Yet more waste from the NHS

One of my proudest achievements during 2018 was reaching an important milestone that very few people in the UK reach. I am a blood donor and I made my 75th donation of blood a couple of months ago.
According to 2015 research by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) less than 3% of people living in the UK, who are eligible to give blood, actually do so.
And of the 3% of people that do give blood, only a tiny proportion manage to get up to their 75th donation. So getting to this milestone is something that I am quite proud of.
So this morning I called the national blood helpline to book my next appointment which is due any day from the 2nd of January onwards. I was prompted to do this by an appeal they have put out in the media stressing the importance of people donating blood during the festive season when stocks become low. The image above is a screenshot from their website which also emphasises this message.
And guess what? In the whole of January they could only offer me one appointment time, on a day that was unsuitable for me.
I don't live in a small village in the middle of nowhere. I live close to the centre of Leeds, the fourth biggest city in the UK. The Leeds blood donor centre is one of the biggest in the country. Yet they are fully booked up until the first week of February.
The call centre agent tried to tie me down to booking an appointment for a date in February, but I explained that this was so far in advance that I didn't know whether I would be busy at work that day - and therefore I could not commit to the appointment.
Obviously I'm delighted that they are so booked-up that they don't need my blood. But it begs the question of why they are still wasting large amounts of NHS money on advertising and marketing campaigns appealing for people to give blood, but then when people call to make an appointment to donate, they don't have any appointments available!
If anyone in the private sector is so busy with work that they are unable to meet the demand, then the last thing they would do is waste money on advertising and marketing! (And even if they did waste money on advertising, I wouldn't be particularly bothered because it's their own money that they are wasting!)
But what we are talking about here is money that belongs to the National Health Service which is paid for out of the taxes of the British people. Money that could be spent in other areas of the NHS.
But throughout the public sector, a system of 'incremental budgeting' is used which means that around this time of year there is a lot of "use it or lose it" money sloshing around the system that people urgently want to spend, because they know that if they have money left in their budgets on 31st March, then they will be awarded a smaller budget next year.
And incidentally I do know what I'm talking about because a few years ago I used to work for a government-funded youth organisation as Head of Marketing.
Every year it was the same. The CEO of the organisation would come to me in the spring telling me I urgently had to spend money as quickly as possible so that we didn't get our budget cut  the following year.
One year, the situation was so bad that I was given an extra £50,000 to spend on marketing (the under-spend from a different department) with the deadline of just one week to spend all that money!! And that was in addition to my annual marketing budget, which was also under-spent!!
This article is not meant to be a criticism of the National Health Service or of NHSBT. I'm still very proud to be a blood donor, and I'm even more proud to be one of the very few people in the UK who has donated 75 times during my life. But I see this as yet another example of the terrible management practices going on throughout the National Health Service, wasting vast amounts of money that should be spent on patient care.
In the UK we are constantly being bombarded with politicians telling us that the NHS needs more funding. While not denying that they are right, I have to pose the question of what is the point in giving even more tax payers’ money to the NHS, when the incompetent managers who run Britain's health service waste so much of the cash that they already have?

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