLY overstretched and under supported) that they need some crazy scheme to reassure them that they're doing something worthwhile.
secondly it suggests that someone actually thought this was a grrr-eat idea and was swayed by some tosser in a lime green shirt. i dread to think how much this has cost and how many prostitutes lime green man has indulged himself with for that sum.
am i being harsh? am i completely out of touch with modern management techniques?
or do you also think this smells of horseshit? surely this is not the way to re-inspire a workforce.
i am, as always, open to the view of the blog panel.
in the interim i am not making any fucking fish.
[i am listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival - Lookin' out my back door]
[DISCLAIMER: this does not represent the views of my NHS trust... oh dear, i may get fired]