Even though I no longer work in the National Health Service I still get frustrated when I hear stories about what actually happens in the service.
What follows is a true story – it is not some made up urban myth. I was told the story by Simon, my Surgeon friend a couple of weeks ago.
It seems the Radiology staff in his hospital could not use a camera because the tripod had a small plastic flange missing where the camera should be housed. Simon asked how long it had been on order with the Hospital Supplies Department and was told the Radiology Department had been waiting nine months for the part.
This meant that the department had, for nine months, only one camera available for a particular procedure when they should have two – in other words the department was operating at 50% capacity.
Simon returned to his office, went online to the Kodak Website and found the required part on the Website. It was available in stock at £7.50. He ordered it online and paid for it with his own personal credit card. The part was delivered within two days and this meant the camera was up and running again.
The hundreds – possibly thousands of pounds that were being ‘spent’ in paperwork and procedures to order a tiny piece of equipment and the lack of capacity for nine months was all solved in 10 minutes at a cost of £7.50.
Amazing but true - and some people insist 'big is beautiful.'